Prince William, VA schools eye $5 million radio bill

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mancow

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It's Virginia and the epicenter of all things Fed so somehow the rest of us will probably end up paying for it.
 

c5corvette

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Yes, but what sucks is that there are penny pinchers around some counties in Virginia looking at cheaper ways to do radio and MOTOROLA sales is quick to offer up TRBO and or KENWOOD with NXDN, etc. School busses or not, I don't recommend either of those for a government agency!

Frankly, I dont understand whats going on with Prince William - if the county is upgrading to P25 and a school needs 1000 or so new radios... I dont recommend this for public safety, but for schools - skip the big M and they can buy a whole fleet of another brand P25 mobiles for about 1.5M instead of 5 Million.
 

sc8

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But what if one of those school busses get hijacked by (gasp)... terrorists !

They need radios that can directly link them into the Pentagon, White House, CIA operations center and NORAD.

At least so sayeth the /\/\ salespeople
 

c5corvette

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They need radios that can directly link them into the Pentagon, White House, CIA operations center and NORAD.
My point exactly... if they by a cheaper radio, but stay compatiable with P25, they could be able to talk to these folks or most anyone else for that matter! If they select TRBO or NXDN, forget it.
 

jim202

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Hey did anyone notice the key statement that was mentioned in the news release?

"“In the early spring,” Cline said, “we were notified essentially by the county that the 800 MHz radio system we’re currently using would be obsolete by Dec. 31 2012, which would be about 15 months from now."

This smells of a slick sales move that is using the VHF and UHF narrow banding mandate by the FCC to sell more radios that don't need to be sold. Not sure about you, but if I was a tax payer in the county there, I would be raising a large commotion about what was going on.

Have any one of you seen any factual information on why the entire county 800 system has to be replaced by any certain date?
 

ff-medic

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non p25 radios. cheap and gets the job done. enough said!
The article says 800 mhz, same band ; which the school system can use to communicate with Public Safety. Yeah, thats what EMS and L/E need , is about 100 people on handhelds, mobiles and base units giving them a situation report for an incident - Fire, Terrorism, Haz-Mat, Explosion.

800 MHZ? In Prince William County. I can see the excuse now. " Well, thats what the radio service recommended. Along with the 4.5 mil price tag. We bought a large amount of towers for some reason though, The towers was almost our biggest expendature."

What is wrong with conventional UHF? I think I know the answer ---> Cause the cops and the firemen are not on that band.

What is wrong with conventional VHF? I think I know the answer ----> Cause 800 mhz is cool, and it is a relatively new band, and..AND, the cops and the firemen use it.

:) Why don't people get insight from us folks here at RR.COM.

FF - Medic !!!
 
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ff-medic

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Doesn't the touted "interoperability" mean that they can use tin cans and strings and still talk to anyone?
Yeah. But the " Chirp" you get when you "Key Up" on digital sounds cool..It does, it does. And, I'll bet they seen it on "Cops".


Taxpayer funded disasters. Gotta love them. 800 mhz inside buildings? Virginia terrrain? Conflicting radio signals, and radio signals that does not have enough " Umph" to penetrate buildings, landscaping, and is more prone to atmosopheric error than most other bands. And totally " SUCKS" on simplex mode.

What da heck?

FF - Medic !!!
 
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ff-medic

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My point exactly... if they by a cheaper radio, but stay compatiable with P25, they could be able to talk to these folks or most anyone else for that matter! If they select TRBO or NXDN, forget it.

They don't need to talk to those folks. Congested radio traffic for Public Safety personnel would create a hazard. That is what the 9-1-1 operators are for, is to dispatch the proper units, update them as needed, and help coordinate a response. I "Do Not Need" some civilian giving me some story, that another civilan will probably contradict, and congest or tie up essential public safety communications.

A civilan wants to get some information to me. Dial 9-1-1. Unless the agency director, 9-1-1 administrator, or some person of authority signs off on it, the schools absolutely do not need public safety freqs in their radios.

A mutual-aid freq in one or two radios, as to talk to the EMS Supervisor, Fire Dept Captain, L/E Shift Commander? Maybe, I could see that. But unless they get a license, or permission from the appropriate admin, they need to stay off that radio freq. I would prefer to give a class, inservice to those whom may be allowed to have those freqs, as to proper radio procedure, what information is needed in an emergency, and to "keep it short and simple" as to not tie up the radio. And the mutual aid / emergency / agency freq is not for your own personal use. It is FOR EMERGENCYS only !!!

Civilans fighting over whom was going to get to "talk on the radio.". I can see that to.

FF - Medic !!!
 
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sc8

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I agree!

The public safety agency should always have the civilian frequencies in there radios, not the other way around.

If you want to equip certain units like supervisors, chiefs, traffic cars, etc. with school bus radios in case of an accident or incident, that is fine, but there is no reason school bus drivers need emergency services radios. Why? so they can call in every disabled vehicle, dog running loose, and kids throwing spitballs on the bus?
 

LowBat

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Yeah in five to ten years from now the big sales pitch will be new seperate and private radio systems that are apart from all the school buses, garbage trucks, dog catchers, etc. that have been clogging up your multi-million dollar P25 interoperable digital radio system.
 

Samuel

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Some people seem to be missing the big picture. The school board isnt being charged anything for the system itself. All they have to do is buy new subscriber units. They have been on the current smartzone system along with fire/police/water authority, etc since it went live in 2003. They are complaining about 5 million in subscriber units when they get over 50 percent of the county budget while the county is picking up the over 20 million tab to upgrade the system itself. Seems like a pretty good deal to me considering if they strike out on their own they will have to construct their own system or lease space on a commercial system. Not to mention the county has been saving up for this since we got the smartzone system so Im not sure why the Schools were caught off guard.

As for the above comment about them being on the PS system they arent on the main police/fire talkgroups so they arent clogging anything up. They have 6 or 7 of their own talkgroups plus a few common/mutual talkgroups. Considering school buses tend to be useful in evacuations or transporting people to shelters its nice to be able to have them talk on the EM talkgroups.
 
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N5TWB

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Considering school buses tend to be useful in evacuations or transporting people to shelters its nice to be able to have them talk on the EM talkgroups.
You mean like the "floating fleet" left unused in NO during Katrina? Riiiiggghhhhttt...
 

brey1234

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Article

Here is a letter I sent to the school officials and the reporter who wrote the article.

================


Jerry:

As an amateur radio operator I read with interest the following article.

http://www.northfieldnews.com/content/800-mhz-radio-project-chugging-along

It appears that those in charge, who probably don't know anything about electronics, are badly misinformed.

Two way radios that were manufactured after 1997 can be reprogrammed to meet with FCC's narrowband requirements. You DON"T have to buy a new two was system! I could be that a radio vendor just wants to make money and that your officials are being sold a bill of goods!

Please read the following 3 articles.
http://republicanherald.com/news/com-center-upgrades-will-accommodate-police-departments-radios-1.1046958

http://tinyurl.com/3kr37fk


http://www.narrowbanding.com/?gclid=CPbnj_u0s6oCFY5x5QodBhWS-w

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


Best Regards,

Bob Reynolds-WB3DYE
 

ff-medic

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. Considering school buses tend to be useful in evacuations or transporting people to shelters its nice to be able to have them talk on the EM talkgroups.
Not necessarily. I have read / seen news , of school buses being used before for evacuation - ?? Multi - casuality incidencts. They never used them ( Public Safety radios ).

If the "Incident Command System" is used and is effective, the Staging and or Triage representative / officer ; can take care of all the communciations ( Verbal - face to face ) that the buses will need.

Most / some business, and schools, have FCC licenses for far more mobiles and or handhelds than they actually use. Put a " Mutual Aid freq in a EMS / Fire supervisors vehicle. Or they can have an EMS / Fire, tac freq. The Principal , Assistant Principal can have it. But don't give it to everyone.

FF - Medic !!!
 
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ff-medic

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You mean like the "floating fleet" left unused in NO during Katrina? Riiiiggghhhhttt...

Hurricane Katrina , in my opinion ( like most of my thoughts / posts ) was poorly unorganized, poorly led operations at various levels of Government.

No planning , preparation, and no research. Difficult communication between agencys, personality clashing ; and the White House failed to put their foot down on cabinet members.

Even with am event such as Hurricane Katrina , YOU may have to take a few hours for the **advanced reaction / response ** or support, cause you have to set back and " Take In the whole Picture", plan , coordinate ; and get all the facts.before you set out with your advanced response - support - help. No one, as I witnessed ; had done that. They acted without thinking ,planning, getting all the facts , coordinating.

FF - Medic !!!
 
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