855.7375 ?

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WuLabsWuTecH

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Anyone know what this is/was used for? I'm going through an old station scanner and whomever entered this frequency in didn't give it a name and it doesn't appear to be a frequency for a trunked system. I'm not in front of the scanner right now but I believe it had tones in it making me think it is/was a fire channel? It's in the same bank as "county fire" so that would make sense but I haven't heard either of these frequencies active in recent memory.
 

W8RMH

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A RadioReference Database search for Ohio returned:

It's actually used in 4 trunked systems:

Ohio MARCS
Indiana Project Hoosier SAFE-T
Butler Regional Interoperable Communications System (BRICS)
Greater Cleveland Radio Communications Network

As well as:

Auglaize County Sheriff
Grandview Heights Fire secondary (Franklin County)
Dayton PD simplex

I believe you may be in the Columbus area. It is probably the Grandview Secondary channel. I believe Grandview is now dispatched by Columbus, but they may still use that frequency as a local channel or to communicate with their PD.
 
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WuLabsWuTecH

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Thanks! I do spend about half my time in the columbus area and this scanner is actually located almost exactly halfway between dayton and columbus but based on the bank it is on, Grandview Heights Fire makes more sense than Dayton PD.

I was under the impression that Grandview heights got a pre-dispatch through the GHPD on their PA, and I guess this could be what it is used for--it's been forever since I was over there, and it doesn't make much sense to have a PA tuned to a radio frequency when the PD is in the same building, but perhaps it's used to alert pagers when they are out on the air? I know I get tired of listening to Locution when i'm on the air, especially with the new change of announcing the radio channel first instead of the unit numbers!
 

WuLabsWuTecH

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With Locution the page goes directly to the station via IP so the need for the unit numbers first isn't that great I guess.
I think it's just what I've gotten used to for 6 years (and some of the other guys more!). And while the need for the unit numbers first isn't needed in quarters, it's SOOOOO helpful when you're on the air and not at your MDT. You used to be able to have a conversation mostly uninterrupted unless you heard your numbers, but now, anytime you hear the alert tone, we seem to lose focus on the conversation for a few seconds until the unit numbers come across.

Similarly, I wish the cross-streets were still at the end of the dispatch. Once again, i'm probably just not used to hearing them in the middle of the dispatch, but I've been missing them a lot. Also not a big deal when the MDTs are working right, but when they aren't...

But I'm guessing someone at a higher pay grade than me downtown figured out that doing it this way is better for XYZ.

I do wish that we could get the station talkgroups on our mobiles and portables for this reason--once you're done with a run, you'd only have to hear your station's tones and no one else's.
 

W8RMH

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Like I said the calls go to the stations over the internet not over the air so there are no station talk groups.

The calls are rebroadcasted over the air. And I agree, I liked the original Locution format.
 

WuLabsWuTecH

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Like I said the calls go to the stations over the internet not over the air so there are no station talk groups.

The calls are rebroadcasted over the air. And I agree, I liked the original Locution format.
That's actually what I thought too until I was in the router closet of our station trying to fix something a couple of months ago. There was a base station radio that was sitting on talkgroup "PA ##." It was sticking out like a sore thumb because in the dark closet, the green glow of the backlight was lighting up the back of the closet behind one of the cabinets. When I asked about this, I got a history lesson!

There are actually 5 ways that each station can be dispatched. When I first started, everything was still manually dispatched and the PA ## talkgroups is how each station was "hit" individually since you can't tone out on a trunked 800 system. When I first started, I still remember tones going out over the air, and that was because some of the township departments couldn't afford the tech upgrades to get the 800 paging system wired into their station so it was still going out over VHF for those stations. This is still used today when locution goes down and when they take it down for maintenance and we get dispatched by a human. In the old days, when EMS or fire alarms went out, each individual station was hit, but to speed up dispatching, between 0800 and 2000, if a report of a fire/working fire/multi-alarm fire went out, everyone's PA opened up. This was apparently to save time--the dispatcher could hit the button that said (for example) BN 1, and Station 1/9, Station 2/3, Station 8 and Station 25 (I think... I don't have the battalion/stations committed to memory) would all have their PA open up regardless of if any units would be assigned to that run. For larger incidents, such as Alert 2's or Jumpers, they actually had a button that could open up every station's PA. Obviously this is no longer needed in day-to-day ops since locution can accurately and quickly open up the PAs needed.

The second method is the IP method you are describing. Locution's data is actually stored on a box in the station (also in that closet!) that says.. "Locution" (surprise!) on it. When the data burst comes through, it picks the right audio files to play, and then plays it locally over the station PA. However, if the system downtown detects that the locution box in the station didn't properly trigger, it will grab the audio off of a box downtown, and play it over the PA ## talkgroup. This actually caused a problem at the beginning because sometimes locution would detect that the local box didn't trigger and send it over the PA so we'd have two messages going over the PA at the same time, but out of sync making the dispatch completely useless. They've now fixed this somehow (I'm assuming if the box is already going, then the radio can't also start using the PA?).

The third method is the radio TG "10 fire." Once again, the downtown locution box picks the audio clips, strings them together, and stacks them to be dispatched on 10 Fire. Obviously these have to go out sequentially.

For completeness, the fourth method is the MDT (which isn't up to NFPA standard I believe because it uses a verizon aircard) and the fifth method is the landline. The landline isn't actually a commercial phone line, but one that is hard wired to the FAO downtown.

So that was a really long way of saying that the station talkgroups actually still exist and serve as the backup for locution! You can actually find these TGs by using an open scanner and every once in a while you'll hear a locution dispatch on a TG that's not documented anywhere. If you keep track, I'm guessing someone with the time on their hands could figure out the DEC for each station TG in the city, but you'd have to have a lot of time on your hands! Locution has far fewer problems nowadays so the uses of the station TG's are few and far between. But with the ~50 stations that Columbus dispatches for, I can see why it might not be a high priority to find 4 free zones to stick the station PA talkgroups onto.
 
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