Thread: radio grants

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    Default radio grants

    Our dept. along with 2 others have been talking about getting a repeater or something similiar to that. and also going to a new freq. as our's right now is way too crowded, and with some that I believe might be pushing a little too much power, as we can't even talk to our dispatch less than 3 miles away without being walked over by a few other dispatchers. had this happen the other night being out on a major fire, and couldn't even contact dispatch b/c of them. Was wondering if there was any grants or anything to help us out with this? we have talked to some people and they told us that the interoperability grant is just for 800 mhz. we are on the 154. mhz band right now and would like to stay in that band range so we can still communicate with some other neighboring depts. as we do run a lot of mutual aid with them.

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    One option you have, when there are multiple departments sharing the same frequency, is to add a private line (PL) to the frequency. This helps solve the problem with other departments cutting you out etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    One option you have, when there are multiple departments sharing the same frequency, is to add a private line (PL) to the frequency. This helps solve the problem with other departments cutting you out etc.
    onebugle, I have thought about that, forgot to put in the original post that we can't even talk portable to portable even when less than 2 miles away from each other, so I think we need something more than just a pl on the freq.

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    Most any of the federal grants for radios require the radios to be compliant with the respective states interoperabilty plan. You should contact your
    states emergency management agency to see what that is. There is NO federal mandate that 800 is the interoperabile solution.

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    That can be a regional project for next year's AFG grant for you. IF you can get all the players to sign off on it. The one problem you will have is getting the freq's you need. I would contact your local radio rep and get that started now. FCC is a large slow wheel to turn. Also any new freq's request will be under the new narrow band standard and that will probably mean you having to replace radios if they are more than a couple of years old. Another thing to ask your radio guy.
    I am dealing with this on a coumty wide, all discipline basis right now. All fire, ems, LE on the same system. Narrow band and trunked with microwave. Don't trunk unless you really need too. Complicates things.
    My head hurts...

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    You can do a regional project..... The repeater is a good avenue to pursue, however you need to work with radio folks and get a good clean pair of freqs, and figure out where to put up a few reciever sites...

    Have you looked into vehicle repeaters to try and overcome some coverage issues?

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    Are you on a narrow band frequency now? If not then I would definitely sight that as a need. Talk about future FCC regulations that are going to require everyone to switch to narrow band. Regional projects are a great venue but take a lot of committment. Talk to Kurt...he's the man when it comes to regional commo projects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    One option you have, when there are multiple departments sharing the same frequency, is to add a private line (PL) to the frequency. This helps solve the problem with other departments cutting you out etc.
    I can't stress enough how bad of an idea this can be. If it's to block out a distant department or to reduce interference from occasional skip, fine. But different PL tones on the same frequency in the same area is a recipe for disaster. A PL tone masks interference, it does not make it go away. Let me repeat. PL tones do not remove interference, they only mask it . Without a PL, at least you know when you're getting walked on. When you add PL, you don't know when you're getting walked on or when you're walking on someone else. The result is missed communications without any indication of why the call was missed, which leads to incorrectly placed blame (my radio is broken) and other problems.

    Andy

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    From what I am reading on the PSIC, you do not have to "switch" to 800, oyu must be "compatible with it". The bridges and gateways fomr low and high band are now available to make that a relatively seemless operation; IE the CEDAP ICRI. For those interested there is usppose dot be a webcast form NTIA of their meeting on June 4th where the RFP guidlines are going to be set. Check their website on the morning of June 4th to get the webcast site.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Default Radio Project

    Our Fire department did a similar project a few years back and we got a grant through our forester, the cost was round $15,000.

    To get a pair of frequencies coordinated go to this page and contact the advisor for your area. http://www.apcointl.org/download/frequency_advisors.pdf

    This person will be familiar with the frequencies in use in your area. Once you give this adviser the coordinates of the site that you are planning for the repeater he will have the software to give you the Power that you can operate on. ERP- Effective Radiated Power, this is dependent on the height of your site and the surrounding elevations. The advisor should be able to give you some options in the way of frequencies for your site. APCO can process the paper work for the FCC.
    We are located in a congested area. We ended up getting a pair VHF frequencies out of the road safety pool. We had to go to the AAA coordinator for this pool. These are frequencies that were reserved for tow trucks but most are using Nextel’s these days so we found a clean set.

    You mentioned that you could not reach your current repeater that was 2 miles out? Was this because there are other mobiles broadcasting on the same frequency that you are? The problem with VHF there is only about 4 old taxi frequencies have a matched pair, the rest are mixed “whatever worked in the area that’s what was used”. The rest of the bands UHF, 700, 800 have matched pairs. I think when the narrow band VHF frequencies came out they should have gave them matched pairs.

    In our system our site can hear the portables about 60 miles out. This system works better than county dispatchers with their multiple voter receiver sites. Our repeater site has a noise floor of almost zero. So the site can hear, we are running a window filter and an Angle Linear pre amp on the receiver, that pre amp made a really big difference. To keep a low noise floor we are using 10in cavities on our vhf transmit side. On our UHF we are running double 8 in to make sure we do not get any side band noise.

    I hope this helps.

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    Default Frequency Coordinator

    If you don't go with frequencies in the PW pool. This coordinator is one of the best in the biz.

    http://www.landmobile.com/index.cfm

    http://www.apcointl.com/frequency/

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    Default Frequency Coordinator

    If you don't go with frequencies in the PW pool. This coordinator at FIT is one of the best in the biz.

    http://www.landmobile.com/index.cfm

    For the PW Pool

    http://www.apcointl.com/frequency/

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFDFFD View Post
    If you don't go with frequencies in the PW pool. This coordinator is one of the best in the biz.

    http://www.landmobile.com/index.cfm

    http://www.apcointl.com/frequency/
    Absolutely. FITS rules. The folks there will help in any
    way for licensing.

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