Botetourt County, VA, USA

The customer

Botetourt County is an outdoor paradise – with the 4,000 ft Blue Ridge Mountains in the east and national forests making up 22 percent of the County. The same environment that attracts people to the area makes it a demanding place to provide radio communications. There are many hills and valleys and in winter the region experiences extreme weather conditions including rain, snow, heavy ice and lightning.

Situation

Botetourt County was using a low band conventional system. However, the rugged landscape meant that upgrading a conventional system or moving to a trunked system would require many sites to get the coverage required and it would be costly to install.

Response

The option of a Quasi-Sync system was investigated. The high performance of TaitNet QS2 significantly reduces maintenance. It uses high stability oscillators to maintain a very stable transmitter frequency. With traditional simulcast systems transmitter frequencies drift over time so regular maintenance is required at each site to avoid distorted audio signals in areas where coverage overlaps.
TaitNet QS digital signal processing-based Line Equalizer Modules route audio to each transmitter, analyze the characteristics of a neighboring transmitter and automatically adapt their own signals to match.

Outcome

The four-site seven-channel system is used by three main agencies in the county - the sheriff’s department, fire and rescue ambulance and the school district’s 90-strong bus fleet.

Each group has its own channel to ensure privacy and channel space without overlap. At the same time, a single common channel there is one channel common to all radios on the system so that the groups can co-ordinate in an emergency. Local authorities in Botetourt County, Virginia now have improved radio coverage with their new Tait Quasi-Sync System.

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