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Statewide Radio System Faces Obstacles

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2112

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Yup... differing systems is a product of the capitalist society we live in. This environment also provides better prices and better equipment (the best of both, actually).

The remaining lack of interoperability is not the equipment's fault. It is improper/insufficient planning, funding, and cooperation that fails to establish communications pipes between the systems big enough to handle all the radio traffic before the need arises. (The bad news is that no matter how big you make the pipes, there is always potential for an emergency to be large enough to overflow them... but we can plan, fund, and cooperate to minimize this.)

We've sent men to the moon. We've created weapons that are capable of killing millions per unit. The Internet covers the entire earth with an interoperable communications network that abridges equipment and platforms from differing manufactures over both wireline and wireless connections, thanks to funding, planning, and cooperation. Don't tell me we can't make a couple of differing radio systems in a single state talk to each other.

It's all about attitude, regardless of the way it's spun in a newspaper article.
 
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EDACS-Master

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State System

Since the state decided to go with 800 MHz as a statewide communications solution for Public Safety, they were advised that they should go woth a complete interoperability solution via P25 protocal. This totally fell on deaf ears because of the CITY that host the switch for the state. This would have set the state up for true interoperability in the 800 band regardless of vendor radios that do the P25 protocal.
 

2112

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Let's remember that interoperability is not generally the primary reason for any entity to buy a radio system. They have to cover their internal operations first.

"True interoperability" is subjective, at best. What's your definition?

It doesn't matter what equipment has been selected. As I stated earlier:

2112 said:
The remaining lack of interoperability is not the equipment's fault. It is improper/insufficient planning, funding, and cooperation that fails to establish communications pipes between the systems big enough to handle all the radio traffic before the need arises. (The bad news is that no matter how big you make the pipes, there is always potential for an emergency to be large enough to overflow them... but we can plan, fund, and cooperate to minimize this.)
and

2112 said:
Don't tell me we can't make a couple of differing radio systems in a single state talk to each other.

It's all about attitude, regardless of the way it's spun in a newspaper article.
In other words, if the agencies want to interoperate badly enough, they will. Their abilities to do so will be directly proportional to the amounts of planning, funding, and cooperation they put forth in doing so.

P25 is a nice standard for facilitating digital interoperability. However, it's not the only manner by which agencies can interoperate.

We are all aware that some agencies are Motorola, and some are M/A-COM. I suggest that we all stop moaning about this, and instead put our energies toward proactively discussing ways the agencies can interoperate better than they already do, and (more relevantly) figure out ways to scan the Pro-Voice systems.

:)
 

freqscout

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Well the truth of the matter is that the two systems can "talk" to each other through various patches be it wireline or interface radio. It is somewhat easy if you know what you are doing (more to come). Motorola doesn't really want to advertise that since they own the greater market share, but it can be done and done well. Has anyone seen THAT in a Motorola advertisement brochure (can easily interface with other companies' systems)? Maybe Motorola was the one who built their system so that they could not interoperate with other types of systems, that is what it is starting to sound like. Does pride keep the largest company from allowing for the connection to the smaller ones when the smaller ones have all made allowances for the them to talk to the other? Seems like egos (on the users' and companies' part) are the thing that have actually made the radios systems not "interoperable" as of yet, not so much the technology.

(Here is th more to come): The other part of the matter is that the DPS doesn't really know a whole lot about nor control very much of their system. Tulsa owns the state on that. Tulsa is the control hub for the statewide system. The are also the ultimate controller of what goes on it. (I like the troopers, I really do, but they kinda gave themselves over on this one.)

With all of the municipalities already adding Motorola radios to their EDACS systems to allow for interoperability and making them work then who is actually holding the state back from interoperating between themselves and the cities? Sounds like the problem is not the EDACS systems. I can switch my handheld EDACS radio to eleven of the major DPS talkgroups in my area and start talking (via the control Interface we have another 20 or so that can be selected...other RMA's/SMA's, we already have a few on). Interoperability at it's finest. The other side of the table (DPS/Motorola) is the only thing prohibiting them from doing the same for us. Now, however, the state/Motorola (cause they are in the same meeting talking this through) has made an allowance for the four major EDACS PD TG's to come onto their system, but the catch was that the EDACS system had to put a Moto radio in their control interface to give access to the Motorola system. The Motos could not do it the other way around (EDACS in the Moto cabinet). So who is actually at fault for the lack of interoperability? The deck in this case seems to be stacked against the Motos. EDACS Techs have gone far and above to provide access to the DPS system. Motorola on the other hand may want to punish the EDACS users or something because I do not see them reciprocating in this deal.

I will provide a caveat to the current issue of interoperability. The DPS system in my metro area does not have enough voice channels to carry the traffic that it already has. They are "land-locked" on the channel issue because of rebanding and the frozen channel allocations. They are taking steps to provide access to the users of the system more voice channels by incorporating Norman and Edmond until the rebanding comes along and frees up the channels for more access. This is when the DPS system will provide access to the four metro EDACS TG's on their system. This is when they will "allow" the EDACS users onto the system. This does not change my arguement that they will not allow for interoperability seeing as how the EDACS users had to purchase Moto radios (to the state/DPS specifications) for the EDACS side and not the other way around. This is just the time frame when they will turn the EDACS users' radio access on.

Sounds like the big /\/\ is actually worthy of a big F when it comes to their intersystem interoperability grade. Why is it that the bigger supplier of trunked radios systems cannot meet the interoperability needs of the world in an environment of rapid changes in technology and market competition?
 
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freqscout

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And don't get me wrong, I do like Motorola gear. I even own a few Moto things. I even own/part own some p25 gear. It isn't so much the gear that they are producing, it is more their philosophy on the business of interoperability in Oklahoma.
 
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N_Jay

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I would blame the agencies more than Moto, or M/a-COM!

You can put a Moto control station on a M/A-COM system, and put a M/A-COM control station on a Moto system just as easily.

Right up to the point where the owner of the system tell you not to.:lol:
 

WX5JCH

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Now, if we could only get them to realize that there is more to the state than the "I-44" corridor. I-40 could use some of that cash as well. Oh well, maybe we can join up with the new Texas system... lol!
 

2112

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N_Jay said:
I would blame the agencies more than Moto, or M/a-COM!

You can put a Moto control station on a M/A-COM system, and put a M/A-COM control station on a Moto system just as easily.

Right up to the point where the owner of the system tell you not to.:lol:
Exactly. And boy, if what you advised about Motorola is true, I'm rather underwhelmed about their facilitation of interoperability.
 

2112

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skywatch said:
Now, if we could only get them to realize that there is more to the state than the "I-44" corridor. I-40 could use some of that cash as well. Oh well, maybe we can join up with the new Texas system... lol!
I'm sure that they realize that there is more to the state than that which exists along I-40, and I'm sure that the system will spread to reach those locations in the future. However, with the money that's available, it's prudent to implement the system in an efficient manner to serve as much of the state's population as possible. 70% of the state's population is concentrated along I-44. So, it makes sense to orient the system along I-44 first, and then add on as money permits.

:)
 

EDACS-Master

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Good information Freqscout the EDACS system up north is doing the same switching in a limited capacity at this time, but I have heard that a major upgrade is coming involving IP which ought to be interesting.
 
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N_Jay

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2112 said:
Exactly. And boy, if what you advised about Motorola is true, I'm rather underwhelmed about their facilitation of interoperability.
I'm not sure what you mean?
 

iamhere300

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N_Jay said:
I would blame the agencies more than Moto, or M/a-COM!

You can put a Moto control station on a M/A-COM system, and put a M/A-COM control station on a Moto system just as easily.

Right up to the point where the owner of the system tell you not to.:lol:

Let me make sure I have this right...

You are saying that I can take a M/A-COM control station, say, and OpenSky
control station, and make it work on a Smartzone system?
 

iamhere300

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freqscout said:
Sounds like the big /\/\ is actually worthy of a big F when it comes to their intersystem interoperability grade. Why is it that the bigger supplier of trunked radios systems cannot meet the interoperability needs of the world in an environment of rapid changes in technology and market competition?

Actually, M/A-Comm seems to be the grand prize winner for the
"interoperability - how not to do it" award.

Look at the kluge they are having to do in NY and PA to make their
systems talk with P25 systems. Have you ever listened to a system
that is converted from Analog to Digital, to analog, from analog to Digital, to
analog again? Nasty stuff.

Of course, P25 is just a recomendation - unless you want a federal communications
grant now. It has lots of agencies in NYS still upset.
 

iamhere300

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One needs to remember, most parts of the country have had "interoperability" for
many years.

Mutual aid channels, statewide fire channels, the NLEEC, etc.

We still have to get the agencies to work together, in many cases that is a much bigger problem than having a radio channel.

Interoperability means more than radios.
 
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N_Jay

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iamhere300 said:
Let me make sure I have this right...

You are saying that I can take a M/A-COM control station, say, and OpenSky
control station, and make it work on a Smartzone system?

No, you can INTERFACE an OpenSky (or EDACS) control station to a Smartzone system.

4 wire audio, PTT, and COR are wonderful things.
 
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N_Jay

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iamhere300 said:
Actually, M/A-Comm seems to be the grand prize winner for the
"interoperability - how not to do it" award.

Look at the kluge they are having to do in NY and PA to make their
systems talk with P25 systems. Have you ever listened to a system
that is converted from Analog to Digital, to analog, from analog to Digital, to
analog again? Nasty stuff.

Of course, P25 is just a recomendation - unless you want a federal communications
grant now. It has lots of agencies in NYS still upset.
I would not pre-judge the SWN solution until it is implemented.

M/A-COM has some good ideas on how to interface these different networks. We will have to wait and see if it works as well as planned.
 

iamhere300

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N_Jay said:
No, you can INTERFACE an OpenSky (or EDACS) control station to a Smartzone system.

4 wire audio, PTT, and COR are wonderful things.

ROFL.... Yes, you can do wonders if you have BOTH radios.

Your post led one to surmise that you were saying you can take an
M/A Comm control station, and plop it down, hook it to an antenna,
and with a little bit of programming put it onto a Smartzone system.

To follow your logic, you can interface anything to anything - including your
car stereo to a Provoice system. Or your crystal radio set to a Smartzone system.

And either manufacturer can do it, as well as most two way shops.
 

freqscout

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This isn't New York. This isn't OpenSky either. The problems of switching formats a bunch of different times is a designer issue that needs to be resolved and has absolutely nothing to do with the two systems working together other than that it is a headache. We have one radio that interfaces the other system. So, no, your M/A-Com is the example of what not to do statement doesn't actually apply here in Oklahoma.

Where you are right though is that interoperability is something that has existed for years. What M/A-Com and the city are proposing is to add the common mutual aid channnels for VHF and UHF to the NPSPAC repeaters to fill in the blanks where other users don't have repeaters, DPS access, or EDACS access. The crossband repeaters would be in multiple places to accomodate different regions of the city.

The city isn't barred from federal money for picking ProVoice.

Interoperability is a WHOLE lot more than radios, you're right there!
 
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