Our county is looking at the VHF digital system. Anyone have experience with this system? We are currently on analog VHF.
Our county is looking at the VHF digital system. Anyone have experience with this system? We are currently on analog VHF.
Your going to have to be much more specific than that. What kind of system. The word "system" means about 2,000 different possible things.
Motorola MotoTrbo digital system.
This system is being proposed to our county and was wondering if any public safety agencies are using this system. From what I understand Motorola has two different digital systems, this one and the Astro Digital.
I also understand that this is not P25.
NO NO NO NO
Oh my god NO. Mototrbo is a BUSINESS system for use by commercial non-emergency simple uncomplicated single-site users. It is not and never was designed or intended for public safety or municipal use.
#1: Whatever motorola dealer is trying to sell you this, fire them and do not allow them to ever come back. They either don't know what they're doing or they are out to make a fast buck and don't actually care what they sell you as long as you buy it.
#2: The Mototrbo system will only work with Mototrbo radio, of which there is one portable and one mobile. Forget interoperability.
#3: The Mototrbo "repeater" is a single-site standalone unit. It doesn't do remote connection to a console. It doesn't do any kind of multi-site. You can't have remote receivers and a voter. You have one repeater and that is it, period.
#4: You can throw away your pagers since you can't page with it.
I say again, this is NOT for fire department and public safety use. Get the moron trying to sell you that out of your town before someone gets killed.
Thanks for the info...From reading over it that was kinda the idea I got as well. Is the astro digital better on VHF? That would be P25 compatible right?
Be very careful with the Digital "P25" systems in Fire Ground Use. Our dispatch center is trying to push a Motorola APX system down our throat. I realize that there is a mandate requiring everyone to go to narrowband by 2013, but I have also found out that there are several issues about using digital in the Fire Service. Just type P25 in google, and you will be amazed at the information out there, and none of it good for Fire Service use.
JMO, be careful out there.
We wouldnt actually use the digital channels for fireground, we would switch to analog simplex channels. Only the IC would be monitoring the digital channel & the fireground channel.
When you say "system", are you talking about conventional repeaters using P25? If so then you are wasting your money. Making a conventional channel operate in P25 gains you nothing except a bigger price tag and no interoperability with anyone. There is absolutely no reason or advantage to do it. It is totally irresponsible expense. I'm speaking not just as a resident communications geek but also based on personal experience in my town.
I'd also like to remind folks that NARROW BAND has absolutely nothing to do with P25 digital. There is not and never will be any requirement to go P25 digital. Do not let Motorola BS you into it.
our story is the County has been looking at 800 Mhz but it costs too much so now they are looking for an alternative. Our state has a statewide 800 Mhz but they charge a fee per radio per month to use plus not good coverage in most of our county.
We have problems with skip and interference on the VHF analog, sometimes our pages are dropped and our dispatch has to tone multiple times. Adjoining county Receive frequency is our transmit freq (different PL) and when you first key the mike sometimes you can hear the other county.
Well that's an even better reason to not go P25 digital. Digital doesn't overcome interference like that. In fact, it will just make it worse.
You should look at change your frequency. That's the only way to fix that kind of problem.
Really old stuff is generally incapable of narrowband... simply because it didn't exist back then. But most public safety quality two-way radios manufactured in the last 10 years can do it. If you post what make/model radio you have, I can tell you if it will do it or not.
so this dosnt affect anyone using lowband (ie 40.00 - 50. 00)
and what is the difference between "narrowband" and uhf/vhf
No effect on low band.
Narrowband is still UHF/VHF. I'll try to explain this in english the best i can. Each frequency takes up a certain amount of bandwidth. Think of a frequency as a stretch of highway. That highway has only one lane in each direction (bandwith). But they are big lanes, way bigger than they need to be. The road is congested and there isn't enough room for all the cars that need to use the road. So rather than one big lane in each direction, the DOT comes in and paints a dotted line down the middle. Now each big lane is split into two smaller lanes. The lanes still work just fine and it has doubled the amount of traffic the road can handle.
Typical UHF frequencies are spaced 25khz apart and each "channel" takes up a chunk above and blow that center frequency. Narrow band cuts that chunk in half. This effectively doubles the amount bandwidth out there for channel allocation.
I agree that TRBO shouldn't be used for public safety as that was not its intended target market and your are completely correct in regards to interoperability. TRBO is propriatery and only a Motorola TRBO capable radios will operate on the system.
Roaming and site switching. It isn't voting as far as i know. It just switches from one repeater site to another. Correct? There is still no such thing is trbo voting.
Correct, it is not a conventional voting system. The mobile and or portable radios select the best repeater site based upon signal quality and error rate and automatically switch frequencies to the appropriate repeater pair with no user intervention. The user simply needs to select the talkgroup they wish to use and the mobile takes care of selecting the actual frequencies to be used. The subscriber unit automatically registers with the site so any traffic (voice or data) intended for that subscriber unit is delivered to the appropriate site(s). It is not voting however, and thus a seperate pair of repeater frequencies is needed for each site (or at least the sites with overlapping coverage areas). To my knowledge a TRBO voting receiver system for the infrastructure side hasn't been developed at this point.
OMG. I can't believe I missed this. CMJONES, Everything MMFIRE has told you about your situation is corect. (The multi site from what I gather does not apply to your situation anyways)
There is NO requirement to go P25, with one caveat. In order to qualify for many grant opportunities you have to comply with your state interoperabilty plan when asking for communications equipment. As an example, in Missouri we have to ask for VHF P25 radios to comply with the state plan. (800 if we are within an UASI area)
You can check with your state office of emergency management to check compliance.
Mototrbo digital is not compliant with any state plan.
Your plan to keep fireground on analog is a good one.
Only unscrupulous Motorola dealers (Or any other manufacturer pushing
their own digital format) are pushing this for public safety, and it is evil.....
Also, Astro is not P25, while Astro 25 is......
But its so much cooler to just say ASTRO! In the case of some /\/\ dealers I know, it is actually spelled ASStro.
I am a new user to your site and have been in the public safety business over 37 years and can help with some of your questions/answers.
First off, the FCC rules on Narrow Band (12.5 khz) IS required by 2013, however, due to the present economy I doubt that it will happen and there is already a movement to get it extended and pending at the FCC.
Even if it does take effect, all you will have to do is change your FCC license Emission designator to 12.5khz and that is just a paper work issue and really inexpensive.
Next you will have to re-program your radios from 25 khz to 12.5 khz on each of your channels that you are licensed on and any channels that you are using for mutual aid (your mutual aid buddies will have to do the same). What this does is change the narrow band tuning of the radio so that you dont hear the 25 khz traffic from others who have not changed. If you dont change and the others do then you will hear any radio traffic that is any where in the 12.5khz area above or below your channel and it will be a mess to listen to.
So to recap, this is really a small issue since most departments have been buying radios from manufacturers who have been making this type of radio for over 6 years or more, you just dont know it. Just have your local radio shop do the programming or buy the software and cables and do it yourself. Its easy to do and I have done it several times in my county.
As far as the P25 Digital requirement, there is NO Requirement for States, Cities, or Counties....only the Federal Govt agencies, and there will probably never be one since it is not any where close to being on the FCC's radar.
Analog radios still have an edge over the Digital as well for range and a few other things like audio quality and sensitivity. Using digital decrease your radio coverage and you must make it up by adding more repeaters or receivers....real expensive.
There is no reason to go to digital unless you want a county-wide or state-wide trunking radio system. At this point you are starting a JPA and starting to apply for grants and raise money to fun $30-50 million just to start, along with years of planning, installations, mountain top site work, law suits from the Green keeper etc.
If you have a requirement to be able to talk with Federal Forestry departments or other Federal agencies who may or may not be on Digital in your area, you simply have them put your mutual aid channel into their radio and have there radio tech program that one channel for 12.5 khz analog operation. (All P25 digital radios are programmable for analog or digital by channel as required by the FCC/APCO P25 rules.)
Stay analog and enjoy yourself. If you need a better radio system to get better coverage that is easy in analog and much less costly than Digital. The equipment it inexpensive, available and reliable.
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them. You may respond to this post or my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
It is worth pointing out that not all radios can simply be reprogrammed to narrow band. A lot of older radios that may still be in use today are not capable of it and will need to be replaced.
Replace your radios (that will not do NB) and be compliant for the switch when it comes and it will come.
It will be 2017 before the "NEW" standard will even be talked about. I guarantee it won't be any current product.
Spending millions of dollars for P25, or any other type of communications that isn't Analog Narrow Band is just throwing money in the wind. Because EVERYTHING is going to change in the next few years.
And I really don't think the FCC is going to delay the 2013 deadline. There have been too many delays so far.
This whole P25 thing is killing me. All grant money has to be spent on P25 equipment but since the radios cost 4 times the price of a similar analog narrowband radio it is impossible for most agencies to use the grant money effectively.
What ****es me off the most is the grants from DHS are for interop and P25 is so freakin far away that the radio I purchase today will be obsolete by the time I need to go to 6.25 digital. P25 has nothing to do with interop.
Did you ever wonder how DHS got it into their little heads that P25 would be the requirment for all grant purchases. Perhaps from the manufacturers of the radio equipment!
I am just frustrated because the grant money we get is about enough to configure 1/3 the fleet over using P25 equipment and we have to come up with the rest. To avoid having a mix of radio types we are having to purchase one style of radio with general fund money and grant money for P25 only.
Our solution was to purchase narrow band portables using city general fund money and grant money for our mobile radios which will be P25. The grant money was enough to offset the mobile purchase so we could afford it. For portables the grant money offset was not enough to go all P25.
We were not going to have a mix of radio types in the dept. One HT and one moblie.
This is another great example of beauracracy run-a-muck