1. #1
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    Default 800mHz Trunked Radio for Fire Service

    Any good or bad comments about using 800mHz trunked radio for fire service vs VHF-hi or UHF? Objective reviews please.

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    I think its overkill for most fire departments to be on a trunked radio system (TRS).

    However... I can see where a large county based dispatch might benefit.

    Another thought is that the more complicated you make it, the more chance for a problem.

    New Jersey has a couple of small cities and townships with their own TRS. Somehow a good number of large cities manage without using a TRS, just fine. Why a Township department might think they need one is beyond me.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Our county has used a trunked 800 MHz system since I've been here. I personally havn't seen issues with that system since I've been here, but can't really compare it to the old system. The biggest problems that I've seen are related to the simutaneous brocadasting on low band that we have for the pagers and problems with old equipment on that side of things.

    From reading other posts here, it seems that the key to the 800 MHz system is making sure that you have sufficient towers to ensure coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ponebutton2 View Post
    Any good or bad comments about using 800mHz trunked radio for fire service vs VHF-hi or UHF? Objective reviews please.
    The first question would be why do you feel the need for an 800 mhz trunked system? Is it being mandated by your state/county interoperability communications plan?
    Or is it something somebody read about and thought it would be Cool to have?

    There is nothing wrong with the functioning of a well designed VHF or UHF system.
    The same can be said for 800 MHZ except the cost of equipment and radios is WAY more than VHF/UHF conventional.
    Need a lot more info such as type of system used now, location ie flatlands, mountains, valley's, distance from one end of coverage area to the other, available frequencies. number of units on the system.

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    Cool Radios...

    My previous Department, our local County FD uses an 800 mhz TRS and it functions for them very well.

    My Career Department has all (3) and then some. My professional opinion is the good ole reliable VHF, is best especially for Tacs. Here's my favorite part of the VHF, when a FF Down/Mayday/whatever you call it is called in, (2) personnel can transmit at the same time. Makes getting the message out easier and there is none of that "Trunk Honking" or "Digital Honking" in the UHF Systems.

    Just some food for thoughts... I'd go with whatever is going to work the best to provide interoperability for your area.

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    Default P25 compliant two way radios

    If your department is successfully using traditional VHF system, why reinvent the wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rkarchbold View Post
    If your department is successfully using traditional VHF system, why reinvent the wheel.
    Because sometimes there is a bigger picture to look at than just you and your own department.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Because sometimes there is a bigger picture to look at than just you and your own department.
    Such as talk to mutual FD in the county and area?

    We talk to all the other FD in the two counties we operate in over County Fire channels over VHF. Both counties in process of NB transition work. Additional repeaters etc to provide improved and necessary coverage.

    Also have channels programmed for other bordering counties (VHF) in NW, N, East of the two counties we operate in. To W and S metro counties operate on mix of 800mhz (neither very sucessfully it appears) and VHF. Co EMA has portable multiband repeater that can be used if required for _______.

    Not sure we need anything/worth spending $ other than VHF.

    State has sucked all the Fed Interop $ to NB their nets. Changeover for the state starts in the next 2 weeks. And also using for 700mhz system install. They are selling as can talk to anyone in the state.

    What does 700mhz broadband backbone do for the rural FD? I don't think I care if I can talk a cop 30mi away. Perhaps the PSAP has 700mhz for voice.

    What are capabilites envisioned for Bama's network?

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    My dept currently uses the good ole VHF system and works great for us and yes were a volunteer dept. we did get some of the 800 radios which sadly our county is slowly going to, our rescue service has already completely gone to it and it seems to work fine for them. but we here in the fire service noticed that the 800's are good to a point. when workin wrecks and outdoorsy type situations their fine, but when we go into our large industrial buildings signal drops completely so for now when were on fires we use our VHF radios HT1250's but on wrecks were trying to use the 800 system which we have the XTS2500

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