Towns County, GA going Digital

trwmodela

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There are several upgrades coming to Towns County 911 system. One includes changing to digital from the current analog system. I am trying to find out what type of digital system they will be using? The plans call for everything to be up and operational by April of 2020.
 
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RRR

They are just 3 R's. Don't look too much into it
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Little birdie told me NXDN....
 

trwmodela

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With a NXDN digital system how would they alert the Volunteer Firefighters to an alarm? Tone alerts over a portable radio?
 

Vern

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If you look at the FCC licenses for their current public safety channels, go to the FREQUENCIES tab, then select EMISSIONS and you'll see multiple designators. The one that's probably of most interest to you is this one:
4K00F1E, which translates to NXDN 6.25 kHz digital voice (IDAS, NEXEDGE).
Towns County's neighbor, Union County, switched this past summer from analog-only to Mixed Mode (6.25 kHz NXDN digital & analog).
The fire tone-outs haven't changed, they just sound a little different than they did on analog. Union uses Kenwood repeaters, mobiles and portables.
 

trwmodela

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Vern, great information as system upgrades are expected around April of 2020. My current Motorola equipment, Minitor V pager and a CP200XLS portable will not work. My desire is a tone activated radio, that scans and can be programed. I don't need to TX side of the radio because I only monitor calls. A Kenwood Protalk Digital NXDN Series UHF CQINX340U16P work? they sell for about $329.00 but I need software to program it. Now, I am assuming they are staying on UHF, if I am reading the information correctly? Any expert advice is greatly appreciated. BTW, I spend about 5-1/2 months in Towns County each summer.
 

Vern

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Vern, great information as system upgrades are expected around April of 2020. My current Motorola equipment, Minitor V pager and a CP200XLS portable will not work. My desire is a tone activated radio, that scans and can be programed. I don't need to TX side of the radio because I only monitor calls. A Kenwood Protalk Digital NXDN Series UHF CQINX340U16P work? they sell for about $329.00 but I need software to program it. Now, I am assuming they are staying on UHF, if I am reading the information correctly? Any expert advice is greatly appreciated. BTW, I spend about 5-1/2 months in Towns County each summer.
A couple of things based on your latest message:

1) The bulk of Towns County's public safety licenses appear to be VHF in the 151-159 MHz range. The School system has a UHF (461 MHz) freq. Hiawassee uses VHF for local government and water utility but also has a UHF freq for the water dept. Young Harris uses UHF for their water utilities and the YH College uses UHF as well.

I doubt that their system is so busy that you'd need to rely on tone activation. Either scanning them all or leaving it on the FD dispatch channel probably won't drive you crazy.

2) I'm no expert on Kenwood radios, but when I first looked into getting one I downloaded their manuals. It appeared to me that the Kenwood ProTalk series radios are pre-programmed with a table of business band frequencies. I didn't see where you could program them with a public safety freq that wasn't already embedded in the radio's pre-programmed table. I could have misread it but that's why I avoided them as NXDN scanners. There are lots of used NXDN radios on the market. These radios are mostly mono-banders, so choose your band first. Kenwood's NXDN radios are easy to spot as their model numbers all start with "NX".

3) I like the NX-200, NX-220 for VHF HT's and the NX-700, NX-720 for VHF mobiles. The 200/700 series both use the KPG-111D software and the 220/720 series both use the KPG-141D software. The software is available on ebay for about $14. The learning curve exists but isn't too awful. There is an easy way to inhibit transmit on any channel... enter a RECEIVE frequency and it automatically populates the TX column with the same freq. Simply erase the TX frequency completely and the radio won't transmit on that channel.

4) If you choose the 220/720 series then there are some combination programming cables that have both the 2-pin connector for the HT's and an RJ45 connector for the mobiles. (Ebay approx. $13) I already had a USB-to-Serial adapter with an FTDI chip that works with my laptop so this was a no-brainer.

Good luck.
Vern
 

trwmodela

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Vern, I need the tone activation features to avoid having to monitor the open frequency at night. My Motorola minitor V is set for All Call and Fire Station No 3 at tones only at night. This allows me to hear EMS/Fire dispatches near my cabin only. During the day I usually just monitor the frequency. I do program my Motorola’s both pagers and portables. Time to look on EBay for some Kenwood radios.

Thanks for the information & advice......Tim
 
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trwmodela

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Vern, I went ahead and purchased both KPG-111D & KPG-141D software. Also purchased the USB programming cable for the NX-200 model. Do you know if both NX-200 & NX-220 both have the tone alert feature? BTW...downloaded both manuals too, need to check them out.
 

Vern

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I don't use it so I am not familiar with how that is programmed into the radios so I can't say if any particularmodel supports it. I do know that there are a lot of signaling options. Maybe the manual will enlighten that topic.
The software has good context-related help files.
 

trwmodela

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Vern, I watched a video last night on the NX-700 programming and it has one, two & three tone/tones alert features.
 
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