This week Motorola/ERS will be putting up new microwave dishes on the Lapeer and Imlay City towers for the new system. These dish’s will be dual system capable, meaning they will be able to operate our analog and forthcoming digital system simultaneously. Preparation work began this morning and early Friday will be the dish cut-over.
We are also in the midst of developing our frequency plan and control channel frequencies for the new system, but nothing is finalized yet. Most of our FCC licenses are in for the 800MHz, 150MHz and microwave systems.
Subscriber programming will be coming up soon and templates are being prepared now.
We are also still waiting on some state and federal studies to conclude before we can begin construction on the new tower in Metamora and we’re working with local officials in North Branch for our much smaller paging tower to be built there.
At this time, we’re anticipating a full system cut-over sometime in September and will realize a new system with 6 voice sites and 8 paging sites to provide excellent county-wide coverage for first responders.
On Thursday March 29th, the new shelter was set into place at the Imlay City Tower site. This shelter with generator inside, weighed in at 81,000 pounds and was carefully picked up by a crane and gently set into place.
This week the new 350′ tower rose from the ground. It will support new 800MHz digital voice and paging communications as well as point-to-point microwave links to our other tower sites. This site will support all of our public safety operations in the area surrounding the tower on the Michigan Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS).
The shelter with generator was set in place yesterday at our Burnside Township site. Workers and truck drivers had their work cut out for them with the warm and rainy weather. Lot’s of rain mixed with a 2 inch frost that recently melted made the newly landscaped site very muddy. The trucks with the crane counterweights and shelter were unable to back up the long service drive with their loads. A giant dump truck from a nearby gravel pit was used to tow the trucks up the hill to the site. The truck with the shelter had a gross weight of over 100,000 pounds.
By the end of the day, the shelter was in place and all the trucks made it out of the site and the service drive graded again.
Today we got the shelter and generator put into place on its foundation at the Almont water tower. The shelter houses two rooms: one for the radio equipment and the other for the generator. The whole unit weighs 77,000 pounds.
Work has begun at our new Burnside Township tower site. The Lapeer County Road Commissions has graciously cleared and leveled the area where the tower will be and Motorola/Pyramid Network Services have dug the foundations for the tower, shelter and anchor points. Concrete started flowing into them this morning. This tower will be 350 feet tall and carry digital 800MHz, VHF paging and microwave equipment for our new digital MPSCS radio system. Follow the link below for more pictures of the site work.
A couple of weeks ago we began the renovation of the dispatch room. We tore out the old furniture and floor on one side of the room and rebuilt it. Then moved operations from the old furniture to the new furniture and tore out and rebuilt the remaining side of the room.
We still have some minor things to finish up and once the new radio system is in place and the large gray boxes on the desktops will go away and free up a lot of work space.
Special thanks to O.S.C. our electricians, Eaton/Wright Line furniture, Data Supplies flooring, Blumerich Communications, microDATA NG9-1-1, HIS Communication, County Buildings & Grounds and our dispatchers for putting up with all the noise.
Site acquisition is still ongoing in some areas and near completion in others. We hope to finish getting all the sites secured in the next few months.
We do have something that can actually been seen as work being done, physically speaking. The expansion of the radio equipment room in the basement of the dispatch center is just about complete. You can see photos of it here. All that is left to do is clean and seal the concrete floor and then new equipment can start coming in.
The Motorola APX 6000 portable radio is one of the company’s newest radios to be released. Through our migration project to the MPSCS, we will be purchasing many of these for various agencies in Lapeer County.