Franklin County FRCOG (transition to CoMIRS)

Discussion forum for scanning Western Massachusetts, including the cities of Springfield, Pittsfield, Holyoke,
and all cities and towns within the counties of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin.
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sawyer100
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Location: Western Worcester Cnty, MA

Franklin County FRCOG (transition to CoMIRS)

Post by sawyer100 »

All:

Rumored that this or next year (a future proposed project & who's know what exact date), the current Franklin Cnty Police simulcast will be abandoned/discontinued by FRCOG and switched over to the MSP P25 digital system, following the same identical pattern of Hampshire Cnty Police (but that system is VHF -vs- Franklin Cnty is UHF).

current:
460.3500 Rptr PL 173.8

I don't have any knowledge of any current P25 talkgroup ID for "Franklin Cnty PD's .?.

Allegedly, the FRCOG UHF standalone UHF rptrs will remain in place, but the UHF simulcast, which has been plagued with technical issues many years now, will be shut off. Simulcast radio systems are very expensive to maintain, is the opinion of a Google search. When I have been listening, the simulcast sounds off frequency & has poor audio quality (this is general listening driving around Franklin Cnty).

I don't know if the Franklin Cnty Fire will be switched over to 800MHz. I was only shared just the police for starters.

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

It is being done as part of the P25 part of the CoMIRS project. PD & FD will change over if it can be done to the satisfaction of the county folks. Patches of the UHF are running on the 800 now. There is an issue with system capacity on the B North Simulcast according to the latest update. I would expect Phase 2 will be one of the answers.
Radios are being offered to the PDs & FDs on a 1 to 1 swap basis with any upgrades paid for by the individual agencies. This offer is statewide to any municipality moving onto the system.

As of a month or so ago, but I cannot get the P25 so I cannot verify the state of it now.
TGs and source of patched traffic
2290 "FC FD Simul 1" ; 460.4000, 173.8
2292 "FC PD Simul 2" ; 460.3500, 173.8
2295 "FC Greenfield 1" ; 460.5250, 151.4 Greenfield PD
2298 "FC Montague 2"; 453.9875, 156.7
2300 "New Salem 1" ; 453.2875, 156.7 talking to Station C5
2306 "FC Shelburne 1" ; 453.4750, 206.5, GFD using this?
2310 FC FD/EMS Dispatch Tones, no voice

chris

sawyer100
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by sawyer100 »

nice, thanks.. I will add those talkgroups into my scanner. I found some P25 talkgroup ID's in this wiki (i.e. FRCOG, WMLEC & BAPERN) but not others. and Fire Depts will be done as well. Thank you for that FD update!

could you clarify the swap, one-on-one basis. If that the town turns in a current/former UHF mobile or portable, and get a 800MHz one in return? or any band (i.e. low band) unused radio, for a brand new 800MHz one? I'm asking because it was shared with me, if they take away your current band radio, they give you a new 800Mhz, which helps "get rid of" the radios that could potentially talk on the existing system (you are planning on shutting down, per se). just curious..

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

Franklin County has been looking at alternatives for a long time. In the last year, the CoMIRS option seemed to be gaining steam. The had done surveys that included inventory of existing radios. The state won a court case and got the new phone fee in place to fund improvements to the radio system. Back in September, they released a brief Powerpoint presentation regarding the radio plans (available online).
I had posted that Phase 2 might be the answer to capacity issues but I meant that going to Phase 2 earlier might be the answer. The system, when completed, will be P2.

The FCROG update from January 2020:

Since the September 5th countywide meeting, EOTSS has been busy finalizing their engineering study for the statewide CoMIRS project. This study is taking a bit longer than expected, but that is partially due to change orders that EOTSS requested from the vendor for additional engineering to ensure that the migration of Franklin County to CoMIRS happens efficiently and to determine the best way to use pagers on the CoMIRS system.

EOTSS has discovered that there may be a capacity shortage in the region that will necessitate an infrastructure upgrade and/or a re-phasing of the Franklin County migration schedule. Further work is being done by EOTSS now to assess the issue. As we learn more, we will keep all stakeholders updated.
EOTSS has completed its procurement process for radios and accessories. The pricing secured by EOTSS will be made available to Franklin County and the pricing will be in effect for three years. As part of Franklin County’s transition to CoMIRS, EOTSS will provide, on a one-time basis, mobile and portable radios to each department per the inventory of equipment needs completed last year. EOTSS will provide the lowest cost model of portables and radios to each department, which is a combination of Motorola and Kenwood equipment. Each department/municipality will have the ability to upgrade the equipment and/or purchase other add-on equipment at the department/municipality’s cost. Municipalities will also be responsible for the cost of installation and programming of the equipment. The FRCOG will manage the overall purchase on behalf of EOTSS and the municipalities. The FRCOG will be providing more information about this and will schedule a vendor demonstration at the FRCOG offices in the coming weeks. It is our hope to do this in time for municipalities to include whatever costs necessary to FY21 budgets.

chris

xplorer417
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by xplorer417 »

does anyone know what portables they are using sounds like they are using the 8000 due to using vhf/800

xplorer417
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by xplorer417 »

i meant uhf/800 not vhf for the posts mixed up

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

If the various departments want to pay for the difference between the basic Kenwood or EF Johnson radio and the fancy Motorola dual or multiband. Eventually, this would replace the UHF. If I were buying dual band radios for that area, I would look at the VHF/7/800 anyway for mutual aid to areas outside the county.

Here is the link to the powerpoint
https://frcog.org/wp-content/uploads/20 ... -2019.pptx
More info:
https://frcog.org/boards-committees/fra ... committee/

chris

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

Add to the Franklin County list:
2302 FC Toby 1 patch w/460.1875

WIKI updated with the Franklin County patched channels.

chris

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by ghoward02 »

Seeing a new TG 2304 on site 024 (WMass North) as of last night. Sporadic traffic but definitely police. Based on the fact that it has a dedicated dispatch (not Shelburne control) and the couple street addresses transmitted it's possibly Turners Falls.

Unsure if it's permanent or more capacity testing a la Greenfield FD/PD analog patches that were added then removed.

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

When I gathered the other groups it was fairly simple to match them up to existing UHF channels with a second radio.
If Greenfield PD/FD have decent UHF coverage now, the patches for those channels certainly don't need to be enabled.
A couple incidents with active secondary channels will lock up the North Zone. I would suspect they will speed up the Phase 2, delay the introduction of the 800 system, and/or limit what can be patched.
The MSP/CoMIRS radio folks have valuable experience with all the various systems in use in the State, they will make it work well if the new funding source allows.

chris

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by ghoward02 »

I'll check for a UHF<->CoMIRS match when I'm back in Greenfield this week. I only get the faintest hint of GPD/GPD UHF from Sunderland so Turners UHF would likely be the same.

Last time I spoke with the GFD chief it did sound like the FRCOG -> CoMIRS timeline has been pushed back without any concrete dates. Considering I saw channel grant denials a week or so ago during an incident I'd agree that it will now hinge on the Phase 2 upgrade. Not good news for the limping FCECS system but better some warble than no open channels.

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by ghoward02 »

After a few more transmissions this morning I can verify that TG 2304 is Montague/Turners Falls PD. The odd thing is I can't pick up their UHF from downtown Greenfield and at least one other user on radioreference notes they're getting nothing or garble the last day or two.

They're not piloting CoMIRS portables as there's no "From" values on the calls and the quality sounds like well-worn analog equipment.

Also heard a fire tone out this morning for Warwick that was to the usual simlucast TG 2290 as well as 2319. Unfortunately didn't have my analog going at the time to see if 2319 matched up with a site tower, assuming I'd even be in range.

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kelton.dray
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by kelton.dray »

ghoward02 wrote:
02 Mar 2020 11:43
After a few more transmissions this morning I can verify that TG 2304 is Montague/Turners Falls PD. The odd thing is I can't pick up their UHF from downtown Greenfield and at least one other user on radioreference notes they're getting nothing or garble the last day or two.

They're not piloting CoMIRS portables as there's no "From" values on the calls and the quality sounds like well-worn analog equipment.

Also heard a fire tone out this morning for Warwick that was to the usual simlucast TG 2290 as well as 2319. Unfortunately didn't have my analog going at the time to see if 2319 matched up with a site tower, assuming I'd even be in range.
That 2304 TG is Mt Toby PD regional.
Montague PD UHF is down, and they're using Toby.

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

All the times I monitored it with DSDPlus, it was strictly a patch with no 800MHz subscriber radios in use.

chris

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by ghoward02 »

Thanks for the info Kelton, explains the normal UHF outage. Just caught some traffic on TG 2304 that aligned with "Mt Toby 2" from https://www.scan-ne.net/wiki/index.php? ... epartments

Add to the Franklin County list:
2304 Mt Toby 2 patch w/ 460.6

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

Thanks, 2304 added to WIKI

chris

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kelton.dray
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by kelton.dray »

You'll find that Montague PD UHF is back in service, haven't verified if it's on the trs yet tho.

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by ghoward02 »

I heard the changeover (P25 Toby 2 -> Montague UHF 1) earlier today and unfortunately it doesn't appear to be patched into CoMIRS at this time. Then again who knows what next weeks brings!

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by ghoward02 »

A user on radioreference noticed some new Commonwealth licenses including one that overlays a few of the existing FRCOG site towers: https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/ ... gn=WQLV701

I'll keep an ear open for any of listed Mt Toby frequencies.

cdgordon
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Re: Franklin Cnty Police (future transition to 800MHz P25 digital)

Post by cdgordon »

Those are renewals with a new callsign.

chris

ghoward02
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Re: Franklin County FRCOG (transition to CoMIRS)

Post by ghoward02 »

Going back through my recent recordings of "unknown" talkgroups and found a series (3/17 @ 0859) of radio tests from Erving C1 to Shelburne Control on TG 2293. All calls had FROM ID's so it was entirely P25, no UHF patch. Haven't seen any traffic on the TG since so no idea if it was a proof of concept or pre-deployment testing.

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