RIOS FAQ

What is the Gateway Methodology and Entry Point Devices?

The gateway methodology refers to the RIOS I/O Chassis interfacing to a single entry point device to gain access to device’s native network. For example, RIOS might interface to a single 800 MHz mobile radio to communicate to twenty 800 MHz portables in the field. The ONE radios that allows RIOS to talk to ALL the radios in the field, is known as the entry point device.

The graphic below illustrates RIOS interfacing to multiple in-network devices to create a single interoperated group.

When RIOS interfaces to multiple entry points devices, RIOS is able to convert the signals to the proper format and rebroadcast the message to the desired network–creating interoperability between the traditionally non-compatible devices. Continuing with our earlier example, the same RIOS connected to an 800 MHz might ALSO interface to a VHF mobile radio as well (two entry points). If the user links the two entry points within the RIOS GUI, the result of the patch is seamless communication among the corresponding 800 MHz and VHF radios in the field.

What Devices Are Compatible as Entry Points?

RIOS features software-defined interface ports that accept all forms of signaling (RF, PSTN, iDEN, etc.) without the restriction of device-specific analog cards. Logic-based, software-defined signal conversion assures universal system compatibility, provides ad-hoc flexibility to first responders, and reduces follow-up costs associated with new equipment (800 and 700 MHz expansion) and alternative system configurations (radio to PSTN, etc.). Below is a list of common devices used with RIOS.

Mobile Radios (Trunking and Conventional)
Consolette Radios (Trunking and Conventional)
Control Stations and Repeaters
Portable Radios
Smartphones
Smartphone Cameras
Satellite Phones
Nextel iDEN
Standard Cellular (with input/output jack)
Public Switching Telephone Networks
SIP Devices
Bridging System Interfaces (BSI)
DSP2 Gateways
Others as well, please ask.

How Does RIOS Connect to My Radio System?

SyTech can connect to almost all types of radio systems in a variety of ways. In fact, if the radio was manufactured in the last 50 years chances are very good that we can interface with it. SyTech implements at least three methods for radio system interface: Direct Interface, Tone Interface and BIM/CIM Interface.

Direct Interface: The majority of radios are interfaced directly using the electrical output of the physical radio. Preferably, RIOS interfaces to the auxiliary port of mobile or consolette radios. By connecting to this port, RIOS can accept all voice and data that is available through this output. If an auxiliary port is not available, for instance on portable radios, RIOS can also connect to the microphone port for simple transmit/receive functionality.

Tone Interfacing: Tone Interfacing is a staple for connecting to fixed-site radio systems. Tone Interfacing provides an alternative interface for consolette radios without an auxiliary port.  It is a technique critical to proper fixed-site interoperability as it eliminates the need for donor radios commonly seen from competing interoperability systems. To accomplish tone interfacing, RIOS TCI Cards and Multi-Chassis are required. Once the radio circuit is properly interfaced by SyTech, RIOS provides a parallel means to the agency’s current CAD system while delivering great interoperability capabilities, multi-site RoIP connectivity and access to developing technologies.

BIM/CIM Interfacing: Additionally, SyTech offers BIM (Motorola) and CIM (Harris/MA COMM) interfacing for systems requiring a presence on the existing system’s console. With this configuration RIOS is used to “populate” the available BIM with audio from RIOS. These set-aside BIMs are referred to as RIOS BIMs or RIOS Talkgroups.

Should the need for interoperability arise, the dispatcher creates a patch from their existing console with the talkgroup of their choice and the RIOS BIM. The result is a communication link between two radio systems created from the dispatcher’s console. This configuration is often used in a multi-site network when neighboring jurisdictions request interoperability with their radio systems.

Additional Types: SyTech can also interface to E & M and DC circuits should your system require this type of interface.

Is RIOS an IP System?

Yes. RIOS is unique in that at the heart of the system is the RIOS processing code. This means that RIOS is able to communicate locally OR packetize communications for transport across all types of IP networks. The processing nature of the RIOS allows for a fast-track to innovation by placing the emphasis of capability on the software and away from the hardware.

Do You Offer an Entry-Level RIOS System?

Yes, SyTech offers the RIOS Six-Port as an entry-level, personal system. The RIOS Desktop Package includes the RIOS Six-Port Gateway, RIOS Server Software, power adaptor and USB cable with type-A connector. The RIOS Desktop offers six high-density interface ports for connections to various devices.

After installing the RIOS software, simply connect the I/O Module via USB to the computer and power on the unit. Connect the corresponding RIOS interface cables to the device(s) and I/O Module and start the RIOS Client Application.

All RIOS Servers ship with one computer connection port for login access to the RIOS GUI. Additional computer connection ports can be purchased for RIOS Multi-User Access. Additional software modules such as RIOS Multi-Site Control for the RIOS Wide-Area Network, Integrated Recording and Remote Radio Control are also available.

SyTech recommends RIOS Server operate on the Windows XP platform for best results.

Does RIOS require a central server?

No, RIOS does not require a central server. RIOS is able to process multisite code independent of centralized server or service due to the software-based nature of the RIOS ICS. Fundamentally, RIOS is a “node replicating device” that creates an operational environment featuring the ability to translate among processing protocols.

Node replication is a very rare differentiation amount of interoperable communication switches and servers. Competing systems offered by Motorola, MA/COM, Cisco, and Raytheon require a central point of service for wide-area applications. RIOS processing code locally prepares all communications packets for peer-to-peer network topology. The result? Highly-scalable response nodes independent of single point of failure. Simply put, if your network goes down, your local interoperability will stay up. Rights and permissions can be administered with wide-area administrative rights but no central server or service is required.

In addition to resilience, independent servers allow organizations to build out their network independent from network connectivity. This feature reduces installation timeframes and encourages system participation from individual owners.

What Types of IP Networks are Compatible?

RIOS was built from the ground up to operate within the IP network environment. Fully distributed, IP based processing allows RIOS to efficiently route data across all types of networks including Satellite, DSL, ATM, MPLS, Internet, etc. The distributed design results in a peer-to-peer topology that allows sites to function autonomously without the reliance of a central hub, device-specific IP addresses or proprietary radio-over IP protocols.

Networking features include:

Peer-to-Peer Network Architecture
Selectable Compression
Efficient Data Transport
Single-Server IP Addressing
Error-Checking TCP/IP Connectivity
Automated Network Configuration (RIOS Site Builder)

Multiple layers of security at the network and application level protect the Network from intruders and malicious entities. SyTech can include specific network encryption where available.

Who Uses RIOS?

For over a decade, RIOS has been a trusted interoperability provider for:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Homeland Security (CBP, DEA, FEMA and others)
  • Department of Justice (FBI, DEA and others)
  • State Police and other State Agencies (DOH, DOT)
  • Local Agencies (PD, Sheriff, Fire, EMS)
  • Commercial and Utility Organizations
  • Educational Institutions and Universities

Are You the Original Hardware and Software Manufacturer?

Yes. SyTech manufactures and designs all of its systems and software in-house, in the United States. SyTech and its employees are a unique blend of radio engineers, software programmers, systems engineers, and IT professionals. Founded by former NSA and Naval Lab engineers, SyTech has the knowledge, expertise, and experience to deliver and support a system on par with your organization’s high standards of performance. Whether your system requires customized hardware applications, specialized software development, or unique network solutions, SyTech has the personnel and resources to make your interoperability assignment a success.

Do You Offer Training?

Yes. SyTech recommends a training session for most RIOS systems. SyTech RIOS training consists of 1.5 days of administrator and end-user instruction. Traditionally, the instructor travels on Day 1 AM and meets with the system owner/administrator Day 1 PM to review the system’s operation while reviewing the system at high level. Day 2 AM involves instruction of the system in classroom format while Day 2 PM involves hands-on practice and field exercises. Attendees are encouraged to bring their programmed radios for field testing.

Materials:

SyTech RIOS Control Manual: Bound, Color (Quantity at Request, Max 10)
Administrator PowerPoint Document (2)
Demo Disc Installation (Quantity at Request, Max 10)
Notepads and Pens

Course Outline:

Day 1 PM

System Check-up
System Testing
Administrator Review, Instructions and System Discussion
Training Set Up

Day 2 AM

System Explanation
System Overview
Assets Overview
Functions Overview
Patches, Dispatch Groups, Control, Chat, etc.
Client Control and Practice
EVDO Overview (if applicable)
Recording Interface (if applicable)
Configuration of Ports

Day 2 PM

Customer Hands-on Exercises
Customer Field Exercises
Repeat until Administrator is comfortable with the end-user’s ability

Do You Offer Support and/or Warranty?

Dedicated facilities such as our RIOS Operations Center (ROC) support our Wide-Area RIOS Networks with daily maintenance checks and remote assistance. RIOS technicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for personable, “know-by-name” support, advice, and training. All systems come with one-year full support and warranty with options for extended warranty.

We at SyTech realize the nature of what it is you are trying to accomplish—if you have questions, need a cable or want to know more about your system, give us call at 703-941-7887.

How Can I Purchase?

If your agency allows you to directly purchase, you can purchase from SyTech or an authorized reseller. If your agency requires a purchasing vehicle, we can assist during the purchasing process.

Contact RIOS Sales at 703-941-7887.