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Scathing article about NJTP & GSP radio mismanagement

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Joseph11

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I don't really understand what the writer is trying to say.

The $9.22 million contract is just a door opener. For what is described in this article, NJTA will foolishly discard the existing 2,300 radios in the fleet and buy all new ones. Replacing them is expensive. Also, NJTA will need to buy and build all new base stations at the Parkway sites and Turnpike sites. This will easily cost more than $25 million. Trunked radio implementation work can be done (as it was abandoned in 2003) for under $5 million.
Does that mean that they're currently working on a new conventional system? How would they get away with using the old radios, anyway?

Also, what is wrong with their current system? I'm too far away to get it from my location (perhaps I just stated the problem).
 

W2SJW

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I'm assuming that this 'planned system' is for maintenance & operations users, right?

I don't see why they can't put these users on the NJSP system. There is enough back-bone in the system now to support a couple of extra TGID's for each roadway.

Although, maybe the state has already said that it's not a viable option... :roll:
 

elk2370bruce

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On the other hand, the Asbury Park Press (and others) have their own agendas that often have less to do with realities than their own political schemes and desired outcomes. Lets see if this issue remains active after silly season ends on election day. NJ Highway Authority is heavily politicized and always has been. Check out the Board membership and compare its composition with that of the State legislature as well as who the newspaper chains tend to back for public office. As to operational concerns. the State could, and often does, screw the pooch when it comes to planning for long-term outcomes.
 

STiMULi

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Peter Jaworski is an independent communications engineering consultant who served as communications systems engineer for the Garden State Parkway.
Maybe he's disgruntled or wants to get hired :)
 

ctrabs74

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NESN said:
A scathing opinion letter appered in today's Asbury Park Press regarding alleged imcompetance & mismanagement by the NJTP & GSP Authorities regarding upgrading the radio system.

Will this have any effect, no.......get your wallet out.....
God knows there's enough of that going on in New Jersey these days...

I'm inclinded to agree with W2SJW's contention that the Turnpike and Parkway should migrate over to the NJSP system which is, for all of it's faults - percieved and otherwise - is active and should have enough room for a dozen or so Turnpike/Parkway TGs.
 

Joseph11

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Even if the current system can't handle the extra traffic, I'm sure the state can get some more 800 MHz frequencies licensed to them and add the to them each troop's system.
 

mondaro

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I would agree with Scott that that the Turnpike and Parkway Maintenance and admin staff could go on the Statewide NJSP 800 system at anytime if they wanted. There are so many Talk groups that are not used it's not even funny. Turnpike and Parkway operations already talk to the troopers over the 800 trunked system on the Turnpike and Parkway.

Also over the last few years with all of these conventional systems the only one I take issue with is the NJTP maintenance channel 159.180 MHz which has many issues when there working snow storms.

Tony M
 

Tech792

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Unused talkgroups have nothing to do with it. This OLD system is maxed out. Its the number of mobile units times available frequencies of the system. Their radio managers won't allow any more state depts. or units on the system. People forget that this system is like 20+ years old.
 

902

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Aside from personal and political agendas, there seems to be no mention of whether the system is being upgraded because of Nextel first-wave rebanding moving NPSPAC 15 MHz down or not. Older radios, i.e., Maxtracs, Syntor-X, Syntor X-9000 (and I'm sure their M/A-Com equivalents), cannot be converted down without recoding imbedded firmware. Even Spectras can't do the trunked memory map without firmware replacement and reprogramming, which would be prohibitive in large fleets; they certainly can't do 700 MHz and if they are not already Astro Spectras, they won't do P25 (with very specific exceptions, 700 MHz operation MUST be digital). That can be more work in time and materials than simply replacing radios. The Transition Administrators are working for Nextel (they started out being neutral, but...) to "make whole" each of the systems. That generally means that if you have an analog-only radio, you get analog-only functionality after your transition. The decisionmakers at NJSP and NJTPA may have decided to incorporate P25 and the capability to implement 700 MHz at some future time. That's money above the scope of the transition, but at this opportunity, probably money wisely spent -- and likely money that is at least partially subsidized by:
1) Nextel
2) UASI (probably, although UASI grants have typically been a money grab to buy toys for adult girls and boys)
3) DOT funding sources (transportation grants)

Having worked radio in four states now, operational people and politicians seem to see radio as a set-and-forget system where, once you have it, now you can pile boxes on top of it and just call the shop whenever "it's not working" (wonder why?). Honestly, HVAC systems get better support in some places than their radio systems do. When you make a committment to anything more than a simplex system, you have to also make a committment to take frequent opportunities to monitor it (for performance degradation, not listening) and make improvements whenever you have the financial opportunity to do so.

I think there's more to the story - and if that's so, allowing the system to be static (stationary, not radio noise) is the irresponsible thing.
 
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