Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Historic TASGRN Information

(This is for historic reference purposes only, since 2009 a lot has changes with the TASGRN)

TASGRN – 3/7/2009     
Collated from a number of sources including on air listening, from members of various radio scanning related forums and groups and personal emails / conversations.
Current Network Status:                     
The TASGRN (Tasmania Government Radio Network) started life as the EDACS TMRS (Tasmanian Mobile Radio System??) in early 1996 and was built by Ericsson for the then Hydro Electrical Commission (now Aurora) with the Tasmanian police also joining the system and a couple of other users have been known to use the system as well.

Since late 2008 the network has been undergoing a number of changes:
-       New sites being built and other sites being upgraded or expanded.
-       The police service has installed in-car radios and new handheld radios have been rolled out.
-       Some new users have been logged active on the system but as they are not very active yet trying to confirm who they are has proved hard at the moment.

The Future:
The original plans to build a Whole of Government network has been scrapped and it looks like this won’t be happening for 4-6 years now, at the moment there is also some talk about making the EDACS system the WOG radio network if the performance / coverage issues can be sorted out and the costs of building a totally new network are too high.

The TASGRN currently has four known users:   
Aurora: All groups in all areas of the state (04-XXX Talk Groups, i8xxx and i9xxx radios ID’s)
All communications are in plain voice and they are very active users of the system mainly during the day but also after hours when storms hit and the power gets cut to different areas. Some of the things you hear them talking about, especially on I-calls are quite interesting.

Tasmania Police Service: All groups in all areas (08-XXX Talk Groups, i6xxx and i7xxx radios ID’s) Analogue for most day to day communications in country areas, North West and South. Provoice digital for Launceston area. Some use of Provoice digital when required mainly for CIB, Drug Squad and Special Operations group officers across the state.
Once the TASGRN network has finished being upgraded and tested the plan as far as I am aware is for all day to day communications in city areas to be on the new Provoice talk groups which would make them unscannable again.

Ericsson and associated contractors - all areas of the state (14-XXX Talk Groups and i3xxx radio ID’s)
Glossary of terms heard:
MDX:    Mobile radio     
Orion:  Mobile radio     
LPE / LPE200:  Handheld radio - digital capable
Prism:  Handheld radio - digital capable
IPE:      Handheld radio
Infinity: Receive pre-amp & distributor, sometimes tower top mounted, sometimes ground level mounted.
Decibel: Brand of antennae used for base stations 3, 6, 9,11 dB gains in use.     
ROC:    Radio Operations Centre located in Hobart.       
GETC:  General Electric Trunking Card.  Unit that controls Trunking features of a transmitter/receiver pair.
IMC or switch:  Integrated Multisite & Console Controller - the brains of the network. One in Launceston and one in Hobart.
Radio Manager: Computer terminal that controls access of radios to the network, access areas
Jessica: Telephone interconnect - located at IMCs        
Kodak moment:  Speed camera ahead!
Tamagotchi:     Radar detector!
LID: Individual radio ID for radio to radio calls (also known as 'individual' calls)    
GID: Group ID (Talk group like 08-025)  
Greyson: Drive testing /signal measuring & recording equipment
Raptor: RF prediction computer software used by Ericsson        
Com120: RF test equipment     
MOM:   Alarm & network status display system  
MAS & MDS: Microwave link equipment
MiniLink: Microwave link equipment     
Virtual Site: Site that is not a standalone EDACS base station, designed to extend the coverage of a nearby main site.  Comes in two flavours: Translating which takes the 'donor' sites frequency and site ID and retransmits it on a new frequency with new site ID and Non-translating which repeats the signal and site ID from the donor on the same frequency, with same site ID."   
Stornoway Road Works –Use the system in the south of the state, they have been logged active on 02-023 talk group.

Inland Fisheries Commission - unknown details, but known to make use of the network. Possibly on 11-xxx talk groups.

Tasmanian Ambulance Service - was trailing the system, tests only, no operational usage,
Expanded existing VHF network.                       

Tasmanian Fire Service - was trailing the system, not in use at the moment.