Public Safety P25 v DMR

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W1KNE
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Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by W1KNE »

12dbsinad wrote: 21 Apr 2023 20:55 Only in Maine are we r-------d enough to put public safety on DMR. Clearly this bid is written by RCM, they should just soul source it and cut out all the BS bidding process.
Public Safety on DMR is a lot more common than you think. I can think of at least four other departments off the top of my head using DMR.
Holyoke, MA Fire, Bristol RI PD, Warren RI PD, Block Island (New Shoreham), RI.

I know there are others, just here in New England.
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Re: Buxton Upgrading

Post by 12dbsinad »

W1KNE wrote: 21 Apr 2023 20:59 Public Safety on DMR is a lot more common than you think. I can think of at least four other departments off the top of my head using DMR.
Holyoke, MA Fire, Bristol RI PD, Warren RI PD, Block Island (New Shoreham), RI.

I know there are others, just here in New England.
All it does is create non-interop issues as it locks you in to very few manufacturers who need P25/DMR. P25 is -supposed- to be the public safety standard, that's what all our tax dollars have gone to. Just because agencies are going to it doesn't make it right, we are going backwards in terms of interop. DMR was never intended for public safety, if it was Motorola and Harris would include it in their XL and APX line.
Last edited by 12dbsinad on 21 Apr 2023 21:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buxton Upgrading

Post by mco »

Right. Here in my hometown of Westbrook too. FD and PD are DMR.
W1KNE wrote: 21 Apr 2023 20:59 Public Safety on DMR is a lot more common than you think. I can think of at least four other departments off the top of my head using DMR.
Holyoke, MA Fire, Bristol RI PD, Warren RI PD, Block Island (New Shoreham), RI.

I know there are others, just here in New England.
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Re: Buxton Upgrading

Post by 12dbsinad »

mco wrote: 21 Apr 2023 21:19 Right. Here in my hometown of Westbrook too. FD and PD are DMR.
In Southern Maine all DMR agencies are all RCM customers
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Re: Buxton Upgrading

Post by 12dbsinad »

Looks like this system is going to be analog, with the DMR/P25 dual mode requirement to lock it in to a specific vendor.
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Re: Buxton Upgrading

Post by jbella »

12dbsinad wrote: 21 Apr 2023 21:11 P25 is -supposed- to be the public safety standard,
It's literally why P25 was created. What was it VSLEP and ??? were 2 digital standards initially and common sense initially prevailed to have only 1 standard. Any community that uses DMR for public safety should not be allolwed to recieve federal grants for public safety.
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Re: Buxton Upgrading

Post by garys »

Agencies that are using DMR couldn't get public safety grants. One of the reasons that P25 is so expensive is that the vendors know that there is money out there for upgrades to P25. While it's good to have a standard, grant money drives up costs and puts it outside the budget of agencies that can't get grants.

Grants are very specific in requirements and there are people who make a nice living as consultants helping agencies write grants properly. We had one where I used to work which is why we got a lot of grants. She was well worth whatever she was being paid at the time.
jbella wrote: 22 Apr 2023 07:27 It's literally why P25 was created. What was it VSLEP and ??? were 2 digital standards initially and common sense initially prevailed to have only 1 standard. Any community that uses DMR for public safety should not be allolwed to recieve federal grants for public safety.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by W1KNE »

12dbsinad wrote: 21 Apr 2023 21:11
jbella wrote: 22 Apr 2023 07:27
mco wrote: 21 Apr 2023 21:19
garys wrote: 22 Apr 2023 12:33
Gentlemen, I've split the discussion of P25 v DMR from the Buxton thread, as that thread has gone far off topic, but this is still a good discussion to have.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by wltrsf »

Stow,Ma Police according to the Wiki is also DMR. Worse than that their last Dunkin Donuts closed last September!!!
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by aleckrohto »

Apparently the new Kenwood VP8000 will be able to support P25 and DMR. Not sure if it is available yet.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by AJ1L »

aleckrohto wrote: 22 Apr 2023 20:30 Apparently the new Kenwood VP8000 will be able to support P25 and DMR. Not sure if it is available yet.
DMR has not been released for the VP8000 yet. The only radios currently available that can do both P25 and DMR are the single band Kenwood NX5000 series radios.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by jbella »

How long has Holyoke been using DMR? Before 2019?

They've gotten SAFER grants in at least 2009, 2014 and 2019, and that's looking with just one quick Google search.

It'd be a fun little research project to see how many departments that have worked against interoperability by using DMR et al and have still gotten federal money.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by nhfirefighter »

I believe it only pertains to Assistance to Firefighters grants when the funds are used for the purchase of radio equipment. I also believe the requirements are only for P25 capable. It doesn’t require the agencies to implement P25 voice. This is where RCM is smart from a business perspective (by no means advocating for them). They have a niche product line that is P25 and DMR capable which no other manufacturer can match. This meets the P25 requirements of the grant for portable and mobile subscribers but lets them sell a lower cost infrastructure (ie repeaters) for the individual department needs. If they have a major incident requiring mutual aid resources there are always analog interoperability channels they can operate on.

While I would never do this as it isn’t in the spirit of the P25 standards of the grants it does give RCM a competitive advantage.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by garys »

It also applies to UASI grants and most other public safety grants. The radios have to be P25 capable, even if they operate in analog mode. It all falls under the umbrella of "interoperability." Which became the big thing in public safety after 9/11 and the communications problems with operations at the Pentagon.

Eastern MA was about 35 years ahead of the curve on interoperability. After the 1970s "Harvard Riot" where police agencies were operating on Low band, VHF, and even UHF with no way for officers on scene to communicate directly, the idea of BAPERN was born. I believe it was the brainchild of then Chief Quinn of Newton PD.

It was implement starting in about 1975 with many departments moving to UHF T for operations and a number of interop frequencies as well. The fire service started to implement their version around 1980 when Boston Fire added the first UHF-T channels which eventually replaced the low band and VHF channels they were using.

All of which proves that an effective interop system needs neither to be trunked or even P25 for that matter.
nhfirefighter wrote: 23 Apr 2023 11:52 I believe it only pertains to Assistance to Firefighters grants when the funds are used for the purchase of radio equipment. I also believe the requirements are only for P25 capable. It doesn’t require the agencies to implement P25 voice. This is where RCM is smart from a business perspective (by no means advocating for them). They have a niche product line that is P25 and DMR capable which no other manufacturer can match. This meets the P25 requirements of the grant for portable and mobile subscribers but lets them sell a lower cost infrastructure (ie repeaters) for the individual department needs. If they have a major incident requiring mutual aid resources there are always analog interoperability channels they can operate on.

While I would never do this as it isn’t in the spirit of the P25 standards of the grants it does give RCM a competitive advantage.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by jbella »

garys wrote: 23 Apr 2023 13:15 All of which proves that an effective interop system needs neither to be trunked or even P25 for that matter.
That's the most common sense point which is consistently ignored or advocated against by some manufacturers. The lower the tech, the easier interop becomes. A case in point would be California. While a lot systems are indeed P25 trunked, most have a VHF analog simplex component which ensures (and insures) that at a major incident they may be mobilized to there will be common or preset channels.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by garys »

ecps92 and I agree that MSP missed a great opportunity when they failed to combine the RMV, MDC, and MSP low band systems into one repeater network! ;)
jbella wrote: 23 Apr 2023 14:01 That's the most common sense point which is consistently ignored or advocated against by some manufacturers. The lower the tech, the easier interop becomes. A case in point would be California. While a lot systems are indeed P25 trunked, most have a VHF analog simplex component which ensures (and insures) that at a major incident they may be mobilized to there will be common or preset channels.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by ecps92 »

and MEP/DLE
garys wrote: 23 Apr 2023 15:45 ecps92 and I agree that MSP missed a great opportunity when they failed to combine the RMV, MDC, and MSP low band systems into one repeater network! ;)
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by W1KNE »

ecps92 wrote: 23 Apr 2023 19:11and MEP/DLE
And the registry police.... oh wait.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by garys »

I included RMV in my post. Capitol Police UHF channel went to BPD.

Has anyone ever heard any traffic on the Environmental Police Low Band channels?

The problem with the Environmental Police was that there were some federal money issues regarding wrapping game wardens into another agency. I forget the details since it's been 30+ years. Same with the Transit Police, which the MSP also mentioned as part of the merger.

Transit police fall under federal law for "rail road police" or something. Which is part of why they can go into RI.

More useless trivia is that Transit police officers go through a municipal academy and then have an additional railroad police academy. Or at least used to. I think that the Transit police academy in Quincy is a fully accredited academy and takes in officers from other departments for the regular academy.

Fonts of useless knowledge, that's what we are. ;)
W1KNE wrote: 23 Apr 2023 21:01 And the registry police.... oh wait.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by scannermaster »

I used to listen to Environmental PD on low band often. Since they switched to the state trunking system not so much but I know for at least a while they kept both systems up. They're very chatty for a small agency.

Speaking of interoperability, just watched American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing on Netflix. There was discussion how departments had no way to communicate with one another which of course wasn't true. I distinctly remember BAPERN and other channels being used during the chaotic night in Watertown but still Watertown PD officers had no idea they were in a shootout with the Marathon bombers until after it was over. There were other examples I remember of information not passing between departments....but then again events were just moving so fast. There was also a lot of discussion how law enforcement just showed up in Watertown from all over with little command and control. That seemed to clearly be the case.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by jbella »

Command and Control from the national perspective is non existant around here. Using 'The C Word' on the fireground does not mean you are acually using ICS, yet 95% of fire departments do exactly that (I detest using ICS on 90% of fires but that wold be a whole 'nother thread). And police are even worse when it comes to that. Local control is overarching in this state.

And I've heard anecdotally that federal agents just come in and do what they want anyway, no Unified Command or rigid structure will keep them from doing what they think suits their interest the best.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by Lynskey 85 »

scannermaster wrote: 23 Apr 2023 21:35 There was discussion how departments had no way to communicate with one another which of course wasn't true. I distinctly remember BAPERN and other channels being used during the chaotic night in Watertown but still Watertown PD officers had no idea they were in a shootout with the Marathon bombers until after it was over. There were other examples I remember of information not passing between departments....but then again events were just moving so fast. There was also a lot of discussion how law enforcement just showed up in Watertown from all over with little command and control. That seemed to clearly be the case.
There certainly were examples of agencies that couldn't communicate with each other. Remember, there was law enforcement from all over New England that was part of this. Even the response from Central MA was mostly in the dark. Virtually no one in central MA at the time had BAPERN programmed in and even today, I'm not sure many if any do. Central MA has been and continues to be heavy on VHF, particularly south of Worcester. But at least now, CEMLEC has multi-band portables which I believe all have BAPREN channels in them, but they did not back then.

The CEMLEC Bearcat ended up in Watertown not because they knew what was going on, but because they saw a steady line of police vehicles responding so hopped in the parade and found themselves at ground zero.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by W1KNE »

Lynskey 85 wrote: 24 Apr 2023 20:57 There certainly were examples of agencies that couldn't communicate with each other. Remember, there was law enforcement from all over New England that was part of this. Even the response from Central MA was mostly in the dark.
This is a big argument in favor of those statewide trunking systems, such as RISCON.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by garys »

It seems that some of the agencies that weren't able to communicate on scene probably shouldn't have been on scene. Everyone wants to go to "The Big One" even if aren't needed and will only screw up the operation.

That's not limited to police agencies. After the WTC towers were hit in 2001, EMS and fire agencies saddled up and drove to New York City even though they had no role in the disaster plan.

Even before that, when Avianca Flight 052 went down on Long Island in 1990, so many emergency vehicles responded to the single lane road that led to the crash site that no one could get in our out. That delayed evacuation of the injured to the point where helicopters were called in to evacuate some people. The Wikipedia article glosses over this part, but I attended a presentation on this and traffic control was cited as a major issue.

That's why the MSP locks down Logan very tightly anytime there is an incident on the runways.

Watertown was supposed to be a joint BPD, MSP, and FBI operation, but it ended up being much bigger. BPD SWAT, the MSP STOP Team and FBI SWAT out of Boston were there and would have been plenty of troops, but the number of agencies that showed up kept swelling.

It wasn't a radio problem, it was a lack of discipline problem.

I'll say that from my observation, the fire service is much more organized than Law Enforcement when it comes to major incidents. Even with a major disaster like the Brockton Hospital fire and evacuation, no one free lanced. Agencies from all over the state sent units and that included chiefs from several departments. Everyone worked within the ICS system as designed.

You can have the most sophisticated radio system on the planet and it will be useless if responders don't stick to the plan.
Lynskey 85 wrote: 24 Apr 2023 20:57 There certainly were examples of agencies that couldn't communicate with each other. Remember, there was law enforcement from all over New England that was part of this. Even the response from Central MA was mostly in the dark. Virtually no one in central MA at the time had BAPERN programmed in and even today, I'm not sure many if any do. Central MA has been and continues to be heavy on VHF, particularly south of Worcester. But at least now, CEMLEC has multi-band portables which I believe all have BAPREN channels in them, but they did not back then.

The CEMLEC Bearcat ended up in Watertown not because they knew what was going on, but because they saw a steady line of police vehicles responding so hopped in the parade and found themselves at ground zero.
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Re: Public Safety P25 v DMR

Post by MrSvenSven »

W1KNE wrote: 25 Apr 2023 09:51 This is a big argument in favor of those statewide trunking systems, such as RISCON.
The other major advantage of the statewide trunking systems is that talkgroups are practically unlimited and can be created as needed. CoMIRS has dozens of available LPS, SOPS, EVENT, etc. channels while the conventional UHF systems only have one or two wide area channels.
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