Smithfield Police Digital Now

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JH2184

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I was wondering why Smithfield Police switched to their digital channel today and has stayed on it. They have always been analog as long as I have been listening and its been years. They have other analog channels as well and one digital channel. They did an alert tone today and said switch traffic to your digital channel. Now I cannot hear anything anymore in smithfield, which is where I live. I dont really understand. Its dissapointing. I was trying to get back into this hobby now I guess I'm soon going to be done with this hobby if I dont start hearing smithfield PD again. That was the main channel I listened to for years. Johnston County and their Provoice....Everyone else stayed the same. County PD is still analog and Selma PD is still analog. That makes benson, clayton and for now smithfield digital.
 
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KE4ZNR

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I was wondering why Smithfield Police switched to their digital channel today and has stayed on it. They have always been analog as long as I have been listening and its been years. They have other analog channels as well and one digital channel. They did an alert tone today and said switch traffic to your digital channel. Now I cannot hear anything anymore in smithfield, which is where I live. I dont really understand. Its dissapointing. I was trying to get back into this hobby now I guess I'm soon going to be done with this hobby if I dont start hearing smithfield PD again. That was the main channel I listened to for years. Johnston County and their Provoice....Everyone else stayed the same. County PD is still analog and Selma PD is still analog. That makes benson, clayton and for now smithfield digital.

It was bound to happen. I know it is frustrating and we all wish JoCo had picked another system type to use but the decisions were made a long time ago and you can't blame JoCo for continuing to use and upgrade a system that apparently works for them.
Hey, you can always monitor the JoCo VIPER towers down that way. Not the same I know but you never know what talkgroups may become active.
And of course you are always welcome to bring your radio to KRDU Airport on the weekends and do some aviation monitoring/spotting like I do :)
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

yardbird

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I agree with you Marshall!

Them and Hickory and Harnett Co.are the only agencies that use an odd system.

After reading some of the published articles, it looks like the City of Wilson is going to an odd system as well.

They really have no way to communicate with other agencies that use Motorola.

I guess M/A Com is trying to sell the fact that they have a system that can't be monitored right now.

Smithfield is just like all other Police Departments they want secure communications for officer safety.

Just hang in there, because it is about time for the scanner manufactures to crack the code on how to decode a EDACS System it is just a matter of time.

Nobody ever thought Motorola could be done, but it has.

Just my thoughts

David
 

Drafin

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Officer safety can be achieved by encrypted TGs on VIPER. I don't understand the aforementioned agencies spending out of pocket money in difficult economic times when they could just as easily get state and federal interoperability grants to join with Viper. This is not to mention the upkeep involved whereas Viper will be maintained by the state.

It sounds like to me that many people are falling victim to salespeople and bad advice from radio "experts".

Just my 2 cents.

Draf
 

KE4ZNR

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Officer safety can be achieved by encrypted TGs on VIPER. I don't understand the aforementioned agencies spending out of pocket money in difficult economic times when they could just as easily get state and federal interoperability grants to join with Viper. This is not to mention the upkeep involved whereas Viper will be maintained by the state.

It sounds like to me that many people are falling victim to salespeople and bad advice from radio "experts".

Just my 2 cents.

Draf
With all due respect I think this change from analog->provoice had more to do with getting more agencies in JoCo on the same type of voice (Provoice) transmissions than officer safety.
Considering that analog EDACS is well past EOL status any upgrades would be done to keep the system running as well as possible considering its age.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

Drafin

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With all due respect I think this change from analog->provoice had more to do with getting more agencies in JoCo on the same type of voice (Provoice) transmissions than officer safety.
Considering that analog EDACS is well past EOL status any upgrades would be done to keep the system running as well as possible considering its age.
Marshall KE4ZNR
Ahhh so they were not switching from an old typical analog non trunked to Provoice. I stand corrected. My statement pertains to agencies that go from non trunked.

Just out of curiosity anyone know the cost difference in upgrading to Provoice vs. getting in on the Viper goodness? I know it would be a somewhat subjective thing if you include upkeep for the current system and the government money that is available for Viper. But I would be curious to see a cost comparison. When I worked for a local agency there was really no choice. With the "free" money out there and the towers in place it was a no brainer for a small agency to go from analog non trunked to Viper. But I wonder if you are just upgrading an existing trunked system what the cost difference is.

Draf
 

jthorpe

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Officer safety can be achieved by encrypted TGs on VIPER. I don't understand the aforementioned agencies spending out of pocket money....
Yeah, for 800 bucks per radio. Some agencies don't have that kind of cash. I'm not an advocate for EDACS by any means, but encryption is not cheap. ...and what's the difference? you can't hear them on VIPER or EDACS anyway..
 

Drafin

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My point exactly jt. For "800 bucks a radio" that the state will pay for.

I know this from personal experience. The state paid for the police department I used to work at to replace all the radios.

The difference is the cost to you the taxpayer. Instead of having to pay for the state to maintain Viper and your local tax dollars having to pay upkeep on another system, agencies could go Viper and spare the local dollars.

Draf
 

KE4ZNR

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Instead of having to pay for the state to maintain Viper and your local tax dollars having to pay upkeep on another system, agencies could go Viper and spare the local dollars.

Draf
The thing is: JoCo likes the capability to maintain and control their own system.
The system upkeep has been already paid for year after year for many years.
Remember that JoCo has had their EDACS system long before VIPER was put into place. They have worked hard for many years to maintain the system and custom taylor it to their needs. As far as they are concerned: what they have works fine. And with ACU-1K interop capability they can stay on their system and still talk to VIPER agencies such as Garner FD, SHP, etc.
And as long as they can keep their current system running they will stay on it.
Sometimes you have to look at it from different perspectives.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

Drafin

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Remember that JoCo has had their EDACS system long before VIPER was put into place.
Right. And precisely why they did the right thing for them. I would venture a guess that not many agencies in NC are in their situation. One of the rarities where Viper may not have been the best answer as the only future expense they save is upkeep. The positive that they have it tailored "to their needs" out weighs the positives of switching.

Draf
 
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