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Building a radio based voice paging system

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Priority-One

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I currently manage a warehouse with 79 men and women and 11,000 sf, We are required to have an overhead paging system to alert the employees of evacs, general paging, ect.

I am looking into buying some surplus radios on MURS frequencies, and dedicate 1 channel for overhead paging.
I had the idea of using a mobile on a power supply tucked away somewhere and wire an indoor paging speaker to it,

So in essence, you'd flip to channel 2, and when the PTT is pressed, you could page overhead.

Is this legal on MURS? I've heard that you can not use GMRS for business purpose, but i am unsure of how true that is?

Any advice? I 'd like to deploy between 8-10 used radios and 2 mobile radios.
 
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Just my opinion but I'd look into something like Barix Exstreamer P5 or Annuncicom 155 since they integrate with SIP (likely your plant is running an IP phone system).

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RFI-EMI-GUY

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I currently manage a warehouse with 79 men and women and 11,000 sf, We are required to have an overhead paging system to alert the employees of evacs, general paging, ect.

I am looking into buying some surplus radios on MURS frequencies, and dedicate 1 channel for overhead paging.
I had the idea of using a mobile on a power supply tucked away somewhere and wire an indoor paging speaker to it,

So in essence, you'd flip to channel 2, and when the PTT is pressed, you could page overhead.

Is this legal on MURS? I've heard that you can not use GMRS for business purpose, but i am unsure of how true that is?

Any advice? I 'd like to deploy between 8-10 used radios and 2 mobile radios.
GMRS cannot be used for business, unless your 79 employees are all family. It is a personal radio service.

MURS can legally be used for what you describe. You must use type certified MURS radios. Implimentation might be a problem in that the antenna cannot be detached and generally these are battery operated. So where you place this radio in 11,000 square feet might present a coverage problem, and you might have to rig up a battery eliminator. However, having said all that, the radio you use for the PA system does not have to be a MURS radio if it is used only as a receiver. So you could use a better quality radio and antenna, and even several receivers and a voter.

Beware that if someone figures out how you are using this, a hacker could go onto your PA and announce "bonuses for everyone", or other nonsense.

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Thunderknight

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MURS can legally be used for what you describe. You must use type certified MURS radios. Implimentation might be a problem in that the antenna cannot be detached and generally these are battery operated
MURS does permit separate antennas. It's FRS that requires attached antennas.

OP, Take a look at what Ritron offers.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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MURS does permit separate antennas. It's FRS that requires attached antennas.

OP, Take a look at what Ritron offers.
Your right, but the rules require replacement only with a "like" antenna. Ritron has some products that might work for the PA solution.

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Priority-One

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Beware that if someone figures out how you are using this, a hacker could go onto your PA and announce "bonuses for everyone", or other nonsense.

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Haha I think everyone in the company would
Know that was a lie!

But we are working with a $500-$600 Budget, so I was looking at some older Motorola radios or Vertex radios, 2 mobiles and 2 power supplies and the PA speaker.
I'm looking to deploy 8-10 portables. But now as mentioned i need something type accepted.
We run a 18 hour operation, I need 2-3 radios for safety and administration 6-7 radios for the floor for supervision.

We are bolstering this summer so I may expand that to 12-15 portables as the expansion takes place.
The one thing they don't ever make room for in the budget is OSHA safety requirements, so I have to make due with what I can as far as purchasing and maintaining equipment.

We are required to provide means of instantaneous communication under the osha CFR that's not cell or computer, and we are also required to have safety support when we have that many people moving around using fork trucks and other equipment. We use to have some tyt radios but they were/are terrible. After 9 months of warehouse deployment, they are smashed and garbage.


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RFI-EMI-GUY

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Haha I think everyone in the company would
Know that was a lie!

But we are working with a $500-$600 Budget, so I was looking at some older Motorola radios or Vertex radios, 2 mobiles and 2 power supplies and the PA speaker.
I'm looking to deploy 8-10 portables. But now as mentioned i need something type accepted.
We run a 18 hour operation, I need 2-3 radios for safety and administration 6-7 radios for the floor for supervision.

We are bolstering this summer so I may expand that to 12-15 portables as the expansion takes place.
The one thing they don't ever make room for in the budget is OSHA safety requirements, so I have to make due with what I can as far as purchasing and maintaining equipment.

We are required to provide means of instantaneous communication under the osha CFR that's not cell or computer, and we are also required to have safety support when we have that many people moving around using fork trucks and other equipment. We use to have some tyt radios but they were/are terrible. After 9 months of warehouse deployment, they are smashed and garbage.


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If you are going with MURS, you will need radios that are certified. Otherwise a Part 90 business license is required. I would read carefully what OSHA requires in a radio solution.

At a minimum, you need to make sure the system operates independent of power failure. I don't know what your production is all about, but you should consider what kind of events and what damage might happen to electronics and cabling, etc.

Sometimes you have to bend the budget.

$600 isn't going to buy much radio. If you are real lucky, maybe some lightly used Motorola MURS radios and a multi charger. They won't be real durable, but they might work.

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Thunderknight

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Your right, but the rules require replacement only with a "like" antenna.
Not to get too far off topic, but can you point to the "like" part of the rules? I see no such requirement.
In fact even the FCC's description of the various services talks about using external antennas to extend the range.
The only antenna requirement I see in the rules is related to the maximum height.
 

buddrousa

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Working in the alarm industry emergency evac systems have to be failsafe and battery backed up. I understand what you are trying to do but remember if it fails they will come after who built it. You also have to meet NFPA 72 and NFPA 101 in your design or as approved by your local AHJ.
 

bharvey2

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Just a thought about using MURS: Given a paging application, wouldn't only the transmitting radios need to be MURS certified? The receiving radio, as it isn't doing and transmitting, could be any radio that can receive MURS frequencies and have any antenna that would suit the purpose.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Not to get too far off topic, but can you point to the "like" part of the rules? I see no such requirement.
In fact even the FCC's description of the various services talks about using external antennas to extend the range.
The only antenna requirement I see in the rules is related to the maximum height.
These are the rules slated for approval under the R&O WT 10-119 recently published:

95.2719 MURS replacement parts.

The operator of an MURS transmitter may replace

parts of an MURS transmitter as indicated in this

section. All other internal maintenance and repairs

must be carried out in accordance with § 95.319.

(a) A damaged antenna may be replaced by

another antenna of the same or a compatible similar

type.

(b) Batteries in the MURS transmitter may be

replaced with batteries of a type specified by the

manufacturer.

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RFI-EMI-GUY

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Just a thought about using MURS: Given a paging application, wouldn't only the transmitting radios need to be MURS certified? The receiving radio, as it isn't doing and transmitting, could be any radio that can receive MURS frequencies and have any antenna that would suit the purpose.
Yes

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Thunderknight

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These are the rules slated for approval under the R&O WT 10-119 recently published:

95.2719 MURS replacement parts.
Which aren't in effect yet. Nor does that say a user can't use external antennas. In fact the new 95.2741 still has the height limits language.
What I think the FCC is allowing is an end user to "repair" a device to the extent of replacing antennas or batteries.
It is a little weird to have included that language, but the section also refers to "...other internal..." making me think they were trying to permit a small subset of end user repairs that would otherwise be prohibited by 95.319(b).
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Which aren't in effect yet. Nor does that say a user can't use external antennas. In fact the new 95.2741 still has the height limits language.
What I think the FCC is allowing is an end user to "repair" a device to the extent of replacing antennas or batteries.
It is a little weird to have included that language, but the section also refers to "...other internal..." making me think they were trying to permit a small subset of end user repairs that would otherwise be prohibited by 95.319(b).
I don't think the new rewrite has any effect on MURS other than renumbering the chapters to follow a new scheme.

The height limitation simply means a limitation of the operating height of a station. For example 60 feet, and no airborne. I don't think it implies or makes provision for attaching an antenna and extending to 60 feet, though I suppose putting the stock antenna on the end of a coax 60 feet in the air would have less impact than operating from that level and would be arguably if not technically legal.

Anyway, the OP only needs a receiver at the fixed end of his link and since it will not transmit, he can do what ever is necessary for the 2 watt MURS radios to be picked up reliably in his big warehouse. So the antenna is moot.
 

RFBOSS

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"The height limitation simply means a limitation of the operating height of a station. For example 60 feet"

So they are not legal to use on top of a tall building? How about a window washer. Once he is over 60 feet off of the ground the radio is no longer legal to use?
 

Priority-One

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We have a total of 6100 sf warehouse space, and a 550 sf office 600ft adjacent to the warehouse, so being able to page and communicate from the office to the warehouse either paging or normal radio traffic is the most important factor, as well as being able to access the channel dedicated for Rx only for the overhead system in the event of an evacuation or general message or page. We are an 18 hour a day salvage operation that specializes In document, antique and art, salvage, movement, storage and restoration services. We consistently have large items moving around, 19 trucks and sprinter vans, and various operations throughout the day that revolve around the warehouse. Right now we have no means of off the network, instantaneous communication, nor any alerting/paging system.
The osha CFR 1910 requires an emergency action plan, means of communication, safety and medical, etc. I wish we had the money for a trbo system, but that's not gonna happen. We also have a smaller receiving facility not to far from us in red hook. I'd like to connect the 2 facilities, but we do not have the money (more less they won't give it to me) to license and purchase that equipment.


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RFI-EMI-GUY

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"The height limitation simply means a limitation of the operating height of a station. For example 60 feet"

So they are not legal to use on top of a tall building? How about a window washer. Once he is over 60 feet off of the ground the radio is no longer legal to use?
Hey I don't make the rules, so I guess he would have to use hand signals at 61 feet!
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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We have a total of 6100 sf warehouse space, and a 550 sf office 600ft adjacent to the warehouse, so being able to page and communicate from the office to the warehouse either paging or normal radio traffic is the most important factor, as well as being able to access the channel dedicated for Rx only for the overhead system in the event of an evacuation or general message or page. We are an 18 hour a day salvage operation that specializes In document, antique and art, salvage, movement, storage and restoration services. We consistently have large items moving around, 19 trucks and sprinter vans, and various operations throughout the day that revolve around the warehouse. Right now we have no means of off the network, instantaneous communication, nor any alerting/paging system.
The osha CFR 1910 requires an emergency action plan, means of communication, safety and medical, etc. I wish we had the money for a trbo system, but that's not gonna happen. We also have a smaller receiving facility not to far from us in red hook. I'd like to connect the 2 facilities, but we do not have the money (more less they won't give it to me) to license and purchase that equipment.


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MotoTrbo is a good way to go if you want wide area coverage between two facilities. The IP Site Connect will link the facilities. If you do go that route, it will likely be UHF so any VHF MURS equipment you buy today will be obsolete.

Getting back to your Radio/PA announcement communications, assuming that it is for in building and not vehicles on the roadway, the MURS approach might work. However you need to make sure that your receiver or receivers, can be reached with a handheld anywhere in the facility. This will require testing and engineering. Given your stated budget, I hate to bring up the topic of hiring a consultant. It will suffice to say you have some work ahead.

Bear in mind also that MURS operates on VHF and is more subject to noise from lighting, motors, welding etc. These can impair the effectiveness of the receivers. Also in an urban environment other users may pop up on your MURS channel and interfere with you. MURS is unfortunately susceptible to misuse because high power equipment can be programmed on those channels, rogue taxi services etc.
 

Priority-One

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I heard a few rouge taxi services and landscapers on murs. But I am evaluating my options. I need to think hard about what's feasible and workable for our situation.
The range testing is not a problem, I can do that, but I also need to think about long term sustainability, maintenance and replacement.
So I need to heavily consider the options and make sure what we do get is workable and right for our situation


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RFI-EMI-GUY

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I heard a few rouge taxi services and landscapers on murs. But I am evaluating my options. I need to think hard about what's feasible and workable for our situation.
The range testing is not a problem, I can do that, but I also need to think about long term sustainability, maintenance and replacement.
So I need to heavily consider the options and make sure what we do get is workable and right for our situation


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Redundancy and reliability need to be considered I like the radio approach, it is always on you. But having pull stations and a siren or automated voice might be good as well because those spotting trouble might not have a radio or know to switch channels.

Ritron makes some products that might make sense. You might check those out.
 
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