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Old 03-21-2015, 6:07 PM
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Default What is the best 2-Tone Pager?

What is the best 2-Tone Pager on the market? Or what is your favorite pager? I am helping a local volunteer fire agency with acquiring some new or used pagers. They have been with Motorola as have I but we have had discussions about trying out a different brand, possibly something that has PL Tone protection on the frequency.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-21-2015, 6:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonmckinney View Post
What is the best 2-Tone Pager on the market? Or what is your favorite pager? I am helping a local volunteer fire agency with acquiring some new or used pagers. They have been with Motorola as have I but we have had discussions about trying out a different brand, possibly something that has PL Tone protection on the frequency.

Any suggestions?
You might try looking at USAlert - Watchdog LT. The local fire department has been using them for a while now. They seem to hold up well. The audio output is loud. Sensitivity is good. They have voice storage and can handle a couple of channels if so needed. With the programming stand, you can program them from just about any computer.
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Old 03-22-2015, 8:30 AM
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Default good choice

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Originally Posted by jim202 View Post
You might try looking at USAlert - Watchdog LT. The local fire department has been using them for a while now. They seem to hold up well. The audio output is loud. Sensitivity is good. They have voice storage and can handle a couple of channels if so needed. With the programming stand, you can program them from just about any computer.
And I like that the Watchdog takes off the shelves rechargeable AAA batteries.
Nothing special to find when the batteries start to croak.
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Old 03-22-2015, 9:28 AM
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UNICATION G1. We have 340 out this year, with no issues. 150 M6's, and 18 of them have issues. Unication is loud, durable, and takes regular rechargeable batteries. And since they have opened the available band splits up, more accommodating to us who use 453, 460 and 470's.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:04 AM
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We're switching to Swissphone RE729s as our Minitor V's croak, which seems to happen at least weekly. Moto really dropped the ball with that one. So far the Swissphones are holding up very nicely...one of our FFs had a house fire back in 12/15, total loss, but during overhaul the following day we found his RE729 still talking despite a melted case. They use a single A rechargeable battery, and the belt clip is on the battery cover, so you don't have to pay Big M big bucks for a new case when somebody snags their pager and breaks the clip. Also multi-channel, event record, scan, and the other stuff Moto charges more for are standard on these, just program them for what you want. They advertise in Fire Chief magazine and will send you a pre-programmed unit to evaluate for 30 days, no obligation. With us that turned into 3 units & a couple of months with just a phone call, even though we're a small department. Great folks to deal with.

I don't know of any pagers that have CTCSS...it can interfere with the tone recognition and most systems interrupt it during tone-out phase.
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Old 03-22-2015, 6:55 PM
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What is better? Apples or Oranges?


We have seen lots of issues with Swissphone. Many issues with Unication. Many issues with Motorola.

If I had to take one or another, I would use Minitor V. I don't care for the VI, if I wanted my guys to carry scanners I will issue them scanners.
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Old 03-22-2015, 6:57 PM
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If anyone is getting rid of VHF 155 range Mintitor III, IV, or V's, regardless of condition, I know some departments in southern Missouri that would really like to have them, even if they are as bad as some say...
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Old 03-22-2015, 8:18 PM
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The chief of one of the departments I belong to was given a Unication. About 75% of the time I'm around him, I hear "Low battery" from his pager. It's almost the running joke "charge your pager lately?"
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Old 03-22-2015, 8:56 PM
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I still have my Minitor II for wildland responses and second alarms. Almost 25 years old and still going strong !! (at least til we go digital)...
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Old 03-23-2015, 7:39 AM
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I have a Min 6 VHF. I love the thing. Stays charged for days at a time, multiple modes/ channels. I can't complain about a single thing about it. We also had Min 5s, and Apollos. The Apollos are good pagers...as long as the batteries hold up. A lot of pagers won't stay charged for more then a day with the batteries.
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Old 03-23-2015, 7:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ActionJackson View Post
(at least til we go digital)...
You'll probably still have an analog page channel, there are no digital two tone paging yet.
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Old 03-23-2015, 7:49 AM
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Unication G1 all the way. For guys that dont have a portable issued to them the unication is like having a small scanner. It also does PL/DPL so unlike the Minitor V can filter out junk. Most settings are able to be changed and customized and the sw is downloadable free. It also is water proof. For a "radio guy" G1 is the pager to use.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:44 AM
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The Minitor V is decent, if you can find them at a good deal. (Buying in multiples helps.) It does not have CTCSS available.

The Swissphone RE729 is decent, but some people on my FD did not care for the button usage. (They had only used Minitors, and the paradigm shift might have been too much for those people.) The two we purchased are now in cradles, hooked up to our house bells. (We have had some issues with the house bells intermittently not going off, some of which was attributed tolerance differences between the tone encoder and the pagers.)

I have not had a chance to use a Unication or Minitor VI. I hope to talk the chief into trying a Unication.

For the few of you not aware, Unication has been the OEM for the Minitor III through Minitor V. Someone else might be able to confirm that they are the OEM for the Minitor VI.

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Old 03-26-2015, 8:37 PM
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Quote:
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You'll probably still have an analog page channel, there are no digital two tone paging yet.
Nah...they are gonna do away with the two-tone paging all together and all will be digital. Just like our 2+2s went away 20 some odd years ago so will our two-tones and 1+1 back ups. Happy monitoring !
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:00 AM
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Nah...they are gonna do away with the two-tone paging all together and all will be digital. Just like our 2+2s went away 20 some odd years ago so will our two-tones and 1+1 back ups. Happy monitoring !
Respectfully disagree. 2+2 went away because it was replaced by tone encoding/decoding technology that allowed many more tone combinations and eliminated the need for reeds or vibrasponders. Vibrasponders only worked well in stationary or desktop units.The reeds in the Minitor i's were self limiting. Tone filters in the II's really jump started the marketplace, but were limited to just a couple of tone combinations per pager. Moving to synthesized decoding truly opened up the industry for alerting pagers as we know them today.

There are a vast number of counties and agencies across the country that won't be able to afford the jump to newer alerting and paging technologies any time soon. They have a large investment in existing pagers and other alerting radios and won't change without major financial assistance from state or federal sources.

There's a whole bunch of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." to these systems, too.
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Old 03-27-2015, 2:04 PM
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Swissphone s.QUAD Voice

Flash upgradeable to Pocsag. Page alert tones are user uploadable. 8-9 Day battery life. Charging cradle is setup for an external antenna and also has an accessory output (something about a requirement in Germany to flash a night stand lamp plugged in to it).

Looks like a more traditional pager but they won't be shipping until around June or July. Did I mention they have integrated bluetooth?


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Old 03-27-2015, 2:28 PM
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Swissphone s.QUAD Voice

Flash upgradeable to Pocsag. Page alert tones are user uploadable. 8-9 Day battery life. Charging cradle is setup for an external antenna and also has an accessory output (something about a requirement in Germany to flash a night stand lamp plugged in to it).

Looks like a more traditional pager but they won't be shipping until around June or July. Did I mention they have integrated bluetooth?
Did the company address any changes they have made, to increase the reliability of alerting on QC tones?

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Old 04-08-2015, 9:42 AM
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As stated above everyone has their opinion on pagers. The best way to find out it if you'll like a particular pager is to try one out.

I'm partial to WatchDogs. The WatchDog LT is similar in operation to a Minitor 5. It's louder, more rugged, less expensive and comes with a 5 year warranty. They have a no hassle 30 day demo for departments that doesn't require a credit card deposit.

I've tried all the others and still prefer the LT. A lot of the manufacturers are trying to fit every feature possible into pagers which is making them way too complicated (and more expensive). Keep it simple (and cheap) for me.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
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Did the company address any changes they have made, to increase the reliability of alerting on QC tones?

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They did mention some improvements. They are really trying to push poscag though. I've only heard bad things about their older pagers…still tracking down info and concerns for the newer stuff.


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Old 06-24-2016, 8:40 AM
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I have been carrying the Swissphone s.Quad now for 5 weeks. It has alerted every time and I get 4 days per charge even on scan of 3 channels. My model has the 8 channels on 150-160mhz. The stored voice is reliable and clean. I programmed mine to busier agencies in our area to really put it through its paces and is has alerted every time. Group call tones are put on the long tone fields. Customized display text and the end flashing light when on vibrate is a nice feature. It has bells and whistles but not as many as the Unication G1,and easier to program. It also takes custom audi wav. files for alert but I am past that stage now .
At $395 ( pager,charger,battery) the price point is comparable to MInitor 1 channel pagers. The belt clip is designed to break away so the housing does not get damaged. The 8 channel option was $50 extra. I also have a multi channel VHF RE729 VOX model that I use for other county alerts. 2 years and not a single complaint on the RE729. 5 days on charge!
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