RCMP Alberta PACS system

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harryshute

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In the Auditor General's report released in Ottawa the RCMP warns of aging radio systems. The federal force warns that the public faces increased risk of "injury or death" because of outdated information technology that police rely on for their old radio systems.

I know K Division is continuing to be concerned about the old PACS radio technology and the IT package running dispatch. Built in 1988 first for the Calgary Olympics the system has run it's course.

The Alberta wide first responders system still sits in limbo as no vendor has been chosen yet and may not be selected until June.

This news article was in the Edmonton Journal today and should also be in all CanWest papers. It is buried in an article about aging federal cheque printing systems.

Harry
 

SCPD

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In the Auditor General's report released in Ottawa the RCMP warns of aging radio systems. The federal force warns that the public faces increased risk of "injury or death" because of outdated information technology that police rely on for their old radio systems.

I know K Division is continuing to be concerned about the old PACS radio technology and the IT package running dispatch. Built in 1988 first for the Calgary Olympics the system has run it's course.

The Alberta wide first responders system still sits in limbo as no vendor has been chosen yet and may not be selected until June.

This news article was in the Edmonton Journal today and should also be in all CanWest papers. It is buried in an article about aging federal cheque printing systems.

Harry
I have noticed many RCMP members carrying iDen Mike phone / radios lately. Last evening RCMP Ft. Saskatchewan members were using Iden Mike channels Municipality 1 / Municiplality 2 as primary communication in a missing person search. PACS was used as a backup or secondary.
 

harryshute

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Well I suppose using a poor system is better than a terrible system. In the area north of the search you describe coverage for Redwater detachment is so poor they put a Base station repeater in Gibbons and a stationary vehicle repeater in Bon Accord.

Now that the mountie killer has been convicted in Hay River NWT they may now have a fatality inquiry which may explain why the member left his portable on the front seat of his car. If it's useless why carry it. Mayerthorpe's inquiry has been put on hold as two of the convicted are appealing their sentences. Coverage is a problem in that area and they knew the killer had a scanner and all the cell phone numbers for the detachment cars.

As for the Computer aided dispatch there are questions about a woman being murdered in Northern Alberta after a 911 call to RCMP went unanswered. Also in Saskatchewan several 911 calls from a stranded party went unanswered and were only acted on once the dead body of one of the woman was found.
 

Jay911

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It's definitely frustrating to witness the way PACS is crumbling. Cochrane now has three repeaters doing the job of what one handled 10 years ago in the same footprint. Granted, one of those repeaters is in a really really good position, which makes people think that the system has been "improved", but really, it's all patchwork to keep it functioning at all.

You can pick up several "portable" repeaters (what used to be mobile extenders/vehicle repeaters) in permanent use all over southern Alberta. (By the way, I've seen several of you northern guys refer to various repeaters and links as BSR. Care to share the acronym?)

If there's one thing good about this, it's the fact that the likelihood of AFRRCS getting the axe as a project to be shelved/scrapped in this financial climate is damn near zero considering its abject, urgent need. Even if it is under review right now - it's not something that can be postponed or done without.
 

beeperboy

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It's definitely frustrating to witness the way PACS is crumbling. Cochrane now has three repeaters doing the job of what one handled 10 years ago in the same footprint.
That statement is simply not true. The fact is, the members expect three times the coverage than they did ten years ago, hence the additional repeaters to fill in portable radio coverage. The Mounties see people using handheld iDEN handsets and cell phones, and they expect their VHF portables to have as good or better coverage.

PACS was designed for mobile radio coverage in rural areas, and now everyone expects portable coverage in the same areas.

BB
 

robertmac

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Where will it end

Since I started scanner listening, I have heard PS people complain on every radio system they have had, VHF, UHF, 800 mHz, Cellular. Even hear city police complain of crappy signals, going digital, etc.. Can they really build a system that has 100% coverage? Probably if they build repeaters on every hill in the country or every block in towns/cities. I think every RCMP vehicle has an in-car radio, portable radio, car cellular phone, portable cell phone, pager, and MWS at least. As a tax payer, I would really like to have to only pay for ONE system if it was effective. As a scanner listener, I would prefer a good two way radio, non digital, non encrypted.
 

beeperboy

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Since I started scanner listening, I have heard PS people complain on every radio system they have had, VHF, UHF, 800 mHz, Cellular. Even hear city police complain of crappy signals, going digital, etc.. Can they really build a system that has 100% coverage? Probably if they build repeaters on every hill in the country or every block in towns/cities. I think every RCMP vehicle has an in-car radio, portable radio, car cellular phone, portable cell phone, pager, and MWS at least. As a tax payer, I would really like to have to only pay for ONE system if it was effective. As a scanner listener, I would prefer a good two way radio, non digital, non encrypted.
Uh yup, you got that right. I've worked on almost every radio system type out there, and you're right. None are perfect. It's impossible to provide 100% coverage, and in fact no service provider will pretend to provide more than 90-95%, as it opens liability if the user has coverage issues.

I have to chuckle because everyone awaits the long overdue AFRRCS, and most have already convinced themselves it will solve all of Alberta's communications issues. There are going to be a lot of disappointed people in a couple of years. Digital doesn't solve coverage issues, and moving from VHF to 700 MHz will shrink coverage as well. We are going to need at least three times as many sites as we have now, and that's just to replicate PACS. To make the whole province usable with 700 MHz portables, we will need literally thousands of repeater sites. How are we going to do that in the mountains with limited access to most mountain tops, and running a trunked 100% duty cycle radio system on solar power?

It aint gonna work, boys and girls.

BB
 

kayn1n32008

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How are we going to do that in the mountains with limited access to most mountain tops, and running a trunked 100% duty cycle radio system on solar power?

It aint gonna work, boys and girls.

BB
I guess us tax payers are going to have to pay for Atco or Enmax or whoever to run power to the tops of these mountains tops.

Heres hoping the company i work for gets the contract for the right-of-ways
 

beeperboy

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I guess us tax payers are going to have to pay for Atco or Enmax or whoever to run power to the tops of these mountains tops.
And that's cool to run commercial power to supplement the few existing solar powered site we have now (at $10,000/km), but what about the 50 new sites that will be needed to fill in coverage holes in the 700 MHz AFRRCS? There are no new sites, and there will never be. Parks Canada and ASRD won't allow anymore mountain tops to be converted to radio sites, so then what?

I'm betting people much smarter than us have taken all of this into consideration. <eye roll>

BB
 

kayn1n32008

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And that's cool to run commercial power to supplement the few existing solar powered site we have now (at $10,000/km), but what about the 50 new sites that will be needed to fill in coverage holes in the 700 MHz AFRRCS? There are no new sites, and there will never be. Parks Canada and ASRD won't allow anymore mountain tops to be converted to radio sites, so then what?

I'm betting people much smarter than us have taken all of this into consideration. <eye roll>

BB
yup your right <eye roll>
 
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