Division of Technology

Interconnect Guidelines For Primary Palmetto 800 System Users

Purpose

To maintain the availability and functionally of the Palmetto 800 System for the primary system users.
 

Objectives

  • Ensure the integrity of the Palmetto 800 System.
  • Provide interoperability options.
  • Manage system loading.
  • Establish guidelines for the use of interconnects.

Benefits

  • Improve safety.
  • Reduce interference and interconnect technical problems.
  • Provide alternate 800MHz service for special events and emergencies.

Definitions

System Interconnect Device - Any device utilized to connect the Palmetto 800 System to another radio system.
 
Primary Palmetto 800 User - An agency that depends on the Palmetto 800 system for its primary radio services and more than 75 percent of the agencies radios are 800 MHz radios or agencies transitioning to the Palmetto 800 system.
 
Non-Primary Palmetto 800 User - An agency that depends on a radio system other than the Palmetto 800 system as its primary radio system and less than 75 percent of the agencies radios are on the Palmetto 800 System.
 
These guidelines are established to protect the integrity and control of the Palmetto 800 Public Safety Radio System during critical incidents and major emergencies. The Palmetto 800 system is available to all state, local government, fire, EMS, law enforcement, utilities and federal agencies. The system provides primary radio communication service to numerous public safety responders and power utilities.
 
The system users of the Palmetto 800 System recognize the need for interoperability with agencies that have opted not to participate in the shared 800 MHz system. The need for interoperability however cannot be at the expense of South Carolina's largest and most widely used radio system. Numerous public safety agencies and utilities depend on the Palmetto 800 System for their primary communications needs. 
 
Typically interoperability situations occur during major emergencies and disasters when radio systems are being utilized at peak capacity. Misuse of an interconnect device during this time can cripple a radio system. The interconnecting of radio systems during emergency situations raises several critical concerns, including;
  1. Loss of system control.
  2. Overloading of system capacities.
  3. Overcrowding of voice capacities (too many radios on a channel).
  4. Radio interference.
  5. Technical problems (ping-pong effect, loss of system features).
  6. Who needs to talk versus who wants to talk?

Conventional 800 MHz Repeaters

The Palmetto 800 System supports a network of 800 MHz conventional repeaters across South Carolina. This conventional repeater system shall be the first choice for non-Palmetto 800 System users to interconnect to 800 MHz radio users. The guidelines listed below also apply to the use of these conventional repeaters. 
 
Trunking Systems
 
Due to technical limitations and issues, under no circumstances will another trunked system be patched, bridged, or in any other way connected to the Palmetto 800 System. Any resources approved to be connected to Palmetto 800 must be conventional.
 

Planned Event System Interconnects

Planned events are those events where advance approval is given to allow a non-Palmetto 800 radio system user to interconnect into the Palmetto 800 System for a specific event or situation. These interconnects shall be of a temporary nature only and occur only when advance notification was made available to plan and test the interconnection prior to the event.
  1. Motorola and the Palmetto 800 Advisory Committee must be notified at least 15 days prior to the event. Motorola and/or the Advisory Committee may approve or disapprove the interconnect request. The Advisory Committee or Motorola must provide written approval.
  2. Motorola or a designated primary Palmetto 800 System user will be required to be on hand to monitor the radio traffic and loading.
  3. The interconnect shall be made to a low priority talkgroup.
  4. The talkgroup shall be configured to provide coverage for the event only (statewide talkgroups shall not be used).
  5. The ID of the Palmetto 800 radio utilized for the system interconnect shall be provided to Motorola.
  6. Motorola or the Palmetto 800 representative is authorized to inhibit the radio or disconnect the interconnect radio if the integrity or the loading of the Palmetto 800 System is adversely effected. 
  7. Non-Primary users must have a written agreement/approval for the talkgroup to be used for the interconnect, with the Primary User of the Palmetto 800 System. This agreement must be provided to the Palmetto 800 Advisory Committee.
  8. All interconnected systems shall be advised to utilize clear voice transmissions (no codes or signals).

Planned Agency Interconnects For The Purpose Of Transitioning To The Palmetto 800 System

Planned interconnects for agencies that are transitioning to the Palmetto 800 System as a primary Palmetto 800 user will be approved jointly by Motorola and the Palmetto 800 Advisory Committee. These interconnects shall be of a temporary nature with specific beginning and ending dates. Agencies may request extensions based on individual circumstances.
  1. Motorola and the Advisory Committee must be notified at least 10 days prior to the event. Motorola and/or the Advisory Committee may approve or disapprove the interconnect request based on impacts to the Palmetto 800 system. The Advisory Committee or Motorola must provide written approval to the requesting agency.
  2. Motorola will review and approve the design of the ric.
  3. The talkgroup shall be configured to provide coverage for the agencies operational area only (statewide talkgroups shall not be used).
  4. The ID of the Palmetto 800 radio utilized for the system interconnect shall be provided to Motorola.
  5. Motorola, after notifying the agency, may inhibit the radio or disconnect the interconnect radio if the integrity or the loading of the Palmetto 800 System is adversely effected. 

Unplanned Event System Interconnects

Unplanned events are those events or emergencies where advance approval was not given to interconnect a non-Palmetto 800 System into the Palmetto 800 System. These interconnects shall be provided on a case by case review. No authority is given to any agency to interconnect a non-Palmetto 800 system into the Palmetto 800 System without approval.
 
Agencies that plan to use interconnect devices to connect to the Palmetto 800 System must provide advance written notification to Motorola and the Advisory Committee. Written approval must be received prior to the use of any interconnect device on the Palmetto 800 System. The letter shall include the ID of the Palmetto 800 radio/radios and talkgroups that will be utilized for the interconnect device and under what conditions the agency anticipates the use of the interconnect device. The Advisory Committee and Motorola will review the request and provide written response for acceptance or denial of the request.
  1. Motorola will be notified prior to the interconnect device being activated.  Based on system loading at the time of the request Motorola may approve or disapprove the interconnect request.
  2. Motorola or a designated primary Palmetto 800 System user will be on hand to monitor the radio traffic and loading.
  3. The interconnect shall connect to the lowest priority talkgroup possible.
  4. The talkgroup shall be configured to provide coverage for the event only (statewide talkgroups shall not be used).
  5. The ID of the Palmetto 800 radio utilized for the interconnect shall be provided to Motorola.
  6. Motorola or the Palmetto 800 representative are authorized to inhibit the radio or disconnect the interconnect device without notice if the integrity or the loading of the Palmetto 800 System is adversely effected.
  7. Non-Primary Users must have a written agreement/approval for the talkgroup to be used for the interconnect with the Primary User of the Palmetto 800 System.  A Copy of this agreement must be provided to the Palmetto 800 Advisory Committee.
  8. All interconnected systems shall be advised to utilize clear voice transmissions.
  9. Failure to follow these guidelines will be considered a theft of service and may violate FCC rules and regulations.
Violations of these guidelines will be reported to the Advisory Committee for review and action. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the ID's of interconnect radios being permanently inhibited and/or access to the Palmetto System being restricted or denied.
 
The South Carolina Tactical (8SCTAC) frequencies are uniformly referred to by the following names:
 
 Name Base - Mobile
Transmit Frequency
8SCTAC 1 806.2250 – 851.2250 
8SCTAC 2  806.6875 – 851.6875 
8SCTAC 3  807.7750 – 852.7750 
8SCTAC 4  808.6375 – 853.6375 
8SCTAC 5  808.9750 – 853.9750 
Tone Freq. 156.7
These National Public Safety Tactical frequencies are uniformly referred to by the following names:
 
Name Base - Mobile
Transmit Frequency
8CALL90 806.0125 – 851.0125
8TAC91 806.5125 – 851.5125
8TAC92 807.0125 – 852.0125
8TAC93 807.5125 – 852.5125
8TAC94 808.0125 -- 853.0125
Tone Freq. 156.7
For questions, or additional information, please contact George Crouch by calling 803-896-0367.