FYI: QUEENS FIRE RADIO / FDNY

MStep

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As of 1800 tonight (6-3-2021), Queens Fire Radio will be operating on the Citywide fire frequency so that testing can be done on the Queens radio channel.
 

MStep

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At 2330 hours (6-3-2021), Queens Fire is once again operational on their own frequency.
 

MStep

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Hopefully they fix the issues. Queens radio has been having problem for forever
Yes Danny, many do not recall the "good ole days" when the FDNY was on the VHF frequencies and running at a higher power output. With an indoor telescopic antenna attached in my apartment at ground level, the current UHF signals are at times spotty and noisy. It was not my intention to start another thread about this. I'm not sure what was performed in the past 5 hours; "progress" does not always equate with "better".

In any event, we had an old saying when I worked there: "FDNY, Keep Back 200 Years".
 

Rudy3145

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What was the issue on FDNY Queens?

VHF was the best! Signal was amazing and clear. They should have kept it. Dispatch and rigs could have stayed on VHF. All portables/HT-TAC could be on UHF, as its better for building penetration.

And with these dual/tri-band APX radios, it would have been easy.
 

ansky

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What was the issue on FDNY Queens?

VHF was the best! Signal was amazing and clear. They should have kept it. Dispatch and rigs could have stayed on VHF. All portables/HT-TAC could be on UHF, as its better for building penetration.

And with these dual/tri-band APX radios, it would have been easy.
Yeah I had to stop listening to FDNY. The constant scratching and fading makes it unbearable to listen to.
 

902

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What was the issue on FDNY Queens?

VHF was the best! Signal was amazing and clear. They should have kept it. Dispatch and rigs could have stayed on VHF. All portables/HT-TAC could be on UHF, as its better for building penetration.

And with these dual/tri-band APX radios, it would have been easy.
I dunno, VHF is so congested. I had to pull my hometown department off and put it on UHF a while back. We were 15 kHz off Citywide and sometimes we got splatter from their Sunnyside transmitter, especially when the amplifier's tubes were going soft and needed to be neutralized or replaced. I got to know the "radio mechanics" pretty well back in the day.

There was a book written by Edward Singer (SK in 2001) talking about how big a problem FDNY had behind the scenes maintaining their radio system. Since the book is out of print and hard to find, I'll quote pg. 201 (fair use):

"Sometimes cochannel interference will cause havoc without a known source. One day in 1982, the New York City Fire Department suddenly heard their Queens base transmitter (154.400 MHz) on the system citywide voting receivers (153.890 MHz). The level of this intruding signal was great enough to capture vehicular transmissions on the citywide mobile frequency. The next day, the New York City Fire Department was advised that the fire department radio station in Manchester, Connecticut, was hearing Queens fire traffic on 153.890 MHz with a tone-coded squelch of 131.8 Hz. Since this was also the squelch tone of Manchester, the Queens fire radio communications overpowered the Manchester voting system. The fact that the Queens base transmitter did not have any tone-coded squelch suggested that an unknown repeater was relaying the Queens signal to Manchester. The receiver of the relay would have to be on 154.400 MHz without coded squelch, while the transmitter would be on 153.890 MHz with a tone coded squelch of 131.8 Hz. This indicated a newly licensed repeater in which the receiver was not using tone-coded squelch until the system was fully operational. A check was made with the local frequency coordinator, who had no record of a repeater being recently licensed with the two frequencies of 153.890 and 154.400 MHz.

"After a week, the interference on the citywide mobile frequency forced that channel to be abandoned temporarily and citywide radio traffic taken up by another frequency. Also, the radio interference at Manchester, Connecticut, became so bad that 10-dB pads were installed in all their voting receivers, with a resulting sharp loss in sensitivity."

The offending repeater turned out to be Hawley, PA (Singer, 1989, pg. 202), 80 miles away from FDNY's Queens transmitter and 120 miles away from Manchester, CT. VHF is a big garbage can.
 

Rudy3145

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Yes, back in the day there were many issues. But today, technology has greatly improved & Vhf has cleared up tremendously with many agencies moving to UHF or 700/800mhz trunking systems.
 

MStep

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One of the big problems in the 70's was Philadephia's F2 frequency coming in on the Brooklyn input frequency at the time (153.95). The interference was so bad that at times, it knocked out Brooklyn units from reaching the Brooklyn dispatcher. This was prior to the FDNY going to PL, although this was not a good solution because obviously, even with PL protection, signals could still override local units.

My (faint) recollection is aside from propagation events (remember all those great 2 meter band openings?), this issue also had something to do with the height of Philly FD's transmit antenna and power output.
 

902

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One of the big problems in the 70's was Philadephia's F2 frequency coming in on the Brooklyn input frequency at the time (153.95). The interference was so bad that at times, it knocked out Brooklyn units from reaching the Brooklyn dispatcher. This was prior to the FDNY going to PL, although this was not a good solution because obviously, even with PL protection, signals could still override local units.

My (faint) recollection is aside from propagation events (remember all those great 2 meter band openings?), this issue also had something to do with the height of Philly FD's transmit antenna and power output.
This happened a lot.

"Back in the day" with Philadelphia's rescue frequency. Bayonne FD was on 166.25 and the North Hudson towns were on 170.15. I forget which town complained. So, B&C Communications in Paramus gets a call from one of the departments that says they are hearing Bayonne. As it turns out, Philadelphia was in carrier squelch and heard whatever was coming through. They repeated it on 170.15. That's how one of the towns in North Hudson heard Bayonne.

After I moved to the Midwest we had loops of 3 or 4 repeaters hundreds of miles away locked up and howling during big tropo openings. Newark FD used to repeat Northampton County, PA and have the Quik Call I tones during evening monitor and siren tests. One of my old friends also has a letter from Anne Arundel County as a QSL letter for being repeated through Newark.

VHF is a big mess.
 

ansky

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I was living in CT in the 80's and usually monitored the Farmington, CT fire dept. which uses 154.19 as their main dispatch frequency. Often on hot summer nights I could pull in Bronx dispatch on my portable RS scanner with just a little rubber duck antenna. Those were some exciting nights as a kid. The distance from the Bronx to Farmington is close to 100 miles.
 

Eugene

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Have heard I think it was the Bronx on 154.370 on a handheld with a duck in VA (on the coast) on summer nights. It was the same frequency as VA. Beach Fire/EMS. Was exciting for sure.

Eugene KG4AVE
 

12dbsinad

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The noise floor on VHF in a city is INSANE an it isn't from other people on VHF, it's all the garbage that radiates RFI and today that's pretty much everything. My small city had to move off VHF because you couldn't even hear the transmitter on a adjacent hill that overlooked the city while right downtown. They went UHF and it solved the problem.
 

12dbsinad

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Until the next thing comes along. UHF is still pretty manageable.
It is. Take a standard A style household LED bulb from Walmart and sweep it with a spectrum analyzer, you'll note a lot of radiated garbage up to about 300Mhz. Above that it's fairly clean. This seems to be the trend with most electronic devices.
 
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902

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It is. Take a standard A style household LED bulb from Walmart and sweep it with a spectrum analyzer, you'll note a lot of radiated garbage up to about 300Mhz. Above that it's fairly clean. This seems to be the trend with most electronic devices.
Yeah, I've actually done that. They're very noisy at VHF. I have LEDs mounted on firefighting heavy equipment that can take a full-quieting signal and make it go away. Ferrite cores will make it better, but they won't totally eliminate the noise. I also have broadband VHF noise from certain LED bulbs in the house. 2 meters is pretty degraded as a result. Mostly due to poor or eliminated shielding and bypass after having received type acceptance.
 

Eugene

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GTR 800.......you're exactly right. I do remember that now. I especially liked the accents of the dispatchers. I could envision some of them sitting with a cigar and jellyroll. Thanks.

Eugene KG4AVE
 
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902

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GTR 800.......you're exactly right. I do remember that now. I especially liked the accents of the dispatchers. I could envision some of them sitting with a cigar and jellyroll. Thanks.

Eugene KG4AVE
I paid a visit to the Brooklyn CO shortly before they moved to Metrotech. I also visited there when I was a fire Explorer at 16 or 17. Nothing changed except they drilled holes in the desks to run cables for more stuff, wiring the desk to the floor.
 
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