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Welcome to the York County collaboration article, a Multi-County Public Trunked Radio System located in York, Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania, United States.
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Transition to 700mhz and Phase 2
In 2015, the York County Board of Commissioners, in response to the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 and it's associated "give-back" of the UHF-T band, voted to upgrade the county's P25 system, which went online for all county users in 2009. The upgrade will involve moving to available 700mhz P25 spectrum, and a transition of Phase 2 P25 trunking. Project 25 (P25) Phase 2 means that voice calls on the system will occur in TDMA, not FDMA modulation, essentially allowing two (or more) voice calls to occur simultaneously on the same frequency. This reduces the total number of frequencies needed to maintain necessary capacity on the system.
The upgrade involves the replacement of RF equipment and antennas at every tower facility, and the replacement of all end user (subscriber) terminal radios in the field. During the project, the microwave backbone is being upgraded, a new tower site is being added (Brogue), and an existing tower structure is being replaced (Fox43) due to it's age. Additionally, the Fulton site, which is stand-alone on the 500mhz system, will be absorbed as part of the south simulcast on the 700mhz system, eliminating the need for field users to manually select the tower when their location requires.
In the database, you will notice that 700mhz sites have been added. The 700mhz system will run concurrently with the 500mhz system as agencies are transitioned to the newer system. As agencies are loaded, their talk groups will be activated on the new system. Talk groups which are active on the new system will remain active on the old system until cutover is compete, and voice calls will be carried on both systems. If you are monitoring a call on the 700mhz system, it will be using phase 2 modulation, and you would need a phase 2-capable scanner to hear the call.
At this point, talk groups are unchanged, and will transfer one-for-one to the new system. However, it is rumored that the fire/EMS talk group plan and dispatcher deployment may change as cutover nears for that user group.
The York County, Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Services are in the final build-out stages of a new, state-of-the-art, radio communications network. The system is an M/A-Com P25ip 500mhz digital trunked radio system, and is anticipated to see end user loading in 2008.
The new system will allow public safety users throughout the county to communicate with one another seamlessly while they carry out their respective daily missions, as well as during periods of extreme emergency and disaster. Currently, public safety professionals in the county operate with a patchwork of obsolete and unreliable radio systems in many different bands. Implementation of the new system will bring all users together onto a sturdy, trustworthy network that will serve York County deep into the 21st Century.
York's system will employ a series twenty-two tower sites encompassing four simulcast zones and a single-site zone to provide reliable portable radio coverage in all reaches of the county. Portable and mobile radio units are equipped with the ProRoam feature, allowing the radio to transition between the five coverage zones with no input from the user, ensuring that the radio will be registered with the tower site providing the best possible signal to that radio.
While some tower sites are situated on existing towers or structures, a handful of new towers have been erected. Also, new hardened, climate-controlled shelter buildings have been built to house the system's electronics. The simulcast timing is controlled by redundant GPS clocks located at each simulcast site. A microwave backbone will connect system sites to one another and to the control stations at the newly constructed 911 center and the back-up facility.
Related Wiki Pages
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