westchester"s ems/fire trunked system

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moonies

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Does any one know whats going on with this system?? They have had approval since Jan of this year!!!! My scanner finds the control channel but no voice traffic??? Seems to be a waste of $$$$ to build a system just to remain vacant!! why bother??
 

Alarms50

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The Chief of my Department told me that the two Motorola dealers involved with the project have received the mobile radios and will start installing them shortly. Installation will be in alphabetical order of the Departments starting with "A". When I e-mailed a contact in the County Government he said that that the remaining five transmitter sites should be up and running by the end of the year. Once that is completed 1/4 mile grid testing will need to be done to verify signal strength within the coverage area.
 

ccousins

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moonies said:
Does any one know whats going on with this system?? They have had approval since Jan of this year!!!! My scanner finds the control channel but no voice traffic??? Seems to be a waste of $$$$ to build a system just to remain vacant!! why bother??
It takes longer than 9 months to roll-out a countywide system. Give them a chance! It's coming along. It'll be great when it's done.
 

Alarms50

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IMO let them test the system first with the BeeLine buses. That way if there are any bugs they get it straightened out before Fire/EMS really needs it.
 

ff026

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why would you wanna test it with buses that are use mobiles radio's. the vendor (motorola) probally has a grid testing procedure. it is best to test with both mobiles and portables. portables especially for the talk in coverage.
 

Alarms50

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Yes, Motorola will be doing 1/4 mile grid testing, but the system to my knowledge was not really designed for portable usage, that is why we have 8 simplex Fireground freq's. Portable usage to the system would only be a bonus. As far as I know the County is only providing two portables per department. This was confirmed by a member of another Department who told me they had the trunked mobile radios installed in their apparatus this week. Two portables were provided for the whole Department, basically for Chief Officer usage. Most Departments I know of have already bought non trunked portables for use in the County's Fireground channel plan.
 

ff026

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im sure the system was designed for portable coverage. the reason you have 8 simplex channels is you can not run a fire and fireground on a trunked system properly and the poor coverage.
 

Alarms50

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According to Radio Bulletin #1 at Westchestergov.com it states "The new system is not intended, nor is it designed to be used as an on-scene ground communications system." It further goes on in question #1 "Since the system is designed for Vehicle to Control, Vehicle to Vehicle and Command to Control, the number of radios programmed will be limited to these functions." This to me sounds like they do not intend portable usage of the system execept for "Command".
 
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Alarms50

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The Ossining site is now transmitting the North Control Channel.

Prep work is progressing on the Port Chester - Summit Avenue site. Conduit raceway and antenna stanchions have been mounted on the South water tank.
 

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ff026 said:
im sure the system was designed for portable coverage. the reason you have 8 simplex channels is you can not run a fire and fireground on a trunked system properly and the poor coverage.
The system is actually being designed for 95% MOBILE IN-STREET coverage throughout the system. I believe there are 9 tower sites: Valhalla, Peekskill, North Salem, Bedford, Pound Ridge, Yorktown, Ossining, Yonkers and Port Chester.

It is NOT designed for portable in-building coverage. That is why there are 8 simplex fireground channels like ff026 stated.

Designing systems for mobile in-street coverage is what gets people killed, unless of course you are using it for what Westchester is...interoperabilty, command, MCI's, etc...and then it's fine. Morris County, NJ built a similar analog/digital system called MIRS for the same thing, interoperabiltiy. Every police agency, EMS agency, fire department, public works, buses, etc. has access to the system.

This is why alot of agencies in New York State will not be switching to the Statewide Network that is being built...it is designed for the same...95% mobile in street coverage. I feel sorry for troopers in rural areas of the state, especially since they are the primary and only agency in certain towns. Wait until they go into a house for a domestic and their portables don't work. Enough ranting....

I also believe NFPA mandates firegrounds operations to be analog and simplex. How many departments use repeaters for firegrounds ? I know departments that are using 800 trunked repearters for firegrounds ! It's because alot of agencies just don't know other than what the radio sales guy tells them...and he just wants to make a sale since he gets paid commission. I did say enough ranting....

Lastly, ff026...tell Palm Beach County and Broward County, FL that you can not run a fireground on a trunked system. They do it everyday. But, their systems are designed alot better and for in-building portable coverage. I still believe analog simplex is best for ths type of operation.

Hopefully you have the right people in rockland to make things the way they should be.
 
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APX8000

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ff026 said:
im sure the system was designed for portable coverage. the reason you have 8 simplex channels is you can not run a fire and fireground on a trunked system properly and the poor coverage.
The system is actually being designed for 95% MOBILE IN-STREET coverage throughout the system. I believe there are 9 tower sites: Valhalla, Peekskill, North Salem, Bedford, Pound Ridge, Yorktown, Ossining, Yonkers and Port Chester.

It is NOT designed for portable in-building coverage. That is why they put out 8 simplex fireground channels.

Designing systems for mobile in-street coverage is what gets people killed, unless of course you are using it for what Westchester is...interoperabilty, command, MCI's, etc...and then it's fine. Morris County, NJ built a similar analog/digital system called MIRS for the same thing, interoperabiltiy. Every police agency, EMS agency, fire department, public works, buses, etc. has access to the system.

This is why alot of agencies in New York State will not be switching to the Statewide Network that is being built...it is designed for the same...95% mobile in street coverage. I feel sorry for troopers in rural areas of the state, especially since they are the primary and only agency in certain towns. Wait until they go into a house for a domestic and their portables don't work. Enough ranting....

I also believe NFPA mandates firegrounds operations to be analog and simplex. How many departments use repeaters for firegrounds ? I know departments that are using 800 trunked repearters for firegrounds ! It's because alot of agencies just don't know other than what the radio sales guy tells them...and he just wants to make a sale since he gets paid commission. I did say enough ranting....

Lastly, ff026...tell Palm Beach County and Broward County, FL that you can not run a fireground on a trunked system. They do it everyday. But, their systems are designed alot better and for in-building portable coverage. I still believe analog simplex is best for ths type of operation.

Hopefully you guys in Rockland will built it the way it should be IMO...in-building portable coverage for trunked, with analog simplex firegrounds. You can even put the firegrounds up on all the towers going to a voter so control can monitor, especially for calls for help.
 
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ff026

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we are building the rockland system for 95% on hip, in swivel case, on street coverage. to build a system for 95% in building coverage the cost would be astronomical! almost double of what we are going to pay now. as of now the coverage is going to be 95% in building for structures that are of light to medium duty construction.

there are certain buildings in the county that are designated "critical coverage" buildings that must have 95% in building coverage. to get the coverage in those buildings, tower sites were moved near by or we are going to use BDA's to supplemt coverage.

if i remember correctly our consultant would not right an RFP for 95% of inbuilding coverage for all buildings. we had to designate certain buildings as "critical coverage".
they advised us that because of the terrain and various other factors no vendor would design a system for 95% in building coverage. the closest you can get is 95% on hip in street coverage.

looking at one of the proposed coverage maps now i can say i see almost 98% voted inbound, in street, on hip, in case coverage.

there is no plan to run fireground on our system now either. fireground is going to remain on the 6 analog fire ground channels now with receivers at each site sent back to 44-Control so all fireground transmissions can be monitored and recorded.

and yes e911god it is an NFPA guidline that all fireground communications be analog simplex!
 

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ff026 said:
If i remember correctly our consultant would not right an RFP for 95% of inbuilding coverage for all buildings. We had to designate certain buildings as "critical coverage". They advised us that because of the terrain and various other factors no vendor would design a system for 95% in building coverage. The closest you can get is 95% on hip in street coverage
I know the Palm Beach County system provides 97% County-Wide in-building portable coverage. http://www.pbcgov.com/fdo/ESS/800MHz.htm

What it was originally designed for I don't know..I'll check with their systems admin.
 

ff026

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i see that. interesting but also consider the terrain in florida compared to rockland and westchester counties. we have to have sites just to backhaul the microwave around to the other sites. we are using natural barriers to to get a complete simulcast bubble.

i know 97% in building can be done it is a matter of cost. 90% of the buildings in rockland are residential and medium duty construction.

if you look at palm beach's they are basing their coverage maps on" 97% in building with public safety speaker mic and antenna."

we used the on hip, in case on street model to get our predictions. we did not want the "public safety speaker mic" predictions because i feel it gives you a false sense of coverage.

once we have a final system design we are going to get the comparison of both.
 

Alarms50

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Driving up I684 today by Rt.172 confirmed the Bedford (Fox Lane) site is transmitting the North Zone control channel.
 

Alarms50

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Searching the FCC site tonight found that Westchester County has filed for testing of four of the six South Zone freq's at 110 watts up from the 25, 60, & 80 watts currently licensed. The temporary authorization would be through May 14, 2007.

Also, the Adams Lane - Pound Ridge site is under construction and should be on the air by December 2006.
 

PJH

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Palm Beach does have a nice system, I actually know the administrator for it. There is a lot of money into it and has been, and still is a work in progress.

As for fireground ops on a trunked system, it is frowned upon by the NFPA. Now, there is two ways of looking at this. NFPA is not a governmental body, and NFPA has no juristsiction.

HOWEVER, many rules and regs (such as building codes, standards, etc) are based or directly address NFPA and other organizations. With that in mind, if you are not operating on accpeted practices (such as NFPA's standard for communications) and get hauled into court, its just another tool that the lawyers can use against you.

Now with that in mind as well, I know of a few fire department that conduct 99% of fireground operations on a trunked system, and haven't had any problems that wouldn't be expected with a conventional or simplex system.

As for Westechester, I don't know what their loading maximum is expected to be with their channel capacity. If you are having multiple incidents and everyone is on a talkgroup and the system doesn't have a large loading capaicaty, there will be plenty of system bonks and no one else will be able to use the system.

In realitiy, there really isn't a need for most operations to be on a repeater or a trunked system that does not have a lot of room. But, if the space is there, there shouldn't be a problem other than someone with a Napolean complex who wants to control everything.

And yes, these things take time to build out. My two site digital coventional system is still a couple of years in the works.

As for inbuilding coverage, that takes a lot of planning and infrastrucre. A lot of factors come into play. Usually...portable coverage is improved over an old system, but not by much when its a "street level" system. There are a lot of dynamics involved that is beyond comprehension.
 
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