TechTips

Setting up OneDrive for Network Scans

Do you have documents you need to scan, but you don’t want to send them one by one to your e-mail account? OneDrive will let you set things up so that you may scan on the big county copier/scanners and then send the files directly to your OneDrive account.

  • Open a browser and input the following URL in the address bar, but replace username with your county SSO username:
    https://mcgov-my.sharepoint.com/personal/username_montgomerycountymd_gov/_layouts/15/mngsiteadmin.aspx
  • Click in the box next to your name and type to search for svc-od4b_scan.
    OneDrive Setup for Scans
  • Click to select on the search result (svc-od4b_scan) and click the OK button.
  • Use the Ricoh to scan your document(s).

Logging into PSTrax (ALS Providers Only)

Assuming you are an ALS provider with MCFRS and you have rights to PSTrax, here is a set of instructions for logging into the system. If that still does not work, please submit a TSR. If it is an emergency and you need to log meds at the moment, please contact the FRS IT standby number (240.777.2233, option 1). Still, try the following procedure first:

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

If you are logging into PSTrax and are doing it from a computer on which you have already logged onto a Microsoft app (such as Outlook), you will only be prompted for your PSTrax login (which is your full e-mail address, using firstname.lastname@montgomerycountymd.gov).

PSTrax Login Screen

If you are logging into PSTrax and are doing it from a computer on which you have NOT logged into any Microsoft app (such as the ePCR or even a county desktop), then you will get three login screens. The first is the PSTrax login with your full firstname.lastname@montgomerycountymd.gov address, followed by the Microsoft login page, using your SSO@montgomerycountymd.gov address.

PSTrax Login Screen

PSTrax Login - Microsoft Login Screen

PSTrax Login Screen - MCG Login Screen

 

 

Announcing the New ePCR Computer: Panasonic FZ-G2

As you may have heard, MCFRS is replacing all of the Panasonic CF-20 ePCR machines with a new model, the FZ-G2. (This does not affect Elite or anything else you may run on the machine.) The replacement is occurring one battalion at a time over the summer and early fall of 2023. Here are some important notes:

Stability and Docking

  • The new machines are sturdier than the current CF-20s.
  • Docks have been outfitted with wings to help keep the ePCR from dropping to the ground. (Note: You will mount it vertically.)
  • The new machines are top-heavy, so you should use the handle as an outrigger to balance it and prevent it from falling backward.FZ-G2 ePCR Model

Networking

  • The machines are no longer stand-alone computers. The FZ-G2 will connect to the county public safety network using the same technology as the MDC (a program called NetMotion and protected by iBoss).

Keyboard

  • The connection between tablet and keyboard is manual (for a more reliable connection).
    • There is no auto-locking, so please follow the instructions on the keyboard base to avoid gravity-related problems.
    • The DC cover on the bottom-left side of the tablet must be closed prior to placing the tablet into the keyboard base. The tablet must be pressed firmly into the keyboard base while the locking mechanism is slid to the left.FZ-G2 Keys

USB

  • There is an easy-access USB port on the left side of the keyboard base for you to connect the Airtraq camera.
  • The port is protected by a sliding door.

PSTrax

  • Attention, ALS Providers: There is a shortcut for PSTrax on the desktop. As a reminder, you must have completed your training to use the system. (Training deadline is 08/01. See here for the training and please use your tech training login credentials.)PSTrax logo

 

Answering Some 800 MHz Radio (Model 8000) Questions

With the May 2023 rollout of the model 8000 radio, some field personnel have been asking questions. Here are answers to the common questions:

  • The Wi-Fi symbol will be starting to appear on radios as the Wi-Fi system is turned on at stations.  It is the symbol above the C in MCFRS and below the scan symbol. The only purpose of the Wi-Fi is for radio programming. (No, you cannot connect your phone to the radio and surf the web.)

    800 MHz Portable Radio Model 8000 Interface

  • The satellite symbol between the Bluetooth and H indicates GPS lock. If it is flashing, it does NOT have GPS reception like when in a building.
  • The H indicates the channel or talkgroup is transmitting in high power. There are some channels by regulation that must transmit in low power and those will display an L.
  • The 3 dot button on the face of the new RSMs is unused right now and does nothing

Synching a PW Change with Windows Laptop and County SSO (for Teleworkers)

This TechTip is directed toward people who telecommute.

A common problem for many has been, when they have to change their single sign-on passwords every 90 days, that the network password updates while the Windows password doesn’t immediately change (and may take days or weeks to catch up). Most commonly, that occurs when a person changes the password via ePortal and not Windows.

Instead:

  • Log onto the VPN on your laptop.
  • Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete on your keyboard and choose Change a Password.
  • Type the old password and the new one twice, as requested.
  • Press the Enter key or click the right-arrow on the side of the second new password input box.

That’s it. Both the laptop and all of county single sign-on applications will accept the new password (although it might take a few minutes to update across all of the servers). Remember, though, it is imperative that you update your password on mobile devices where you have mail accounts set up, or else you will lock up your account when the device(s) try to use the old password.

 

Avoiding Losing Your MDC Touchpad

With a common keystroke mistake, MDC users (with the Panasonic FZ-55) are disabling their touchpads while trying to lower screen brightness. If this happens to you, press the FN and ESC keys.

  • Fn-Esc is a toggle to turn off and on the touchpad.
  • Fn-F1 reduces the brightness.
  • Fn-F2 increases the brightness.

There is no way for MCFRS IT to disable the Fn-Esc toggle, so you are advised to try this keystroke if you suddenly lose your touchpad capabilities.

MDC Esc and F1 keys

Reacting to Failsoft on the 800 MHz Radio

When the 800 MHz radio system has major computer problems, but stops just short of completely breaking, we enter what is called Failsoft mode.

How to know you’re in Failsoft mode:

  • Failsoft appears on your radio’s screen.
  • You will hear a regular chirp seconds.
  • ECC will announce that we are in Failsoft.

What happens?

  • All of our talkgroups reduce to a handful of channels. Those frequencies are shared and no longer parsed into separate talkgroups.
  • EB is no longer functioning.
  • No radio patches are available. (Note: This includes EMRC.)

What should you do?

  • Refrain from talking on the radio unless you have something vital to say.
  • Turn off the Scan feature.
  • Treat Failsoft like Condition Red.

Here is the Failsoft fleetmap:

Failsoft Fleetmap

Understanding the 800 MHz Radio Changes (October 2022)

There are two main changes to the 800 MHz radio system for October 2022:

  • Fleetmap change regarding PG County zone
  • FDTA change regarding tone and EB

Fleetmap Change

PG County has realigned zone 8 to match MCFRS when it comes to Ops and Dispatch.

  • 8A1 is now Ops
  • 8A2 is now Disp

FDTA Tone Gone

Effective with the upgrade to your radio, you will no longer hear a tone when you press your PTT on FDTA. This may take some time for people to get used to, but it was necessary with the other change (EB, below).

FDTA EB Available (but Limited)

The EB is now functional on FDTA, but not exactly likely it is on talkgroups that go through the trunked system. (Remember, FDTA is still a simplex channel, unheard by ECC.) Here are the basics:

  • What happens when I am on FDTA and activate my EB?
    • You effectively launch an EB activation.
    • You will hear a tone every 10 seconds.
    • ECC will not know that you have launched an EB and it is up to your incident commander to include ECC.
  • Will people who are scanning FDTA know that I have launched an EB?
    • Their radios will flash EA received (with your apparatus name and position, as shown in the example below), but it will only flash for them. It will then jump back to their TG(s).
    • They will not hear an extended tone.
    • The orange banner will rotate briefly between your apparatus name with riding position and your known location (if accessible, unlike the image below).
      EB on FDTA
  • What is the range on who will know I have pressed my EB?
    • This is no different than the normal range for FDTA. Line of sight is about a mile, but buildings and various building materials shorten that.
  • What if I press the EB accidentally? Is clearing the EB on FDTA the same as on any other talkgroup?
    • Yes, simply press and hold a few seconds until it clears.
    • There is no need to tell ECC, though.