What is needed for computer setup?

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STEVE392

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I work in a communications center that is exploring the idea of adding the ability to listen to outside agencies. We cannot by building code use actual radio's in our center. We currently use the motorola computer system for our dispatch center.

What would be needed for our center to be able to listen to outside agencies via a computer program? What I want and would present to the powers that be, would be the ability to listen to multiple agencies at once with teh ability to change the frequency on the go if needed or even enter a new one. All of the physical equipment would be mounted where our other equipment is currently but would like the ability to change/edit things on the computer monitor that would display the frequencies.

Can anyone help me out?
 

776

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tennessee
You would need to put a mobile radio at the sight and remote it back to you consoles the way you other channels are with the capability to change channels. Most consoles has this ability. We have use the Motorola MIP 5000 and Telex both this way. Changing frequency on the go might be a problem but you could have as many channels in you mobile that want for surrounding area.

776
 
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STEVE392

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If you cannot use radios... You'd have to listen to feeds provided by others with radios.
We can use radio's, we just can't have them in our center/room. All the radio's and equipment have to be ina secure room and grounded. It's apparently a building code and also fire code due to lightning. Atleast that how it was explained to me. They want to try and just add the frequencies to our motorola dispatch radios, but thats pointless as it will not be heard unless you select it, and if you select it, your not listening to the dispatch frequency you need.

You would need to put a mobile radio at the sight and remote it back to you consoles the way you other channels are with the capability to change channels. Most consoles has this ability. We have use the Motorola MIP 5000 and Telex both this way. Changing frequency on the go might be a problem but you could have as many channels in you mobile that want for surrounding area.

776
This I know we will need, whether we have spares that will work with narrowband/wideband as some department have gone that route instead of digital I dont know. Im sure we do, if not, not sure if they'll pony up some cash for them or not. We'll see i guess. We have the spare antenna's on the tower and they are wired down to the building so thats out of the way. But its just a matter of being able to have this displayed on a computer monitor.

That motorola 5000 looks pretty neat but looks more like something for actual dispatch. We dont need that, we just want the ability to monitor outside of our agency not to be able to talk on those frequencies.
 

joeuser

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Well, it that's the case, the answer is simple. Get a decent radio, Uniden 536 or 996xt (depending if you need phase 2 or phase 1 support) and hook up software to it. Proscan would be your best bet, you can afford it. Its handles the radio control and acts as a feed server. You can lockout control with a password - same with feed. They have a free listen only client. Might be your best bet.
 

STEVE392

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I'll look into those radios and proscan. I had the link to it at work but coudln't get it up to show my supervisor. But im going to work on a proposal soon to present to them, hopefully it can get approved.
 

jim202

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Let me start by saying in your first post that you gave some slightly wrong information and corrected it in a later post. I was going to say what building code prevented a radio to be installed. Just about every 911 dispatch center I have been in around the country has radios in the building.

My first question, what sort of funds do you have to work with? This is going to steer the boat so to speak.

Have you talked with the agencies that you want to monitor? If you talk and work with them, you just might get the radio manager to provide a radio to you.

I am also going to point you to do some homework. Go do a search on the Internet for the "Virginia COMLINC project". The state of Virginia a number of years back decided they had a problem with the 911 dispatch centers couldn't share their radios channels between each other. So they set in motion a multi year project to place a radio interoperability gateway at all the county dispatch centers and the state police centers around the state. Even several of the DOT dispatch centers were included. In the end there were about 160 plus gateways installed in the 911 dispatch centers and mobile command centers around the state.

The Virginia interoperability project was put out to bid to all the companies that made the interop gateways. After the dust settled, a small company, Sytech Corp. came out on top. They provided the RIOS gateway for all the dispatch centers, mobile command vehicles and even some portable units. The RIOS gateway could be used to patch together radio systems that could not talk directly together otherwise. Like a Motorola P25 trunking system and a Harris EDACS trunking system.

As another person mentioned, you could simply use a scanner. But if traffic got heavy, you would probably miss transmissions from other stations. Between the scanner hang time and the time a channel was talking, you could miss other agency traffic.

Another consideration is how many open slots do you have on your existing console system? If you have any plans to add some of these radios, it will take up space in your dispatch electronics. In some of the dispatch centers I have been in there were no open or available slots, positions or what ever you might call them. So additional circuit cards had to be obtained and installed. The consoles then had to have the vendor program them for the added channels. This is a cost that you need to take into account.

I think you have a fine idea to be able to monitor the surrounding agencies. But it comes at a cost that you need to work through. Hope this information helps in what you were asking.
 
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