Scout System Gateways

Voice Over IP Protocol Gateway (VPGate)

VPGate software translates VoIP traffic as well as a variety of open and proprietary communication protocols to a common language used to communicate to Scout consoles and other VPGate systems over a LAN/WAN. VPGate interfaces to third-party protocols to connect Scout with the third-party endpoint devices.

VPGate separates the Scout console software from the software interfaces for third-party endpoint devices. Avtec creates the third-party interfaces as separate entities, which allows the interfaces to be added or removed from a Scout console system as business needs dictate without affecting the Scout console software. VPGate is unlimited in the variety of interfaces that it can support in a Scout system, which allows VPGate to provide the utmost flexibility for connectivity to various communication technologies and protocols.

Endpoints in a Scout console system include radio, telephone circuits, and other devices. Every endpoint is assigned to an instance of VPGate, and one VPGate instance can license a maximum of 160 endpoints. To ensure reliability, VPGate is licensed in a redundant pair configuration; two copies of the system ensure that every endpoint is available at all times, even if one VPGate computer fails. Additional redundant pairs of VPGate can be added to a Scout system that needs to support more than 160 endpoints. Generally, VPGate systems reside within the same LAN with the Scout consoles and use multicast over the LAN to send audio to the consoles.

For smaller systems (up to 40 endpoints), VPGate can reside on the same computer as a Scout console. For larger installations with many endpoints, Avtec recommends a dedicated computer for each VPGate instance. VPGate communicates via Ethernet to VoIP endpoints using unicast transmissions; this simplifies its use in WAN environments. For non-IP devices such as control stations or Cimarron ANI decoders, VPGate uses a serial protocol. In these cases, two interfaces can be chained together for an endpoint. One converts the serial protocol to IP and another converts the proprietary protocol to the Avtec System Protocol.

VPGate is configured and managed through Scout Manager via a built-in web server. All updates take effect immediately after editing, eliminating a need to restart the gateway. Using an embedded server for configuration and status pages allows access to any VPGate system over the network from any installed Scout Manager location or from any standard web browser. For security purposes, users must have permissions established in DMS before updating the VPGate webpages.

In the event of a lost VPGate license key due to a computer failure, customers have the ability to activate a VPGate Emergency License. This license key allows the customer to continue using the VPGate service with a software key on a new server when recovering from a hardware failure. Upon installation, a 14-day emergency license key activates allowing dispatchers to continue dispatch operations while the administrator acquires proper Scout Suite Software licensing.

Although Avtec offers a robust VPGate computer, it can be customer supplied. VPGate operates on a Windows Server 2019 platform.


Scout with Frontier makes efficient access to geographically diverse endpoints a reality. A Frontier-enabled Scout system reduces WAN use and provides seamless access to endpoints located anywhere Frontier software exists. At start up, Frontier-enabled Scout locations advertise their local endpoints to other Frontier peers as well as to the remote endpoints in which they have interest. This discovery process allows the Frontier peers to learn how to access shared endpoints. However, for network efficiency, Frontier peers do not pass audio or most status updates across the WAN until a console position wants to use a shared endpoint. Once a shared endpoint is in an active state on a console, it displays and reacts the same as local endpoints. To the dispatcher, the difference is unnoticeable.

A Frontier-enabled Scout location can be composed of a fully deployed Scout system or as little as a Frontier computer and one or more remote Scout consoles. In addition, Frontier can be installed to communicate with its local Scout console using either a multicast configuration or a direct, localhost connection. In any configuration, a Scout system with Frontier provides seamless interaction with all endpoints, both those homed to a local instance of VPGate and those homed to an instance of VPGate located across the WAN.

Frontier software is licensed and controlled via a Frontier-enabled VPGate license. Licenses allow for redundant implementation to prevent a single point of failure. Frontier software operates on a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2019 platform. It requires at least Scout Version 2.4 and Frontier-enabled VPGate Version 2.4.