1. #1
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    Default Is Your FD Prepared for the Narrowbanding Mandate?

    The deadline for fire departments and other public safety agencies to meet the FCC Narrowbanding Mandate is just over three months away. Has your department updates radios, filed the proper paperwork or for an extension? Here's more: http://www.firehouse.com/article/107...u-need-to-know

  2. #2
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    islandfire03's Avatar
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    Probably not a very good chance of getting waivers. We've had more than 5 years notice to get this transition accomplished. Far too many folks waited till this year to get started. Don't forget to refile your FCC license application for narrowband.

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    Our County owns our dispatch frequencies and they still do not have a definitive "plan" for making the transition. The channel we are on (151.430) was supposed to be temporary to get us switched from lowband to highband in 2005 (it is shared as a different fire dispatch channel in the same county, but with different PL tones). They told us last year that they were phasing our channel out and moving us to a new narrowbanded channel. To this date, the only answer we can get as to when is "soon" (this was also told to us in April and still no progress). The best part is, we have 3 independent volunteer fire companies in our township, 2 of which are on the "old" channel and 1 is on the "new" channel. Sorta makes interoperability a little tough sometimes. Plus, our County just moved about 20 departments from lowband to highband and one from ultra-high to highband in the past month, but still nothing for us. Frustrating to say the least considering we are ready and willing but they won't commit to anything.

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    Sure are! We narrowbanded everything about six weeks ago.
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    You bet we are! Switched about 3 weeks ago and everything is working just fine.

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    We were switched from VHF(151.XXX) to UHF(800) this summer and it hasn't gone well. We're still toned out on 151 because there is no digital pager available that can do real time. The new 800 radios are very expensive, average $3,000 a piece and by going to a digital signal it's either working or not so a good percentage of time it sounds like Wall-E is on the radio. We're also running into issues with building penetration, tower availability and then when it does work it's a glorified nextel. These 800's were supposed to alow everyone to talk to everyone, yet the talk groups programed on our radio I can't even talk to PD anymore. I feel like we are throwing good money after bad.

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    Brian: Thats because someone in your state listened to a salesman's hype and bought it hook line & sinker. Many places have done the same and gone to a proprietary network system and had nothing but problems and those problem areas don't go away without spending a lot more money for infrastructure.

    It's really nice to say you have an expensive digital radio with all the talkgroups and other bells and whistles offered today.
    Does the average line firefighter need it???
    NO Do we need a $3000.00 radio in everyones pocket? NO
    A simple 5 channel analog radio operating in simplex is all most folks need. Leave the big fancy multi thousand $$$$$ radios for the command officers and mobiles in the vehicles.

  8. #8
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    islandfire03 : You're preaching to the choir. We were just fine with our old analog Motorola and Kenwoods that even had PD's channel in them. Right now we have 6 preps for a department of 16 people and one of those preps has to stay behind at the station so others can hear whats going on when they arrive. I could care less if I could talk to the rest of the state. I'm more concerend that I can talk to someone outside a building. These things are like the first gen of cordless phones that came out years ago.

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