1. #26
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    We are looking into doing a regional grant but are confused if we will meet the requirements. We are looking at three departments together; possibly four depts; with an area of 75 square miles to 100 sq. miles. We all need radios within the same system. Are we able to meet the requirements? Anyone who would be kind enough, i would appreciate a copy of your radio interoperablitly grant. Please send to sandy3810@windstream.net. My Chief decided at the last minute we needed radios, there went my narrative! Now several other depts in our quadrant want the same. So we are trying to decide if we can do a regional grant or not. Thanks to all for your help and best of luck this year. Thank you

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    Regional is two or more neighboring applicants. They tried to say 2 departments doesn't work but in some areas I work with that's 900 square miles. And I have 5 somewhere else that total 14 square miles.

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    Angry

    Just saw this on another web news server. Kinda goes along with our discussions here. Departments will be forced to buy into this system and fund it on their own budgets.



    Tue, Mar 17 2009

    Published: March 16, 2009 11:31 pm

    Bill designed to create state radio system worries local officials about the cost burden

    By Bridget Nash, Staff Writer
    Local emergency management officials are concerned about a bill recently passed by the Oklahoma Senate.

    Senate Bill 1153 is designed to allow the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security create a state radio system on which all police, fire, EMS and emergency management officials will operate.

    “There’s an 800 megahertz radio system that is already installed along I-44,” said Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer. “That’s the band your cell phone operates on.”

    Lehenbauer said the bill would mandate the state expand that particular system.

    “The Office of Homeland Security wants to put in a statewide communication system ... over the 800 MHz band,” he said. “We (currently) talk on a lower frequency ... it travels a lot further, plus it’s a lot less expensive.”

    The first step in implementing the new system would be building more towers to expand the desired frequency.

    “The infrastructure alone is going to be expensive,” said Gary Naugle Jr., a volunteer firefighter in Lahoma and the town’s emergency management director.

    Lehenbauer said it is not just the towers that will be expensive. New radios will be required statewide, and that cost might be put upon the municipalities.

    “You can only run the (proposed system) using one brand of radio,” he said.

    Lehenbauer said radios he currently uses run on a 130 MHz radio system and cost between $300 and $400. Radios on the new system would cost approximately $4,500 each.

    “If they get this statewide system, they’re going to leave it up to local communities to buy the radios,” Lehenbauer said.

    Garfield County Emergency Management Director Mike Honigsberg said the current tri-county communications system covering Garfield, Grant and Alfalfa counties works well and reaches out beyond the area.

    “We have worked hard to get this system doing what it’s doing now, and we’re going to be enhancing it in the near future,” he said.

    “The system that we have seems to work quite well right now,” said Naugle.

    Lehenbauer said emergency management departments across the state and the nation are continuing to work to find ways to enhance communications. Some of the possibilities they are working on include Internet and satellite radio capabilities.

    But Honigsberg said being under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security could hinder efforts of emergency management departments in the state.

    Rep. Mike Jackson, R-Enid, said according to Senate fiscal staff, the new system would not use any money from the state budget. Fire departments, law enforcement, EMS and emergency management departments would have to use their federal dollars to fund the upgrades.

    Jackson also said it is his understanding the new system would not be required immediately, but any purchases after the new system is set up would have to fall under Homeland Security guidelines.

  4. #29
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    Geeez. Oklahoma. State that already has two statewide systems building out, the Department of Public Safety P25 system, 800 MHZ, and the OKDOT system in LTR format.

    Lots of fire departments already on the DPS system.

    And yet another system?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    So you're saying that Ritron is not a good option for public safety communications? C'mon now. They do two-tone decode and only cost $110.00 with shipping. They are perfect!!!

    I swear to god. One of the local motorola dealers actually told our PD that the Quantar is not available in analog anymore.
    Ritron invented public safety grade! Along with Relm and Tekk!

    Ok, now that lightning is about to strike.......

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    Ok, turns out that IS the DPS radio system, and the bill is just to expand it.

    And yes, they are expecting fire departments to get federal money to buy equipment to go on the system.

    Amazing....

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    So what happens if the money train dries up from the feds and the poor volunteer fire department with a 20k per year operating budget can't afford these big dollar radios?? Are they going to be left behind in the dust without local communications?

    If a statewide system requires that you use a specific radio then the system should be providing them.
    As someone said in an earlier comment ,these systems sound a lot like political graft when contracts are issued.

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    Island, that about sums it up. There is no provision for state funding for radios for fire departments in OK.

    It totally amazes me that they have two statewide systems building out.

    Now, they did do some things really well. The area around Tulsa is covered by a jointly built state/Tulsa system. Because they used the same technology, it works really well.

    Now, OKC has Provoice - which means nothing is interoperable there except Provoice. That was not a state decision however, it was an OKC decision.

    BUT, OKC does have cattlemens steaks. The best durned steakhouse in the world, and I am a common sewer of steak.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Ritron invented public safety grade! Along with Relm and Tekk!

    Ok, now that lightning is about to strike.......
    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!! (That was great)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Island, that about sums it up. There is no provision for state funding for radios for fire departments in OK.

    It totally amazes me that they have two statewide systems building out.

    Now, they did do some things really well. The area around Tulsa is covered by a jointly built state/Tulsa system. Because they used the same technology, it works really well.

    Now, OKC has Provoice - which means nothing is interoperable there except Provoice. That was not a state decision however, it was an OKC decision.

    BUT, OKC does have cattlemens steaks. The best durned steakhouse in the world, and I am a common sewer of steak.....
    Islandfire's posting about Oklahoma lawmakers passing off to local jurisdictions the high dollar expense will be interesting to watch. They say radio interoperability is based more on a culture other than technology and I say that that theory will be put to the test in Oklahoma.

    Is this a legislator that is not up to reality with this or could it be a maneuver to acquire more funding for the state? For this to really be implemented the funding would have to be guaranteed to fund local jurisdictions only and keep guidelines in place to assure that the funds do not go to the state agencies. The Homeland Security Grants Program funding for interoperability is primarily going to state agencies and not the county or local jurisdictions. It would be unfair and impractical to require the counties and cities to pay for such expensive equipment. Interesting to say the least.

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    Guys, I have no clue what are the real/correct requirments for interoperbility for 2013, if I understand what threads have been posted. As some of you know, I am in code inforcement.

    Could some of the radio Guru's explain in lamens terms what exactly are the requirments and what is needed and what is not. We operate on a frequency of 154.370 mhz. for our communications with a repeater

    morgancity
    mark stephens

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    Your confusing 2 different issues.

    2013 is the public safety deadline for migration of all VHF-Hi and UHF radio communication to narrowband operation. This requirement is completely unrelated and has nothing to do with interoperability, P25, digital, trunking, regional, grants, or any other communication related "project". There is no mandate or deadline for anyone to do any of those things, despite what some crooks try to sell.

    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 (bandwidth). 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. You can remain on your existing frequency. You just need radios that are capable of narrowband and to operate in that mode.


    There is no such thing as a deadline for interoperability or anything like that.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Morgan City:
    As NM said , the only thing you have to do right now is plan to be narrow band 12.5 mhz by 2013. If you have purchased any radios in the last few years they probably are already capable of this. The heads up is so that you have time to plan to get your radio license changed and to start buying radios that are narrow band capable.
    A lot of the argument we used for our grant app was that the majority of our portable & mobile radios could not be narrow banded and also only had 4-8 channels so we could not program them to be
    "interoperable"
    with our neighboring departments that we provide & receive mutual aid with.

    That is what we needed to be interoperable according to our States guidelines.We also now have the channel capacity to communicate with the coast guard and marine patrol when we are involved in calls on the ocean, in addition to access to about 15 statewide channels that allows us to communicate on a regional basis.

    If you are applying for AFG money for radios that is what they want to hear.
    That is all we needed to solve the majority of our problems
    As several of us have stated DON"T listen to a snakeoil radio salesman telling you that you have to spend a lot of money to buy his product until you do your homework.

  14. #39
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    Ok, last time I made a post that had the least little bit of criticism of one of the advertisers in the magazine, my thread was deleted by the moderator and I was admonished by the moderator to "be professional". My thread disappeared like something swallowed it up, consuming it with a great set of JAWS.

    But, I digress.

    With all the confusion about narrowbanding, digital, rebanding, etc, we would expect an industry magazine to ensure their writers got it right. Even more so, we would expect the Editor in Chief of that magazine to take pains to ensure that it was very clear in his writing what exactly changing rules mean to the Fire Service.

    I enjoy reading Mr Eisner's writing. Most of it hits dead on. But on page 14 of the march issue, its not clear. At first blush, and asking some non-technical people to read it also, it appears to state that the industry has responded to narrowbanding by making digital radios. That made the non-technical people I showed the article to down a merry path - thinking that the FCC was requiring digital radios to narrowband.

    Manufacturers were offering digital radios BEFORE any talk of narrowbanding.

    APCO 25 was started in 1989. Narrowbanding was adopted in 2004.

    I talked to one county in PA, that was told by their local radio shop that
    they were going to have to change their entire radio system - their low band
    system - due to narrowbanding. (Hint - narrowbanding does not apply to
    low band - and any shop that claimed it did is either too stupid to be a radio shop, or is looking to scre* their customers)

    I guess my point is - who does the Fire Service rely on for the proper information? Many of our trade magazines can't seem to get it right, many of our radio shops can't seem to get it right, who can?

    Some of us in the business are trying to get the word out. Some of us also are life long radio geeks, as kids hiding under the covers with our radios, trying to "catch" that distant station. We know the rules, and the impact. But we can't seem to get it out to the masses.

    I feel like someone is really failing the masses out there, and that someone is?

    We have got to do a better job of communications. Not radio communications, but communications. Mr Eisner, please don't take offense, your article just happened to be the most current one I ran across.

    Sleep. I need sleep! (Grin)

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    Thanks for the information! If anyone would like to add to this pot of information please continue. That's why these forums are such a wealth of info.

    301 I have the new issue of firehouse on my desk, but have not had time to read it. I did find the issue and looked at the page and will read it shortly.

    thanks again,

    mark

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    So if our frequency is 154.370 mhz, how is it possible to be in that 25 mhz band?

    ms

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    Yours is a 25 kHz wide channel, centered on 154.370 MHz.

    To extend the analogy from above, if you were dead center on the radio highway, your GPS would read 154.370 MHz. But, if you go 12.5 kHz (half of 25 kHz) to the left or to the right, you would still be on the highway. With the narrowbanding, you would only go 6.25 kHz to the left or right and the FCC will have space to put another highway next to yours.
    Apu
    http://www.SpringfieldFAS.org/
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    "The views expressed are my own."

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    Ah ha! thanks

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    The channel spacing and bandwidth in VHF-Hi (150/160 range) is a little different than UHF(450/460 range). The concept is the same, but the numbers are a little different.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    We were awarded for communications in 2007. We ended up going with Icom, mostly due to price. I was caught in the trap of priced analog, needed P-25. (I feel stupid about it in hindsight but it happened.) So far our guys have had nothing but good to say about the Icoms. They were also the only radios I could find that are P-25, that can be made to work in a LTR trunked system which our County has talked about going to. They are also submersible in water (not that anyone in the fire service would ever do that). All this and they were about the same price as Motorola's and Kenwood's analog radios.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 99mtk35 View Post
    ...that can be made to work in a LTR trunked system which our County has talked about going to.
    Oh god. What radio dealer is trying to sell you that?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Oh god. What radio dealer is trying to sell you that?
    It came from the County Coordinator, not 100% positive of who gave him the idea, so better not to say, even though I have a good idea. I think we are by that idea now, and on to better ones (they realized they would NEVER get any grant money toward it.) But at the time they were proposing it and I didn't want to buy 35 radios that would be useless to us in a year!

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    Icoms are great around water. Water enviroment is what made Icom. As long as you didn't drop it overboard in a thousand feet of blue water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Ok, last time I made a post that had the least little bit of criticism of one of the advertisers in the magazine, my thread was deleted by the moderator and I was admonished by the moderator to "be professional". My thread disappeared like something swallowed it up, consuming it with a great set of JAWS.

    But, I digress.

    With all the confusion about narrowbanding, digital, rebanding, etc, we would expect an industry magazine to ensure their writers got it right. Even more so, we would expect the Editor in Chief of that magazine to take pains to ensure that it was very clear in his writing what exactly changing rules mean to the Fire Service.

    I enjoy reading Mr Eisner's writing. Most of it hits dead on. But on page 14 of the march issue, its not clear. At first blush, and asking some non-technical people to read it also, it appears to state that the industry has responded to narrowbanding by making digital radios. That made the non-technical people I showed the article to down a merry path - thinking that the FCC was requiring digital radios to narrowband.

    Manufacturers were offering digital radios BEFORE any talk of narrowbanding.

    APCO 25 was started in 1989. Narrowbanding was adopted in 2004.

    I talked to one county in PA, that was told by their local radio shop that
    they were going to have to change their entire radio system - their low band
    system - due to narrowbanding. (Hint - narrowbanding does not apply to
    low band - and any shop that claimed it did is either too stupid to be a radio shop, or is looking to scre* their customers)

    I guess my point is - who does the Fire Service rely on for the proper information? Many of our trade magazines can't seem to get it right, many of our radio shops can't seem to get it right, who can?

    Some of us in the business are trying to get the word out. Some of us also are life long radio geeks, as kids hiding under the covers with our radios, trying to "catch" that distant station. We know the rules, and the impact. But we can't seem to get it out to the masses.

    I feel like someone is really failing the masses out there, and that someone is?

    We have got to do a better job of communications. Not radio communications, but communications. Mr Eisner, please don't take offense, your article just happened to be the most current one I ran across.

    Sleep. I need sleep! (Grin)
    Better not get deleted. To me, that flat out expressed what I've been encountering. It also seems that much of the 'professional opinions' have an agenda favoring a manufacturer. There's a lot of layers within all this.

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    Island and LVFD,

    Could each of you send me an e-mail at theallisonfamily@sbcglobal.net? I have a communications project I am working on and would like some technical input but don't want to tie up the forums with all of our data. Thanks!

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