In Michigan, there is enough overlap that a site could go dark (IED knocking 300 ft tower down?) and the smart radios can find the next strongest signal and lock back onto the 800 mHz statewide network..
Most counties in the state (my county is a glaring exception) have signed onto the system and can intercommunicate whenever it is necessary..
Last edited by K8JD; 07-27-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Kansas City, MO had the same problems with their trunked system. Firefighters couldn't hear each other, or their local commanders on the scene about half the time. They were supposed to fix it, but I don't know if they ever did.
It seems like the more complex a communications system is, the more likely it will fail. Maybe it's time to go back to good ol' analog systems. At least an HT and a fist full of AAs will keep you reliably on the air in an emergency.
Steve, I like that! I might have to steal it.
Originally Posted by K4YZ
I heard it was an air conditioner in the site that failed causing it to overheat. Not sure why there wasn't two AC units like we run. One fails the other kicks on. That could cause problems on any system.
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Since 2003 DHS through its Public Safety Interoperability Communications grants has given local public safety agencies billions in grants.....problem is, most public safety agencies know little about communications other than "they need it to work". In come the vendors with razzle-dazzle about newest state of the art stuff and the locals get hooked often w/o any clue what they are really buying. It results in such things as going to 800 meg trunked systems in regions where every pine needle in the forest absorbs those 800 meg radio waves and guess what, the system doesn't work. Other agencies, more fortunate to actually have a little communications expertise in house are not so easily dazzled and they wind up buying an upgraded system that actually works. There are literally dozens of stories of mega buck systems (Phoenix Fire, State of Oregon, etc.) which do not perform as advertised. Not a big surprise really to those who have been following this issue.
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User education is a must. I watch our first responders trying to use their radios with the microphone cables wrapped around the rubber duck antennas and wonder why no one can hear them. I asked one of them about it and they told me that they were told to do this so the cables would look neater and not snag on obsticles. Or recently they had a house surounded and some were lying on the ground with the radio buried between them and the ground and the folk on the othe side of the house couldn't hear them. Hummmm, wonder why!!!
There were many problems getting the 800MHZ trunked system to work down here. The stuff works fine in the city and in the outlying cities, but get into the east county and nothing problems for the first couple of years....
Originally Posted by N7WR
As you might expect there were considerable cost overruns when the SanDiego county component of the RCS was up and running....
Knowing that Oregon had a reasonavbly well running UHF system for the state police I can only imagine the trouble they had getting decent coverage from their 800MHZ gear...
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Their radios were probably 10 meter HF rigs. LOL
First of all, the equipment shut down protected the equipment from self destroying for the over heated condition, as one other commenter said, why were there not 2 air conditioners? I suppose it is possible there were but both failed. The article noted there have been coverage problems since 2011 when the system was installed. Usually these systems are designed by consultants independent of the equipment vendor. The engineering may not have designed the system adequately enough. Because low powered hand held are being used, there may be the need for additional receive sites. While $18 million dollars seems like a lot for a system, It may not have been enough to aquire equipment to achieve the reliability of a city like Oakland. The county I live in, with a population of 225,000 just spent $14.5 Million for a trunked system. While the geographical area is much smaller in Oakland, they probably have many more trunk channels than we have here. At this point, I don't think it would be fair to point fingers at the vendor of the equipment, the politicians need to step back and allow persons in the know solve this problem.