Somerset County TRS Update

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W2SJW

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Guys,

Here's the latest info about narrowbanding upgrades to Somerset County's TRS:

Phase I - Completion by year-end 2010

  • Purchase & installation of Motorola SmartX site converters to allow the current SmartZone transceiver sites to interface with a true P25 site controller.
  • Infrastructure changes at county central to allow for the consoles to be upgraded to MCC7500's.

  • Purchase & installation of a Motorola Gold Elite Gateway to allow the current CENTRACOM Gold consoles to control the new P25 site controller
Phase IIA - Completion by 9/2011

  • The 8 current 500 MHz channels to remain SmartZone & analog during the initial phase of the transition. The 4 new 470 MHz channels that the county recently licensed will go on-line direct from the start as a true 9600 P25 site using Motorola GTR8000 repeaters.
  • Gradual transition to start of users that already possess the radios capable of operating on a P25 TRS.
Phase IIB - Completion by year-end 2011

  • Replace all county-provided radios currently issued to users that are not capable of P25 TRS operation.
  • Non-county users that wish to continue to using the TRS are slated to have their swap-outs completed by Q1 2012.
Phase III - Completion by 9/2012

  • Gradually move the existing 500 MHz channels over to the P25 site controller & replace the existing Quantar repeaters with GTR8000's when feasible. All county-sponsored users should be on-line with their new equipment & complete their migration by September.
  • Non-county TRS users to be finished transitioning by 11/2012.
The document I read made no mention of Franklin Twp - almost all users in the town are already operating in digital, and I believe the FD & EMS 1500's & 2500's will only need the P25 option flashed. The last I remember, PD units were issued XTS3000's, so they are probably going to have to be replaced.

Those that have 396XT's & 996XT's seem to be in luck - it appears that those scanners will allow a system to multi-site with one site being a Type-II & another being a 'P25 Standard'.

County also plans to add an extra tower site, but I could not verify from the map shown what is up already & what was proposed. They are showing transmitter sites in both Green Brook & Watchung...
 

r60

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Well Done

I believe you may have answered your own question.

"County also plans to add an extra tower site, but I could not verify from the map shown what is up already & what was proposed. They are showing transmitter sites in both Green Brook & Watchung."

Response: Greenbrook presently is RX only. If your info is showing a TX site with the new plan,you have the answer. This would backfill the shadow from the ridge along RT22 as multi path is extensive in this area. Most likely the CC is not heard by units that operate in buildings along RT22 in Greenbrook. This is another sign Greenbrook will close local dispatch and go to SC Communications.

Not mentioned is North County. I guess a new site for Bernardsville must be off the table unless someone knows different.

I know they considered an intellipeater and tried in car repeaters to access the trunking system in Bernardsville. Both are not workable in my opinion, but that is for another day.

Lastly, when these changes are made the baud rate will change on the new channels and eventually change on the old system. So in effect two separate systems will be needed for the transition. I believe this will be a huge challenge for those programming and or flashing equipment and trying to keep their fleet on the air at the same time. Current equipment may need several expensive flash upgrades. Anyone buying a radio today may be well served buying a dual baud 3600/9600 radio. This is called pay me now or pay me later.

Well done on the update, please PM me if you can email the document.
 

KC2ZHY

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In talking with someone who tends to have a lot of inside information on this, it sounds like (though certainly not 100% confirmed) that Franklin Township's system will be integrated into Somerset County's completely sometime throughout this entire transition (perhaps somewhere within Phase II). The reasoning is that there are dead zones of County's system in Franklin and likewise several dead zones of Franklin in other parts of County; merging the two would naturally create more comprehensive coverage.
 

robbinsj2

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  • The 8 current 500 MHz channels to remain SmartZone & analog during the initial phase of the transition. The 4 new 470 MHz channels that the county recently licensed will go on-line direct from the start as a true 9600 P25 site using Motorola GTR8000 repeaters.
I had been wondering about those apparently-unused channels for a while. The current license sites, at least as of the last time I checked, confused me as to their planned use:

471.1625 Hillsborough, Neshanic
471.1875 Hillsborough, Neshanic, Martinsville, Rocky Hill, Bernards, Somerville
472.3875 Hillsborough, Neshanic
472.4125 Hillsborough, Neshanic, Martinsville, Rocky Hill

Other existing licensed Tx sites are Bridgewater, Green Brook, Pottersville, Watchung. Plus there's 500.6125 & 500.8875 which are licensed across all or most of the existing sites.
 

r60

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Article

W2SJW is on target and tonight Phase I will be funded tonight.

Phase I

Basics Smart X bridge converter (IP Based) permits mixed mode operation of analog and P25 using the same TG. This permits gradual transition of subscribers of analog to P25 without having to split the system.
16 new IP based MCC 7500 Consoles
Integration of Franklin
NICE Logging Controller

The infrastructure is then in place for a TDMA 2:1 6.25 (two audio channels on one frequency).
Of course the Quantars would need to be updated to the GTR/LSM and one would hope Uniden
is keeping an eye on this.

Here is a link to article that ran
Somerset County moves to spend $2.3M to upgrade 911 system | NJ.com
 

ion_op

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Why is everyone gunho with digital? I hate the fidelity of it and see no advantage over analog other than it's the latest gizmo.

The same goes for DTV. Analog was superior when the signal to noise was marginal.
 

W2SJW

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As you have seen many local jurisdictions recently get NFM analog frequencies (Bound Brook, Manville, etc), these NFM setups will only get them through the 2013 mandate - Right now digital in a TDMA-P25 style setup, or NXDN conventional/trunked at 6.25k are the only things that meet the 2018 mandates (and they are both digital).

There is no way to make an analog signal do what is being required by the FCC...
 

ion_op

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Do you think the FCC has the right idea or is it just more of state's rights being trampled on?
 

W2SJW

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Talkgroup 12016

Guys,

The talkgroup 12016 was originally reported as a possible assignment for the Watchung FD - it appears to be in use right now for snow-related operations (not sure if it's Watchung DPW). I'll keep my ears on it via my other scanner...
 

mdragon

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The talkgroup 12016 ... it appears to be in use right now for snow-related operations (not sure if it's Watchung DPW).
Past usage has definitely been DPW, and if I remember correctly from streets mentioned in the past I do believe it is Watchung.
 

ion_op

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Guys,

The talkgroup 12016 was originally reported as a possible assignment for the Watchung FD - it appears to be in use right now for snow-related operations (not sure if it's Watchung DPW). I'll keep my ears on it via my other scanner...

I've always heard DPW for this talkgroup so I changed the TAG to reflect that.

Mike
 

r60

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Major Changes

The County has filed a major application with the FCC. It is generally as follows.

Adjust the entire system contour for digital coverage.

Three new sites to cover Bernardsville.Build proposed spring 2012, OTA fall 2012.

Add new and delete channels at all sites.

Re-license various existing channels at various sites.

Add Green Brook as Transmit, currently RX only.

Clean up various license inaccuracy and delete sites not used.

Proposing FB8 status (exclusive non shared)

TG12016 is really a "Borowide" Common TG in all services radios. Some radios CH1, all as CH8.
 

eastrocks400

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I monitor Somerset Cty on my RS pro-106 scanner. I am currently only in the county for the next day or so visiting family.

All of the communications seems to have a bit of wavering static in the background, definitely not as clear as conventional communications. Anyone else have this sort of issue? Everything is programmed right in my radio as far as I know-- I don't have the system type set to P25, its Mot VHF/UHF- is this correct?

Thanks
 

W2SJW

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If anyone else hadn't noticed it yet, it now appears that Bound Brook FD is now on the TRS on Fire Region 4 (Central) with Raritan FD.

Once I hear from my friend at the county that this is a permanent move & not a trial-run, I'll update the database accordingly...
 
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If anyone else hadn't noticed it yet, it now appears that Bound Brook FD is now on the TRS on Fire Region 4 (Central) with Raritan FD.

Once I hear from my friend at the county that this is a permanent move & not a trial-run, I'll update the database accordingly...
Yeah, I noticed that. Paging still goes out on the original fire channel though. 155.115. I was like, I'm not hearing anything on the BBFD channel anymore. So I start monitoring the Somerset trunk, and there they were.

You think more of the Somerset FD's will follow suite?
 

W2SJW

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I believe so. More of the squads are jumping a little quicker than the FD's. It looks like Hillsborough's FD's might go full-time this year, as they were simulcasting Fire Region 6 over their VHF ops repeater for a while (and then they got the new UHF pagers).

I was born & raised in BB, so to be able to hear the FD now from anywhere in the county is a big plus to me. Also, the latest info about the P25 upgrade is that it will probably be a standard upgrade to a 7.x system (Phase-I) that most all digital scanners can receive. The cost of the APX family of radios is a big prohibitive factor to doing anything TDMA (although OEM is going to get some 7000's soon for real-world field trials), but the network will be able to support that technology for future deployment...
 

jon47378

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does anyone know what the network access codes are? what about the encryption code for Franklin twp pd? Thanks
 
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does anyone know what the network access codes are? what about the encryption code for Franklin twp pd? Thanks
Not sure they'll just freely give out their encryption codes like that. They're encrypted for a reason. I doubt anybody can listen into Franklin's PD if they're not with the department.
 
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