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Michigan radio system

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  • Michigan radio system

    Are there any Michigan departments that have switched to the Michigan 800 system operated by the state police? I don't mean just one or two radios but a complete switch.

    Does the system work for fire departments?

    Law enforcement in Van Buren county is 100% changed over. They seem to be happy with mobiles but portables sometimes don't work in buildings.

    Stay safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  • #2
    If I can remember all of the technical mumbo, I don’t think the system works for fire departments because trunking is not compatible with tone paging. This is why my city still hasn’t made the switch yet. We currently have high band fire and po po, but low band for DPW. We just don’t want to add 800 to all that.

    Comment


    • #3
      Monroe County is making the complete switch this summer. Should be interesting.

      I'm not a big fan of digital radios because of all the horror stories from DC & NY among other places.

      CP, you're correct about the paging. Monroe County will continue to use their VHF frequency for paging only. All other communications will be on the 800 system.
      FTM-PTB-DTRT

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh yeah and Pete, if they ever make the switch in your area, be prepared to shell out 500 bucks or so to sit in your chair and listen

        There are only 3 scanners currently available that will follow a digital 9600 baud trunked system like MPSCS and they're all around that price.
        FTM-PTB-DTRT

        Comment


        • #5
          Well Pete as you already know we are in the process of changing over to the MPSC system. I will let you know how it goes.

          It is pretty typical over here right now we are half way into the project and everybody is starting to ask many questions and rebel against it.

          It's almost as if everybody was surprised by it. The rolled the plan out in October I believe and all has been quite. Things have been happening and getting done. Now all of a sudden the last 2-3 weeks everybody is up in arms. Some legitimate complaints yes-they do need to do something with the paging system.

          All in all I think this will work good for us it can't hurt with all the dead areas we already have. I think it will be a big learning curve for us however.

          The radios have been ordered and the triaining on the new radios is supposed to start with in a couple of months we will see how it goes and I will keep you posted.

          And yes it will be expensive to sit back and listen now.
          Last edited by lmrchief2; 04-10-2004, 05:04 PM.
          Les Hartford
          Assistant Chief
          LMR Fire Dept.

          The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

          IACOJ Member

          Comment


          • #6
            We are not on the new MSP system, but for paging our VHF system is "patched" into the 800 mhz system. It seems to work well. The problems we have are with our dispatch consoles.
            Stay Safe & Bring 'em Home!
            Eddie C.
            I.A.F.F. Local 3008

            "Doin' it for lives n' property"

            ** "The comments made here are this person's views and not that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

            Comment


            • #7
              We also are going to simulcast the paging system to the 800 also. The problem is that we have so many dead areas in our county that the pagers do not always trip. This really will not fix the problem because of the frequency differance.
              Les Hartford
              Assistant Chief
              LMR Fire Dept.

              The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

              IACOJ Member

              Comment


              • #8
                We have been using the 800 system in Livingston County for a little over a year; You are right about some of the problems with the system. All the departments in the county still have to be page out on VHF, however the message is simulcast over the 800 system. Our FD in particular has started requiring that all new builds over 10,000 sqft put in an antena system for the 800Mhz range. Our biggest challenge is for mutual aid in other counties that are not on the 800 system. In Livingston county all departments to include ALL PD units are dispatched from a central dispatch.

                Comment


                • #9
                  SGT120 are you on the state system or on your own county 800 system.
                  Les Hartford
                  Assistant Chief
                  LMR Fire Dept.

                  The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

                  IACOJ Member

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FYI

                    I chated with a guy from Radio Shack and he was 'hinting' to wait on buying the new trunking scanner now. (man I want one of those) He said the price should drop over the summer. There are also plans to come out with a desktop/car model.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Imrchief2 we are on the state wide system, prior to going to this I was very skeptical about the system, I am now feeling better about the system since I have used it quite extensively. If you want more info e-mail me.

                      Thanks, SGT120

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Scanners?

                        There is a scanner thread going in the firefighting forum. Does anyone know for sure on any scanner that will monitor the the Michigan State Police radio system. I understand it is digital trunked and encripted.

                        Stay Safe,

                        Pete
                        Pete Sinclair
                        Hartford, MI
                        IACOJ (Retired Division)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Scanners?

                          Originally posted by pete892
                          There is a scanner thread going in the firefighting forum. Does anyone know for sure on any scanner that will monitor the the Michigan State Police radio system. I understand it is digital trunked and encripted.

                          Stay Safe,

                          Pete
                          No scanner will be able to decode the encrypted talkgroups on the MPSCS. Not every talkgroup is encrypted though. The MPSCS is an APCO 25 system with a 9600 baud control channel. Right now there are only 3 scanners that will track this type of system (and they are all around $500.00):

                          The Radio Shack Pro-96, Uniden BC-296D and Uniden BC-796D

                          There are some other digital scanners available but they cannot track the 9600 bps control channel so they will not work on the Michigan system.
                          FTM-PTB-DTRT

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Pro-96

                            I just picked up the RS Pro-96 yesterday. I can hear MSP, Oakland, Wayne, Livingston and other trunked systems. It's a real nice radio. I've been playing with it non-stop, I keep on finding new toys on it.

                            If you go to radioshack.com and click on the coupon section at the top you can print off a coupon good for $25 off through may 21.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LFD's not happy with it

                              Questions Raised About Emergency Radio Network

                              http://wlns.com/Global/story.asp?S=1884136

                              WLNS 6 Lansing
                              5/20/04- It's a multi-million dollar state of the art system designed to connect every public safety agency in Michigan. Some say the statewide digital radio network is the best available, while others simply aren't convinced.

                              When it comes to first responders, communication is critical. Their radios become their lifeline, so picking what system to use could make all the difference. In fact, some say it could mean life or death. Completed in 2002, it's touted as the biggest and best system around- a 231 million dollar statewide public communications system.

                              Kurt Weiss, MI Info. Technology: "Our staff has their fingers on the pulse of the system 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

                              Monitored around the clock, the 800 mega hertz digital radio network helps link public safety agencies all across the state.

                              Kurt Weiss: "We want to partner with all the local agencies, this is a team effort when we're dealing with terrorism and homeland security, everybody needs to partner together."

                              So far, more than 450 public safety agencies have bought into the system, and Kurt Weiss from the Department of Information Technology says that number continues to grow.

                              Kurt Weiss: "We're currently working with some pretty large cities, Detroit is coming on to the system, we're working on negotiations with them, Genesee County, Monroe, Macomb."

                              But not everyone is looking to link up. In fact, Ingham County has decided to build its own 12 million dollar system after the Lansing Fire Department had problems with the state's system. The department is the first and only agency in the county using it.

                              Greg Martin, Lansing Fire Chief: "I guess it's wonderful that it can talk to the state police in Detroit, but for the most part, I don't want to, I want to talk to the Lansing engine company across town consistently, and that's more important to me."

                              More important, but not always possible. Lansing Fire Chief Greg Martin says the state's system didn't meet his expectations, didn't fit the department's needs. In fact, in the case of one emergency, Martin says the radios actually caused an emergency.

                              Greg Martin: "About 8 months ago, we had 2 firefighters hurt on the west side of Lansing, they sustained some burns, because they didn't receive the radio message, they went to a upper level of this house, when the message was don't."

                              Chief Martin says the problem is dead zones- places in the city where the digital radios simply don't work, and when it comes to buildings, Martin says the radios are basically useless. Instead of a bad signal, there's no signal at all. That's because the system is designed to work in cars.

                              Greg Martin: "You hear it on the air many times, they go, "engine 45, can you repeat, you just went digital," you stop sounding like Greg Martin and more like a robot, then it drops."

                              But just a county away, Livingston has taken a different approach to the same system.

                              Don Arbic, Livingston Co. 911: "Livingston County has been adding components, improving the system, improving public safety communications since the original transition in 1998."

                              The county started with nothing, none of its own infrastructure, basically piggy-backing off the state's system. Just a few short years later, the county's added a dispatch center, and built a million dollar tower south of Howell to help with coverage across the county.

                              Greg Martin: "Recently we converted our fire service in Livingston County and brought on supervisors from the road commission, medical examiners office, community health and our EMS department is also migrating its communication over as well."

                              But what about the lack of communication inside buildings? Arbic says Livingston County solved that problem by having an incident commander on the scene, stationed outside the building, armed with two radios.

                              Don Arbic: "We've set up our radios with what we call a direct channel, radio to radio, try to cover maybe a hundred yards top, and that works very well for us."

                              So during everyday operations or in the case of an emergency, we found the system which works the best really depends on who you ask. As for Ingham County's new system, it's slated for operation in early 2005. It's a 12 million dollar system, with a digital backbone and analog radios. It was recommended by the 911 advisory committee, passed by the Ingham County Board of Commissioners and funded by the 911 emergency services millage.

                              John Neilsen, Deputy Controller: "We've designed it so that it will fit our needs in the future with a number of channels and the type of infrastructure we have."

                              Victor Celentino, County Commissioner: "We're giving them the tools they need to do their job of protecting our citizens, so everyone wins in the end."
                              FTM-PTB-DTRT

                              Comment

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