Originally Posted by oesjmr
Does this mean that if we have the right talkgroups, we could listen to dispatches for each individual station? 10 Fire has too much traffic for my listening preference, so I keep it locked out most of the time. I have always wondered if there was a way I could narrow it down to just a handful of stations that are of interest to me.
Yes, but only when the talkgroups are in use. They are backup talkgroups for when the locution box at the station goes down or is out for maintenance. Remember that in normal operations, no audio is transmitted through the ip switches. Only a short data burst is and the locution box then strings together the necessary parts of the dispatch and plays it out on the PA. When the backup talkgroups are active, the audio is actually transmitted over the air from what I would assume is a locution box at the FAO.
Originally Posted by wa8pyr
As noted in the previous post, these are backup talkgroups only and this would only work if the computer network goes down.
(although from a system administrator's standpoint, the thought of seven or eight talkgroups all going active at once for a large incident dispatch on top of other system traffic is kind of worrisome; talk about loading problems...)
Thinking about it more, the station dispatching system is starting to make more and more sense to me. Before locution, all reports of fires and expanded incidents were dispatched by battalion and not by station during the day. So if there was a working fire, even if your station was not on the run, your PA would open if someone in your battalion was on the run. This still happens from time to time and it must be when we're being dispatched via the PA TG and not the locution box.
This also explains those dispatches where seemingly we are dispatched twice. There are a few times that we'll hear the dispatch over the PA, and then as we're getting in the truck, hear it over the PA again. Locution must detect some error in the system and therefore send it out via the PA talkgroup. I hope there is some mechanism in place to prevent both from going off at the same time--otherwise two dispatches stacked on top of each other wound be unintelligible!!!
If anyone is interested, I think the easiest way to figure this out without having your hands on a copy of the manual would be to track talkgroups that have the automated dispatch on them and write down the talkgroup number and which units you heard on them. From there, once you have a sufficiently long list, you could figure out which TG corresponded with which station.
Once again, this would only be useful when locution is down--unlike other counties, the PA TGs are not used as the primary method of dispatching, or so it seems.