Rebanding was completed a couple months ago with all Warren County radios receiving their ‘second touch’. The immediate impact this has on users is which set of interoperability channels to use. USE THE 8CALL AND 8TACs!
“My fire radio was reprogrammed… what’s different?”
Nick and Glenn from Telecom’s Radio Systems Division have been working non-stop to complete the ‘2nd touch’ of rebanding paired with a slew of programming updates! Working one department at a time, they are updating your portables, mobiles, and control stations to reflect the latest changes approved by Chiefs and discussed in the
Communications Work Group. Here are the big changes you need to be aware of:
– Can’t power off when in emergency activation (will prohibit the improper and unsafe practice of turning off a radio when in emergency mode.)
– If on a TAC when you press the emergency button, you stay on the TAC and
communicate with Dispatch there.
– ½ second delay to reduce accidental bumps and activations. Various delay durations were tested and ultimately approved by the Chiefs Association.
– ABC switch is now zone access instead of keypad lock. This will offer quicker and safer channel navigation, not having to remove the radio from your holster or pocket to ZNUP / ZNDN between zones A, B, and C.
– ½ second delay on all buttons except PTT to make up for not having hard keypad lock.
– Scanning disabled when on a TAC to require more focus on incident.
– More TACS (2-21 instead of 2-13, to account for more spacing during assignment in case
incidents grow. This will allow consecutive TACs and less radio navigation).
– Mayday 1 (position A15) and Mayday 2 (position B15) – for use within the zone of TAC you’re using. If operating on TAC and a Mayday is declared, all personnel on incident except person in danger, RIT team, and Incident command should drop down to Mayday to continue operation. (Policy writing is in progress but programming efforts needed to stay as scheduled. Radio is set for when the policy takes affect.)
– Zone C is ‘user defined’ as discussed and approved by Chiefs last year. This decision began in April 2012 when the radio channel lineup subcommittee of the FCWG.
Perhaps this chart will help you visualize the difference in interoperability/mutual aid channels with the rebanding. Red columns are still the current frequencies and names we refer to. Once rebanding is complete, the 8iCall and 8iTACs will be removed from your radio, leaving you at the lower 850’s frequencies and new names 8Call and 8TACs. Note that the term AirMed1 & AirMed2 should not be used anymore as those are old verbiage. To communicate with CareFlight you will call for and refer to 8TAC92 & 8TAC94.
Your mobile + portable radios will STOP WORKING if they are not through Phase 1 of rebanding by June 1, 2012.
- How do I know if I’ve been through phase 1? The “I’ve Been FLASHED” sticker is one indication that your radio has completed phase 1.
- Why? We are required by the FCC to be off our current frequencies by June. Rebanding accomplishes this by dropping us to a lower set of frequencies. Also, Nextel is paying for both rebanding touches and needs us off this frequency so they can begin use.
- What does phase 1 accomplish? A LOT! The radio team is combining several improvements into this one touch to minimize the number of times you must gather all your department radios. Glenn ‘flashes’ your radio, making the guts of your radio compatible to receive our future P25 digital system signal and talkgroups. Nick then programs your radio adding rebanded frquencies that we will now operate on, new TACS, feature improvements, and changes your department has been requesting.
- What about Phase 2? The second touch will begin immediately after the last department has completed Phase 1. Phase 2 has a winter deadline so the Radio team will work quickly to program every department’s radios, removing the old frequencies. Phase 2 will also insert the new digital system into your radios. This is also the time that existing Public Works radios will be programmed. They didn’t participate in Phase 1 because they aren’t flash capable. After Public Works is on board, all agencies will be flipped to the new frequencies in June as Phase 2 gets underway.
- What will be different after Phase 2? Once your dept has completed Phase 2, you will have both analog and digital talkgroups, adding several zones to your template. THE CATCH: During phase 2, the digital talkgroups will be programmed into the front end of your radio (Zones A-?) meaning the analog talkgroups you will still be talking on won’t appear until later in the zone lineup. You will still operate on the analog talkgroups for several months until the switch to digital in 2013, so you need to realize you will be sitting on and working off of the ‘backend’ of your radio (the later zones).
- Radio template sample through the various phases of rebanding + digital switch
- NOTICE for GTX Mobile + Brick/Stick Portables + MaxTrac Mobiles – these radios will stop working every 4th day once Phase 1 is complete. They are not being flashed or rebanded as they aren’t supported on our future digital system.