Smiths Falls - Lanark County fire dispatch new radio system

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Jammin_Jay

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Looks like Lanark county will have a new fire dispatch system for the county,
from the dispatch Center in Smiths Falls.

The entire contract carries a price tag of about $1 million, and that includes Christie Walther (sp) doing the technology aspect as well as Smiths Falls being responsible for the dispatch. Both Smiths Falls and Perth in turn have contracts with GlenTel, making their dispatch centres work from the technological point of view.

“We have to order equipment, install it and go live, but there are a series of other spinoff intricacies that also have to be dealt with,” said Wagland.

He gave the example, of the frequencies on all of the fire chiefs’ systems being new, so all of their radios and equipment will have to be reprogrammed. “It’s things like that, that we’re in the process of figuring out,” he said.

The article doesn't indicate what type of radio system, but the assumption is digitial

So keep on eye on TAFL for any pending frequencies.

Here is the article, feb 3,2010

YourOttawaRegion Article: Dispatch agreement small part of bigger plan
 
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Jammin_Jay

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I think you will see more counties in Ontario switching over to digital soon, the ones that are analog already.

Its a push from the Radio service providers, and Manufactures such as motorola, saying parts are hard
to replace for old system, such as this on in smithsfalls.

Whether it is in the budget or not. It is going to be slowly implemented in phases.

Besides Lanark & Leeds-Grenville in Eastern Ontario,
I will report on any other counties in the 613, that are switching over.

But like i said TAFL may indicate pending frequencies for use with a Digital Status indicator
 

randyf

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heres an write up on northumberland county proprosed upgrade hope it isnt mototrbo

CAMPBELLFORD -- Cobourg Fire Chief Allan Mann appeared before Trent Hills council to update officials on a recent study looking at county-wide fie dispatching.

"Basically this study identified that continuing with the status quo was not an option," Chief Mann explained.

The study identified a three-channel VHF simulcast system, pegged at a cost of between $1.6 and $2 million, as the ideal system for the county.

Chief Mann has been making the rounds of local councils to obtain support, in the form of a resolution, to proceed with a request for proposal (RFP) for the system.

"At this point the purpose of the RFP is nothing more than to determine exact costs," Chief Mann said. "We didn't think it was fair to come back to council with this figure between $1.6 and $2 million. It's a fairly big ballpark so we'd like to narrow it down."

Councillor Dean Peters questioned the contents of the report, noting there was no explanation of other areas that had switched to similar systems.

"What I was looking for was a comparison of other urban/rural counties who have gone to a centralized dispatch system and what their experience has been," Coun. Peters said.

Although no comparison was included in the report, Chief Mann detailed a trip to Tillsonburg, Ont., which performs dispatch services for four counties.

"We traveled to Tillsonburg when they were providing dispatching for their own and two other counties. Since then they've added two more counties, so they're dispatching for a huge area," Chief Mann explained. "The departments serviced by Tillsonburg were all very happy with the service they were getting and the way that system is set up."

Campbellford Fire Chief Tim Blake was also on hand to lend his support to the report, noting a resolution from council was needed in order for the process to move onto the next step.

"What we're looking for now is just to carry on," he explained.

Council approved a resolution to support the continuation of the study by way of the development of an RFP. The report will come back to council for approval once an exact cost estimate has been determined
 
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I understand why salesman what to push the new digital equipment becuse they are salesmen But with my years of electronics and communications im confused.I know that they say we have to go digital because of the lack of frequencies out there.But I thought that when we went from wideband to narrowband that would be ok.Most of the new radios have some sort of compander or compression and expander software in the radios to improve the audio quality so that you would not notice narrowing in band width.or are they pushing digtital so that in the future we could do someting like TDMA (or like that).But what I noticed is that nobody is talking about all the problems other fire departments and police departments are having with digital.I just hope that when it comes time for the new system that they listen to the frontline people that have to use this equipment and not somekind of salesman that is pushing it becuse that is his job and is smoshing the committees with a fancy power point show and a nice steak dinner and a free leather jacket. this is just my opion as a firefighter with over 17 years of frontline firefighting putting on the line everytime I go in. And the last thing I what is to have someone trigger a mandown alarm and I can't hear because of a (new tech problem)
 

Jammin_Jay

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Well lets hope these new digital radios cover the Dead spots, and drop out zones, that an analog radio would, even if theres a little static, u can still here the person. With digital, its their or its not. no in between.

So i can see your concern as a fight fighter , with digital radios. And having other fire members hear you on the radio in an extreme case.

The push is from companies like motorola. It has nothing to do with selling equipment and salesmen. It has to do with the availability of parts for old analog radio systems. And also i would suspect that with digital you can expand your radio system , and implement it better with other systems that may want to join on board later on, such as police or county works vehicles.

But yes, I am sure other fight fighters like yourself. And i do commend the job you guys do, and putting your life on the line to save others is well respected. I can see your worry about the digital implementation, and seeing what has happened to others using it and the problems. The best thing to do is get all the dead zones covered. And have a good rapour with the radio service provider. To fix things immediately and precise.
 

citylink_uk

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Well lets hope these new digital radios cover the Dead spots, and drop out zones, that an analog radio would, even if theres a little static, u can still here the person. With digital, its their or its not. no in between.

So i can see your concern as a fight fighter , with digital radios. And having other fire members hear you on the radio in an extreme case.
A good system should not use a wide area repeater system for fireground communications anyway, most systems just don't have the Talk In coverage for portables. Simulcast can be analogue or digital (the article doesn't mention digital at all). If small agencies are being served by this regional centre, there's a good chance they won't have the funds to upgrade their radios to P25.

The push is from companies like motorola. It has nothing to do with selling equipment and salesmen. It has to do with the availability of parts for old analog radio systems. And also i would suspect that with digital you can expand your radio system , and implement it better with other systems that may want to join on board later on, such as police or county works vehicles.
It has quite alot to do with selling radios, almost all radio manufacturs still produce new analogue only public safety radios. The 'digital' tag just gives them a few more features to pitch. A P25 system doesn't necessarily mean trunked, so if they wanted to add other users on a simulcast system, one extra repeater per site, per channel would have to be bought, not to mention the extra simulcast hardware.

But yes, I am sure other fight fighters like yourself. And i do commend the job you guys do, and putting your life on the line to save others is well respected. I can see your worry about the digital implementation, and seeing what has happened to others using it and the problems. The best thing to do is get all the dead zones covered. And have a good rapour with the radio service provider. To fix things immediately and precise.
 

mikewazowski

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It has to do with the availability of parts for old analog radio systems.
That's a falsehood. While much of the older equipment and parts are NLA, the newer fancy repeaters still support analog and you can still buy a digital radio that also supports analog. The TRBO line all support analog and the newer repeaters can also function in analog. Most of our local fire departments are replacing their gear with TRBO capable units but are still operating in analog. Once everything is replaced, they'll throw the switch and go TRBO.

For the most part, it's all about the bells and whistles that come with digital but privacy also plays a part in it.

Our local garbage contractor uses TRBO radios with one slot used for voice and the second slot being used for AVL on all their vehicles. Why one would want to track garbage trucks is beyond me but I'm sure it serves some sort of purpose.

Even the local ski hill has 3 TRBO repeaters. Most of the timeslots are used for voice although some are reserved for AVL.

Encryption is also quite simple once the switch to digital is made. Most of the newer digital systems employ software encryption which adds minimal cost.

The local Casino is going with a TRBO trunking system. Same amount of channels and they gain 4 additional voice paths (assuming the control channel takes a full repeater).

As for digital vs analog on the fireground, I would agree that analog would be the way to go. Unfortunately, you've got many fire departments already using digital for all communications. It used to be that Guelph FS was the only digital department around but now you can add Bruce County, Orangeville, Sarnia?, Barrie and North Durham. I suspect Orillia FS and many other Simcoe County departments will be going TRBO this year.

Unfortunately, it means less for us to listen to. I'm taking out more channels in my radio then adding so I've held off purchasing any new gear. Who needs more channels with less to listen to?
 
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hey Mike
why the push om motorola TRBO .you are stuck with that brand and nothing else.I do not know what kind of system will be installed but when you are locked into a certain protical you are stuck with it.For the sake of it lets say the new system in analog narrowband can you not get radios from other manufacures with certain (toys) built in ie PTT ID, man down,ctss,dcs.gps.etc etc) that allows you to talk to other users without any worries. And if you do have P25 on your radios is that not a set standard which allows you to talk to other radios that are not of your station.And if it has the capability of P25 digital that would also allow you to talk to other P25 radios that Have digital. So if you are locked into a motorola TRBO system would that be the same as buying a EDACS radio and tying to make it work on a mpt1327 .
 

Jammin_Jay

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All we can do at this point. Is keep an eye on TAFL. It would indicate any new frequencies. Could it be possible it could be narrowband switch, but still analog. The article did indicate new frequencies.

So far Lanark county uses 153.815 disptached from smithsfalls. And also the FMO 154.070.

It sounds like, they will mix analog and digital. With analog being phased out, while the new system is being implemented.
That is just a guess on my part. TRBO? i don't know.

It mentioned about re-programming the radios, when ordered. I don't know what is meant by
that statement, they didnt elaborate on it.
 

mikewazowski

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hey Mike
why the push om motorola TRBO
Simple, it's cheaper then P25 gear.

While P25 might be the defacto public safety standard, it's very expensive. You can go digital with TRBO, NXDN or some other proprietary digital format for much cheaper.

For interop, you just use a conventional, analog channel.
 
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Im just wondering something. If lanark switches over to motorola TRBO will they be able to keep thier analog channels in thier radios.( roads,marine, central frontenac,north frontenac, fire marshall) and with all the talk about Leeds andGrenville switching over to a new system ( like TRBO) will we be able to talk on thier system the same time we use ours. Also if they do go TRBO how well does the TXT work ,will we be receiving fire calls on that display?
 

mikewazowski

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Im just wondering something. If lanark switches over to motorola TRBO will they be able to keep thier analog channels in thier radios
Yes, these are dual mode radios. They support good ole analog and TRBO. Most digital radios from any manufacturer still support analog.

with all the talk about Leeds andGrenville switching over to a new system ( like TRBO) will we be able to talk on thier system the same time we use ours.
Yes, providing the powers that be ok it.

Also if they do go TRBO how well does the TXT work ,will we be receiving fire calls on that display?
No idea how it works but I do know it supports texting. Motorola's newer P25 radios also support texting.

I doubt they would get rid of their paging channel though. It's cheaper to give you a pager then buy a handheld radio.
 
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now if a TRBO system is installed and if somthing happens to the (digital communication) is ther anyway that dispatch can turn it back to analog with a push of a button.Or do the techs have to reconfiure the system back to analog. sort of a fail-back system back up. you know what I mean?
 

mikewazowski

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now if a TRBO system is installed and if somthing happens to the (digital communication) is ther anyway that dispatch can turn it back to analog with a push of a button.Or do the techs have to reconfiure the system back to analog. sort of a fail-back system back up. you know what I mean?
What do you mean by "if something happens"? There's a lot of different failure scenarios that could be handled a lot of different ways.

What's your current analog backup plan?

TRBO is just slightly different hardware. If the repeater fails, what's there to switch back? It's dead, Jim. Same as analog. If you're analog repeater fails, what do you do?

You probably switch to another department's repeater or use simplex on a talkaround channel or OFM. You would probably do the same on TRBO or any other digital system.
 

orpen499

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this summer i have noticed lanark county did somthing with their radio's. u can hear the fire fighters when they r at a call. r they going to digital?
 
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