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CSI Presentations

“Radio System Troubleshooting for Dispatchers”

On April 9, 2015, CSI’s Bill Ruck presented “Radio System Troubleshooting for Dispatchers” at the 2015 APCO Western Regional Conference in Sacramento, CA. The only point of contact that most dispatchers have with their agency’s radio system is their console. Behind each screen icon there is a whole lot of equipment that connects their radio console with the mobile and portable radios in the field. Without getting into excessive electronic details, this presentation explains how radio systems work, the names of the various parts, and basic troubleshooting concepts. The goal of the presentation is to give the dispatchers enough knowledge about their radio system that they can help their technical staff resolve radio system problems as quickly as possible.

Download a PDF of Bill’s presentation here:

 “Base Station Receivers, Interference and Desensitization”

CSI’s Bernie Olson presented “Base Station Receivers, Interference and Desensitization” at the 2015 APCO Western Regional Conference on April 8th.

As today’s radio systems include many channels at a given location, the potential for interference increases. Understanding the various potential sources and methods of mitigation are increasingly important. Topics include: What is intermodulation and how does it affect system performance? How much reserve gain in an amplified multicoupler is too much? How can control stations affect system performance? General site best practices are also presented.

Download a PDF of Bernie’s presentation here:

Download a PDF of his white paper responding to “The Nextel Best Practices Guide”, click here:

 “Using SINAD Coverage Mapping to Locate Receiver Blocking”

On April 7, 2015, CSI’s Tom Brinkoetter gave a presentation on receiver blocking at the 2015 APCO Western Regional Conference in Sacramento, CA. Public safety receivers may be unexpectedly blocked as 4G LTE cell sites are built to support the consumer demand for broadband data. Public safety receiver blocking is difficult to predict as antenna choice and placement is critical and cell site transmit power can vary significantly. This paper describes a method that uses the receivers deployed by the agency to map areas of performance and uncover problem locations. The measurement procedure described uses an existing agency channel and agency radio along with test equipment that provides a Google Earth map of receiver performance.

Download a PDF of Tom’s presentation here:

“FCC 106 and You!”

On April 7, 2015, Andrew Pulcheon, AICP, CEP, Principal/Cultural Resources Manager at CSI’s frequent partner, LSA Associates, Inc., gave a presentation on FCC Form 106 at the 2015 APCO Western Regional Conference.

A nationwide programmatic agreement governs the historic preservation review requirements for new tower construction and collocation projects under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The purpose of the agreement is to take into account a project’s potential effects on historic properties prior to agency approval.

Download a PDF of Andrew’s presentation here:

“Off Grid Solar Power System for Public Safety Communications and Associated Protection Issues”

CSI’s Tom Croda presented “Off Grid Solar Power System for Public Safety Communications and Associated Protection Issues – Project Update 2011” at INFOBATT 2011, Canadian Energy Symposium on September 12, 2011.

It addressed the design and construction of a very remote ‘off grid’ solar power system to provide the necessary power for a Public Safety Communications Facility. In addition to the system design and electrical protection issues, construction problems and the associated solution are also covered. Systems such as this provide the basis of reliability for critical public safety communications in extreme conditions where they must also be able to be maintained by simple means and remotely monitored.

Download a PDF of Tom’s presentation here:

CAP: Common Alerting Protocol

On November 18, 2010, CSI’s Bill Ruck was the keynote speaker at NAPCO (Northern California Chapter of the Association of Police Communications Officers). Bill’s presentation on CAP: Common Alerting Protocol proposed that the adoption of CAP was another step in the evolution of a system to provide speedy and accurate alerts and notifications to the public.

Bill first reviewed the history of mass media alerting and warning systems in the U.S. and then showed how CAP would make it possible to improve alerts and warnings to the public. CAP, already in use by agencies worldwide, was adopted by the FCC in 2013, becoming the standard used by broadcast stations for the Emergency Alert System.

Download a PDF of Bill’s presentation here:

“Narrowband Conversion and Digital Modulation”

In response to ever growing demands for more radio channels and faced with a limited radio spectrum, in March 2007 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules to make more radio channels available in the 150-174 MHz VHF and 421-512 MHz UHF Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool bands (which include most state and local governmental agencies).

The FCC reduced the bandwidth of the channels to 15 kHz from 30 kHz (VHF band) and to 12.5 kHz from 25 kHz (UHF band), half the size of the currently existing channels in these frequency bands. All licensees were required to migrate to the new, narrower channels by January 1, 2013 by modifying their licenses and by ensuring that all of their equipment was certified to operate in the narrower bandwidth.

Contradictory information about the rules and technologies resulted in (and continues to cause) confusion for licensees. As an independent engineering consultant, unaffiliated with any equipment manufacturer, CSI’s Bill Ruck offered this white paper to clarify what the FCC had, and had not mandated as licensees converted to narrowband.

Download the PDF of the complete Narrow Band Conversion and Digital Modulation here: