Law enforcement makes digital switch
January 13, 2014, 6:33 pm by Alexandria Randolph
Law enforcement and first responder agencies will officially begin the conversion from analog to digital radios on Feb. 4, and officials said that civilian and hobby radio users will still be able to tune in.
Jim Barho, Burnet County Emergency Management Coordinator and the chairman of the Radio Committee described the system as a change from analog to a narrowband, digital trunking system.
"We were looking to improve coverage, Barho said.
The analog system used two towers, one in northern
To develop a system with better coverage, Llano, Burnet and Blanco counties banded together to form the Western Counties Regional Radio System.
"For the last four to five years, weve been getting funding and building infrastructure. Now we have 10 tower sites, Barho said. "It gives us exceptional coverage.
All radio systems work by line of sight, but the new system
follows terrain curvature better, which is helpful in the rolling hills of
The new trunk radio system works much like a cell phone signal, Barho said.
"It immediately changes from tower to tower. Before if you were out of range, you lost your coverage.
Just as a cell phone can set a list of speed dial favorites, the new radio system gives first responders the ability to preset channels that they commonly use.
For the full story, see the Tuesday edition of The Highlander.
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