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Unication *New* G4 and G5 pagers/ somewhat limited scanner

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fireboat61

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#1
I am not sure really where to post this. The new Unication pager kinda acts lie a scanner so I figure it would work here as well. Does any member have one of the new pagers ? I have inquired from Unication additional information as well as I have requested a video tutorial to be created explaining its capabilities. I was told the price point is around $800ish which is definitely a few hundred higher then a digital scanner. I have owned a G1 pager and can confirm the quality of that product is outstanding. It has many nice features and priced comparable to a minitor 6 but that's the only comparison. I think the price for the G4or G5 would be appropriate once a video is created showing its true functions. Without seeing it there is no way I think someone would just shell out that kind of cash just to play.

1. How does it work in regards to programming and receiving p25 digital trunking systems ?
2. How many channels does it really store. One ad shows 64 the other shows 128
3. Channel storage. Does it have an affect on how many trunking systems control channels can be programmed. I am interested in the dual band and want to make sure that I'm not losing vhf freq. storage once I program 700/800 MHz system controls channels.

Just a few questions. I hope their are a few members that have more insight on this new pager since they are now available.

Thank you.
 

Thunderknight

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#2
What I wonder is how it performs on p25 simulcast systems. If it performs well, it might be another market for them. I would imagine it would, if it's targeted to the public safety market. Plus it might add pressure to the scanner manufacturers to produce a scanner that handles simulcast well.
 

iMONITOR

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#3
I had heard the G4 was going to sell for around $450/ea when purchased in lots of two.

Performance is supposed to blow scanners out of the water on P25 systems! I can't confirm any of this.

I'm trying to find out if they are Phase 2 compatible.
 

dpcain

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#4
The G4 does not handle TDMA voice in its current or prospective next release, according to their FAQ. They bank on the use of FDMA for dispatch voice, with paging data via the control channel (which is FDMA itself and agnostic to the waveform used by voice channels). The way their FAQ answers it, they expect system administrators to configure relevant talkgroups to transmit in FDMA mode when voice is required.

The G4 is, however, configured to properly decode linear simulcast modulation. It is designed for both C4FM and CQPSK-LSM waveforms.
 
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#8
He didn't give a time frame to when it would be P2 compliant and we are still using VHF 2 tone decode so I ordered a G1 today.

Sent from my LG-H900 using Tapatalk
 

Thunderknight

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#9
I had the chance to try a G4.
As Ferris Bueller said "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." :)

I tried it as a plain scanner style receiver for scanning P25 trunking, no paging. The receiver seems sensitive and no hint of simulcast distortion in areas/systems that normally sound awful on a scanner. The little (like 1 1/2" stubby) antenna is just a reverse SMA connector so I suppose it could connected to an external antenna if needed.
You can set up each knob position for a specific system and one or more talk groups on one system, but it scans only one system at a time.
e.g. knob position one can be trunked system 1, talk groups A, B, C;
knob position two can be system 1, just group A;
position three can be system 2, Groups D, E ,F;
etc.
You can have multiple zones, each with up to 8 knob positions. Not sure what the limit on zones is, but the changing of zones is done through a couple of menu levels.

So if you only need to monitor one system (with one or more talk groups) at a time, it works well. It just can't scan across multiple systems at the same time (at least not that I can figure out how).

And of course it is just a receiver, so no TX concerns, no affiliation worries, etc.From a scanning perspective, it programs a lot like a scanner. Put in system and site IDs, control channels and talk groups. (e.g. all data that is available in the RRDB).

I think the way paging would work is you setup a talk group that alerts when it has traffic. So if your department gets "paged" on a unique talk group that is the one that would be programmed to alert. So something like Talk Group 1001 for Acme Fire, 1002 for Acme EMS, 1003 for Smith Fire, etc. This would be something that would have to be setup by the system owners/dispatch center (the system steering end, not necessarily the pager programming).

It also does stored voice, selected on a talk group basis (e.g. you can set some talk groups to record and others not to).

Charges and programs with the same USB cable - no special programming cradle needed.

My opinion: I can't speak to the paging capabilities, but as a "scanner receiver" for monitoring P25 Phase 1 trunked systems, it's a winner.
 
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fireboat61

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#10
I had the chance to try a G4.
As Ferris Bueller said "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up." :)

I tried it as a plain scanner style receiver for scanning P25 trunking, no paging. The receiver seems sensitive and no hint of simulcast distortion in areas/systems that normally sound awful on a scanner. The little (like 1 1/2" stubby) antenna is just a reverse SMA connector so I suppose it could connected to an external antenna if needed.
You can set up each knob position for a specific system and one or more talk groups on one system, but it scans only one system at a time.
e.g. knob position one can be trunked system 1, talk groups A, B, C;
knob position two can be system 1, just group A;
position three can be system 2, Groups D, E ,F;
etc.
You can have multiple zones, each with up to 8 knob positions. Not sure what the limit on zones is, but the changing of zones is done through a couple of menu levels.

So if you only need to monitor one system (with one or more talk groups) at a time, it works well. It just can't scan across multiple systems at the same time (at least not that I can figure out how).

And of course it is just a receiver, so no TX concerns, no affiliation worries, etc.From a scanning perspective, it programs a lot like a scanner. Put in system and site IDs, control channels and talk groups. (e.g. all data that is available in the RRDB).

I think the way paging would work is you setup a talk group that alerts when it has traffic. So if your department gets "paged" on a unique talk group that is the one that would be programmed to alert. So something like Talk Group 1001 for Acme Fire, 1002 for Acme EMS, 1003 for Smith Fire, etc. This would be something that would have to be setup by the system owners/dispatch center (the system steering end, not necessarily the pager programming).

It also does stored voice, selected on a talk group basis (e.g. you can set some talk groups to record and others not to).

Charges and programs with the same USB cable - no special programming cradle needed.

My opinion: I can't speak to the paging capabilities, but as a "scanner receiver" for monitoring P25 Phase 1 trunked systems, it's a winner.

Thank you for the info. Would you be ok with making a YouTube video showing the pager being programmed possibly receiving a transmission and explaining its functions like in the forum. You are the only person I know who has one and replied to my original forum question. I have asked local dealers and Unication themself if they could produce a video. I think the only way to explain the many features of this product is best displayed in a video. I know I won't spend $800 dollars on something until I hold it and or see a video of it.
 

phirephoto

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#11
Thank you for the info. Would you be ok with making a YouTube video showing the pager being programmed possibly receiving a transmission and explaining its functions like in the forum. You are the only person I know who has one and replied to my original forum question. I have asked local dealers and Unication themself if they could produce a video. I think the only way to explain the many features of this product is best displayed in a video. I know I won't spend $800 dollars on something until I hold it and or see a video of it.
I've ordered both a G1 and a G4 from Phil Leavitt / Leavitt Communications - Philip Leavitt
847-955-0511 - pcleavitt@leavittcom.com . He's been awesome. The G4 is pretty awesome. When I get some free time, I'll try to make a video of it. Supposedly it should be upgraded to P25 Phase II with a firmware patch sometime in the next month or so I hope. They also should be coming out with a dual band VHF / 700-800 mhz unit this quarter. When the G4 came out it was $480 or so. Now I believe it's back up to around $800 or so (I think the promo was Buy 1 half off).
It is VERY sensitive. Good reception - nearly as good if not better than my Uniden BCD436 and comparable to my APX 7000.

Any questions, let me know.

If you contact Phil, let him know I sent you over. I don't get a commission or anything, but can't hurt to let him know where his references come from :)
 

fireboat61

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#12
I've ordered both a G1 and a G4 from Phil Leavitt / Leavitt Communications - Philip Leavitt
847-955-0511 - pcleavitt@leavittcom.com . He's been awesome. The G4 is pretty awesome. When I get some free time, I'll try to make a video of it. Supposedly it should be upgraded to P25 Phase II with a firmware patch sometime in the next month or so I hope. They also should be coming out with a dual band VHF / 700-800 mhz unit this quarter. When the G4 came out it was $480 or so. Now I believe it's back up to around $800 or so (I think the promo was Buy 1 half off).
It is VERY sensitive. Good reception - nearly as good if not better than my Uniden BCD436 and comparable to my APX 7000.

Any questions, let me know.

If you contact Phil, let him know I sent you over. I don't get a commission or anything, but can't hurt to let him know where his references come from :)

Thank you for the purchasing info and additional reception quality. A video would be great for my personal knowledge. Today I contacted Unication USA , Mr Rowe sent me the programming PowerPoint and confirmed that no video has been created yet. I expressed the need for a video because I can't explain to a radio committee who might purchase 50+ pagers how the pager works because majority of users are laymen to the radio world. The committee needs something more concrete then my word for $800 a pager.
 

phirephoto

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#13
Thank you for the purchasing info and additional reception quality. A video would be great for my personal knowledge. Today I contacted Unication USA , Mr Rowe sent me the programming PowerPoint and confirmed that no video has been created yet. I expressed the need for a video because I can't explain to a radio committee who might purchase 50+ pagers how the pager works because majority of users are laymen to the radio world. The committee needs something more concrete then my word for $800 a pager.
My time's somewhat limited, and any video I put together is going to be pretty basic. Might I suggest if you are indeed looking at 50 pagers, contact Phil. See if he can send you a demo, if he can't, shoot me a PM, if you're a verifable 'agency' I'd possibly be willing to loan you myne as I don't use it that much. Or, I can at the least help with programming up your pager (assuming your system is on radioreference or something).
 
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#15
Seems awfully expensive considering just how limited the device is, one would think spending ~$450 or anything close to it for an actual real-world scanner with vastly more capabilities would be preferable, at least that's my opinion of it. I'm sure it does have some uses but because of the narrow-profile design (meaning it's good for a small number of purposes and capabilities, not the physical size) but I couldn't ever see myself forking out that kind of cost for such a piece of hardware.
 

phirephoto

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#16
Seems awfully expensive considering just how limited the device is, one would think spending ~$450 or anything close to it for an actual real-world scanner with vastly more capabilities would be preferable, at least that's my opinion of it. I'm sure it does have some uses but because of the narrow-profile design (meaning it's good for a small number of purposes and capabilities, not the physical size) but I couldn't ever see myself forking out that kind of cost for such a piece of hardware.
I think you're overlooking the G4's intended audience - Firefighters / EMS / etc. That's the intended audience. Someone who will be carrying this and wearing it 24/7. For a fire pager, you want something small.
 

phirephoto

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#17
I think you're overlooking the G4's intended audience - Firefighters / EMS / etc. That's the intended audience. Someone who will be carrying this and wearing it 24/7. For a fire pager, you want something small.
... But to clarify on your cost question, the Motorola Minitor 6 VHF Pager is $350 or so. Does NOT include programming cradle OR software. A quick google search - may be wrong, shows the software is free, the cradle is $89. The Minitor 6 is 6 channels. Not available (AFAIK) in 800 mhz - conventional or otherwise.

The Unication is - I don't know how many channels or zones, but well beyond 6. Blows away the Minitor IMHO.
 
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#18
True however the Minitor is a purpose built pager with the intention of being carried by those who want to monitor 1 or 2 frequencies for their fire dept's calls mainly. The unification pager which originally started out with an insane 64 channels is a scanner trying to be a fire pager for the extreme user shall we say. If i need to listen to more then say 2 frequencies i will carry a radio or scanner much easier and cheaper then a way overpriced scanner trying to be a pager lol.


... But to clarify on your cost question, the Motorola Minitor 6 VHF Pager is $350 or so. Does NOT include programming cradle OR software. A quick google search - may be wrong, shows the software is free, the cradle is $89. The Minitor 6 is 6 channels. Not available (AFAIK) in 800 mhz - conventional or otherwise.

The Unication is - I don't know how many channels or zones, but well beyond 6. Blows away the Minitor IMHO.
 

qball

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#19
I must agree with other folks here, the Unication P25 pager works well and is the only thing that I know of on the market. The unit is solid, and is getting better with new firmware releases. I am used to Motorola pagers but I have not carried a tone and voice pager since the Minitor 3 came out...so it has been a while for me and difficult for me to compare the G4 with the Minitor 6.

As for the mention of too many channels in the pager; the purpose of a voice pager is to alert the firefighter of the call and offer the ability to monitor the subsequent radio traffic on the dispatch channel. In our case, the only thing that takes place on the dispatch talkgroup. There is no analog or conventional version of the dispatch talkgroup for a Minitor 6 to monitor. So, a trunking P25 pager is required to even hear a dispatch. Then if you want to monitor the acitvity relating to the call, a responder needs to switch to one of 18 different talkgroups to which you may be assigned for your call. The days of simple monitoring are gone in most places. Advanced digital technology is quickly replacing good old analog almost everywhere. More capability means more flexibility and the 64 talkgroup capability lends a great deal of flexibility to volunteer firemen that utilizing trunked systems for communications.

The days of the Minitor are likely numbered and Motorola has declared that they will not continue to pursue a P25 pager (announced August 2014 at New Orleans MTUG meeting).


True however the Minitor is a purpose built pager with the intention of being carried by those who want to monitor 1 or 2 frequencies for their fire dept's calls mainly. The unification pager which originally started out with an insane 64 channels is a scanner trying to be a fire pager for the extreme user shall we say. If i need to listen to more then say 2 frequencies i will carry a radio or scanner much easier and cheaper then a way overpriced scanner trying to be a pager lol.
 
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#20
True most companies use a different frequency for ops then dispatch however it is still more practical and cost effective to buy a small portable such as a ht1250 or ken wood tk series which has alert capability for dispatch as well as the ability to monitor the response channels. There is no way to justify a 800 pager when both the radio and pager can be purchased together for appx 550.00 or even the radio alone used go for 150 to 200 all day long. The M6 has the ability to listen to and scan 5 channels within the same frequency range and it half the cost of the new g4/5 pagers yes unication is the only p25 pager well for now however it does not do phase2 and idc what the dealers/manufacter reps say they have issues with simulcast systems same as scanners. Heck you can buy a digital uniden scanner that does the p25 phase 2 for less then the unification pagers.

I must agree with other folks here, the Unication P25 pager works well and is the only thing that I know of on the market. The unit is solid, and is getting better with new firmware releases. I am used to Motorola pagers but I have not carried a tone and voice pager since the Minitor 3 came out...so it has been a while for me and difficult for me to compare the G4 with the Minitor 6.

As for the mention of too many channels in the pager; the purpose of a voice pager is to alert the firefighter of the call and offer the ability to monitor the subsequent radio traffic on the dispatch channel. In our case, the only thing that takes place on the dispatch talkgroup. There is no analog or conventional version of the dispatch talkgroup for a Minitor 6 to monitor. So, a trunking P25 pager is required to even hear a dispatch. Then if you want to monitor the acitvity relating to the call, a responder needs to switch to one of 18 different talkgroups to which you may be assigned for your call. The days of simple monitoring are gone in most places. Advanced digital technology is quickly replacing good old analog almost everywhere. More capability means more flexibility and the 64 talkgroup capability lends a great deal of flexibility to volunteer firemen that utilizing trunked systems for communications.

The days of the Minitor are likely numbered and Motorola has declared that they will not continue to pursue a P25 pager (announced August 2014 at New Orleans MTUG meeting).
 
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