CFD Happenings

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werinshades

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As some may know, our Fire Commisioner has been in the news for unfavorable behavior. Expect some upper management changes. I'm trying to compile a good list of all the who's who with Radio Signature's with names, but it seems to change so often, it's old before it's new. I'll wait for the next change before I try again.
I received a call that ambulances were reporting to Field Division's to pick up additional portable radio batteries. Could this mean......maybe it's going to happen......dare I say it.....Digital time !! ? To me, what would make the most sense is, the date to switch would be...April Fool's Day...lol ! This is my opinion only, so don't take it to the bank. Nothing else to report at this time....
 

werinshades

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Digital Update

All ambulances have received a new battery charger and 8 "new" batteries for the portable radios. April 6th, 0800, we will be switching to the new EMS-North (477.5125) and EMS-South (478.4625) for a 30 day trial period. Only portable radios will be used, and all statuses will be reported via the radio and MDC to fully test the new system. This is now on paper so it appears it's finally going to happen. Not sure what will happen after the 30 day trial period yet...
 

werinshades

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Thanks villian for the kudos. Read a memo the other day which confirmed the April 6th @ 0800 time. Their was some additional detail about all the grid testing, background noise etc. From what I read, the city has some background reduction software included. I did hear the PASS alarm, saws etc. testing phase of this system sometime ago and yes I did sound good. It was mentioned we will utilize 6 repeater and 6 OPS frequencies for "interoperability". I have already mentioned 2 of these OPS Channels in previous posts, so should be easily to find. 30 day "test phase" via the portables only for EMS. Fire will be converting from VHF to UHF as we all know sometime after they feel like this will work. On a personal note, I just realized I will be on shift that day...kind of ironic I think.
 

h00sierdaddy

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Thanks villian for the kudos. Read a memo the other day which confirmed the April 6th @ 0800 time. Their was some additional detail about all the grid testing, background noise etc. From what I read, the city has some background reduction software included. I did hear the PASS alarm, saws etc. testing phase of this system sometime ago and yes I did sound good. It was mentioned we will utilize 6 repeater and 6 OPS frequencies for "interoperability". I have already mentioned 2 of these OPS Channels in previous posts, so should be easily to find. 30 day "test phase" via the portables only for EMS. Fire will be converting from VHF to UHF as we all know sometime after they feel like this will work. On a personal note, I just realized I will be on shift that day...kind of ironic I think.
What Ambulance will you be on?
 

werinshades

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CFD Digital Testing Phase

Memos are flying all over the place as of late, so it looks like this is the real deal. Just to clarify/verify what I mentioned previously. This will be a 30 day "test phase" conducted by the Bureau of EMS. April 6th, 2010 @ 0800 Hrs. all ambulances will switch their portables (2 per ambulance) to Zone TZ (Test Zone) and utilize the respective EMS channels (EMS Main or EMS Englewood). In the event you cannot reach the alarm office (O.E.M.C.), the company will switch to Channel 5 (Fire City-Wide-Digital ) and attempt to deliver the message. If that is unsuccessful, switch to Channel 15 or 16 (EMS-Main or Englewood- Analog) and again try to contact the alarm office. The portables are XTS 5000's, canary yellow. EMS Command, Special Events 5 will remain analog and are still in Zone TZ. Not sure if this "test phase" will continue past 30 days if successful. Based upon the numerous memos floating around, this seems like it's 99.9 % guaranteed going to happen on April 6th. Just to update the new frequencies:

*477.5125 (EMS-Main {Digital})

*478.4625 (EMS-Englewood {Digital})

*476.6875 (Fire City-Wide {Digital})
 

RoninJoliet

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Thanks very much for the info Dave....I have copied there testing here in Joliet at times....On Carma there is a article by "CGO-Monitor about setting UHF P25 Trunked systems to "FM" and not "NFM", i have set all these freqys to P25-"FM" in hopes they will work better??....I realize there NOT trunked but hope it helps....
 

werinshades

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Thanks very much for the info Dave....I have copied there testing here in Joliet at times....On Carma there is a article by "CGO-Monitor about setting UHF P25 Trunked systems to "FM" and not "NFM", i have set all these freqys to P25-"FM" in hopes they will work better??....I realize there NOT trunked but hope it helps....
Your welcome Ron. I don't know if NFM vs. FM will make a difference, as I haven't experimented with that for this system. Let's hope all goes well...
 

JustPlainMike

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RR database lists the NAC for Fire Citywide as 293. Does anyone know if this will be used by all the channels?
 

werinshades

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RR database lists the NAC for Fire Citywide as 293. Does anyone know if this will be used by all the channels?
I would say yes for the Digital repeater channels but not sure until the system becomes more active. I have been monitoring these channels for the past 3 years on a regular basis and have yet to hear any interference from outside agencies or intermod. NAC is nice to have, but won't be necessary yet. Their will be 6 Analog UHF non-repeatered "Ops Channels", when the system becomes fully operational. Look for a CTCSS or DCS tone used for these. These may be divided up to Fire Districts or North & South etc. Interoperability is the key word. They want the City of Chicago to be a UHF communications kind of town and other agencies to be able to contact CFD & CPD in the event of a major disaster. The new Digital system has quite a few receiver sites, so hopefully this will be a major difference from old vs. new.
 
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FFPM571

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Is the CFD is going to have to issue Digital radios to MABAS companies since every bordering town is still on VHF?
 

werinshades

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Is the CFD is going to have to issue Digital radios to MABAS companies since every bordering town is still on VHF?
I don't know the plans at this time. I'd guess the answer to be no as the Command Vans will still have VHF capabilities. Fire comapnies would be converted to the new Digital channels as be using both their portables and rig radios until all companies are switched over. This is dependent on the test phase being successful...but this would be my guess only.
 

RADIOGUY2002

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*477.5125 (EMS-Main {Digital}) Good to Very Good, semi-distorted

*478.4625 (EMS-Englewood {Digital}) Poor to Good, lots of distortion

*476.6875 (Fire City-Wide {Digital}) Have not heard to much hear on this one.

Some ambulances are quite strong others are horrible. This is being received on a 396t near o'hare airport. Also, what I have noticed maybe just the scanner speaking, the long they talk the better the audio threshold and clarity gets. The shorter they talk the less goes threw almost as if there cutting themselves.
 
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h00sierdaddy

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I am having one heck of a time trying to figure this out..

I am receiving good signal on my pro-96 w/ regular rubber 800MHz antenna. However, on my 996xt (with Larsen antenna) I am getting horrible signal on EMS South, and no signal at all on EMS North?? Do I have this thing programmed wrong? My RS pro-96 is picking up everything great, North, South & citywide??
 

h00sierdaddy

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I am having one heck of a time trying to figure this out..

I am receiving good signal on my pro-96 w/ regular rubber 800MHz antenna. However, on my 996xt (with Larsen antenna) I am getting horrible signal on EMS South, and no signal at all on EMS North?? Do I have this thing programmed wrong? My RS pro-96 is picking up everything great, North, South & citywide??
Does anybody think it could be my Larsen antenna? It says that it's UHF range is up to 470.xxxx and the Chicago stuff is in the 478.xxxx??
 

werinshades

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Day 1...

From the user end of this it sounds great as the testing did. As I expected , a few of the ambulances still used the analog channels due to some confusion, but were directed properly. Around 1100 Hrs,, EMS Englewood-Digital repeater went out. The Motorola techs worked on it and got it up. Despite only the portable usage, we were getting excellent reception and few transmit issues here and there. I'd say this is more infancy issues than anything. Dispatchers are a little lower on our end...as I hear in Starcom and other Digital systems. We had a few "open keys" due to no transmit tone on our radios when we key the radio. Overall, all seems to be working as expected so far...
 

Monaco

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For those interested in hearing what these new CFD digital EMS channels sound like they will be in the mix for at least the next couple days at Radioman 911 on Justin.tv along with the analog classics, the OEMC radio techs, and the digital "Fire Citywide" channel. After our own personal test period the new channels will only be in the mix during major medical emergencies although EMS Command "CH4" is always up.

Dave
 
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