1. #1
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    Default pump panel radio

    It is not feasable for our department to buy a seperate radio just for the pump panel. Is it possible to install an extension off of the main radio, to plug a speaker mic into? We have ICOM remote head radios in the trucks, if anyone has experience with these.

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    while not famillair with that band ..........Kenwood is the only one I know of anymore that makes a "2head" radio. Motorola does not anymore, back about 10 years ago they had a couple of different models.
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    Default pump panel

    we use firecom headsets and have a jack on the pump panel you can plug into w/ a 15 ft cord..the firecom is great cuz it muffles the noise from the panel and gives you some freedom to move around and you can transmit and receive..works best at a greater alarm when youre standing there for a long time..since we have an older rig we also have a speaker above the panel that pumps out the fire channel.

    Keep it low

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    We have a portable with a headset unit on it that we use for the pump operator. Sometimes he has to go to the back of the truck for who knows what but it still gives him mobility. It is a lot cheaper than setting up another radio at the panel.

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    We had, and used, remote heads and speakers on the pump panel for years. We have gotten away from them as more and more portables are available to everyone on the fireground. Although the older pumpers still have the hardware in place, it is not usually maintained, and newer apparatus does not get it installed. One of the reasons for the drivers using portables lies in our operating philosophy which does not tie the operator to the pump panel. As soon as the "life threatening" phase of a fire is past, the driver is expected to be doing other tasks in reasonable proximity to the apparatus. Stay Safe....
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    While in our department we use the portable with headset concept also for all the reasons mentioned above.

    Motorola does make a 2 headset radio. We are in the process of implmenting 800mhz and some of the departments are getting them for their pump panels and in the squads.

    That being said everything I have heard or read is that money is an issue take a look at Kenwood & Johnson radios.
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    Here is the most economical way to accomplish what you want. Most radios have a connector on the rear of the radio to hook external devices. Generally there is receive audio, transmit audio and PTT (push to talk) along with other points. Simply install an additional mic and speaker at the pump panel. All of the trucks on my department have this and it works well. Granted you can not change the channel or control the volume from the pump but generally you do not have to make these changes once your operation has started.

    I am vol FF and a radio tech, I have done this many times to Motorola, Bendix/King and Vertex radios with no problems. I am not familiar with Icom but I would think that it should be relatively easy to do. If you do this you may want to consider an amplified speaker. The only problem I have seen with this is were unshielded cable is used. Also, if you have front mount pumps you may need to use a noise cancelling mic because of the noise.

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    I believe we have Motorola GM300s and we have one on our engine set up with a headset at the pump panel, but also I believe there is a selector know to change the channels.......

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    What Toddman has described is the best way to do it in the absense of a dual-control head system like Kenwood has. This will work assuming the radio is advanced enough to have an accessory port on the back.

    If it doesn't, some radios use a simple modular telephone type jack for the mic and can have two install simply using a splitter. You need to have the mic modified so the one not in use isn't hot when you key up the other one.
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    Yes you can add just the plugin for the icom. The driver just unplugs from the jack in the cab and then plugs into the jack on the pump panel. Problems? one channel / one volume. When possible change to the much mentioned kenwood dual head radio system. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    We have an extension off of the main radio in cab. on our pump panels of all engines there is just a speaker and mic. Our engineers have no problems.
    If we don't do it nobody else will!!!!

  12. #12
    firefighter3531
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    we use all motorola on our trucks m1225 and max trac 300 vhf. we mount an external speaker and a mic in the first high side compartment door and it works out well. i can't say how the wires go but i can try to find out more. the icom probally can be done the same way.

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    I you have a good radio system, then a portable with a headset would do fine. Kenwood and Motorola make dual head mobile radios. Motorola MCS2000s and Astros are available in dual head configuration.

    Quickmount also makes dual head kits for about any radio on the market.

    http://www.valleyindustrial.com/quickmount/products.htm

    Depending on what system you are on you may be forced to buy Motorola or Kenwood. This is especially true with 800 systems. You cannot use Kenwood on a Motorola system or vice versa. They are not compatible with each other. Talk to your system administrator on which type of system you are on.

    Also, Every Motorola radio and most name brand radios have an accessory port that you could hook a remote microphone and remote speaker to. You would just have to get the correct ohm speaker and suitable microphone and tap the accessory plug for the basic functions.

    I personally like the portable with a headset because it allows the engine operator to move around the truck with no interference.

    Just remember, if you are in an area with a poor radio system, then you will need to find a way to use your mobile radio since that will give you the strongest signal.

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    If your motor pump operator has access to a portbale radio and a headset, use an connector on the radio (where the remote mike goes) and connect the head set to it. You can then be able to walk around the apparatus without being tethered to the pump panel.

    Smart Idea???



    Stay Safe and Well!

  15. #15
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    Default portable radios

    All of our apparatus have portable radios in them. Every driver at every scene has thier own portable which makes it much easier for them if they are engaged in an activity that does'nt allow them to be next to the pump panel. THis works very well.

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