1. #1
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    Default 2 Way Radio/Paging

    I don't want to come off as sounding "Whackerish", a year ago that was practically my nickname; hopefully(it seems to me) that I've matured past that point in my life.
    Still, and sadly, have that dreaded helmet crecent with the title of "Jr" adorning it.
    This is the heart of my question. I was talking with a Chief of a local company about 40 minles from where I live (Buddy of my uncles). We were talking about various pager options, other than the minitor series- Swissphone, Relm, etc.
    I told him I was interested in getting my own pager, since our Dept. is running low, and I'm more than happy enough to dump my Minitor IV, for something I can call my own. He told me about the new RELM serious of portable radios/2 tone encoding pagers. It runs roughly the price of a Minitor V
    http://www.pwservice.com/RELMRPV3600.htm
    I'm just concerned, with regulations on juniors "owning" a 2 way, even if I'm only using as a pager, or 2-way during fireground operations. I always have a 2 way on me at a call, but thats a dept. owned radio. I'm afraid that I will be bombarded with criticism for owning a 2 way radio. I suppose I would use it as a 2-way (thus freeing one up on the truck), but really I want it as a pager.

    Any ideas here?
    Thanks a bunch
    Sam D.
    ________
    Montgomery Township Vol. Co. #1
    Station 45, Belle Mead, NJ

    Franklin District #2 Fire
    Station 35, Griggstown, NJ

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    There are alot more radios than Relm that do that. Most of them will do it, some call it 5 tone, 3 tone, CTSS, etc. Motorola calls it Q-Call. Basically, it monitors the pager tones on the channel and will page when it recieves the proper tone.

    A department south of us bought those Relms for $375 each and they are a piece of junk. Half of them have gone out in less than a year. We haven't had alot of money for radios in the budget the last few years and for mid $500 price range, we picked up the HT750s and we have had no problems with them and our members are pretty hard on radios.

    We do agressive interior firefighting, we drop them from the pumper while loading hose (not intentionally), and they keep on ticking. So far we have sent one in for repairs to a flex, covered under warranty.

    I am not sure, but you may want to check with your department, I don't think those Relms are type specific for government service, I think they are more business than public safety.

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    I would have considered the same thing, but their adds keep enphasiszing what a great compettitor they are to the minitor series.
    I would like to find a decent radio/pager under 400.00 though. Size is the only concern. Since I'll be using it as my primary paging device, the smaller the better.
    Montgomery Township Vol. Co. #1
    Station 45, Belle Mead, NJ

    Franklin District #2 Fire
    Station 35, Griggstown, NJ

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    Personally, I would then stick with the pager. Ads are just that, advertisement for their product. All companies have great marketing teams. You have to decide which one to buy, but in my opinion, you could buy a new minitor V for under $400 and just leave it to monitor indefinitely following the page, since you don't want to really use it or have a need for the radio function.

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    First of all I would check your dept. sop/sogs on this issue. Secondly, if you only need it for a pager....by a pager.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    We use RELM radios other than the belt clips don't hold up (we use leather cases to take care of that problem) They work fine for us. We can't afford radios and pagers, so went with radios. A RELM cost about $250 or less. They have been dropped and still work. The only problem is a radio is larger than a pager.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

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    Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but for our Junior Firefighters, we did not have the money for pagers, so we took our old fire radios after our system changed and had them reprogrammed (I think it cost us about $50 per radio.) We left 2 channles, no longer used by the county, so the Jr. Firefighters could use the channles for training. Those are the only 2 channles that will transmit on their radios. The only complaint from the Jr. Firefighters is that the radios still tone out through our dispatch, but because the firefighters are on a different system, Jr. firefighters can't hear any radio traffic from our dept. after the dispatch has switched us from Dispatch channel to a fireground or EMS channel.
    So basically the radios work as walki talki’s for trainings and work as pagers with tone alert for day-to-day use.

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    Im not sure i can help, we don't use pagers at my current squad. We are issued full-blown motorola radios. The same exact ones our police use and on the same exact frequency. They have a tone option, where we can set it to ALERT MODE and it stays quiet unless they issue a tone, then the radio stays ON (im not talking just during Rx mode, im talking after Rx you hear the entire airwaves, its designed to do that to WAKE you up from a deep slumber)... but we only use that tone mode if we need a 2nd crew and mutual aid is not available. Once a month prolly that happens.

    But i'd say as long as you are Rx (receiving) and not Tx (transmitting) you should be fine. The FCC regulates that and unless you have a license to Tx or are under the supervision of a department granting you permission to Tx, you can't Tx, you'll get a fine from the FCC if they find out.

    We operate on our police frequencies under the juresdiction of the police department. We ALSO have our OWN frequency/call letters (KJ9 719 for you ham freaks). Our squad uses that frequency for ambulance to ambulance or ambulance to base communications.

    I wish i could give you more input on pagers though, but hopefuly that answers your question about listening. Its like owning a scanner, can't use the scanner to interfeer with emergencies.
    Adam, EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam07003
    Im not sure i can help, we don't use pagers at my current squad. We are issued full-blown motorola radios. The same exact ones our police use and on the same exact frequency. They have a tone option, where we can set it to ALERT MODE and it stays quiet unless they issue a tone, then the radio stays ON (im not talking just during Rx mode, im talking after Rx you hear the entire airwaves, its designed to do that to WAKE you up from a deep slumber)... but we only use that tone mode if we need a 2nd crew and mutual aid is not available. Once a month prolly that happens.

    what kind of system are you on? 800mhz or vhf or uhf? i'm looking for a good vhf radio not too expensive that can tone out on our all call tone in a county i run pt in.
    J.E. Guzman
    NC EMT-Intermediate
    NC Emergency Medical Dispatcher
    NENA Emergency Medical Dispatcher
    NENA Emergency Telecommunicator

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierce151
    I told him I was interested in getting my own pager, since our Dept. is running low, and I'm more than happy enough to dump my Minitor IV, for something I can call my own. ________
    Why would you want to buy a pager if the department has already issued you one? Minitor IV...can't be that old, and it's a decent pager (let's not start that argument here...no, they don't make 'em like the Minitor II anymore, etc., etc.... ) Is the department asking for it back because they're short on equipment? I'd keep my money if I were you and use the pager you were issued.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc
    Why would you want to buy a pager if the department has already issued you one? Minitor IV...can't be that old, and it's a decent pager (let's not start that argument here...no, they don't make 'em like the Minitor II anymore, etc., etc.... ) Is the department asking for it back because they're short on equipment? I'd keep my money if I were you and use the pager you were issued.
    No, they arent asking for it back. There just simply isn't a replacement available to me for it.
    Montgomery Township Vol. Co. #1
    Station 45, Belle Mead, NJ

    Franklin District #2 Fire
    Station 35, Griggstown, NJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Code3Jeep
    what kind of system are you on? 800mhz or vhf or uhf? i'm looking for a good vhf radio not too expensive that can tone out on our all call tone in a county i run pt in.
    Well im not sure if you can set the radio I use to receive tones... im sure maybe you can?

    I know that I put it in "ALERT MODE" and it keeps the radio silent (its channel 1 on my radio), if they need a 2nd crew, they hit a tone (just a few beeps) and then the radio will stay ON as in its constantly receiving, so it receives not only static but also dispatches information for the call

    Its a Motorola HT1250 which a lot of agencies use. I believe we are VHF but we're in the 400 range (477.26250 actually is our frequency, we use same one as police)
    Adam, EMT-B

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    Our department has had good results with the Vertex Standard - VX-180 VHF/UHF Portable Radios http://www.vertexstandard.com

    We use a 1650mA battery. This radio has proven to be reliable and durable. It can be programmed to receive only on any or all channels which would make it a good yet expensive scanner. Programming most channels to receive only my make you officers feel better about you having such a radio. These radios are easily field programmed.

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    First things first, RELM doesn't make two-way radios. They make toy walkie-talkies that I wouldn't give to my 3yr old cousin to play with. They have no buisness in the emergency services. The only reason you places like PW and the like selling them in mass quantity online is because they don't hav territorial rescrictions like the real quality manufacturers have on their real radios. They can sell this cheap crappola dirt cheap and people buy the lines of bullcrap. The real manufacturers of real radios don't have cheap junk that can be mass marketed by every idiot with an online store. They have standards and sales territories. I will admit I have never seen or held this radio you are looking at. It looks all nice but many years have learned me that sales brochues and marketing don't mean much.

    Secondly, this is not really a decision you can make for yourself without a lot more technical background. There is more to tone alerting than just having the feature listed on the radio's box. There are formats and capabilities that you need to know about. The VX180 is my poster child example of this and Vertex makes no effort to tell you of the limitations. You would never know it until you try to program it. Luckily I aquired the software to see what it could do before purchasing them and I was able to scratch it off my list of choices. That is just on example of a radio that is a lot more limited than meets the eye. You also need to know what your tones are. This is easy enough if you have a Minitor II, you can open it up and look at the tone reeds. Then you need to know the format. A-B, A-C, LONG B, LONG C, and so on. Back to my example, the VX180 can only do one tone set and it is only A-B LONG B. Thats it. If you have more than one set of tones, you are out of luck. Wouldn't it suck to buy a bunch of these and find out they suck?

    Thirdly (if thats a word, it is now anyway) regarding legality. There is no legal issue to carry a reciever, whether it is a scanner, a pager, or a two-way radio that is incapable of transmitting (vehicle scanner laws aside). Two-Way radios can be programmed with channels that receive only and it will be just like a glorified pager or scanner. You can carry those to your heart's content and nobody can really say anything and you won't be arrested, beaten, or strung up in the town square.

    However, in order to have a radio that transmits, you need permission from the holder of the FCC license for the given frequency. Without express permission, it is technically illegal and msot likely will at the very least get you in trouble with your department. It is also illegal for the radio shop to even program it to transmit on those frequencies without the shop having proof of this permission to transmit. Of course, places like PW probably don't care. They will mass market thier junk and offer programming to encourage you to buy the piece of crap.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    First things first, RELM doesn't make two-way radios. They make toy walkie-talkies that I wouldn't give to my 3yr old cousin to play with. They have no buisness in the emergency services. The only reason you places like PW and the like selling them in mass quantity online is because they don't hav territorial rescrictions like the real quality manufacturers have on their real radios. They can sell this cheap crappola dirt cheap and people buy the lines of bullcrap. The real manufacturers of real radios don't have cheap junk that can be mass marketed by every idiot with an online store. They have standards and sales territories. I will admit I have never seen or held this radio you are looking at. It looks all nice but many years have learned me that sales brochues and marketing don't mean much.

    Secondly, this is not really a decision you can make for yourself without a lot more technical background. There is more to tone alerting than just having the feature listed on the radio's box. There are formats and capabilities that you need to know about. The VX180 is my poster child example of this and Vertex makes no effort to tell you of the limitations. You would never know it until you try to program it. Luckily I aquired the software to see what it could do before purchasing them and I was able to scratch it off my list of choices. That is just on example of a radio that is a lot more limited than meets the eye. You also need to know what your tones are. This is easy enough if you have a Minitor II, you can open it up and look at the tone reeds. Then you need to know the format. A-B, A-C, LONG B, LONG C, and so on. Back to my example, the VX180 can only do one tone set and it is only A-B LONG B. Thats it. If you have more than one set of tones, you are out of luck. Wouldn't it suck to buy a bunch of these and find out they suck?

    Thirdly (if thats a word, it is now anyway) regarding legality. There is no legal issue to carry a reciever, whether it is a scanner, a pager, or a two-way radio that is incapable of transmitting (vehicle scanner laws aside). Two-Way radios can be programmed with channels that receive only and it will be just like a glorified pager or scanner. You can carry those to your heart's content and nobody can really say anything and you won't be arrested, beaten, or strung up in the town square.

    However, in order to have a radio that transmits, you need permission from the holder of the FCC license for the given frequency. Without express permission, it is technically illegal and msot likely will at the very least get you in trouble with your department. It is also illegal for the radio shop to even program it to transmit on those frequencies without the shop having proof of this permission to transmit. Of course, places like PW probably don't care. They will mass market thier junk and offer programming to encourage you to buy the piece of crap.
    That's basically the exact answer I was looking for. Thanks alot.
    Montgomery Township Vol. Co. #1
    Station 45, Belle Mead, NJ

    Franklin District #2 Fire
    Station 35, Griggstown, NJ

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