Author Topic: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night  (Read 22157 times)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2014, 02:22:27 PM »
Just promise to use your powers for good :)

I will. I tried to take it in 2010 and had signed up, had a scholarship, but I couldn't get a babysitter for 3 days.

Cedar

Offline Cedar

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2014, 02:23:49 PM »
Maybe in the future... haven't heard of anyone using drones yet. SAT phones work pretty good most of the time. If your really having Comm.'s problems at least in Oregon here is a great resource to use. http://www.mwave.org/

Thank you. I don't think we had that when I was in SAR in Oregon/Washington back in the day. I just passed this onto someone in our FD.. thanks.

Cedar

Offline Beetle

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2014, 02:26:01 PM »
I admit I am in Western Oregon.

It was a fire call. I did SAR for 15 years as a dog handler, but just started with a volunteer fire department. We are a small department with about 5-6 people who tend to make most of the callouts. Apparently we don't usually get these types of SAR calls in the FD. SAR was called, but they didn't get called for about 3 hours into this call. In most areas, I can test my Baofeng and I can hit our HAM repeater with it. I didn't try where we were (it was at home), but I live in an area much like the one shown. But we were having a difficult time even hearing dispatch. I should take one of the guys who I think would be game to hike back up in there one of these days, and see if a person on top of one of the hillocks, and one person down in a ravine is easier to get communication.

Cedar

Did you ever work with Marty at search one? Maybe I know you. SAR is a real small community as you know.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2014, 02:29:17 PM »
I know Marty. I know Harry. I know SilverStar.. I know alot of them that have retired.

Cedar

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2014, 03:01:35 PM »
Oh, and there's also that ugly reality of a limited budget for a volunteer fire department. I know homeland security kicked in toward our new handhelds, but we still spent $27k last year. Flying repeaters with flir are decades into the future for even the big budget departments. Hell, we still have to use cell phones and text messages on some calls and we're a tiny district by comparison.

Offline Carl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2014, 03:02:42 PM »
I know Marty. I know Harry. I know SilverStar.. I know alot of them that have retired.

Cedar

You shamed them into  submission.   ::)

And though the drones and repeaters are a way off...the skill to set a relay person on a high point will maintain communications well.

Offline Russkie

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2014, 03:47:30 PM »
Quick side question - Do HAM radios operate at the same frequencies as typical emergency service radios? I recently was given a little Baofeng, and my department has a shortage of radios. Could I send and recieve emergency service radio traffic on this radio?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2014, 04:26:12 PM »
Oh, and there's also that ugly reality of a limited budget for a volunteer fire department. I know homeland security kicked in toward our new handhelds, but we still spent $27k last year. Flying repeaters with flir are decades into the future for even the big budget departments. Hell, we still have to use cell phones and text messages on some calls and we're a tiny district by comparison.

While it might not be up to gubbermint standards, I'd like to think my local ham club could rig up a cross band repeater hosted on a drone platform for under $27,000

In fact, if anyone has $27k and wants to find out, PM me.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2014, 07:16:23 PM »
Quick side question - Do HAM radios operate at the same frequencies as typical emergency service radios? I recently was given a little Baofeng, and my department has a shortage of radios. Could I send and recieve emergency service radio traffic on this radio?

 Not suppose to but some of them have been "modified" by the owners to go out of band. Technically it is illegal. What is it with everyone and Baofengs?

endurance

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2014, 08:10:10 PM »
While it might not be up to gubbermint standards, I'd like to think my local ham club could rig up a cross band repeater hosted on a drone platform for under $27,000

In fact, if anyone has $27k and wants to find out, PM me.
Cool.  Now will it work for six hours in an ice storm and be so idiot proof even a firefighter can use it?   ;) 

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2014, 09:36:27 PM »
Apologies for my cynicism.  It's innate to the fire service to believe every piece of technology will fail you when you need it most.  That's why when we're told to go onto the roof and ventilate, we bring a chainsaw AND an axe.  When we go into a smoke-filled home, we bring a thermal imager AND sound the floor with the nozzle, Haligan and/or axe AND we maintain contact with the hose or rope to maintain orientation.  When it comes to vehicle extrications, we have hydraulic tools AND we learn to do things with saws, axes, Haligans, air chisels, and socket wrenches.  It is in our nature to believe failure is always an option. ;)

Offline Cedar

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2014, 09:44:05 PM »
Oh, and there's also that ugly reality of a limited budget for a volunteer fire department.

This is the crux of the situation really.

Cedar

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2014, 10:28:01 PM »
Apologies for my cynicism.  It's innate to the fire service to believe every piece of technology will fail you when you need it most.  That's why when we're told to go onto the roof and ventilate, we bring a chainsaw AND an axe.  When we go into a smoke-filled home, we bring a thermal imager AND sound the floor with the nozzle, Haligan and/or axe AND we maintain contact with the hose or rope to maintain orientation.  When it comes to vehicle extrications, we have hydraulic tools AND we learn to do things with saws, axes, Haligans, air chisels, and socket wrenches.  It is in our nature to believe failure is always an option. ;)

I get that.  If a piece of gear cost $100k. Worked 99% of the time and helped save lives go for it.

My problem is buying "premium" gear that's  only 10% better for 10x the cost.


Offline Carl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2014, 11:08:39 PM »
Quick side question - Do HAM radios operate at the same frequencies as typical emergency service radios? I recently was given a little Baofeng, and my department has a shortage of radios. Could I send and recieve emergency service radio traffic on this radio?


Yes it will work in the frequency you want...it just needs to be properly programmed with your needed frequency and squelch codes...

endurance

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2014, 07:22:08 AM »
I get that.  If a piece of gear cost $100k. Worked 99% of the time and helped save lives go for it.

My problem is buying "premium" gear that's  only 10% better for 10x the cost.
part of the problem is some really cool innovations that seem well designed aren't ready for primetime. Our newest ambulance, for example, has a kneeling capability to lower the back end so it's easier to load the patient. Great feature!  Until it fails to fill just one side. Then you're driving down the road with the box at a 15 degree angle with oneside taking every bump in the road and the other the normal cushy self. "Repaired" three times, now disabled.

When your total annual budget is in the low six figures and you have a 60 year old building with a bad roof and you had to replace your 1972 OshKosh tender with one that could go up hill loaded on the highway faster than 25mph, so half your budget goes to loan repayment, you have to dream within reason.  Year before last it was a new color display TIC.  This year it was new handhelds that don't need duct tape to hold the batteries on.  Next year its some EMS goodies like a full-body vacu-splint with handles and a pulse-ox meter that also measures CO.  Just finding the money to maintain the repeater system we have can be tricky some years... if we would stop using the lowest bidder, that moght help...

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2014, 07:56:01 AM »
A backpack repeater is generally low power, which is sufficient for use in the vicinity.  A unit could be designed to operate on truck power, and truck mounted antennas, but with a quick disconnect for grab-and-go field use.  Many times the truck gets close enough to the scene in mountainous areas to cover the "shadow" that prevents the normal repeater from operating.

And yes, ice build up on antennas and trees will mess with propagation big time.  Especially if your department has the crappy APCO 25, 800 MHz system DHS gives grants for.  Great in a flatland city, bad for rural rough terrain areas.  Great for federal government remote monitoring and override.  YMMV

~TG

Offline Beetle

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2014, 09:10:53 PM »

Yes it will work in the frequency you want...it just needs to be properly programmed with your needed frequency and squelch codes...

  I'm stuck on the Baofeng thing for a second. So are they legal(FCC) to use on both ham and the fire frequency? Cause the little bit of research I did was even more confusing.

Offline Carl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #47 on: November 20, 2014, 06:14:05 AM »
  I'm stuck on the Baofeng thing for a second. So are they legal(FCC) to use on both ham and the fire frequency? Cause the little bit of research I did was even more confusing.

Legal and acceptable are two different things.Part 90 is acceptance for use on GMRS/FRS and or MURS ,as a radio for those frequencies has limitations for antenna/power out/and must be used on channels that are set rather than adjustable by the user.

For FIRE or other type organizations , my understanding is, if the radio works correctly and you are under the group licence...it is accepted.

To expand a bit ,under current laws,the UV5, and similar radio ,is good to go on MURS (VHF) channels as it is within the set criteria for that system,and SOON the FRS (UHF) will go the same way as for now power on FRS is limited to 1/2 watt and antenna must be permanently attached.

These laws are primarily for dealer/importers to control the market they are sold to...thus they are sold /imported as HAM radios ...because HAMs can have (within their bands of operation) variable (no channelized) frequencies and antennas only limited by local air traffic height restriction (don't want a plane to hit it) and power is limited to 1500 watts .


I have NEVER heard of a non part 90 radio EVER causing legal problems at the user level except for a couple cases of INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE with fire/EMS/Police type services. If you are allow to talk ,and mind your  manners...Who can discern what radio you are useing?

The above is not legal advise,just my understanding of current acceptable standards.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #48 on: November 20, 2014, 10:49:55 AM »
I know that the Bendix Kings are a great radio for fire use. If you loaded the ham and eggs program they worked on ham also. Gonna have to check into one of these little Baofengs for the price. How is the radio overall?

Offline Carl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #49 on: November 20, 2014, 11:02:41 AM »
I know that the Bendix Kings are a great radio for fire use. If you loaded the ham and eggs program they worked on ham also. Gonna have to check into one of these little Baofengs for the price. How is the radio overall?

Bendix King is built to a higher standard and is a bit more rugged (you can hammer nails with BK radios!!!)....but my local group has more than EIGHTY BaoFeng ans Pofung (new name...same company) UV5 and UV82 radios in daily personal and weekly exercise (Rapid Response ) for about 1 1/2 years now with only belt clip and antenna failures...the UV82 is a different shape/form factor that uses a different battery and charger..but program cable and antenna and Microphone all interchange (though the  factory UV82 antenna is a bit longer and seems more effective)...PLUS the speaker and loudness of received audio is much better on the UV82 as it is rated at one watt audio and is a larger speaker.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #50 on: November 20, 2014, 11:03:30 AM »
Gonna have to check into one of these little Baofengs for the price. How is the radio overall?

I like mine. I can hear (and transmit  :-[ ) from where I am, to the middle of Eastern Oregon and I was hearing two guys up in Portland the other day, who could not hear each other, but I could hear both of them.

If you can read directions, it is probably OK to 'dial in'. My problem is I cannot read directions on the back of a Kraft Mac & Cheese box, so I am pretty pathetic at figuring out how to 'dial in' my Baofeng. It is light. It is inexpensive. It fits in a pocket/pack easily.

Cedar

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2014, 12:23:05 PM »
I like mine. I can hear (and transmit  :-[ ) from where I am, to the middle of Eastern Oregon and I was hearing two guys up in Portland the other day, who could not hear each other, but I could hear both of them.

If you can read directions, it is probably OK to 'dial in'. My problem is I cannot read directions on the back of a Kraft Mac & Cheese box, so I am pretty pathetic at figuring out how to 'dial in' my Baofeng. It is light. It is inexpensive. It fits in a pocket/pack easily.

Cedar

The UV5R are the dollar store flashlights of the ham radio world - cheap enough to keep one in each glove box and backpack.

Offline Carl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2014, 01:20:43 PM »
The UV5R are the dollar store flashlights of the ham radio world - cheap enough to keep one in each glove box and backpack.

I bought my first one because it was HALF the price of the replacement battery for my Yaesu VX7...

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2014, 01:33:06 PM »
I know that the Bendix Kings are a great radio for fire use. If you loaded the ham and eggs program they worked on ham also. Gonna have to check into one of these little Baofengs for the price. How is the radio overall?
We got new BK KNG-P150CMD radios this spring for the entire department plus new truck radios.  They were not as idiot proof as the old Kenwoods we replaced and therefore, there was a good deal of cursing since it's incredibly easy to stop scanning the frequency you're transmitting on.  So, you could call in service, not hear the reply, call in service again, not hear the reply, call in service again and start enroute to the station, then arrive at the station and discover everyone, including dispatch could hear you while in the meantime, hear no one else go in service and request mutual aid.  It took several months to get kinks like that worked out.  Now most of us like them.  The battery life is excellent, the durability is solid, they have more channel banks than we need (20 banks of 20, I think) but they're not very user friendly to work with, so most of us avoid surfing around them to figure out other features.  We aren't digital, so we can't take advantage of some of the features, like emergency tones and priority transmitting.  They're also quite thick and heavy.  With the microphones and belt clip on them, they barely fit in the radio pocket on our bunker gear, where their bulk is very noticeable compared to our old radios.  They won't fit into our old "boston strap" holders, which is disappointing.

Overall, good radios, but for the price, I guess I'd expect it to polish the rigs when they're not being used as radios. ;)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2014, 02:54:06 PM »
We got new BK KNG-P150CMD radios this spring for the entire department plus new truck radios.  They were not as idiot proof as the old Kenwoods we replaced and therefore, there was a good deal of cursing since it's incredibly easy to stop scanning the frequency you're transmitting on.  So, you could call in service, not hear the reply, call in service again, not hear the reply, call in service again and start enroute to the station, then arrive at the station and discover everyone, including dispatch could hear you while in the meantime, hear no one else go in service and request mutual aid.  It took several months to get kinks like that worked out.  Now most of us like them.  The battery life is excellent, the durability is solid, they have more channel banks than we need (20 banks of 20, I think) but they're not very user friendly to work with, so most of us avoid surfing around them to figure out other features.  We aren't digital, so we can't take advantage of some of the features, like emergency tones and priority transmitting.  They're also quite thick and heavy.  With the microphones and belt clip on them, they barely fit in the radio pocket on our bunker gear, where their bulk is very noticeable compared to our old radios.  They won't fit into our old "boston strap" holders, which is disappointing.

Overall, good radios, but for the price, I guess I'd expect it to polish the rigs when they're not being used as radios. ;)


Maybe fire fighters need a competition with the US marines to figure out who can do the dumbest stuff to gear the fastest.   ;D


Offline Beetle

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2014, 06:24:27 PM »
I bought my first one because it was HALF the price of the replacement battery for my Yaesu VX7...
  Might have to buy one. Which one do you recommend. I do like Yaesu, I have three handhelds (2m) that I use on the quads when out playing and haven't had any issues. They were fairly cheap I think it was about $130 a radio.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2014, 07:11:43 PM »
I know that the Bendix Kings are a great radio for fire use. If you loaded the ham and eggs program they worked on ham also. Gonna have to check into one of these little Baofengs for the price. How is the radio overall?


I would love to find the software / firmware to open up the old BK LPH and LMH radios for use on ham frequencies.

~TG

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2014, 08:27:14 PM »
  Might have to buy one. Which one do you recommend. I do like Yaesu, I have three handhelds (2m) that I use on the quads when out playing and haven't had any issues. They were fairly cheap I think it was about $130 a radio.

Heck the tiny uv5r are barely $30 on amazon.  If you already  are squared away with quality  VHF HT get either the cheapest or most feature rich. 

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2014, 08:40:25 PM »
Could an operator use a more efficient mode? I only own an FM radio but I understand that VHF SSB is more efficient than FM.

On a similar concept, these are the types of conditions where digital modes can really outperform analog ones.  Where analog voice gradually degrades with conditions, digital voice maintains quality until it drops off completely. And digital text modes are far better because the units can be programmed for automatic acknowledgements.  That is, they will keep sending messages until an ack is returned verifying receipt.  With digipeating you can set up interim units to relay as you go along.  Search and rescue teams are currently using these in caves where there is little LOS.  There are a lot of other advantages to digital use in S&R, like automatic GPS tracking of team member locations and the ability to send images.   As prices are dramatically dropping digital is displacing analog for new installations.  And since most units are both digital and analog compatible,  transitioning can be done in steps.  I got to play with yaesu's new system recently and it is mighty impressive, especially the integrated image capability.  Very, very cool.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Question -- From what we had to deal with the other night
« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2014, 09:13:59 PM »

I would love to find the software / firmware to open up the old BK LPH and LMH radios for use on ham frequencies.

~TG

Look up eggs and ham( Name of program). If I find a link I'll try and post it. I think it's in the BK radio yahoo groups.