1. #1
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    Default Motorola III or Alpha Pagers

    I know people who have Motorola I and II pagers. My department may upgrade our paging system to either a Motorola III pager system or an alphanumeric paging system. Could I please have an insight on which alerting system you prefer. FYI, we are dispatched from a center in a neighboring town which handles 911 calls for 6 towns.

    Thank you,
    Rich
    HVFD Cadet

  2. #2
    mark440
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    Here we use Minitor II's & III's. I would go with this system. We have not tried the Alpha's but the SAR here has and it is not reliable. Plus, most people keep thier Alpha's on vibrate all the time, and forget to turn it to tones at night. But the Minitor you leave on vibrate it will speak after vibrating, so you still get the page. I think the Alpha's are a waste.
    Just my opinion.

    *Mark

  3. #3
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    We use both Minitor II and alpha pagers. The alpha is primarily a back up, as it takes a minute or 2 longer to get the message out. The II's work ok, but even though we replaced all of them 2 years ago, they are started to crap out and need to be repaired more often.

    Dave

  4. #4
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    Our brigade is totally on the Alpha pager system, and we dont have any problems with them and they can come in very handy when contacting single members by just paging them a message...

    Alistair (Australia)
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
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  5. #5
    scottieschmidt
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    we use both also. alphas are great, but not totally reliable, great way to make announcements about events and training, some use it as primary source of call notification, minitors are great, getting ready to phase in III's

  6. #6
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    We just went to the alpha system (Motorola Elites from Verizon wireless), and we are having some problems, so we are going to be using the Minitor 2's and the alpha pagers until the situation is resolved.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the input!
    Rich
    HVFD Cadet

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    Whatever</A> I say doesn't represent the opinions of my department.

  8. #8
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    We have both Minitor II's (the SV "stored voice" models), and alpha pagers through a local paging company. We've had very few problems from the Minitor II's, but a boatload of failures from the Motorola "Flex" alpha pagers. The alphas are designed as a backup to the tone & voice pagers, but the combination of poor pager reliability, a paging software program/hardware combination that often locks up, and some dispatch personnel who fail to use it result in a very poor backup system. There nice when they work. Regarding the Minitor III's, a neighboring area with about 25 departments replaced all their II's with III's when they first became available, and has had nothing but problems. Supposedly Big M has worked the bugs out, but they definitely PO'd a lot of departments in our area.
    R.A. Ricciuti
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  9. #9
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    Options, Options...

    Hebron (for the benefit of the rest of the country) is dispatched by KX/Colchester, one of four large regional dispatches serving a 40+ town area that forms the north-east quadrant of Connecticut. Except for a few of the towns in the South-Central area served by KX, all those towns share common paging frequencies, and all the centers can back one another up in case of a major failure. To the extent many of the radio towers & transmitters are shared by multiple dispatches. The other three big dispatches are QV/Quinebaug Valley, TN/Tolland, and WW/Willimantic, plus there's a couple small centers like UC/UConn and WA/Putnam.

    33.80 is the current primary frequency. It's broadcast over only one tower at a time, somewhat limiting it's range. Which is why some departments get there call announced on two seperate towers. Minitor IIIs are available on 33.80.

    33.80 in turn is simulcast on 152.0075 on multiple towers. Advantage -- fairly wide coverage. Disadvantage -- the 152.0075 aren't in perfect synchronization, which degrades performance when you're in an area two towers come in with about the same strength, where audio tends to be a bit garbled. Additionally, 152.0075 is an odd-ball frequency, so Minitor III pagers have to be ordered slightly off frequency at 152.0050 or 152.0100. However, several of our ambulance members are officers with Pomfret FD and report their very happy with the performance of their new Minitor IIIs on high band.

    Why was such an odd-ball of 152.0075 selected, and then not synchronized? Because it's one of a handful of frequencies that allow both voice AND alpha-numeric paging. While keeping them slightly out of synch isn't the best for voice pagers, it helps alpha-numerics (they get to compare two or more towers they're receiving).

    I'm not sure on the status throughout the region, but the each Chief out of QV (12 towns, 35 Fire Departments) have had alpha-numeric pagers on the new proprietary system since the beginning of this year. This represents their test group.

    If you're looking at this proprietary system of QV/TN/KX/WW there shouldn't be any concerns about reliability or speed of paging -- there's no competetion with non-emergency users for pagers. On the downside, far as I know there is no plans for allowing outside parties to use the pagers -- so you won't have a pager # to give to friends/family/work to page you at.

    My humble opinion...Alpha-numerics will be were most people are at in twenty years, and you'll get used to waking up to the beeping or vibrating. I'm on call with my job till 2am or so 7 days a week, and I've only slept through attempts to reach me once. I've slept through many more ambulance calls than that in the same time

    ===========================
    Now just imagine the day in the future the fire service starts deploying 2-way paging. You now know who got the page (no more "Awe, I musta been in a deadspot..." look at the logs, they'll tell...). More importantly, they hit a reply button...responding to station/responding to scene/responding long response time/not responding. Chief signs on the air..."Chief, you got 10 responding to the station, 5 to the scene, 2 with long response times." or "Uh, Chief, you're the only one to check in responding so far..."
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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  10. #10
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    Dalmation, Is Litchfield Cty Dispatch(LCD) getting into this system, or are they sticking with the Low Band units for now? I live in the south-west corner of mass, 1 town north of the CT border, we do some mutual aid with canaan, lakeville and have problems communicating with them since we are on high band. We have low band radios in all of our rigs, but all the channels are taken up by NY fire. We decided to just put them in since we do more MA with them.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  11. #11
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    There's no plans that I know of for Litchfield County to join in.

    Currently the system will cover Windham & Tolland Counties, the northern part of New London County, and parts of Hartford & Middlesex counties served by the Big 4.

    I don't know of any technical or licensing reasons Litchfield County Dispatch or for that matter Valley Shore wouldn't be able to be accomomadated on the 152.0075 alpha paging if they wanted to.

    That said, Connecticut state law and agency policies encourage regionalization & consolidation of dipsatch centers and equipment. While I'd say it's remote now, it's certainly not inconceivable.

    [ 09-06-2001: Message edited by: Dalmatian90 ]
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  12. #12
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    Our Co. use both Minitor III and alpha paging. The alpha paging is nice and is used for many things, but it's not 100% My advice would be go with the Minitor III.

    Ed

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