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    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

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XTS2500 and 5000, P25 Quick Call II

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jeatock

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Afterthought:

NFPA (I don't remember the standard number) recommends that dispatch agencies with more than (about) 800 paged incidents a year use the following:

1. All alerts are transmitted on a dedicated, one-way signalling (paging) channel. That channel is not used for resource alerting acknowledgements or other voice traffic.

[Since there is no reply traffic from alerted resources, you gain the ability to record and automatically replay all alert transmissions without fear of "walking on" an acknowledgement. In addition, new or additional pages are not delayed waiting on voice traffic from resources, or visa-versa. Plain old stupid vanilla analog works just fine.

In my 'home' system the first page goes out locally to the agency being alerted, then is automatically replayed from a central transmitter with decent universal coverage.]

2. Alert acknowledgements, communication between Dispatch and all responding units, distance communication, and Command and Control generally take place on a second channel.

[This can be analog simplex, repeated, trunked, digital, 39 MHz, 800 MHz or any other system that works for you. Failures are typically short, and since this traffic is not generally Life and Safety urgent can be re-sent if it wasn't understood the first time.]

3. Life and Safety Critical fire ground and tactical communications take place on a third simplex channel that is a basic as possible.

[Look at the MABAS-IL model. No repeaters, no encryption, no anything that might prevent a weak mayday call from going 200 yards. And also, no off-scene transmitters that cannot hear a weak on-scene traffic and walk over a mayday call with non-critical traffic. Personally, I think that even adding a digital vocoder into the Life and Safety Critical path adds an un-necessary point of failure.]

-----

Opinion:

Following the above standard, you can use VHF analog pagers, use a digital trunked system for Command and Control, then go to plain old stupid vanilla (bulletproof) analog for Life and Safety traffic as long is it will get from one side of an incident to the other without relying on infrastructure.

If your pager goes off, you've been notified. If that happens 99% of the time, you're doing great. Now switch to a system that handles wide area voice traffic more reliably.

On scene, switch again. FF's on the wet end of the hose do not need to hear that lunch is on the way or another alarm went out.

Every white helmet comes with a radio for each hand. Priority is always Life and Safety. If the C&C radio fails someone can tap the IC on the shoulder.

A mayday call should never be forced to travel to a distant tower, be handled, folded and translated, then sent back to within a hundred yards of where it started. That's okay for taxis and ordering more fuel, but overkill when your feet have fallen through the floor.

If off-scene monitoring or recording of Life and Safety Critical traffic is desired, use infrastructure to repeat it, but do not rely on the infrastructure to handle any mayday call. If you review FF LODD reports, there are far too many fatalities caused or contributed by mayday calls getting bonked off an infrastructure system, or not be heard by others on-scene due to off-channel interference muting digital cries for help.

Never forget the sneaky ability of receiver desense to cause problems.
 

wa8pyr

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I'm aware of how the Unication "alerts", and frankly, it's ridiculous. From a system admin standpoint, having to create a single FDMA talkgroup to mimic each traditional QCII group is a nightmare.

First of all, because the G4/G5 do not yet support TDMA, that means wasting system resources by forcing those talkgroups to FDMA. If you have limited RF resources, that can be a real issue.

Secondly, setting up consoles to steer dispatches to potentially dozens of trunked resources is nightmarish. So instead of steering tones to a single paging resources, now you've got to have dozens of trunked talkgroup resources on the console because each group requires its own FDMA talkgroup.
100% concur. One of the systems I manage currently uses a separate talkgroup for each fire department called "xxxPAGE" (xxx is the station number). In theory it works fine, but the consoles (control stations on a Zetron console) have limited available resources and in practice, it's very time consuming. For each department that has to be alerted, the dispatcher has to perform the following steps:

1. Multi-select the FIREDISP radio and the paging talkgroup radio.
2. Select the desired "xxxPAGE" talkgroup on the paging radio.
3. Drop the tones and dispatch the run.
4. Repeat as necessary for each department that has to be alerted.

When you have multiple departments to page, the dispatcher must select and dispatch each one individually, which can take up to two or three minutes depending on how many departments must be paged.

This is why, as we migrate to P25, we're moving our dispatching over to 800 MHz conventional analog two-tone paging. The paging radio can always stay multi-selected, the channel doesn't have to be changed, and the dispatcher can "stack" pages and dispatch everybody at once. On top of that, agencies can keep their old analog-only 800 MHz radios and use them as glorified "pagers" for the personnel who don't have an assigned P25 voice radio.
 

dustinw251

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I just read the radio so I could study the programming a little just for personal learning However I'm not gonna attempt to change anything, but in this 700MHZ System, all the channels are still set to 25, and 20 splits. Is there anything else in the programming that lets this radio be narrowbanded or is it still controlled in the personalities with each frequency. However after looking through it some more with the CPS I see this radio has not been touched since 2009 which is when it was originally bought and programmed by the parish.
 

dustinw251

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Ok guys, I have setup 4 radios where I can page one or the other, I been studying the CPS but not sure exactly if I can or how to for that matter set them up to do group type paging by a group of radio ID's. Is this Possible and is there any tutorials or someone that could talk me through it by chance? Also I try to do a radio call and it will not work it says denied, I'm assuming that may be something disabled in the system its self? Currently its setup on the trunking system, Call Type unit to unit and list only. The call alert page operation is set to list only. This system is Phase I P25.
 
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krokus

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Ok guys, I have setup 4 radios where I can page one or the other, I been studying the CPS but not sure exactly if I can or how to for that matter set them up to do group type paging by a group of radio ID's. Is this Possible and is there any tutorials or someone that could talk me through it by chance? Also I try to do a radio call and it will not work it says denied, I'm assuming that may be something disabled in the system its self? Currently its setup on the trunking system, Call Type unit to unit and list only. The call alert page operation is set to list only. This system is Phase I P25.
When paging, how are you addressing the radio?

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Here is how we are currently doing it on the GATRRS system (at least Wilco and Western Counties).

Pages get multicasted from dispatch. The tone goes out both over an analog paging transmitter and the primary talk group for dispatch.

Part of the reason for this is due to the departments being in a transitioning phase (Unication pagers were recently approved for use and provisions are being made for those to utilize new paging talk groups). So some stations have IP based alert systems while others tone based. The tone based systems are generally something like a CDM1250 on VHF being used to flip a relay which puts the station's base radio (on 800 MHz for example) output into the PA system. Others just have a two tone priority in areas where they are covered by the VHF side of the system.


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dustinw251

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Let me throw another option your way guys and give me some input please. The biggest issue we are having is getting coverage in our area and the VHF system is not providing coverage that we need at least in the outside edges of our Parish(County). What difference would it make if we moved away from the Analog VHF and went to a Analog 700 or 800 system that way we could put in a single analog dispatch channel capable of encoding and decoding QCII through conventional on these xts and xtl radios we have in our inventory now. This route would save a $1mil dollars worth of radios to purchase and limit it to several thousand upgrading repeater. Utilizing that channel as Dispatch only then the departments could utilize their digital channels which each dept has 2 repeater and 1 simplex. In any of your experiences would a 7 or 800 analog provide any longer reach coverage than the vhf, I am not all that familiar with all the wavelength stuff. the area we are in is all timber country with tall pines and fairly hilly. nothing of mountainous size by no means.
 
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krokus

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The coverage will be worse. The higher the frequency, the shorter the range. (On Earth, for all other things being equal. IE, 40 Watts into 5dB gain antenna, at the same height of the same tower, etc...) Atmospheric absorbtion is higher, and foliage absorbs more signal.

Plus, if you have radios set for analog conventional, they are not connected to any trunking system, and do not get the features.

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dustinw251

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Will the APX series allow me to signal a group of radios or what do I need in order to perform some type of signaling to these 2500's? I know the digital tone signaling will not alert them, only thing I have really been toying with is the call alert paging feature, Is there a different route I need to be taking here or how can I set it up to alert the talkgroup in general. We have a primary and a fireground talkgroup and a simplex available I guess I should really be posting all this in the newbie forum, and I may be out of options all together. I thank you all for your responses and information.
 

krokus

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It sounds like you could use better LWIN coverage, for your Parrish. If you accomplish that, then you could investigate using Unication G4 or G5 pagers, which can be used via LWIN.

In Michigan, they are getting popular with users on MPSCS.

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dustinw251

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It sounds like you could use better LWIN coverage, for your Parrish. If you accomplish that, then you could investigate using Unication G4 or G5 pagers, which can be used via LWIN.

In Michigan, they are getting popular with users on MPSCS.

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After saturdays radio test we only had 1 small area that didnt have lwin coverage. The whole rest of the parish worked great. Were just trying to figure out the best way to utilize them


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