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Old July 29th 08, 12:10 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

While reading another thread about spectrum and emergency comms, a
thought came to me. Lessee if it makes sense.

Given that:


1. Spectrum is a finite resourece

2. Emergency comms (this term is used generically) is always interested
in trying to get more of that spectrum

3. One of the major shortcomings of present day systems is lack of
communications between the different systems in an area.


The cell phone industry deals with access to limited spectrum all the time.

Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.

Even in our area we have a 10 year old trunking system that is going to
have to be replaced because it isn't working properly. One that was
supposed to last for 20 years.

But a cellular type approach might just work well for them. Before
anyone thinks I'm bonkers, I'm not talking about using cell phones, just
the type of compression/time sharing.

Now interopability is not necessarily so difficult.

This is just first thought conjecture, possibly impossible, so feel
free to rip into it.


- 73 d eMike N3LI -


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Old July 29th 08, 03:32 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 300
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 19:10:07 EDT, Michael Coslo wrote:

Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.


Welcome to the proposed world of 700 MHz. See my earlier posting
about why 700 MHz won't work at the present time and may even not be
suitable in the future.

Even in our area we have a 10 year old trunking system that is going to
have to be replaced because it isn't working properly. One that was
supposed to last for 20 years.


If it is an 800 MHz system, I can understand it. Planned obsolescence
appears to be designed into those systems by the Majority
Manufacturer. Our major clients, however, are using UHF and T-Band
trunking systems of the same vintage - by the same manufacturer in
most cases - and they are working just fine. The only changes that
have to be made are adding more channels because the growth of
population in the served area(s) putting more demand on services than
was forecast.

As far as "working properly" - that's the kind of things we fix.

Relevance to Ham Radio -- as the Public Safety systems expand, the
wise agency will increase the commitment to Ham Radio EmComm backup
as a partner, not as a competitor.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net

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Old July 29th 08, 08:19 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 118
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

On Jul 28, 6:10 pm, Michael Coslo wrote:
1. Spectrum is a finite resourece


Well, I suppose it is if you are limited to the technically *useable*
spectrum space. Physically though, it's pretty much unlimited.


2. Emergency comms (this term is used generically) is always interested
in trying to get more of that spectrum


As are all types of "services". Aircraft, Cell phone, Broadcast etc
all would love additional space.

3. One of the major shortcomings of present day systems is lack of
communications between the different systems in an area.


This is an interoperability issue usually. It's not that the
technology isn't available to make it all play together, it's that
such infrastructure is expensive and the investment in the current
stuff is pretty big. The planning for integration of these systems is
not easy either. The biggest problem is getting every user to agree
to support a system that they don't "control" and be willing to buy
new equipment when what they have serves their needs just fine for
now.

The cell phone industry deals with access to limited spectrum all the tim

e.

Using a standard set of protocols, significant planning costs, and
very expensive infrastructure behind each of those cell towers you see
(and many that you don't.) Just be aware that even the cell industry
has it's problems with interpretability, they usually push a lot of
complexity into the handset which in real terms starts to get pretty
expensive. You may not see the full costs because folks normally don't
pay full price for the handset. The cell companies pay most of the
costs, then make it up over time from the monthly fees.

They also spend a lot of time and money putting up antennas, running
around with receivers and doing survey work. Not to mention that they
donít cover 100% of everywhere.

Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.


Well, cell operations suffer from being heavily dependant on central
control points and a host of infrastructure that you may not notice.
They are quite complex and would be very subject to outages caused by
long term power disruptions or flooding. All the things Katrina
provided in vast amounts.


But a cellular type approach might just work well for them. Before
anyone thinks I'm bonkers, I'm not talking about using cell phones, just
the type of compression/time sharing.


Trunking is a lot like the cell phones of old. But you may be right
that a move to more spectrum friendly technology would be a good
thing. The issue becomes getting everybody to play in the same field
so interoperability is possible.

Now interopability is not necessarily so difficult.


But it is, unless you plan for it. The solutions the cell phone
industry was forced into are very expensive, complex and difficult to
maintain compared to your standard analog repeater. Moving to
digital transmission formats and frequency sharing would likely make
this all the more difficult and costly and I don't see your local fire
department or police force switching to some new system just because
it integrates easily to other systems they might need to operate with
for some hypothetical situation. For your smaller cities, the cost
alone will pretty much preclude an upgrade.

I think Ham Radio offers quite the helping hand in situations where
the ability to interoperate is needed. As an ad hoc emergency
communications service ham radio shines. Where else can you get free
radio equipment and trained operators to show up at the same time?

-= Bob =-

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Old July 30th 08, 01:12 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 69
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

In article ,
Michael Coslo wrote:

While reading another thread about spectrum and emergency comms, a
thought came to me. Lessee if it makes sense.

Given that:


1. Spectrum is a finite resourece

2. Emergency comms (this term is used generically) is always interested
in trying to get more of that spectrum

3. One of the major shortcomings of present day systems is lack of
communications between the different systems in an area.


The cell phone industry deals with access to limited spectrum all the time.

Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.

Even in our area we have a 10 year old trunking system that is going to
have to be replaced because it isn't working properly. One that was
supposed to last for 20 years.

But a cellular type approach might just work well for them. Before
anyone thinks I'm bonkers, I'm not talking about using cell phones, just
the type of compression/time sharing.

Now interopability is not necessarily so difficult.

This is just first thought conjecture, possibly impossible, so feel
free to rip into it.


- 73 d eMike N3LI -


The one thing that MOST folks seem to forget about EmComms is, that
"SOMETHING" caused the EmComm System to be activated, over the standard
regular variety PublicService Comms, and that same something that is
distrupting the regular stuff, is very likely, to take out some, if not
MOST, of the basic Comms infrastructure, in the effected area.

SO, Any EmComm System MUST as a RULE, be self-sufficent, self-powered,
and mobile, or at least portable, into the effected area. This is the
lesson of 9/11, and Katrina. When the towers went down 998% of the
PublicService Comms Major Remote Bases were lost, one, beacuse they were
on the Roofs of Towers, and two, because the Telco Infrastructure was in
the Basements of the buildings and went off line when they collapsed.
Basically the SAME thing happened in Katrina, the Telco infrastructure
was Flooded, and offline from the middle of the storm, on, and the winds
took out most of the Microwave Links, that backed up the Telco lines.
Without such interconnections, operational, Trunked, Cellular, and the
like, will NOT Function, PERIOD. What does function, is VHF & UHF
Simplex, VHF & UHF Repeaters that are Self-Contained, Self Powered,
including Antennas, that can be placed in Highsites, AFTER the majority
of the destruction has already past. Cop Shops with their own Base
Stations, powered by their own EmGensets, talking to cars and portables
out in the field. EmComm Designed Portable Repeaters including Antennas,
and PowerSupplies that can be Airlifted (Choopered) to HighSites in
the effected area, once the destruction has slowed or stopped.
This is where HAMS can, and do SUPPLY EmComm Capability. They can Bring
in the Mobiles and Portables that WILL WORK, without Telco
Infrastructure, and can have at the ready Portable HighSite Repeaters
that are EmComm Designed, and ready to function, once placed in the
effected Area. Public Service/Govt can also have Mobile Command Centers,
Mobile EmComm Centers, and Portable EmComm Repeaters that can be
activated and placed in strategic pre-planned Sites for their areas of
Service. In the EmComms Business, you can only depend on YOUR pre-planned
stuff, and sometimes some of that hardware isn't going to function, so
then you go to Plan B, which is you do with what IS working, untill
you get something better, working. Sometimes that is HOURS away,
sometimes that is DAYS away, and in the some cases it is weeks away, and
is supplied by the National Guard, if the hardware, isn't already in
IRAQ.

--
Bruce in alaska
add path after fast to reply

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Old July 30th 08, 01:50 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 828
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

KC4UAI wrote:
On Jul 28, 6:10 pm, Michael Coslo wrote:
1. Spectrum is a finite resourece


Well, I suppose it is if you are limited to the technically *useable*
spectrum space. Physically though, it's pretty much unlimited.

2. Emergency comms (this term is used generically) is always interested
in trying to get more of that spectrum


As are all types of "services". Aircraft, Cell phone, Broadcast etc
all would love additional space.

3. One of the major shortcomings of present day systems is lack of
communications between the different systems in an area.


This is an interoperability issue usually. It's not that the
technology isn't available to make it all play together, it's that
such infrastructure is expensive and the investment in the current
stuff is pretty big. The planning for integration of these systems is
not easy either. The biggest problem is getting every user to agree
to support a system that they don't "control" and be willing to buy
new equipment when what they have serves their needs just fine for
now.

The cell phone industry deals with access to limited spectrum all the tim

e.

Using a standard set of protocols, significant planning costs, and
very expensive infrastructure behind each of those cell towers you see
(and many that you don't.) Just be aware that even the cell industry
has it's problems with interpretability, they usually push a lot of
complexity into the handset which in real terms starts to get pretty
expensive. You may not see the full costs because folks normally don't
pay full price for the handset. The cell companies pay most of the
costs, then make it up over time from the monthly fees.

They also spend a lot of time and money putting up antennas, running
around with receivers and doing survey work. Not to mention that they
donít cover 100% of everywhere.


I'm not proposing a cellular system as used for telephones. What I am
looking at is a compression scheme similar to what is used for cellular.
The system would physically resemble a typical repeater system, with a
tower, perhaps several with a voting system to pick out the best signal,
which is relayed to the main tower, then compressed and sent out



Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.


Well, cell operations suffer from being heavily dependant on central
control points and a host of infrastructure that you may not notice.
They are quite complex and would be very subject to outages caused by
long term power disruptions or flooding. All the things Katrina
provided in vast amounts.



Having a system such as I was thinking of would allow for a few towers
in a given area, all on high ground, with a lot of backup power.


But a cellular type approach might just work well for them. Before
anyone thinks I'm bonkers, I'm not talking about using cell phones, just
the type of compression/time sharing.


Trunking is a lot like the cell phones of old. But you may be right
that a move to more spectrum friendly technology would be a good
thing. The issue becomes getting everybody to play in the same field
so interoperability is possible.


On this, we agree. Generally speaking, most systems don't want to
budge, or there can be interagency infighting. One of the problems is
that while the different emergency teams operate with a high degree of
camaraderie within their team, outside groups are often viewed with
suspicion.

some snippage

I think Ham Radio offers quite the helping hand in situations where
the ability to interoperate is needed. As an ad hoc emergency
communications service ham radio shines. Where else can you get free
radio equipment and trained operators to show up at the same time?


It's a good resource, for sure. We do tend to eat up all the donuts
though! evil grin

- 73 de Mike N3LI -



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Old July 30th 08, 01:54 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 118
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

On Jul 29, 2:19 pm, KC4UAI wrote:
I think Ham Radio offers quite the helping hand in situations where
the ability to interoperate is needed. As an ad hoc emergency
communications service ham radio shines. Where else can you get free
radio equipment and trained operators to show up at the same time?


Oh.. And I'd like to add...

At very low cost (pretty much free for the asking).

The point is that Ham Radio can help "glue" the various systems
together and over come the cost and interoperability isues until such
time they can be worked out with new equipment. And by the time we
get to that point, there will be a whole new set of features that will
make the current crop of communications systems look down right
useless.

I can see it now.. With an SDR in everybodies hands, interoperability
will be a software load away. As it sits, SDR is way to expensive to
field for most applications, but that will be changing.

-= Bob =-

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Old July 30th 08, 06:17 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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First recorded activity by RadioBanter: Dec 2007
Posts: 29
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

In ,
Michael Coslo typed, for some strange, unexplained reason:

[snip]

: Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
: similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
: fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.
:
: Even in our area we have a 10 year old trunking system that is going
: to have to be replaced because it isn't working properly. One that was
: supposed to last for 20 years.
:
: But a cellular type approach might just work well for them. Before
: anyone thinks I'm bonkers, I'm not talking about using cell phones,
: just the type of compression/time sharing.


"Tetra" - the UK police have been using it for some time. It operates on
around 420-430 MHz.

The handportable radios can call one another, a central control room or a
normal phone number.

Some links:

http://www.tetra-association.com/

http://www.airwavesolutions.co.uk/Pages/default.aspx


Of course all the scaremongers are now claiming the system causes cancer
in the same way that mobile phones are supposed to, but that's another
issue ;-)

http://www.tetrawatch.net/main/index.php

http://www.lessradiation.co.uk/?page_id=6


73 Ivor G6URP

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Old July 30th 08, 07:38 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Posts: 828
Default Emergency comms thought - good? not so good?

Ivor Jones wrote:
In ,
Michael Coslo typed, for some strange, unexplained reason:


Har! love it!


[snip]

: Is is then a possibility that emergency comms might shift to a system
: similar to cell phones? It seems to me that trunking is kind of an old
: fashioned idea, and is ripe for replacement.
:
: Even in our area we have a 10 year old trunking system that is going
: to have to be replaced because it isn't working properly. One that was
: supposed to last for 20 years.
:
: But a cellular type approach might just work well for them. Before
: anyone thinks I'm bonkers, I'm not talking about using cell phones,
: just the type of compression/time sharing.


"Tetra" - the UK police have been using it for some time. It operates on
around 420-430 MHz.

The handportable radios can call one another, a central control room or a
normal phone number.


Sounds just about right.



Some links:

http://www.tetra-association.com/

http://www.airwavesolutions.co.uk/Pages/default.aspx


Of course all the scaremongers are now claiming the system causes cancer
in the same way that mobile phones are supposed to, but that's another
issue ;-)


http://www.tetrawatch.net/main/index.php

http://www.lessradiation.co.uk/?page_id=6



Always interesting! I wonder why the fearmongers picked cancer as the
fear agent for Cell phones and RF.

I do believe that cell phones have an effect upon humans. But not in the
sensationalist way so often given. It isn't ionizing radion, so while it
may have heating effects, or perhaps some other obscure effects, runaway
cell growth isn't likely.

There is no question the user of the device will put themselves in the
near field of a RF emitter that pouts out around a watt, up to 4 or so
watts.

The far field, is not so big of a deal, but the near field is something
else.


It is my own premise, based on some RF knowledge, some common sense, and
personal experience, that overuse of a cell phone causes a person to
become stupid. I have been nearly killed by cell phone using drivers
enough times to know that something is going on. And I don't completely
buy that they are simply distracted. My favorite example is when I was
driving out a local road, in a semi rural area. A person in a big SUV
comes racing behind me and nearly rear ends me (I was doing 45 in a 40
mph zone) He backs off, and then slows down to maybe 25 mph. I got about
a half mile ahead of him. Then he accelerates again, and nearly rear
ends me a second time. Then slows again. I then slowed foe a red light,
and he gets in the lane to turn. He stops, and yup, there it is - the
cell phone. Then he proceeds to drive through the red light. Lots of
other cell phone stories, especially on our own failed road, Atherton
Street. Suffice it to say, just as it isn't too hard to spot a drunk
driver, you can easily id someone using a cell while driving.

I'm not sure if the effects are permanent, but given that I've seen
people text messaging while driving, I can't help but wonder. Would
anyone ever start out thinking that it might be a good idea to look at a
tiny phone and punch keys while driving a 3000 pound machine? But I digress.

- 73 de Mike N3LI -



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