1. #1
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    Default Radios as pagers

    We are currently using Minitor V's for pagers. There are now a great deal of small radios that offer two tone alerting and some of them are considerably cheaper than the Minitors. Also, my experience is that most radios can pick up a weak signal a little better than pagers, weak signals plague our area. I am considering purchasing some of these small radios to issue in place of pagers, as our pager inventory is very low. We use a VHF system.

    For the departments that are using radios as pagers can you answer a few questions for me. What model do you use? Do the members mind wearing them? Are the external antennas a nuisance? How is the battery life? How is the durability? Are antennas always breaking from constant wearing? How is the radio for alerting (ie. does it produce loud tones like a pager to wake a heavy sleeper)? Can the radio scan 2 or 3 channels while in silent mode, and still alert (the Minitor V can scan 2 channels)? Does the radio have any additional features such as vibrate mode? Are they simple enough for the typical user, so they don't miss pages?

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    Some of the radios I'm currently looking at are the Icom F50 (no cheaper than Minitor), Icom F3001, Vertex VX-160, Vertex 230 and 350 series. I would be interested in other compact, rugged, paging cabable portables as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blaster668 View Post
    We are currently using Minitor V's for pagers. There are now a great deal of small radios that offer two tone alerting and some of them are considerably cheaper than the Minitors. Also, my experience is that most radios can pick up a weak signal a little better than pagers, weak signals plague our area. I am considering purchasing some of these small radios to issue in place of pagers, as our pager inventory is very low. We use a VHF system.

    For the departments that are using radios as pagers can you answer a few questions for me.
    What model do you use? Motorola CFs

    Do the members mind wearing them? Yes
    Are the external antennas a nuisance?yes
    How is the battery life? Equal to our pagers in most cases
    How is the durability? That depends on the user and what system he/she uses to carry the radio
    Are antennas always breaking from constant wearing?NO
    How is the radio for alerting (ie. does it produce loud tones like a pager to wake a heavy sleeper)? Yes
    Can the radio scan 2 or 3 channels while in silent mode, and still alert (the Minitor V can scan 2 channels)?Yes, but I cant remember whether it activates on open channel or on page channel
    Does the radio have any additional features such as vibrate mode? NO
    Are they simple enough for the typical user, so they don't miss pages?Operation of a radio is not rocket science, but they say ya cant fix stupid I guess

    They are relatively easy to operate, but a pain to carry unless you use a radio case. I miss my old pager...
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    Quote Originally Posted by blaster668 View Post
    We are currently using Minitor V's for pagers. There are now a great deal of small radios that offer two tone alerting and some of them are considerably cheaper than the Minitors. Also, my experience is that most radios can pick up a weak signal a little better than pagers, weak signals plague our area. I am considering purchasing some of these small radios to issue in place of pagers, as our pager inventory is very low. We use a VHF system.

    For the departments that are using radios as pagers can you answer a few questions for me. What model do you use? Do the members mind wearing them? Are the external antennas a nuisance? How is the battery life? How is the durability? Are antennas always breaking from constant wearing? How is the radio for alerting (ie. does it produce loud tones like a pager to wake a heavy sleeper)? Can the radio scan 2 or 3 channels while in silent mode, and still alert (the Minitor V can scan 2 channels)? Does the radio have any additional features such as vibrate mode? Are they simple enough for the typical user, so they don't miss pages?
    Kenwoods.

    Battery life is about the same as pagers if not longer.

    We have had no durability or antenna issues.

    You can lock out as many channels as you want in the scan mode.

    It has a page only feature for one channel.

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    Great topic! We are considering the same thing when we replace our II's, III's and IV's for narrowbanding.

    In addition to the reasons mentioned, we are also thinking about increased functionality. We currently are using a state run DTRS and only use VHF for paging. It would be nice to have the extra radios as a backup if the DTRS ever goes down.

    Looking forward to the replies.
    Last edited by Lump532; 02-05-2011 at 04:13 AM. Reason: Spelling. Was I drunk when I wrothe that?

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    We issue Kenwood TK-272s with a 2-Tone channel programmed in. They work fine, but for smaller departments who don't have much radio traffic unless there is a call, you might as well just keep it on your primary channel.

    I prefer carrying my Minitor II and leaving the radio on a strap in the truck when I am off duty.
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    We run Vertex 160's and love them. Can do everything a pager can except vibrate if programed the right way. No problems with anntenas, you can get a stubby for the guys that think its a problem. Vertex has a newer and small radio out now, I forget the model number that many departs here are using a love. They hold up very well for the price. Battery life is great especially if you charge it the way your suppose to. I have had mine now for 4 yrs and I mean its been a ruff 4 yrs. I very bad about nt taking proper care of the radio. It's fallen off the pumper twice going down the road and survived. ( don't ask lol
    One of the main reasons we decied to get away from pagers is I want to know which firefighters are responding and how many. The firefighters can also do size up and give important information even if there arriving POV.
    Last edited by volfireman034; 02-04-2011 at 11:35 PM.

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    Wink Ours

    We use I*com F60 WERE on uhf in our area there semi new f 60 have all we would need they are 4watt radios the f 50 VHF are 5 watts they have all that you may be looking for pager/ radio and the programing is just about endless. ours are set up to tell radio number of owner say 1509's unit or whatever # is used for ID in your dept. next and very important to me battery strenght so you know before you need to use it or need to trade the battery out for 1 on the charger. when set on pager it will vibrate to tell you you have a nibble and not tell everybody else you do.Here is the sealer for for us. Its .................. WaterProof to 6', (wow waterproof radio) and what do we use OH YEA we hade ours for 2+ years now no problems.Hea contact your local dealer and ask for a demo of this unit .We did he brought it to us to try out first thing we did with it is drop it many times in the sink full of water and then threw OK we tossed it out the back door to the field behind the station to check it for durability then blew out the mic and speaker with a couple of breaths and it worked great there around $425 ea . just something to think on. good luck

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    Vertex 350. Tough lil radio with improved dutability over the VX 180 we issued previously. Battery doesn't last as long as a swissphone pager. T.C.

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    We have tried to go with radio's, the F50, we thought it would be good, but the radio's battery life was 10 hrs at best and you can get bigger batteries to last 12-14 hrs but much heavier and my guys hated wearing a radio- we went back to pagers, the Watchdog pager was less than the Minitor and comes with 5 yr warranty and get this, they are built in USA- We are trying more and more to look for product built in the USA!

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    Just keep i mind the battery life and weight, our guys stopped wearing the radio because of the size and we using the old Minitor II' because of the issues with the Minitor V's. Radio are good but they are not a replacement for the pagers- look at the USAlert, Swissphone and SCA- they all offer demo- doesn't hurt to try?

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    the scan will only work in 2 channels if you have a standard 1sec 3 sec system, if you scan more than that you take a chance of missing call, the WatchDog pager does 5 channels but only scan 2 at one time- we have them, they are really loud- and you can switch to the other 3 channels as you need, we have guys that run in 2 departments and we carrying 2 units- they are happy- Power goes out and you can use alkaline batteries as back up- you do that easy with portable

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