SRRCS Abbreviations - I need some help

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SCPD

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I hate when abbreviations are used when there isn't a list that explains them all. There are a number of them shown on the talkgroup list for the Sac Regional system. Here is an entry with one of these abbreviations: "Channel 8 (POP for South & East, County Site)." What the heck is "POP." I believe that statement is from the Sacramento PD listing.

Listed in the Sacramento County section are the following abbreviations: CMMET 1, CMMET 2, CNET, CRIPS, HIDA and NID. Does anyone have a clue what these mean?

These popped out at me as I was editing the data I obtained from an import from Radio Reference.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: I don't understand why database administrators enter data like this. Do they receive it with these abbreviations? Can't the person that makes the submission with abbreviations describe them? If not where do they get data with all these abbreviations? When they are undefined it makes programming and listening to a scanner difficult, especially when you are just visiting as I will in the coming months.

This system is listed rather well and the abbreviations shown are minimal. Some systems have far more than what I've listed.
 

SCPD

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Thanks for the link to that old thread. Even though it is old I remember reading it at the time. I wish the short term memory could be as good as the long term! I printed it and am going to carry it in my field notebooks that I carry whenever I travel out of the region I live in.

I have additional questions, but I'm going to do a thread search on SRRCS first.

I have a comment on the database. Why can't all of these abbreviations be explained in the description column? I run into this over and over. I begin to remember the old adage from my U.S. Forest Service (USFS) career that knowledge means power and withholding it makes one look more powerful.

I don't think that is at play here. I think there are a lot of computer types and other people from various backgrounds who don't understand information dissemination very well. That was a huge part of my job with the USFS. I knew that some information had to be standard no matter which of the 4 National Forests I worked on. After developing that information in the form of handouts, maps and signs. I would listen carefully to the questions asked in the office and the field. I would look at visitor behavior and could tell that a lack of information was causing much of it, that is, visitors confused as to locating recreation facilities and opportunities. Some of their behavior was slowly destroying resources and an education effort was needed, mostly in the form of signs, handouts and campfire programs as well as field contacts. I also facilitated or led public meetings where we needed public feedback as well as informing them of our programs.

The use of lingo and abbreviations does not work for all of those communication methods. I see posts and database information that, not by intention, but a lack of experience in public information, cause confusion. I say this not only for myself as I know, intuitively based on my 25 years of experience in the public information field, that many others are confused as well.

I've made a number of posts and started a thread or two emphasizing that people should define their abbreviations, unless they are very common, such as "PD," "FD" and "PW."

The Radio Reference database, has, among other reasons, put almost all printed directories out of business. Those directories were more informative than our database. We should build the database and our Wiki pages to be as informative as those directories. I think we are responsible to do so since we put the others out of business.
 

kma371

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We should build the database and our Wiki pages to be as informative as those directories. I think we are responsible to do so since we put the others out of business.
Description fields should be short and concise. Using full acronyms would/could make these fields very long. Sorry things were different, but This isnt the forest service so we have to follow our policies here.

Anyone can update the wiki. to help you remember these acronyms you can update the wiki if you like.

Just another note, Most of the HIDA, CRIPS, SID talk groups aren't used very much anyway so you aren't missing much if you don't monitor them.
 
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SCPD

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Sorry things were different, but This isnt the forest service so we have to follow our policies here.
This was not necessary and not randomly aimed. [DB Administrators Handbook 1.6 - 3.4].

Description fields should be short and concise.
Concise is defined as "giving a lot of information clearly and in a few words; brief but comprehensive." An unexplained abbreviation or acronym is not clear, nor is it comprehensive. It is only brief.

Just another note, Most of the HIDA, CRIPS, SID talk groups aren't used very much anyway so you aren't missing much if you don't monitor them.
How is a person supposed to know this if they don't know what the talkgroup is used for? Are we expected to assume that if there are cryptic and unexplained entries that they are unimportant anyway?

The DB administrator's handbook contains a list of standard abbreviations. None of the acronyms are on that list. It is interesting to note that the list of standard abbreviations is not easily accessed by those who might be helped by it.

I listed my Forest Service experience for one reason only and not for self edification. The sole purpose is to lend some credibility to my observations that the database needs to be improved. As I explained I often found that I had to return to the drawing board when feedback indicated it necessary. My comments here are feedback.
 

WayneH

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How is a person supposed to know this if they don't know what the talkgroup is used for? Are we expected to assume that if there are cryptic and unexplained entries that they are unimportant anyway?
The expanded information should go in to the Wiki. Sadly few people use it for what it's designed for.
 

gmclam

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EDITORIAL COMMENT: I don't understand why database administrators enter data like this. Do they receive it with these abbreviations? Can't the person that makes the submission with abbreviations describe them? If not where do they get data with all these abbreviations? When they are undefined it makes programming and listening to a scanner difficult, especially when you are just visiting as I will in the coming months.
While the scanners we're using only support 12 or 16 characters to typically label a channel/TG, the abbreviations are needed. Just like anything/everything else in the radio world, once you've listened enough times the definitions are second nature.
 

SCPD

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Wayne and gmclam, I know that expanded info should go into the Wiki. I have completed a couple of Wiki pages, helped write the pages for Yellowstone National Park and have contributed a portion of the CHP Wiki page. I would write more of them, but the formatted of Wiki pages is very cumbersome. I tried to rearrange some tables to show channel plans and repeater tone lists for all the National Forests in the California portion of the database. I can't seem to rearrange the tables for the Sequoia and Angeles National Forests, they keep getting intermixed so that the repeaters for the Angeles show up with the channel plan for the Sequoia. If I could figure out how to correct it I would then go on and do the remaining 16 National Forests. I think this is why many people, who have knowledge to share, don't try to add something to the Wiki.

It reminds me of the day when the Forest Service had DOS computers, but had a graphics program. You needed to attend training for 3 days to understand how to use it. You received a notebook to refer to when you attended. A simple 8.5" by 11" sign took a lot of gyrations with symbols and such, just like the Wiki. Give me something more straightforward and I would write things from scratch. I think others might experience similar difficulties and than might be the reason so few people contribute pages. Some people are more challenged with writing and that may contribute also.

Where I disagree is the explanations of all the abbreviations for all of the talkgroups on the Sacramento Regional Radio System will fit into the description column, There are database pages where abbreviations are explained. That is what the description column is for and why it is as wide as it is on the pages. If abbreviations are not explained then those talkgroups or frequencies might as well be deleted.

I had ask questions of a handful of employees to find out what some of the abbreviations meant on a particularly well built Smartzone system for a large southern California utility. With answers in hand I made a submission for the listing. Now people are able to understand what they are hearing better. If all those abbreviations were explained in an eight year old, long dead, thread that very few people knew existed, it would do little to help people understand what they are hearing.

I'm three files short of writing programs for my GRE 500/600's scanners to cover all of California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, the places I visit the most frequently. The way I've written them 17 are needed for California. If I'm in a motel in Albuquerque and a large incident occurs in the immediate area that would affect me if I went outside I don't have time to figure out what CIRMT means, but it might be the most informative frequency/talkgroup possible for the situation. I don't live in Albuquerque and don't have time to have it be second nature. I made that abbreviation up and note that "Critical Incident Response Management Team" (five words) can easily fit into the description column. My 16 character alphanumeric display has to be abbreviated, that is obvious, but that leaves me 11 more characters (16 possible minus "CIRMT") to describe it once I know what it means. I would erase the short abbreviation given in the alpha tag column after downloading the system and insert "ALBPD Crt IncRsp" I can't write a good alpha tag that I might understand when the need presents itself unless I know the meaning in the first place.

If I could not write something I could remember or describe well with 12 or 16 characters, or have the radio in sweep or search, I would bring up the Albuquerque PD page and cross reference the frequency or talkgroup I was hearing and see that I'm listening to not just "CIRMT", but "Critical Incident Response Management Team."

You've missed my point gmclam, the definition of the abbreviation needs to be put in the description line where there is plenty of room. I'm not addressing any problems in the "alpha tag' column, rather I'm addressing the "description column." A database line with "CIRMT" for the alpha tag, with a description of "CIRMT" is useless. How can it become second nature unless we know the meaning in the first place? Our database is for locals and visitors as well, with perhaps more need for the latter.
 
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SCPD

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Here is an example of a well described entry. It is from the San Luis Obispo County page:

151.02500 155.55000 RM 82.5 PL SLOCoFD RCmd (with a description column reading) SLO Co Fire River Command

I would not have any idea of what the "R" meant in the alpha tag unless the word "River" was in the description column. I know that "SLO" means San Luis Obispo because I'm on the that county's database page, but "R" could mean "Red," "Reserves," "Ranch," "Ridge," "Regional" or "Road."

In the same county under "Five Cities Fire Authority" there is a line that reads:

155.40000 158.97000 KNAY847 RM 136.5 PL 5Cities CmdA (with a description column reading) Command (Arroyo Grande Area)

When I wrote my "California Central Coast" program I revised the alpha tag to read "5C FD A Grande C." I could have also written "5CitFD AGrnd Cmd" and would write a possible tac frequency for the same area as "5C FD A Grande T" because my own shorthand is to use C for command and "T" for tac. How would I have known what "CmdA" meant if it hadn't been explained in the "description" column? I could not have written my alpha numeric tag to contain "A Grande" as I might think that this department has a "Command B" in addition to "A," or assume it might be "Command Alternate," "Command Atascadero" or "Command Area." The latter might be assumed if one keeps in mind the L.A. Sheriff's Department's "L Tac," "A Tac" and "C Tac" frequencies in mind.

When I look at the SLO county page I am able to understand every frequency because the description column for each of them is well written. The one exception is for City of San Luis Obispo in the description for the PD channel two description. I know what "SWAT" stands for but "SNAP" is not explained. With that one exception I would like to thank who ever maintains this county's database. That person(s) understands how to write understandable text. Why can't all database pages be like this?
 
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