Thread: 800 mhz

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    Default 800 mhz

    My county fire dispatch along with the full-time dept. in the county are in the process of going to 800mhz. My question is if they do not have to maintain an vhf simulcast, where can my dept. purchase 800 mhz. pagers? we do not want to get a repeater because of the cost. any suggestions.

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    To the best of my knowledge they do not make a 800mhz voice paging system. We had to keep our UHF 400mhz system in place jut for paging.

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    Default 800 radios

    We are using 800 and it sucks!!!!! we can never get out metal buildings with ours. they also have to page us out on the old pagers. Out link always goes down. I would really have your county look into what they are doing and making sure this is the right way to go.

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    Motorola consoles have the ability of patching frequencies together. 800 to VHF should work ok.
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    There are no 800Mhz pagers. There is no such thing as a trunking pager either so you can not continue using voice radio paging on an 800mhz trunking system. There are therefore three ways to page your fire department now:

    1. Keep the old paging system. Dispatch can continue sending the tones and dispatch information on the old system. The consoles can easily have many different simul-selects to accomplish this. It is actually pretty common. When I make a fire alarm annoucement at work, it keys up 3 seperate radios (changing channels automaticly on one of them) and everything I tone and say comes over all of them. It is totally up to you if you want to have everything dispatch says simulcasted or just the initital tone-out. You can even patch the new trunking talkgroup(s) into the old channel from the console so people with pagers will hear everything that is going on.

    2. You can give everyone a big expensive trunking portable radio programmed for selective call. The console can alert groups of radios similar to how it does with pagers except it is done digitally. This as you can imagine is expensive and nobody wants to carry that around with them 24/7.

    3. Go to alphanumeric pagers (text paging). You would need to license and construct the paging base at a suitable high location on a tower, and buy the required encoding equipment. Clearly, expensive and probably not practical.

    #1 is the most common and most practical.
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    FYI - 800mhz and Nextel/Sprint phones apparently don't play well together. Nextel is replacing our county radios (800mhz E.F. Johnson trunked POS) with 700mhz E.F. Johnson POS Nextel plans to use our radio towers as part of the deal to expand their coverage.

    Our 800mhz radios suck in a thunderstorm. We have static or they say no signal available. The only good thing is that we have "talkaround" channels so we can talk to each other in a "line of sight" range. I do like that we no longer hear the other counties that were on the same common frequency and that only one person can talk at a time.

    My advice would be to go with a high band radio system like UHF or VHF with repeaters located throughout your area or on the vehicles themselves. If you go all digital, there is a substantial risk that you might not have any ability to transmit if you are in a poor coverage area.
    Tom

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    Sprint has no effect. They are 1900mhz. The only remote relationship is that they own NexTel now. It is NexTel that causes problems. The FCC bit off more than they could chew with that little boo-boo.

    Having the radio system cease functioning in a thunderstorm is not normal regardless of what band you are using. Someone needs to look at that and I haven't a clue what could cause it. There is nothing about a thunderstom that is different than any other passing rainy weather system other than lightning... and if it was hit by lighting, it wouldn't start working again.

    A main and backup repeater with multiple remotely located receivers in the UHF or VHF band has always proven to be the most reliable and firefighter friendly design. Using digital (APCO P25) on any band in conventional mode (non-trunking) is pointless and will cause nothing but problems.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    we are unique I suppose in that we get to play with both systems an 800 mhz and our county uses VHF i believe. The 800 systems for the two counties we go into are pretty well kept up and they apparently kept a UHF or VHF for paging. Our county is looking into one but thats a whole different story

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire
    Sprint has no effect. They are 1900mhz. The only remote relationship is that they own NexTel now. It is NexTel that causes problems. The FCC bit off more than they could chew with that little boo-boo.

    Having the radio system cease functioning in a thunderstorm is not normal regardless of what band you are using. Someone needs to look at that and I haven't a clue what could cause it. There is nothing about a thunderstom that is different than any other passing rainy weather system other than lightning... and if it was hit by lighting, it wouldn't start working again.

    A main and backup repeater with multiple remotely located receivers in the UHF or VHF band has always proven to be the most reliable and firefighter friendly design. Using digital (APCO P25) on any band in conventional mode (non-trunking) is pointless and will cause nothing but problems.
    Thanks for the assist. I should have specified Nextel only and not refer to their business merger. The radio system in a thunderstorm is staticy (a word?) and sometimes low volume. So it works, but not to our desired specifications. This issue has been harped on since its inception some 9 years ago. I haven't heard it lately so maybe they fixed something. Bottom line is Keep It Simple Stupid
    Tom

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    It has been acting squirrley in thunderstorms for NINE YEARS and they haven't figured it out yet!?!?! Don't you love how certain things are just immpossible yet they happen and nobody can seem to figure out why because it isn't supposed to happen in the first place. It doesn't do this with just rain, it requires a thunderstorm? If it was just rain, I would say water is getting into something. It could be be the massive amount of rain and wind forcing water into something during a thunderstorm I suppose. But I would think that after 9 years, someone would have found it.
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    As Gonzo would say, it's a CHARLIE FOXTROT Seriously though, they are replacing the radios within the year I believe. I haven't heard of any major problems lately but when we first started there weren't enough towers because they went with the low bid. You get what you pay for.
    Tom

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    You can get minitor IV or V pagers that would still activate for fire calls, even if you on the 800 MHz system. Try contacting a sales rep to get more information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Safety33
    You can get minitor IV or V pagers that would still activate for fire calls, even if you on the 800 MHz system. Try contacting a sales rep to get more information.
    No you can't. The Minitor IV hasn't been in production or sales since summer of last year and they didn't do 800Mhz anything. The current Minitor V doesn't do 800Mhz anything either. They don't exist. They aren't going to exist. You can't do it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    my entire county is going 800mhz....cops go online this summer, metro depts to follow soon and then the county depts. only probem is all the radios we have to replace. alot of $$. they r staying w/ 154.250mhz for paging rural depts only no direct comm. then we will be told w/ channel our dept will run that call on 1-16 and supposedly the entire county firechiefs assoc. is applying for grants for the new radios each dept will get a set amount. and also motorola has ensured the county that if the system doesnt perform to spec they will fit the bill for extra towers.....my question is that some one has said that if one of the towers goes out the whole system goes out it that true.I would think if one tower goes out then the others will pick up the slack? I dont know anything bout the new system.
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    Two important things here:

    Quote Originally Posted by GFPD2707
    Motorola has ensured the county that if the system doesnt perform to spec they will fit the bill for extra towers.....
    The key word here is 'perform to spec'. This is pretty normal. The problem is the spec is usually what was hacked and chopped down to save money and is inadequate. So when it doesn't work the way you NEED, that is too bad because the spec wasn't what you need and that isn't Motorola's problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by GFPD2707
    my question is that some one has said that if one of the towers goes out the whole system goes out it that true.I would think if one tower goes out then the others will pick up the slack? I dont know anything bout the new system.
    The answer to this is "it depends". It depends on what fails. You can't think of it as towers. You have to think of it as components and sites. A site concisits of the tower, the structure with the radio gear, and the radio equipment itself. The radio equipment can be transmitter & receivers, and controllers, or just receivers. The sites that are just receivers are there to increase portable talk-back coverage. You can lose all the receiver sites you want and the system will still work. If your controller takes a dump or a transmitter goes down, there is usually a backup controller and transmitter at a different site. If that craps out too, the system will go into what is called "failsoft". Basicly, it becomes one big 800Mhz conventional repeater with everyone on it. All the radios revert to it. It lets everyone talk still. The problem is EVERYONE is on ONE channel now. But, it is better than nothing.

    The probability of it taking a complete dump and failsoft failing is no more or less probable than any other conventional system taking a complete dump.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    My county went 800mHz about 2 years ago. We had no problems except for some bugs at the beginning of the switch. We still use VHF and do a patch so that the base units in our trucks on VHF can still pick up dispatches. We still have the tones only difference is now we have a "prealert" via the 800 portables. We still use the old VHF pagers as well as alpha numeric but or alpha numerics are plauged by tons of problems. Some will get the call on the pager, some dont. Sometimes we will get the call but its like 10 minutes into the call. Terrain also affects 800mHz and we have a few areas that are affected by that. Other than that no problems.

    Every department in my county got new radios via a grant.
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    NMFire- Thank you for correcting me. I think I confused myself.

    My county is in the process of switching the fire service over to 800 MHz. Almost all of the stations have switched over except for 3.

    Here is where I got confused. At the company where my friend works, they are on the 800 MHz system. However, they are being dispatched on both 800 MHz and their own frequency. He has a Minitor V pager. I guess it being activated by their own frequency and not the 800 MHz.

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    Yes, the paging has to be done on an old conventional frequency, either low band, VHF, or UHF.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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