Tech News

New Server Core & Radio Dispatch Console Workstations

2016 Sept 15 12:32

Every time a firefighter, deputy, emergency medical responder, police officer, dispatcher or any county/local first responder talks on a radio in Snohomish County, they’re talking on the SERS radio system.

Along with our vendor, Motorola Solutions, we just completed a project 1.5 months ahead of schedule which assures the sustainability of the radio dispatch console workstations and the central server core.

The central server core, which handles radio voice call processing, was 10 years old. The radio dispatch consoles used by dispatchers were over 16 years old.

In coordination with SNOCOM, SNOPAC and first responders in the field, SERS successfully cutover to the new equipment on August 31st. This was a carefully detailed plan which also required the system be put in a special limited functionality state known as Site Trunking, while the server core was cutover. While the entire cutover plan took the expected full day, the greatest impact to users were the two planned Site Trunking events, which were well under forecast time at just a couple minutes.

We’d like to say “thank you!” to all our public safety partners and also to everyone in SnoCo for your support and interest in our operation over the years!

Some pictures are posted over on our Facebook page.

 


Summer 2016 Projects

UPDATED:  2016 Jul 20 15:04

The current SERS public safety radio system is in the final stretch toward its planned end-of-life in 2020.  SERS staff, the SERS board and our contracted vendors are all working to identify the requirements of the next generation system.

Until then, we’re keeping the current system going with the latest, and maybe the last, significant upgrade designed to extend the life of the system.  Here’s just a short list of what this team of just 4 system technicians are working on, in addition to their regular tasks.

If you have questions or want to know more about these projects, we’d love to hear from you via our social media, or you may contact our PIO directly.

The Projects

SERS Core & Radio Console Project Summary

This project is a longevity and supportability project.

Two major elements of the radio system will be cutover from old equipment, to new equipment.  These two elements must be done together due to the age of the current equipment not being compatible with the new core.

The project and cutover is being managed and executed by Motorola Solutions.  Support teams will be stood up at Motorola Solutions headquarters in Schaumburg, IL.  Engineering and technologist staff from Motorola Solutions, in addition to those already on-site for the last several weeks, will be flown out for the cutover.  During the several month staging process, SERS staff have been closely involved with the project and will be at each of the county’s two 9-1-1 centers (where the dispatch consoles reside) during cut-over.

These upgrades won’t change any of the radio frequency (RF) portions of the transmitter sites, so we’ll remain an analog Motorola SmartZone system with limited digital P25 Phase-1 capability.

If you use a scanner to monitor our system, this project will have no impact to your ability to continue to do so.

Much more information about the SERS system is available on the SERS Infrastructure page.

The two elements being upgraded/replaced are…

Radio Dispatch Console Upgrade

  • Replaces 40 radio dispatch operator positions in SNOCOM and SNOPAC PSAPs
    • Removes 16+ y/o PCs, long discontinued Motorola Centracom Gold Elite radio dispatch operator positions and all associated server room equipment
    • Adds modern Motorola MCC7500 IP based dispatch consoles and associated PCs

Radio System ‘Core’ Upgrade

The radio core is responsible for all two-way radio voice call processing between radios in the field and dispatchers.

  • Motorola server core upgrade from Motorola ASTRO v7.8 to ASTRO v7.16
    • Removes/replaces some, but not all, of the very oldest pieces of the core system infrastructure
    • No changes to RF infrastructure; system will remain an analog trunked radio system with limited digital capabilities

 

Tower Maintenance Project

  • Routine scheduled tower safety inspections by contracted tower climbers
    • Some towers will be getting fresh coats of paint to keep them visible to aircraft

Rebanding ‘2nd touch’ Project (on-going)

  • The FCC mandated 800 MHz rebanding project is finally coming to a close for SERS
    • Nearly a decade long project mandated to take place by the FCC, coordinated by Motorola, paid for by Sprint/Nextel
    • Every radio in the field, no matter how much or little it is used, must be ‘touched’ or programmed to remove the old 800 MHz frequencies that are being handed over to Sprint/Nextel, by the FCC
    • The ‘1st touch’ was several years ago and added the new frequencies in preparation of the transmitter sites changing over, which occurred last Fall
    • The contracted crew is ahead of schedule, having nearly completed all fire departments and are starting work on law enforcement

 


New Fire & Regional Mutual Aid Talkgroups

Updated 2016 Mar 24 15:56

As part of the ‘final touch’ of the FCC mandated rebanding, where the old/transitional frequencies are removed from the radios in the field, we’re accommodating a request from county fire officials to modify the talkgroups they use.  SNOCOM and SNOPAC fire will now use a common template.

Additionally, as part of a regional mutual aid communications plan, we’re adding new interoperability talkgroups.

Two tables describing these charges are shown below…

Group IDs are expressed in Motorola 6-digit decimal format and in the Uniden decimal ID most commonly used by scanners.  You may need to convert these to a different format for your use.

Fire Talkgroups

Talkgroup Name
Previous Talkgroup Name
Motorola Decimal ID
Uniden Decimal ID
FIRE DISP 1 FIRE DISP WEST 800031 496
FIRE DISP 2 FIRE DISP EAST 800033 528
FIRE DISP 3 FIRE DISP NORTH 800035 560
FIRE DISP 4 FIRE DISP 5 800335 5360
FIRE TAC 1 *no change* 800037 592
FIRE TAC 2 *no change* 800039 624
FIRE TAC 3 *no change* 800041 656
FIRE TAC 4 *no change* 800043 688
FIRE TAC 5 *no change* 800045 720
FIRE TAC 6 *no change* 800047 752
FIRE TAC 7 FIRE TAC 21 800339 5424
FIRE TAC 8 FIRE TAC 22 800341 5456
FIRE TAC 9 FIRE TAC 23 800343 5488
FIRE TAC 10 FIRE TAC 24 800345 5520
FIRE TAC 11 FIRE TAC 7 800619 9904
FIRE TAC 12 FIRE TAC 8 800621 9936
FIRE TAC 13  *new* 800623 9968
FIRE TAC 14  *new* 800625 10000
FIRE TAC 15  *new* 800627 10032

New Regional Inter-Operability / Mutual Aid Talkgroups

These groups are intended for users coming into Snohomish County from our regional partner systems.  Once on a SNO IO group they would then be patched to the local group where they are needed.  As such, these groups are generally not included in SERS subscriber programming.  However, SERS subscribers do have the IO groups for our regional partner systems, but only if the radio has had ‘2nd touch’ completed on it and the latest template programmed.

Talkgroup Name
Previous Talkgroup Name
Motorola Decimal ID
Uniden Decimal ID
SNO CALL *new* 803703 59248
SNO IO02 *new* 803705 59280
SNO IO03 *new* 803707 59312
SNO IO04 *new* 803711 59376
SNO IO05 *new* 803713 59408
SNO IO06 *new* 803715 59440
SNO IO07 *new* 803721 59536
SNO IO08 *new* 803723 59568
SNO IO09 *new* 803725 59600
SNO IO10 *new* 803727 59632
SNO IO11 *new* 803735 59760
SNO IO12 *new* 803737 59792
SNO IO13 *new* 803739 59824
SNO IO14 *new* 803741 59856
SNO IO15 *new* 803743 59888
SERS | 14900 40th Ave NE #102 | Marysville, WA, 98271 | phone: (360) 243-9649 | contact@sers800.org