Thread: Apparatus Radios and Speakers
06-30-2012, 11:51 AM #1
Apparatus Radios and Speakers
Wrapping things up for our engine spec, and have a question on radios/speakers.
Our apparatus have 800mhz and UHF mobile radios. We have had issues with cheap dash mounted speakers all over the cab and poor installation/wiring practices from our aftermarket vendors, so we would like to have everything installed at the factory. Since our specification includes an AM/FM Weatherband radio with a speaker in the headliner over each riding position, we would like to use the AM/FM speakers with our 800 and UHF radios, and have them set up to preempt the AM/FM when they have traffic. We want this to improve our ability to hear the radios clearly and cut down on all the extra boxes and wires in the cab.
For example, if we're returning to quarters, we can listen to the game on the radio and Dispatch calling us for another run will cut in over the speakers. Once dispatch clears the air, the game comes back on (until we turn it off).
Has anyone tried this before? Is it too expensive? If you have and it works, can you share the language? If you tried it and it didn't work, please share that too.
We tried the David Clark/Firecomm headsets, did not work for us.
Thanks in advance for any help.
07-01-2012, 08:42 PM #2
The only similar thing I have seen was a department that placed 4 or 6 speakers through the cab for the AM/FM radio and had their dept radio through the headsets. The AM/FM radio would play through the headsets as long as the volume was up enough to trip the driver or officer's mike, but the dept radio would play through all headsets whenever there was a transmission.
I know its not what you had in mind, sorry.------------------------------------
These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
07-02-2012, 02:56 PM #3
With Firecomm headsets, it can be done. There is a wire setup that needs to be purchased separately that connects the intercom and AM/FM and that handles the "cut out" of the AM/FM. We were going to do it, but didn't see the need to add the extra $$$ for the AM/FM connection....but we may be adding it soon."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
07-03-2012, 04:50 PM #4
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
I know of a department that had a setup like you wanted, somehow a circuit fried and the FM radio was broadcasting over the repeater system! Pretty funny for some, not so much for others
07-03-2012, 05:28 PM #5
I was going to recommend the same thing that Bones suggested, although it doesn't really fit the need you were asking for.
I'm curious, what about the headsets that you used previously "didn't work"?
What brand radios will you be using? Motorola makes some very robust speakers (both amplified and non-amplified) that are mainstream in apparatus installations in this area.Career Fire Captain
Volunteer Chief Officer
Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!
07-03-2012, 09:13 PM #6
We had Firecomm headsets a few years ago. For starters, no one liked wearing them, lots of guys complained they were too tight and gave them headaches (I was one). The install and service were poorly done and we ended up with wires all over the place. As is common in our dept, they were not maintained and we had few/no spares. It didn't take long for the dept to stop buying replacements for the ones that stretched out, broke, or got a plug pulled out. Once one headset died in the rig (or the officer didn't want to wear one), the other guys on the rigs couldn't/wouldn't wear them so they could communicate with the guy without one. They only carried our dispatch frequency, so you had to ditch them on mutual aid calls. We had some sets which were open mic all the time, others with the PTT (open jumpseats at the time), so guys would forget they were on one or the other and either broadcast stuff over the radio they didn't want, or the guy with something important to pass would forget to push the button or had his mic in the wrong position. The buttons on the PTT sets in the jumpseats would stick and you would hear engine noise all the time.
I'm sure the state of the art has improved the newer model headsets, but given our budget, it is not worth it. I am not even sure if the AM/FM radio will make it past the red pen at Finance, which is one of the reason's I'm trying to dual purpose the speakers.
We use Motorola radios. The radios and speakers are provided by our county radio dept, which buys the lowest bid accessories they can get. I was hoping to circumvent them supplying junk by using the stereo speakers for the AM/FM.
07-07-2012, 03:17 PM #7
- Join Date
- Nov 1999
We have successfully done something similar to what your talking about. On all our heavy rigs we have David Clark headsets with the AM/FM weather radio non-integrated in the headsets. We had a one-way diode installed in all of them to "cut out" the weather radio when the PTT button was activated so other rigs and dispatch couldn't hear the weather radio over the air. Works like a champ and wasn't expensive at all if I recall correctly.
I would think it wouldn't be much more to cut out the speakers the way your wanting.Stay low and move it in.
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