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Washington state troopers complain about new radio system
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House committee approves cybersecurity bill
Senators launch probe of massive data breaches
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Municipal Wi-Fi: Another one bites the dust?
Briefing Room News announcements from our industry
APCO Broadband Committee case study: Exploring business tools for leveraging assets
GAO report on cybersecurity and next-gen 911
High bids for H Block spectrum top $1.2 billion
Cisco: Global mobile data traffic forecasted to increase 11-fold from 2013 to 2018
Motorola Solutions names Robert Hoffman to lead governmental affairs
FCC chairman calls for E-rate funding to focus on broadband for schools, libraries
There are several of Rick's Rules that applies to the Washington State Troopers radio system.
Rule #1: If you want a spare radio, buy one.
First Corollary: Availability is not determined by your need.
Second Corollary: Availability is not determined by your rank.
Third Corollary: If you issue your spare radio to someone to use, you no longer have a spare.
Fourth Corollary: Do not fall prey to the fallacy of infinite supply, sometimes referred to as “Where’s mine?”
Fifth Corollary: Spare radios are not free, they cost just as much as, and sometimes more than, regular radios.
Sixth Corollary: In order for someone to get a spare radio some else who already has one will have to lose theirs.
Rule #2: If you give it to them for free, they will take it.
First Corollary: They will want it for free the second time.
Second Corollary: They will believe it is covered in the contract.
Third Corollary: Spare radios are free.
Fourth Corollary: Battery “exchanges” are free.
Fifth Corollary: Do not lend out your working spare, especially if the customers radio is beyond repair.
Sixth Corollary: In a real emergency the first thing that is lost is the inventory of spare radios.
Rule #3: You have never been poor-mouthed until you have been poor-mouthed by the city, (township, county, state, etc.).
Rule #4: The amount of useful work that gets completed is inversely proportional to the number of supervisory personnel involved.
Rule #5: Lightning only damages equipment that is grounded.
First Corollary: Lightning will damage the transfer switch intended to switch to the back-up system in the event of a lightning strike.
Second Corollary: Crystal filters attract lightning.
Third Corollary: Fair weather antennas never perform well.
Fourth Corollary: Tornados are caused by mobile home trailer parks.
Rule #6: The money earmarked to build the new radio system went to paying the cost over-runs of the new building.
First Corollary: If the grant money goes into the general fund it will never be spent on radios.
Second Corollary. The entire radio system will have to be removed from the old building and re-installed in the new building. The radio system will need to remain on the air while being removed and re-installed.
Rule #7: In order for the back-up system to operate the primary system must remain fully operational.
Rule #8: Never try to make all dispatchers happy.
First Corollary: The best that you can hope for is “Well, it sounds a little better now. I’ll try and use it for a while and see if we can run with it.”
Second Corollary: Dispatchers refer to other legitimate co-channel radio users on their same mutual aid channel as “interference.”
Third Corollary: No dispatcher anywhere believes their radio system is working properly.
Fourth Corollary: Every dispatcher knows exactly how the new radio system should be built.
Rule #9: (The police officers golden rule). I have an inherent right to take my radio anywhere I go and expect it to work. This includes basements, underground subways, inside elevators on the 80th floor, electrical vaults, underneath viaducts and bridges, and anywhere inside any building whether it is within my jurisdiction or not. As long as I have my radio in my hand it should work.
First Corollary: Every radio system has at least one dead spot. All radio users sincerely believe that the dead spot problem should be fixed at the radio service companies expense.
Second Corollary: 95% coverage really means 120% coverage of the geographic area 120% of the time.
Third Corollary: No dead spots are allowed in a 95% coverage system.
Rule #10: Only cops or ex-cops, firefighters or ex-fire fighters, paramedics or ex-paramedics, attorneys, accountants, or elected officials are ever placed in command of building the new radio system. Trained engineers or qualified technicians with thirty or more years experience will never solicited for their input.
Rule 11: All radios are the same and only a few parts are required to fix any problem on any radio.
First Corollary: You have every part required to fix the users radio in stock in your truck.
Second Corollary: You will give the user a spare radio to use while his is out for repair. It will be the same manufacturer, model, and will be programmed exactly the same as the unit down for repair.
Rule 12: Do not do anything to your communications system on a Friday.
First Corollary: Especially the Friday of a three-day weekend.
Rule 13: The amount of blood is proportional to the newness of the uniform.
Rule 14: The bigger the lawn the better the school.
First Corollary: Sports teams determine how the school is ranked, not academics.
Second Corollary: Sports teams determine how the school is ranked, teacher salary and class size do not enter into the equation.
Third Corollary: The newer the building the better the school.
Fourth Corollary: The lower the height of the school building the better the school.
Rule 15: Radio Tower Principles:
First Corollary: It doesn’t make any difference where you want to build a new radio tower. Some small airport will advance the argument that it is directly in line with their only runway.
Second Corollary: Feedlines and jumpers only go bad on the top of the tower.
Third Corollary: Everybody knows that the same radiation that spawned Godzilla is in every radio tower. (Also in every antenna and hand held portable radio).
Rule 16: Radio Vocabulary, prohibition of the two “R” words:
First Corollary: Do not ever refer to transmitted radio frequency power as being “radiated” or “radiation.” Rather, it should be called “Electro-magnetic Energy” or “signal strength.”
Second Corollary: Radiation patterns should be referred to as “Quality of Signal Strength Direction.”
Third Corollary: Never use the “range” word. If a radio is specified with so many miles range then non-technical people will believe it. “Range” will be interpreted to mean perfectly clear transmit and receive at any place inside of a red circle. Once outside the red circle communications will not be possible.
Rule 17: If one radio doesn’t work, they all don’t work.
First Corollary: The whole system is down.
Rule 18: If you want radio coverage over there, put a radio over there.
Rule 19: You land the plane safely a million times and no body cares. But, you have just one little crash landing and they never let you forget it.
First Corollary: The reason why the airplane crashed is because it was to close to the ground.
Rule 20: I’m surrounded by idiots.
Rule 21: IT people don’t know crap about radio.
Ricks Three Basic Principles,
Justify Anything in Public Safety
Number 1: You start out by saying “Well, in an emergency.”
Number 2: You invoke the “Officer Safety Rule.”
Number 3: You learn how to use the “Bomb Excuse.”
I could not have added anything else. No matter where you work, what state, city, or municipality, one or all of those 'laws' apply!
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