Chicago Fire Department

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djpoll1

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Does anyone know how each unit ambo, eng, truck, etc are assigned their MDC code for their rig and Portable radios. For example what would E113 be?
 
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Rayjk110

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Most likely Engine 113, hence the "E" would be my best guess.
 

scanman1958

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CFD Digital

I don't want to sound like a real dud here but I would like clarification if you may. When the shift to digital goes online will we all have to eventually get digital (APCO 25 type??) scanners to monitor the CFD? I do no have one yet and don't need one yet but it sounds like I better start saving my pocket change.

jeff
 

werinshades

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scanman1958 said:
I don't want to sound like a real dud here but I would like clarification if you may. When the shift to digital goes online will we all have to eventually get digital (APCO 25 type??) scanners to monitor the CFD? I do no have one yet and don't need one yet but it sounds like I better start saving my pocket change.

jeff

Pretty much yes. Eventually, the entire city will be UHF Digital and be able to switch to each others frequencies. Time frame keeps getting changed and as of this time, I have no new news to report.
 

werinshades

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werinshades said:
Pretty much yes. Eventually, the entire city will be UHF Digital and be able to switch to each others frequencies. Time frame keeps getting changed and as of this time, I have no new news to report.
Heard this in the last couple of days so i'll pass along. Original target date was April 2007, but may not actually happen till November 2007. As far as frequencies , EMS or Fire or both, is unknown at this time. My best guess , and this is just my opinion, is both will switch by November. I'd look towards the EMS to switch first and within 6 months, you'll see the fire companies switch. As I previously mentioned, this is the way it was supposed to happen. My reason for this guess is , less ambulances to change over radios. I'd look for this to happen over about a week as far as EMS goes. You may hear us go for a "radio upgrade" or something to that nature. On all of our portables, we have SIM-NO and SIM-SO already programmed in the radios. May get a memo stating " all portable radios shall display SIM-NO or SIM-SO until programming has occured" or something like this. Considering these frequencies have been used with very few problems for events and things, I see this being problem free. Just so everyone understands, I am passing along what I heard. I have received some interesting PM's regarding CFD so I just want to put that out there.
 

KB9LMJ

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werinshades said:
SIM-NO (477.5125) is being utilized now for the "Festival of Lights " on Michigan Ave. so all can check their reception of the new and upcoming system.
Hi Chicago-
Travis from Denver Fire Dept, Colorado by way of an old MABAS 10 dept. Just want to chime in about the digital system and get caught up on the changes since I've left Chicago in 01. I REALLY hope that extensive market testing has been done on these new digital radios and a detailed "real world" reception test will be done before these come on line. Colorado has gone to a state wide digital 800 system in the last few years and it sucks. As everyone can guess, 800 and especially digital, doesn't do so well in the topogrophy of Colorado. DUH! But aparently there are some really good salesmen in Motorola. We at the DFD are somewhat fortunate that our trunked system, though 800, is an old EDACS analog. It too sucks, but at least when you're in a "hazy" spot, you can still get your message through among the static. The real problems we had with the statewide digital system is the complete drop of your transmission when you get in the "rough." Not only is it a pain, but it could be life threatening. Although from what I can gather, the new system is just going to be APCO-25 digital and not trunked??? You can still run into the same problems 'cause digital is digital, man. I agree with the tradition of staying with VHF and just increasing the potential of what you have. But who am I to say?? ;) At the DFD, we kept our old 154.070 simulcast, but the ridiculous thing is no one in the suburbs can access it. But anyway, the long and short of what I was trying to say is; 1) I really hope that 400mHz does better than 800mHz for you guys. 2) I hope that you don't run into the dead spots we have in our city and the complete drop of your transmission. And 3) Don't completely scrap the old for the new because when the "latest and greatest" doesn't work so well, you still have something to fall back on. You've really got to wonder where these ideas come from sometimes??? I'll bet it didn't come from the line. ;)
 

werinshades

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MrSpeakEZJr said:
Hi Chicago-
Travis from Denver Fire Dept, Colorado by way of an old MABAS 10 dept. Just want to chime in about the digital system and get caught up on the changes since I've left Chicago in 01. I REALLY hope that extensive market testing has been done on these new digital radios and a detailed "real world" reception test will be done before these come on line. Colorado has gone to a state wide digital 800 system in the last few years and it sucks. As everyone can guess, 800 and especially digital, doesn't do so well in the topogrophy of Colorado. DUH! But aparently there are some really good salesmen in Motorola. We at the DFD are somewhat fortunate that our trunked system, though 800, is an old EDACS analog. It too sucks, but at least when you're in a "hazy" spot, you can still get your message through among the static. The real problems we had with the statewide digital system is the complete drop of your transmission when you get in the "rough." Not only is it a pain, but it could be life threatening. Although from what I can gather, the new system is just going to be APCO-25 digital and not trunked??? You can still run into the same problems 'cause digital is digital, man. I agree with the tradition of staying with VHF and just increasing the potential of what you have. But who am I to say?? ;) At the DFD, we kept our old 154.070 simulcast, but the ridiculous thing is no one in the suburbs can access it. But anyway, the long and short of what I was trying to say is; 1) I really hope that 400mHz does better than 800mHz for you guys. 2) I hope that you don't run into the dead spots we have in our city and the complete drop of your transmission. And 3) Don't completely scrap the old for the new because when the "latest and greatest" doesn't work so well, you still have something to fall back on. You've really got to wonder where these ideas come from sometimes??? I'll bet it didn't come from the line. ;)

Hi Travis, thanks for the information. I know that quite a bit of testing has occured already and so far, it sounds good. Alot of information is up in the air as far as Convential or Trunking, but it's leaning towards Convential UHF APCO 25. Could that change next year?? We'll know in time I guess. Updates will be forthcoming...
 

KB9LMJ

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Good luck guys. Man, I'm sure going to miss the "squak" at the end of the transmission. That's a CFD trademark!
 

werinshades

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Just some updates on new equipment and responses:

College Dormitory room responses are changing...4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Battalion Chief on all automatic alarams in a dormitory living area. On the memo their is a list of known college dormitories. If their is a fire, a Still and Box will be requested.

5-2-2..known as a Lumber Truck which is located at Engine 14's Quarters (1129 W. Chicago). This vehicle will rerspond on all collapse rescues, mayday's etc. where a collapse or potential collapse will occur...(Capt. Wood will be in charge...LOL)

5-3-0..Ventilation Unit in service at Engine 22's Quarters...(605 W. Armitage)
 

werinshades

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Sounds like Chicago took a hit here based upon the Dept. of Homeland Security's report on communication. As a region, I do not belive we are adequately prepared for large scale events either, but this is just one man's opinion. In our radios, we have all the MABAS frequencies , but most do not know how to communicate on them. We also have the ability on the ambulances to switch to both the Zones and City-Wides on rig mounted and portable radios, but once again , most don't know how to communicate on them either. Let's throw a major diasaster in the middle of a suburb, and let's see all the agencies work together. I know Chicago has sent speciality equipment on some recent incidents, but if a major incident occured, it would be very interesting to see us all get along. Watch for Chicago to make that Digital UHF-T Interoperability Plan move a little faster now. I do not see encryption being an issue as this would make interoperability a little harder to accomplish. Encryption keys, different Districts, Zones, Fire, EMS etc. too many different agencies that need to communicate during a large-scale disaster. I see more patches with MABAS, ISPERN etc. to occur since Chicago took a little kick in the gut from Homeland Security.
 

denseglow

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With Chicago going to UHF digital, does this just mean they'll use a frequencies and an NAC code on a repeater? Much like conventional radio now, except digital. Is all police, fire and EMS going digital or... Thanks!
 

werinshades

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denseglow said:
With Chicago going to UHF digital, does this just mean they'll use a frequencies and an NAC code on a repeater? Much like conventional radio now, except digital. Is all police, fire and EMS going digital or... Thanks!
I would suspect yes to all questions. All directions are pointing to all Digital UHF-T . Licenses are showing all new frequencies in the 476-481 Mhz. range. Their are some newly licensed in the 460 Mhz. area too. These have been utilized so far as low-power Digital by a few agencies thus far.
 

scanman1958

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It will be sad, one day in the future, the tradition and history of the CFD will, in a way, be gone. The powerful VHF repeaters will be gone, like the old LAFD Low Band freqs (33.82 and 33.70) that you could get when skip was really good in the mid 80's. I could, at times, monitor the LAFD for hours during the day. Take a long good listen and enjoy. I know the traffic will still be the same (the voices the slang the character) so it will "sound" the same but sometimes you just hate change. Remember too, it is all for the better.
Jeff
 

SOCCERCOACH

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live audio scanner

Hello from Boston.......does anyone know of a live scanner to tune in Chicago Fire?? I know firefeeds has one but you need to be a paying member, which I am not. I also know that scanchicago.com did have live scanner but its gone now, not sure what happened to it. Any help would be appreciated, would love to listen in again, have family in the area hence the interest, besides being retired from a local dept here in Mass. Also love all the apparatus updates, I know there are plenty of new engine co and ladder co just recently delivered and 2 new ambs inservice.

soccercoach
 

ctrabs74

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scanman1958 said:
Take a long good listen and enjoy. I know the traffic will still be the same (the voices the slang the character) so it will "sound" the same but sometimes you just hate change. Remember too, it is all for the better.
As someone whose local PD recently upgraded from UHF analog to UHF P-25, I can attest to that statement (with the possible exception that the audio quality leaves a little bit to be desired; just takes some getting used to). Only difference is that some of the annoying dispatchers who get under my skin just sound worse...

I'm tempted to say that I'm surprised Chicago hasn't put everything on a TRS, but then again, that probably wouldn't have been a wise move in the long run...
 
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