Help with fire pager used in hospital setting

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menace915

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This is my first post on RadioReference, so I apologize if I post this under the wrong section.

I work in El Paso, Tx for the general hospital. In my hospital, we use the US Alert Nova pager to alert the Code Blue/Rapid Response teams of cardiac arrests or incoming traumas brought in by EMS. The Nova Pager was hospital-issued and has lately malfunctioned and missed some calls regarding emergencies within the hospital. The back of the pager has the frequency 152.0075 written on it, which is the frequency the hospital operates on.

I was looking for a back-up and found a cheap Motorola Keynote with the same frequency, but it fails to alert during the daily pager tests that the operator sends out. I am by no means well-versed in the fire pager ways of operating, so I was wondering if anybody knows why the Keynote failed to work.

I was also wondering if the Minitor V would make a good alternative, or if anyone could suggest another fire pager that I can use as backup. I looked up the frequencies of my city, and we are the only ones operating under 152.0075. Do I still need the tone frequencies, and if so, how can I figure out what they are? If I am unable to figure them out, would a fire pager with the monitor option still allow me to hear the alerts sent by the operator under our frequency?

I realize I asked a lot of questions, so I thank you in advance if you can help me find a reliable pager.
 

1268

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This is my first post on RadioReference, so I apologize if I post this under the wrong section.

I work in El Paso, Tx for the general hospital. In my hospital, we use the US Alert Nova pager to alert the Code Blue/Rapid Response teams of cardiac arrests or incoming traumas brought in by EMS. The Nova Pager was hospital-issued and has lately malfunctioned and missed some calls regarding emergencies within the hospital. The back of the pager has the frequency 152.0075 written on it, which is the frequency the hospital operates on.

I was looking for a back-up and found a cheap Motorola Keynote with the same frequency, but it fails to alert during the daily pager tests that the operator sends out. I am by no means well-versed in the fire pager ways of operating, so I was wondering if anybody knows why the Keynote failed to work.

I was also wondering if the Minitor V would make a good alternative, or if anyone could suggest another fire pager that I can use as backup. I looked up the frequencies of my city, and we are the only ones operating under 152.0075. Do I still need the tone frequencies, and if so, how can I figure out what they are? If I am unable to figure them out, would a fire pager with the monitor option still allow me to hear the alerts sent by the operator under our frequency?

I realize I asked a lot of questions, so I thank you in advance if you can help me find a reliable pager.
Your issue is that you don't have the correct alert tones programed into the keynote. While on frequency they send an audible tone or tones out that opens the pager letting you hear the alert.
You could ask the administrator for the tones or if you could record them I or someone could run them through a decoding program for you.

Yes you could get a pager with monitor to listen full time as an alternative, Minitor V or Apollo would work http://www.pwservice.us/CP/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=95


Hope this helped.
 
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menace915

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Thanks 1268, I appreciate the help. I will try to get the paging tones, otherwise I'll attempt to get a quality recording of them.
 

DickH

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If they expect you to respond to emergencies, it is THEIR responsibility to make sure you have a reliable pager.
 

swstow

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if you find out who the hospital brought and programmed the pagers, you maybe able to call the company and get the tones from them, the nova alert pager is a good quality pager but like any pager the charge on the battery of the pager can affect it, and location in the hospital, does it seem to fail in the same area,do other co-workers have the same issue or is it just ours thats acting up.
 

krokus

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There are a number of reasons that the pager would fail to alert, when the page is sent out. Two of the main reasons would be:
1) The radio transmission does not reach the part of the hospital that the person was in.
2) There is interference blocking reception of the signal, in the affected area(s).

The second can be checked for, by putting the pager in monitor mode, or pressing the monitor/reset button, in the affected area(s), and listening for a signal.
 

menace915

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A couple of other pagers fail to alert for the daily test and also during emergencies. The only way we find out about it is when we hear somebody elses pager go off.
 

krokus

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Have you checked for signal penetration yet?
 

W8RMH

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VHF is not a good choice for this application. UHF would penetrate the hospital structures better than VHF. I have worked in hospitals as well as large buildings and UHF has always worked better.
 

SCPD

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VHF is not a good choice for this application. UHF would penetrate the hospital structures better than VHF. I have worked in hospitals as well as large buildings and UHF has always worked better.
Which is why I find it funny when I see security using VHF portables inside a hospital that's atleast a good 15 stories deep.

Those 800MHz radios do pretty good too. ;)
 

902

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The short answer is it could be failing for a number of reasons. These include base station adjustment, frequency characteristics of the remote control lines (if there are any), and the tone frequencies that your pager alerts to. Or your pager could be somewhat out of spec. And it could be very low signal levels because of materials attenuation, being in the "cone of silence" under the antenna, or susceptibility to microprocessor noise. You'd really have to systematically test for and rule out one after another - and, except for your own equipment, wouldn't be your responsibility, per se. (Sweeping changes to an otherwise working system shouldn't be made on the basis of personally owned equipment.) It could be that this is a combination of issues, too.

I worked in a hospital many years ago when they had bid in-house paging systems. Low bid won (of course...). What they got was a folded quarterwave groundplane on top of a 19 story building with a 100 W Quintron base on 33 MHz. I was pushing for a 929 MHz system with leaky coax througout the building. I think that would have had pretty good coverage where it was needed. Small wonder why the low bid thing had such spotty coverage in the ER and maintenance areas, but was somewhat reliable 15 miles away. The building materials attenuated much of the signal and the energy wasn't beaming into the areas where it was needed, and the pager's antenna was grossly inefficient for receiving low band signals. Configuration has a lot to do with it. I'd almost bet that the paging antenna was vertical on top of the hospital, beaming out toward the horizon, not tilted horizontal into the building or running through Radiax and distributed antennas.
 
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