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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Recording "Car to Car" radio traffic

    Here's how our county system is set up. We have 16 channels in our fire/ems system however only 5 channels are recorded by our dispatch center. One is a dedicated dispatch channel and the four others are used to mark enroute, on scene, transporting, etc. When a radio is keyed up one one of these 5 channels the signal is sent to a "tower" which then sends the signal to our dispatch center. However when there is a working incident, ie a fire, we switch to a seperate "fireground" channel that is not sent to a tower and thus is not recieved or heard by our dispatch center. This is a local "car to car" or "radio to radio" channel only and can only be heard withing two miles or so of the incident.

    The whole reason for this post is our department wants to record this fireground audio for training purposes, run critique, etc. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how this can be done localy through our department. Our dispatch center dipatches for 15 departments and is operated by the county sherrifs office.

    Any Ideas?


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by william7299 View Post
    Here's how our county system is set up. We have 16 channels in our fire/ems system however only 5 channels are recorded by our dispatch center. One is a dedicated dispatch channel and the four others are used to mark enroute, on scene, transporting, etc. When a radio is keyed up one one of these 5 channels the signal is sent to a "tower" which then sends the signal to our dispatch center. However when there is a working incident, ie a fire, we switch to a seperate "fireground" channel that is not sent to a tower and thus is not recieved or heard by our dispatch center. This is a local "car to car" or "radio to radio" channel only and can only be heard withing two miles or so of the incident.

    The whole reason for this post is our department wants to record this fireground audio for training purposes, run critique, etc. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how this can be done localy through our department. Our dispatch center dipatches for 15 departments and is operated by the county sherrifs office.

    Any Ideas?
    The set up you are talking about where the signal is sent to a tower is a repeated frequency. When you transmit your radio transmits on one freqency, the signal goes from your radio to the repeater, and is re-broadcast on a diffrent frequency at a higher wattage. The main reason that many (if not most) departments dont have a repeated fireground is the simplicity of the system, the only thing that can go wrong with a point to point system is a maulfunction of an individual radio, leaving 1 person "out of the loop." On the other hand a repeated frequency becomes completly useless to everyone if the repeater goes down.

    One way to record a non repeated frequency is to set up recive sites through out your responce area. From there you have two options. If the recordings are not going to be used for instant recall pourposes in emergency situations you can set up a web based recorder, and acsess the tapes via the internet when you need them, or you can patch that frequency to a seperate repeated frequency, and set up a recorder on the repeated frequency. Just keep in mind, once patched any interference on either freq will carry over to the other, and neither of these are cheap, especily if you cover a large area. Good luck



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  3. #3
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    Way too complicated and expensive for one department that wants to record themselves.

    All you need to do is plug a scanner or similar receiver into a laptop and record it directly on scene. There is a program called RecAll Pro. (http://www.sagebrush.com/recpro.htm) that you will want to use. It will timestamp the recordings and will stop recording during silence. You can have it create a new file every day. Or start/stop it manually. I've been using this program connected to a base radio for over 7 years uninterrupted and continuously.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by william7299 View Post
    I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how this can be done localy through our department. Our dispatch center dipatches for 15 departments and is operated by the county sherrifs office.

    Any Ideas?
    We use a single track stand alone logging recorder installed in the command vehicle. The logging recorder is connected to a single channel receiver on the simplex fireground frequency.

    All of the radio traffic is recorded on a compact flash card with time stamps. Everything runs off 12 volts and is wired to the ignition switch of the vehicle, so nobody has to remember to start the recorder, set up a laptop, etc. Most of the firefighters & officers even forget the recorder exists until they hear the radio traffic at a critique.

    We used the Multisuns TCR-1000 recorder purchased from here: http://www.digitaldjcincinnati.com/diversified/

  5. #5
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    Thankyou everybody for your ideas. I will continue to look into it with the help of your thoughts.

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