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Old 09-13-2012, 1:24 PM
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Default Monitoring Cal Fire

Hello everyone,
I am thinking of offloading all Cal Fire frequencies to a dedicated Base Station scanner. My question is:
Do I need a high priced digital scanner? Are they going digital anytime soon?
Do I need PL tone capabilities?
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for the input, I learn a lot from this forum.
Tom
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Old 09-13-2012, 3:05 PM
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I haven't heard anything to suggest CalFire would go digital. Digital usually isn't the preferred method for fire ground use since it doesn't always deal with the background noise that well. It would be a big expense for them to switch to digital since the equipment caches and all the mutual aid help would need to update their gear also. They do use PL tones for accessing repeaters, but you should be fine without that.

I think you'd be pretty safe with an analog scanner for at least the next couple of years. Not sure the state has the money to take on a project that big. You may see some command channels go digital down the road, but like I said, I haven't heard anything to suggest that is even on the horizon. I think there are some CalFire guys on here that could tell you for sure.
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Old 09-13-2012, 3:52 PM
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I would not worry about them going digital anytime soon.

As for PL tone capability, yes highly recommend it. I'm sooo thankful they finally use PL tones on the Command and Tac freqs here. Nice to not hear the Mexicans anymore.
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Old 09-15-2012, 7:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starman918 View Post
Hello everyone,
I am thinking of offloading all Cal Fire frequencies to a dedicated Base Station scanner. My question is:
Do I need a high priced digital scanner? Are they going digital anytime soon?
Do I need PL tone capabilities?
What are your thoughts?
Thanks for the input, I learn a lot from this forum.
Tom
Hello!

1. Digital is not needed, and doubtful if it will be in the forseeable future.

2. PL tone filtering is not needed but is will make your experience much much better. CAL FIRE's system reuses most of the same pool of frequencies for Locals, Commands, and Tacticals throughout the state. They discriminate among the areas by using different PL tones. If you have the tone capability, you can set up channels to only hear the specific locations you want, without the bleed-over from more distant stations on the same channel.

It is a fun system to monitor, and every Unit is different. Have fun!!
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Old 09-15-2012, 8:49 PM
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Thank you all for the great responses.
Tom
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