Public safety radio system procurement in GA: a fairy tale version

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MTS2000des

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Darryl Jones posted this story on his site. Could be cut and pasted to just about any state, but especially rings true in Georgia about how public safety radio systems are procured. It's long, but good reading.

Once upon a time in the land of Far-Far-Away in the State of Insolvent there were some chiefs from Bewildered County. They had an old-fashioned stupid plain vanilla analog radio system that worked perfectly two thirds of the time, but the other third of the time their radios had a little static. Even though it almost never-ever failed completely it just wasn’t rosy and perfect. They could still talk to all their neighbors (who had old-fashioned stupid plain vanilla analog radio systems too), but not directly to the Big Department in Crooked County hundreds of miles away, or to the Inspectors from the State of Insolvent or the Men from Far-Far-Away. And most importantly, it just wasn’t shiny and NEW.

Link: http://blog.tcomeng.com/index.php/2011/once-upon-a-time-in-a-land-far-far-away/

[Mod Edit: please do not copy and paste text from another website in full form. See our rules in the Rules & Guidelines forum]
 
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W2NJS

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A classic. Says what I've been saying for years. However, the remark about the special batteries sort of gave it away (G). I will copy and store it in my Word file for future reference and possible distribution. And thanks for the effort.
 

mrwilson706

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Third paragraph explains why this is a fairytale here in Georgia...

"I don’t even need to get another bid because everything is on the Insolvent State Contract."

Sorry if I'm not up to speed on what systems are on the GSA schedule, but really? Systems? I can procure a P25 system from the state contract? My county's procurement requires them to do a request for proposal; not sure what neverland agency the author is referring too but I'd like to know.

Although somewhat humorous, I don't believe this type of behavior is true throughout the state, at least not where I live. By the way, you can see my county's 800 MHz P25 PHASE 2 TDMA rfp here:
Columbia County Online Bidding System - Active Bids
 

kayn1n32008

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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (BlackBerry; U; BlackBerry 9780; en-US) AppleWebKit/534.8+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0.0.600 Mobile Safari/534.8+)

That was a fantastic 'fairytale' lol it was totally worth reading it on my BB
 

WK4U

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Erik.

I really enjoyed the long article! Thanks for sharing it. I've never read it before.

Tim
 

krokus

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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

That story produces a few chuckles. I can think of a county near me that fits the story, as well as a state I used to live in.
 

MTS2000des

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Third paragraph explains why this is a fairytale here in Georgia...

"I don’t even need to get another bid because everything is on the Insolvent State Contract."

Sorry if I'm not up to speed on what systems are on the GSA schedule, but really? Systems? I can procure a P25 system from the state contract? My county's procurement requires them to do a request for proposal; not sure what neverland agency the author is referring too but I'd like to know.

Although somewhat humorous, I don't believe this type of behavior is true throughout the state, at least not where I live. By the way, you can see my county's 800 MHz P25 PHASE 2 TDMA rfp here:
Columbia County Online Bidding System - Active Bids
Metro Atlanta is a great example of the fairy tale. Cut and paste.
Or Macon/Bibb's bought and paid for Astro 25 2-site system that sits idle.

Maybe not in Columbia county, but it's the case in Metro Atlanta. We've got 13 independently run systems, and have for years. Lots of underforming systems that keep gong to the same vendors that take us for a ride year after year.

Doing something the same way and expecting different results: the definition of insanity.
 

kb2crk

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this gave me a great laugh as i sit at work listening to firefighters complaining about the OARS system and the issues they are having with the 700mhz to vhf pager connections. yet when i leave work I can here my home countys vhf narrow band system with a little static working flawlessly. The old system here in greene county worked well but they wanted the latest and greatest and got what they asked for. Oglethorpe county decided it was easier to reprogram their radios to narrow band and replace those that could not with new vhf hi band radios that could. I work in the southern end of greene county and my old astro spectra picks up oglethorpe with a little static here. I used to be able to here greene at my house full quieting when i had the old maratrac running but i have no need for a 700 mhz digital radio. lol
 

MTS2000des

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the narrowband mandate is being used a vehicle to sell expensive, costly upgrades to agencies that don't need, nor can afford, these complex trunking systems.

Trunking makes sense in dense, populated urban areas like Metro Atlanta- provided it is planned, administrated and maintained properly. But places like rural Georgia (which the majority of the state is), it is foolish and a waste of public resources to replace perfectly functional equipment when all that is needed are simple reprogramming and tuning to meet the new standard.

but the vendors call the shots around here. and as long as it stays this way. we'll continue to get what we have been getting. absolutely NOTHING we didn't have before, just less $$$$ in the kitty.
 

kb2crk

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the narrowband mandate is being used a vehicle to sell expensive, costly upgrades to agencies that don't need, nor can afford, these complex trunking systems.

Trunking makes sense in dense, populated urban areas like Metro Atlanta- provided it is planned, administrated and maintained properly. But places like rural Georgia (which the majority of the state is), it is foolish and a waste of public resources to replace perfectly functional equipment when all that is needed are simple reprogramming and tuning to meet the new standard.

but the vendors call the shots around here. and as long as it stays this way. we'll continue to get what we have been getting. absolutely NOTHING we didn't have before, just less $$$$ in the kitty.
this is so true.
on another note, Greene county residents voted down 2 elost taxes due to people being pissed at the money the county is spending. they believe that a new radio system and astro turf for the high school football field is a complete waste with the other issues the county has. it should be interesting..
 

JRayfield

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How do you know they haven't? :)

Seriously, I don't mind some kidding, but I don't care for the name-calling (listen up, micco). That's carrying things a bit too far. I haven't called you (or anyone else) names, seriously or in jest. And I'm not a 'Super-SalesRep', just a lowly 'Super-Tech'. :)

I think you guys have misunderstood something....I don't agree with anyone spending the kind of money that is often spent on communications systems or equipment, either. It's often a waste of taxpayers' money (yours and mine). But, the idea that everyone in the rural areas can just reprogram their radios for narrowband and they'll be all set, isn't necessarily going to work, either. We were just recently told by someone, that a sheriff's department near us lost 25% to 30% of their range, when they recently narrowbanded. That's just not acceptable.

I like the point made about someone going back, over and over, to the same company for equipment/services. But, I've seen it with a Kenwood dealer, where agencies kept going back, time after time, when the dealer couldn't even get the equipment they'd sold them the first time, to work right.

John Rayfield, Jr. CETma


Come on now, if there ever was a more enthusiastic individual for your product line, it would be J Rayfield. If the cutbacks were not so big in Schaumerg these days, they would already have ordered him a cheerleader uniform complete with the Batwing logo across the chest- and a letterman jacket with "J Rayfield" on one side and "Team TRBO" on the other.:lol:
 
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