Thread: info on alpha paging systems
01-17-2000, 11:46 PM #1pvfr fyrfyterFirehouse.com Guest
info on alpha paging systems
I am on a small town volunteer fire and rescue service in southeast Nebraska. We periodically have trouble with repeater towers. Does anyone use alphanumeric pagers in conjunction with dedicated phone lines and computer aided dispatch to eliminated the repeater towers. If so how can I get info on this system. looking to try to keep things in lowband vhf due to 35 mile transmit distance to 911 center. any help is greatly appreciated
01-22-2000, 03:27 PM #2deanfFirehouse.com Guest
Would you really want to eliminate the repeaters? You'd need them for voice communications on the radio right? We use commercial paging services here to alert some of our personell in some cases. It's generally reliabe, but you have to remember that you're at the mercy of the commercial service. Not a way to run an emergency service.
Some of the apparatus IDs in our CAD have a pager number associated with them. When that ID gets dispatched or added to a call, the CAD connects to the commcercial paging service and puts the call info (address and nature) on their alpha-pager.
Member, IAFF Local 2024
01-22-2000, 06:44 PM #3phyrngnFirehouse.com Guest
Hello Fellow Husker...
If you're wanting low-band alpha pagers, I don't believe that there is such a thing. However, if done right, alpha pagers may be the way to go...you need to find out who all does service (Aliant, Arch, PageNet, etc.) and see if they happen to provide any "emergency service" paging packages with lower rates. The problem with alphas is the delay...I get my alpha pages anywhere from 1 minute to 30 minutes after they are sent, depending on it's number in the cue. It's first come, first served...but that's just for a personal pager. I received an e-mail from Dalmation90 (I think) in CT. He said that his department has gone to Alpha paging, and they really like it...I think that he said that they were working out a deal with the local pager provider and 911 center to get the page sent instantaneously from the 911 Center rather than through the commercial channels. He said that you can also maybe get the pagers programmed with a certain "cap-code" that will notify the commerical provider that emergency traffic has to go over the air, and will send the urgent pages to the front with minimal delay. Lancaster County is looking at updating their paging system, and though about alpha, but discounted it because of the delay. I myself don't think enough research has been done.
Also, I don't know if this is true or not, but you might want to call someone from Tecumseh Rescue...I heard that they were using alphas. Good luck, and Go Big Red!
01-23-2000, 01:19 AM #4pvfr fyrfyterFirehouse.com Guest
thanks for the replies.
my dept. doesn't use the repeaters for radio traffic. our 100 watt mobiles do just fine. I dont really want to use a private company due to the problems mentioned. not being too mechanically inclined, I still dont think it should be much if any more $$ to develop a system where we would use a antenna and our own base radio with a computer to send out the pages. we already have a dedicated phone line to 911 for enhanced 911 printouts. I would prefer to keep things at home so to speak. If anyone knows how to get in touch with the engineers at motorola, kenwood, ect. let me know. the "experts" around here in the radio business can hardly tell the difference between squelch and volume on a radio. Just my personal opinion.
01-24-2000, 01:30 PM #5Todd TrimbleFirehouse.com Guest
You might take a look at http://www.falcondirect.com/admin/pdf/alphasys.PDF (and surrounding pages at www.falcondirect.com/public.cfm). They describe the components of one of their set-ups. I think maybe you could put some of these pieces together to make the right puzzle for you. Also, they seem to say that they can get VHF band alpha pagers, so I guess they're out there...
I don't work for them, and I've never done business with them. I just ran across their page one day looking for 12V chargers for WTs...
Fairland Volunteer Fire Department
[This message has been edited by Todd Trimble (edited January 24, 2000).]
02-10-2000, 06:00 PM #6deanfFirehouse.com Guest
I've never seen a low band alpha pager. Most are VHF-high or UHF or 900 MHz.
Member, IAFF Local 2024
04-07-2000, 10:36 PM #7Andrew R. DuvalFirehouse.com Guest
My dispatch center is starting to get into Alpha-pageing. Our current problem is that we do not control our dispatch tower, we go through a private contractor. The problem is that if their tower or computer are not working properly, Emergency personnel are not getting thier messages. Some of our Firefighters are strictly using thier Alpha-pagers.
My suggestion, do it all yourself, don't rely on someone else.
04-08-2000, 11:10 AM #8firedan69Firehouse.com Guest
we use alpha pagers in conjunction with radio pagers, we have to be careful and not rely to heavily on the alpha's for all emergency traffic. We a incident where the satellite got hit by some space junk nad got knocked out, it was about 8 hours later that the pager company(pagenet)got agreements from competetors to use their satellite. but all in all they work pretty well. we have a group call on all our pagers so that we dont have 35 pager numbers waiting to send, the group call is in addition to the pagers number. if you need any further info you can E-mail me.
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