[Namaste-dev] Re: Interoperability through APCO-25

Ronald Nutter rnutter at networkref.com
Thu May 22 12:33:15 PDT 2008

In a "previous" life, I spent several years as a volunteer in emergency 
management dealing with communications.  There are several companies 
selling "interoperability" packages which plug into different radios to 
get this cross agency communications setup to work.

I have dealt with radios that have advanced functionality such as the 
800 trunking radios.  Just because you have a radio that can do that 
doesnt mean that it can work.  The radio will have to be programmed with 
values that only the radio shop for the public agency would have the 
values for.  While I would be one of the first to say that we should 
have this type of functionality to help in an emergency, should we not 
let that type of request come from the served agency community ? Just a 

Would it be a better use of resources to put this idea as a phase 2/3/4 
concept and look to getting a system into prototype stage a little 
sooner to keep the interest moving forward ?


Eric Blossom wrote:
> On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 10:02:31AM -0700, Michelle wrote:
>> Emergency communications interoperability through an APCO-25 terrestrial interface has been proposed.
>> This would increase emergency communications usability and increase opportunities for funding.
>> Here is a short introductory article on APCO-25. 
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_25
>> Here is an industry article about APCO-25.
>> http://www.info4u.us/APCO25/
>> Here is the project home page.
>> http://www.apco911.org/frequency/project25/index.html
>> There is an information page of interest at the same site as the home page.
>> http://www.apco911.org/frequency/project25/information.html
>> People "in the know" refer to the standard as P25.1, meaning APCO
>> project 25 phase 1, which is the current phase. Phase 2 and up
>> are in development.  What I'd like to do is explore the idea of
>> using a cognitive radio module to handle the interoperability. This
>> would rely upon Tom Rondeau's work, as explained in his
>> dissertation. What I need are people that are interested in
>> taking on the responsibility of supporting this terrestrial module
>> for Namaste. This means learning the standards well enough to assist
>> in writing and reviewing requirements, establishing the feasibility
>> of using cognitive radio technology to bridge between our IP layer
>> and external APCO-25 waveforms, and then supporting the design
>> effort.
> I understand the desire for funding, however...
> After talking with Vanu Bose (www.vanu.com) about various public safety
> interoperability offers they had made, he indicated that the issue is
> not technical, but is one of policy and politics.  It's about
> maintaining a chain of command.  The fire chief doesn't want other
> people talking to her crew, and doesn't want them listening to anybody
> else either.
> Is being "open" and "free" a design objective / requirement?
> Last time I checked, the P25 specs weren't open and cost about
> $2.5k unless you were law enforcement or government.
> How would you handle the proprietary vocoder?
> How about any patents relating to P25?
> Of the public safety systems installed, what percentage of them are
> using P25.* vs EDACS vs anything else?  Of the current P25
> installations, how many of those are running Motorola proprietary
> extensions?
> Summary: if you're willing to sacrifice open and free as a
> requirement, then yes, it's possible to create a gateway to/from P25.
> I'm not sure how much cognition is involved in any of this.  Other
> issues include mapping to/from talk groups, authentication,
> encryption, and arbitration of big pipe into little pipe.
> Eric K7GNU
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