Archive for October 3rd, 2012

Chicago preparing for digital changeover

Chris Ranck found an article which looks at one aspect of the upcoming digital radio changes coming to Chicago.

Chicago Has Few Techs, Wants Narrowband Waiver

The third-largest city in the United States has just 16 radio technicians to install and maintain all of its radio systems, and now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking for public comment on Chicago’s request for 24 more months to narrowband its VHF and UHF radio systems. The FCC received the city’s waiver request (pdf) last May, and now wants input from others, “whose operations could be impacted by the grant of the waiver.” In its 31-page waiver request, Chicago officials noted the city’s size and population, number of visitors and its key commerce and industry role. The city employs 13,000 police officers, 4,500 firefighters and 650 paramedics to provide emergency services. The waiver request notes the various systems and narrowband upgrades the city has already performed: citywide police use a seven-site UHF system (14 new transmitters); “zone” police use a 13-site UHF system (26 new transmitters); and the fire department uses a 16-site system (32 new transmitters). The city has already purchased 15,000 new narrowband radios, the waiver states, and a T-band UHF narrowband network for the fire department is almost complete. “Yet, despite its considerable effort and significant investment to date, Chicago recognizes that it lacks the necessary manpower and resources to finalize the completion of the narrowbanding of all of its VHF/UHF facilities by January 1, 2013,” the waiver says. The city cites “numerous demands on its limited number of radio technicians and the additional burdens on the city’s budget and financial restraints” for not narrowbanding within the Jan. 1, 2013 deadline. Download (pdf) the FCC’s comment request here.

The article can be found HERE, and the full story HERE.

thanks Chris

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Digital radio problems in WI

The has an article about problems that a police agency is experiencing with their new digital radio system.

 As a Janesville police officer grappled with a suspect in the city’s Fourth Ward, he radioed in for backup.

No reply.

The incident, which happened Sept. 13, was just six blocks from one of the department’s digital radio receiver sites. It’s an alarming example of the problems that Rock County’s new digital radio system has had since it went online in June.

The problems include completely locked up radio receiver sites, spotty reception in the fringes of the county and calls that get cut off in the field—or never make it to dispatch, officials said.

Technicians from three digital radio vendors and officials at the Rock County 911 Center are scrambling to iron out the kinks in the $1.9 million radio system. Yet some local police and fire agencies say they’re losing patience with the problems.

Some agencies, such as the Janesville Police Department, for weeks have toggled back and forth between digital transmissions to analog to try to keep a signal. Others, according to Milton Fire Chief Loren Lippincott, have relied on personal cell phones during digital radio logjams.

The county switched to all-digital radio communications to prepare for a federally mandated narrow banding of analog radio, which will take effect Jan. 1. The switch to digital was intended to maintain the same level of radio capability for countywide agencies when analog frequencies are curtailed.

… That has led to garbled calls and transmissions being dropped between officers and smaller digital receiver sites around the county, she said. Those problems have left Janesville police and other agencies “more comfortable” using their old analog radio systems.

Testing is in early stages, but to expand and improve radio coverage, the county might have to install new digital receiver sites and, despite the potential cost, new towers, Sukus said.

The entire article can be found HERE.

thanks Chris

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New Pierce delivery photos

Pierce posted the following new delivery composites of area units.

Pierce Velocity pumper for McHenry Township FPD

McHenry Township FPD Pierce Impel. Pierce composite

Addison Fire District Pierce Arrow XT quint

Pierce Arrow XT quint for Addison. Pierce composite

thanks Josh

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Joliet orders new engine

This from the Herald-News that the Joliet Fire Department ordered an engine:

… City Manager Thomas Thanas said the new engine replaces a 1994 fire truck. The E-ONE Cyclone II fire engine costs $478,000, but the city will pay $415,000 by trading in three pieces of equipment.

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CFD relocates 4-5-7

Chicago Fire Department Administrative Order A-19-12

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