Thread: P25 VHF Radios

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    Default P25 VHF Radios

    I'm looking for advice, good-bad-and otherwise, on P25 VHF radios-both portables and mobiles. The dept. currently uses VHF analog for 2-tone paging and voice communications. County is putting in new P25 compatable system, will be analog for now later switching to digital. We still want to use portable radios for receiving pages. Does anyone make a P25 compatable radio that does this?

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    Kenwood has a new radio coming up similar to the existing 90 series hand helds that is for P25.

    Be patient, there is not a lot of stuff out there right yet. In my opinion most departments that are doing conversions to it right now are completely jumping the gun. (I also work in a commercial radio shop.) In fact we just replaced an old repeater with a new non-P25 one because we see no use for P25 here in the near future. I think the salesmen are doing their job a little too well in this case

    Birken

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    P25 digital modulation does not support two-tone paging. The P25 a/d conversion process was specifically tailored for voice...not tones. If you try to send standard two-tone paging over a p25 radio in digital mode you will hear something that might resemble a paging tone, but it will sound terrible and warbled. There is no such thing as a P25 pager. Paging ifrastructure will need to remain analog.

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    I wish I had the first-hand experience with the Kenwood model to tell you what it can and can not do.

    P25 compatible simply means it meets a set of standards to do certain things or is easily made to do certain things. The big thing is digital modulation. For example, you can get a base station that is P25 complient. You don't need to buy the P25 componets if you aren't going to be using it immidiately. The point is, you can slide a card into it and flash some new firmware for $8,000 and you're talking in digital. On the same token, you can get portable radios that are physcially capable of doing digital modulation. You still don't need to use it. You can keep using everying in the clear and not worry about anything.

    Long story short, as long as you do not actually use the digital modulation, you will see no ill-effects on your tone paging.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Thanks for the replys so far! This is what I'm up against, we currently use portable radios to receive our pages, but with the additional new emergency services channel(s) we no longer will have enough radio channels for our aid departments, and our fire operations channel. I have heard that if you use the radio as a pager WITH talk back capabilities, then this can be used as a Federal Fire Grant item. Any truth to this???

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    I forgot to add that I was asking about regular analog radios, that would qualify since they are used in the capacity of a pager.
    Sorry

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    I don't think P25 has anything to do with tone paging at all. If P25 complience is a requirement, then you will need to buy a radio that IS P25 complient. In other words, a radio that isn't P25 complient can not be purchased anyway by saying "we use it for paging".

    For what it's worth, I whole-heartedly agree that forcing P25 down our conventional throats sucks and is a huge waste of money. We are conventional. We are UHF or VHF. No one here or around us is using digital in VHF or UHF. No one is going to be. There is no reason for anyone to do so. We would gain NOTHING from it. It is interoperable as is.

    Now, if you are going to a trunking format, it makes sense for the sake of interoperability standards.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Originally posted by 247365
    Thanks for the replys so far! This is what I'm up against, we currently use portable radios to receive our pages, but with the additional new emergency services channel(s) we no longer will have enough radio channels for our aid departments, and our fire operations channel. I have heard that if you use the radio as a pager WITH talk back capabilities, then this can be used as a Federal Fire Grant item. Any truth to this???
    We got a federal fire grant for all new radios a couple years ago simply by stating that since the feds had mandated narrow bandwidth for their agencies, we needed new radios since we need to interoperate with them. Most of our radios at the time were late 80s/early 90s vintage Midlands, 1s, 2s, and XTRs. That was before P25 was really out there in any meaningful way.

    Maybe you could use this sort of thing to justify a grant? But otherwise I agree P25 is probably a waste of money for an already cash-strapped fire department and at the least you could just wait a few years until there are more options in hardware and things are a bit cheaper.

    My boss at the radio shop likes to complain about this sort of money-wasting new standards garbage. He says "they must just be trying to keep the economy going"

    Birken

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    I read in the grant info that they will only allow for one portable for each seating position on your appratus, and one mobile for each piece of appratus, with certain exceptions of course. They don't explain if the portables need to be left in the rig or not. Has anyone ran into problems with this? We are a volly dept. and the guys keep the portables with them, none are in the trucks.

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    Well, if you "buy them for the rig" and then later decided to do something else with them, I don't think they are going to send in secret investigators to keep track. I wouldn't worry too much about that.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    It's my impression that the one per seating position is just the Grant Program's way of making sure people arn't buying far more portables than is really needed. I'm sure that the AFG program isn't going to dictate department SOP and tell you that they must be stored in apparatus.
    Rick Gustad - Chief
    Platte Volunteer Fire Department
    www.plattevfd.com

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