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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2014, 2:49 PM
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Default CDM1250 siren activation??

I have a pretty simple question, but first some background info:

The county in which my fire department resides uses UHF analog. Also, it uses two-tone quickcall II for pager/siren activation. We currently have a CDM1250 as our base radio and a series of minitor V's. For the house sirens, we use a federal signal informer. (for those not familiar, it's basically large pager separate from the CDM1250 that monitors fire dispatch and when our tones drop, it beeps quick and activates our siren timer, also a separate item.) The FS informer serves no other purpose but to activate the siren.

Now my problem is, our FS informer isn't activating right now. I can't yet say for sure if it's our problem or the county's lovely radio system (we have issues occasionally). But, assuming it's on our end, this would be the second time the FS informer broke. On top of that, when it works it doesn't even work every time.

My question then is the following: I have a nice CDM1250 sitting on the desk right next to the FS informer that I know in my heart of hearts that I could use to also activate our siren and completely eliminate the need for the FS informer. It has the ability the recognize tones and beep when they drop. So, is it possible to do this? Is it simply wiring something to the back of the radio, a programming setting, etc.?

Any help would be appreciated. I'm one of the few that still values the siren at our station, and spending money on another FS informer wouldn't be popular!
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Old 05-26-2014, 5:50 PM
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UPDATE:

Small one. Somehow the FS informer and our CDM1250 are wired together, though I'm not really sure how or why. Seems to be awfully redundant to have two radio receivers for one siren box. Regardless, they aren't independent of each other as I had said before. Anyone familiar with this setup?
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Old 05-26-2014, 6:18 PM
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Maybe each radio trips on different tones?
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Old 05-26-2014, 6:44 PM
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Well, the way our county is setup, each station has two different sets of tones. One set does siren and pagers, the other pagers only. The radio trips on our pager tones only, and the informer on the station tones, but that's because each set of tones used to only do one thing (i.e. one set tripped the siren, then the other set played to trip pagers). Our county wanted to cut down on how long tones would play before an announcement was made, so they eliminated each station requiring two sets of tones for each activation and made it one set each. One for siren/pagers, the other for just pagers. Which is only used for non emergency EMS assists and to contact chief officers for messages.

We could then just as easily program our siren/pager set into the CDM1250 and in theory we could do without the FS informer. I say in theory because I don't know if that's possible. My thought now is that if the FS informer wasn't necessary, it wouldn't be there. I just wonder if there is a way around needing it.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:27 AM
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Not a fan of the informer. Although quite a few play year in and year out, some just seem unreliable. A company that makes custom fire station alert systems used to use them as their receiver engine but got so fed up they switched to CM200s.

You can program the CDM to respond to the siren page and activate a relay to get the ball rolling.The problem is that the base already has the pager only code in it and it will also activate the relay and siren when received. I do not know if the pager only code is actually needed in the base and does other activation duties at the station or could be eliminated.

Also I wince when using a base for critical alerting. If you like to scan channels it can make your page decode unreliable or downright not work. Sticky fingers lurk too. They can press buttons, change channels and walk away without telling anyone.

I think it's best to have a separate alerting receiver for the siren and bury it away where no one can get to it. Let it do it's one and only thing and it will work well. If the Informer is not cutting it, replace it with the cheapest model radio that can be programmed to do what you need it to do.
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Old 05-27-2014, 4:56 AM
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Default Re: CDM1250 siren activation??

I second the having a separate receiver for station alerting.

When I got tired of Minitor V bases giving up the ghost, we bought a couple Swissphone pagers with cradles. They have worked fine, and can be programmed with multiple tone sets.

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Old 05-27-2014, 9:40 AM
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Yup. One radio for activations. Single channel if you can, preferably locked away somewhere. Make it either a) Fireman proof, or b) Marine-proof. No programming on the buttons.

2nd radio for monitoring, scanning, etc, on the office desk.

I've been refitting a number of municipal fire stations with CDM1250's, (in place of the Informers,) Trip-light activation & audio over a PA system. I can provide a diagram if you want. Receipt of a tone set causes an accessory pin (#4 in my case) to change state to low; which in my circuit activates an optocoupler, output of which causes a trigger of a time delay relay, which switches the lights.

I've even interfaced this design to a Locution Systems box at a station.

Yeah, Informer series is a nice idea, but did not translate well (IMNTBHO) into reality. Brain-farts, brain-death, etc.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramal121 View Post
Not a fan of the informer. Although quite a few play year in and year out, some just seem unreliable. A company that makes custom fire station alert systems used to use them as their receiver engine but got so fed up they switched to CM200s.

You can program the CDM to respond to the siren page and activate a relay to get the ball rolling.The problem is that the base already has the pager only code in it and it will also activate the relay and siren when received. I do not know if the pager only code is actually needed in the base and does other activation duties at the station or could be eliminated.

Also I wince when using a base for critical alerting. If you like to scan channels it can make your page decode unreliable or downright not work. Sticky fingers lurk too. They can press buttons, change channels and walk away without telling anyone.

I think it's best to have a separate alerting receiver for the siren and bury it away where no one can get to it. Let it do it's one and only thing and it will work well. If the Informer is not cutting it, replace it with the cheapest model radio that can be programmed to do what you need it to do.
The only tones currently programmed in the CDM1250 are our pager only tones, but they don't serve any purpose when the radio receives them and beeps (showing call received). When our station tones go (siren/pager), which is what you would consider a normal station activation and like 95% of our activations, the CDM1250 never activates because it only accepts the pager tones. We could easily get our normal siren/pager tones programmed into the CDM1250, but then we would have to take our pager only tones out to avoid our siren blowing on the pager only tones, should we hook the siren up straight to it the CDM1250 like I want.

This in turn may be the reason why it's not done that way to begin with. If we had to take our pager tones out of the base radio, then we could never set our pager tones off with the CDM1250 base radio because they wouldn't be there anymore. Honestly, wouldn't be a big deal. We never set our own pagers off anymore because we have ealerts, texts, etc. If we need to get a message out to our guys, we can just use one of those methods as opposed to setting pagers off like the old days. Should we ever have to set pagers off, we could use either our HT1250 portables, or the CDM1250's in our units, as they still have the pager only tones programmed in them like the base radio.

The base radio itself almost always stays on fire dispatch. We have a normal everyday scanner next to it if we want to listen to other channels in the county. So I'm gathering that there are ways to utilize our CDM1250 base radio for siren activation and get rid of the informer, so long as the CDM1250 remains solely on fire dispatch?
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb4mdz View Post
Yup. One radio for activations. Single channel if you can, preferably locked away somewhere. Make it either a) Fireman proof, or b) Marine-proof. No programming on the buttons.

2nd radio for monitoring, scanning, etc, on the office desk.

I've been refitting a number of municipal fire stations with CDM1250's, (in place of the Informers,) Trip-light activation & audio over a PA system. I can provide a diagram if you want. Receipt of a tone set causes an accessory pin (#4 in my case) to change state to low; which in my circuit activates an optocoupler, output of which causes a trigger of a time delay relay, which switches the lights.

I've even interfaced this design to a Locution Systems box at a station.

Yeah, Informer series is a nice idea, but did not translate well (IMNTBHO) into reality. Brain-farts, brain-death, etc.
If you would send a diagram via email that would be great!
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Old 05-27-2014, 2:40 PM
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Sure; PM me with a good email address.
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Old 05-27-2014, 5:31 PM
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buy a recondtioned plectron from wallace radio to replace your crappy informer radio you can even get them set up to receive two sets of tones one to alert your pagers and one to set off your sirens and your cdm desk radio can be pressed into regular base station service no need for the scanner anymore the plectron would work better than a radio for sure.
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Old 05-27-2014, 6:50 PM
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It won't let me PM for some reason but you can use dabbs376@yahoo.com ...It's an old email I don't use for anything but still have it.
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