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  1. #1
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post Digital Scanners

    NOTE: This should not be construed as an advertisement by NJFFSA16, who is not affiliated with scanner Mfg. or sales in any way.

    By JASON STRAZIUSO
    Associated Press Writer
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hobbyists who listen in on police chases or
    ambulance runs with scanners have been frustrated in recent years
    as emergency departments increasingly switch to digital
    communications. For them, Tuesday brought some good news, as the
    first consumer digital scanners shipped to retailers.
    Rich Wells said he would soon buy one of the new $300 handheld
    radios but would likely hold off on paying another $300 that would
    grant access to digital communications. He said many enthusiasts,
    though, won't hesitate to spend the $600.
    "Most serious people that listen to scanners, they own several
    different models and are used to spending several hundred dollars a
    year," said Wells, 36, who runs a hobbyist Web site from his home
    outside Raleigh, N.C.
    Public safety departments and even some non-emergency city
    departments are increasingly replacing aging analog radios with
    digital units, which promise clearer transmissions and
    interoperability with other departments. Interoperability was an
    issue that surfaced after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks
    when police and fire units responding to the World Trade Center had
    trouble communicating.
    Michigan state police in October finished installing a $200
    million statewide digital system. The system led to the
    apprehension of a person fleeing from Grand Rapids to Detroit
    because police could easily communicate, a spokesman at the
    Michigan's Public Safety Communications System office said.
    Even with Tuesday's shipment of Uniden radios, some hobbyists -
    and drug dealers and tow truck drivers, too, police point out -
    still won't be able to listen everywhere. Michigan, for instance,
    uses a system the new consumer scanners can't pick up. Uniden
    expects to have a unit that will pick up the majority of signals by
    late 2003, said Scott Carpenter, a products manager for the Fort
    Worth-based company.
    The Philadelphia police just before Christmas converted from
    analog to digital at a cost of $52 million. The department now has
    3,400 digital radios, said Deputy Police Commissioner Charles
    Brennan.
    Philadelphia still transmits in analog, but will probably switch
    solely to digital by February, Brennan said. He said the switch
    hadn't yet been made out of consideration for neighborhood watch
    groups and news media that monitor police scanners.
    "All we want to do is make sure that (the new radios) do what
    they say they'll be able to do," he said.
    It's unclear exactly how many emergency departments nationwide
    have switched to digital systems, but it is the trend, said Ron
    Harafeth, a director of Project 25, an offshoot program of the
    Association of Public-Safety Communications officials. The 12-year
    project created the technical standards behind the digital systems.
    "A lot of federal agencies are mandating Project 25 for any new
    implementations. That's going to drive what happens in rest of
    local government," he said. "There's a big push for compatibility
    and interoperability."
    ----
    On the Net:
    Uniden: http://www.uniden.com/
    Assoc. of Public-Safety Communications officials:
    http://www.apcointl.org/index.html
    Michigan Public Safety Communications System:
    http://www.mpscs.com

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Hey NJ, not too sure if this is continent wide or not, but we have been getting letters and info from Industry Canada indicating that due to the great usage of radio freqs, they will be splitting the bandwidth of radio signals. In effect this will pretty much render any current comms gear useless.

    All new comm gear purchased by 911/emergency responder units has to be certified capable of receiving the narrower signals. Rumour has it that the signal will be stronger, and therefore will over-ride the older gear.

    On a side note, I have been in contact with Motorola US Main Office, they didn't seem to have any idea of what I was talking about. If there is anyone who has better info on this from the Canadian point of view, please contact me through either PM or my profile listed email address.

    MalahatTwo7
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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  3. #3
    Forum Member Engine101's Avatar
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    Unidens new digital scanners have been the main topic of discussion on a scanner group I am a member off

    I know several Police department's including the LAPD are using digital and the LAFD is slowly making the transtion to digital communication

  4. #4
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Two Seven...I know in the States...the FCC has mandated a transition to narrow band FM technology...but I am unfamiliar with any Canadian proposals.

    Motorola hasn't been any help? That's surprising.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  5. #5
    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NJFFSA16
    Motorola hasn't been any help? That's surprising.
    I guess they are to busy trying to figure out how to keep the nobs from coming of their Minitor III's.....

    (actually, we have only had one that had this problem in the entire department, and I managed to fix it by simply putting it back on)
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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