LA County Fire new station SCU alert unit

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spectr17

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Got a peek at the new SCU that will be going into LA County FD stations. This unit is still in test mode.

New touch screen flat panels to replace the ancient monochrome monitors. This is a 2 panel setup for BC stations that get the OT alerts.

Bottom shelf is a 10 hr UPS with the battery in back of cabinet.
Middle shelf is 100w Goldline P.A. to drive the alert tone, blue channel, white channel audio, phone paging and night ringer phone tone. White channel SCU VHF Motorola Maxtrac (aka wake up call at 7am every morning) is in separate cabinet but the white audio and alert tone is fed to this P.A.
Top shelf. Astron 20A 12 vdc power supply. Tait 470mhz radio to receive the CAD digital dispatch.
Motorola XTL5000 470 mhz radio for Blue channel 8 dispatch audio.
2 Comspec tone boards behind Tait radio to generate the station alert tone, white alert tone and OT alert tone.
Via Pico ITX x86 (silver box). http://www.viaembedded.com/en/products/boards/productSeries.jsp?serialNo=6
Night ringer module rings phone through the station SCU speakers via the P.A. Station inhouse paging is also done through the phone system via the SCU PA to SCU station ceiling speakers.

Rocker switch on top of cabinet is for monitor of blue channel with an amber "ON" indicator light and a red "TX" " light for Blue channel 8.

If this Blue SCU looses the digital signal to the CAD this unit will open the Blue 8 radio monitor so they hear constant LA dispatch audio.
If this Blue SCU fails completely the fallback is to the White (VHF) SCU unit.

 
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scottyhetzel

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Nice pic and thanks for sharing the great info....very cool !

What is a SCU alert ?
What is a OT alert ?

I assume this is going into the BC units ? and this a test area before installing into all BC units ? Is this correct ?
 
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spectr17

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This is a station alert unit. SCU = Station Control Unit. An SCU alert is how LA Co FD dispatch alerts a fire station for a call or an all call (sent to all units). When dispatch sends a call the station gets an alert tone for 5 seconds, the map light in the engine bay and dorm lights come on and there is a Blue 8 voice dispatch of the call from a Tactical Radio Operator (TRO).. There is also a message on their SCU monitor which they can view and print to take with them.

Los Angeles County Fire Department - Special Ops - 911 Dispatch

Each battalion has a fire station where the BC is assigned. FS 145 in Rowland Heights for example. These BC stations get an "overtime is available alert" so the FFs can take the OT slots as they become available. The OT alert is a special data string that triggers a two tone audio alert in the station, aka the "Bing Bong" tone. There is also a message on the SCU monitor that shows what OT slot is available.

This mock-up is in the ISD Radio shop at Eastern Ave behind Fire Station #1. The dual monitor is for remoting the cabinet in the phone closet and having a monitor in the Capt's Office and another monitor say in the kitchen/day room where the FFs spend a lot of time. The original SCUs only had one monitor which was a PITA for remoting or running dual monitors.

Also to clarify how the 470 mhz data channel works with an SCU, there are 6 data channels with 2 being duped in Topanga Canyon and Castro Peak. The SCU locks on to one data channel with an omni antenna, preferably the Home Channel (best one for area). If the HC site goes down the SCU will scan for another site to lock on to. If the SCU is unable to lock on to any site it goes into fallback mode and opens the Blue 8 audio monitor so the station hears every call being dispatched.

The Blue 8 audio channel is fed from a directional yagi antenna since the system is simulcast and you only want the receiver to see one site. Some stations that are in fringe reception areas have been upgraded to panel antennas.

A periodic system health check test is sent out from dispatch about every 2 hrs, it queries the SCU units to see if they ack back and on what channel.
 

scottyhetzel

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Hi.....Ok...I have heard the bong at my station 55 ... Was not sure how it worked....station FF's only hear their station... Hence the same two tone freq. I use for tone-out on my uniden. I don't believe their is a data channel for mdt's. I believe they use cellular. But I'm not 100% sure.. Eastern ave is the main dispatch center for LASD and LaCo FD.... I seen those large antennas off the 10 fwy on the south side... Probably their failsafe back up...maybe you can clarify.I looked at google earth pic and it's cool to see.
 

spectr17

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The same 470 mhz data channel alerts the stations AND MDTs in the engines, squads etc.

The bing bong OT chime is only heard in BC stations where the OT available is sent. Regular FS do not get OT available alerts, hence no bing bong chime.

Eastern has Blue 470 mhz and White 150 mhz dispatch antennas there.

Just an FYI, LA CO FD used to dispatch on VHF from 3 regional dispatch centers in the county. 1970s era. There are plans to bring back 3 regional dispatch centers for emergencies. FS118 in Industry will be the Eastern regional dispatch center. This dispatch center will have antennas and quick connect power setups for Edison, Gas Co. and LA County fire dispatchers to roll in and start dispatching. Plans are for the centers to be ready to roll by May 2013.
 

Kingscup

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Hi.....Ok...I have heard the bong at my station 55 ... Was not sure how it worked....station FF's only hear their station... Hence the same two tone freq. I use for tone-out on my uniden. I don't believe their is a data channel for mdt's. I believe they use cellular. But I'm not 100% sure..
I think you are referring to Riverside County Fire based your comments and previous posting history instead of LA County Fire. Am I correct? The station radio can be set to "open" or "mute". Open allows you to hear all radio traffic. The station alerting system will still go off in open mode when dispatched. In mute mode, no radio traffic is heard until dispatch and the station alerting system goes off. The radio opens up and you hear traffic. After 3 minutes, the radio automatically goes back into mute mode. I am fairly certain this common in most areas of the U.S.

The tone out feature on your Uniden scanner will become less usefull as from what I am hearing, the 1+1 tones will be relegated to a back up system. With the new PSEC system, a call will be sent to the MDC and the MDC will set off the station alerting system via wifi network. I am sure chief officers and others carrying pagers will need the 1+1 tones so there will still be a need for that. Some of this is rumor and some of it is guessing what will happen. I can't seem to get any further info.

The MDCs currently use a Sprint data card to receive calls. Once the new Riverside County PSEC project is fully operational, the MDCs will use data channels and the data cards will be back up.

Sorry to derail the subject but wanted to clarify things.

Just an FYI, LA CO FD used to dispatch on VHF from 3 regional dispatch centers in the county. 1970s era. There are plans to bring back 3 regional dispatch centers for emergencies.
Oh, I remember those days. I always thought they sounded so professional. I enjoyed listening to LACoFD in those days. I found this a couple of weeks ago that old guys might enjoy.
1980s LACoFD Structure Fire Dispatch ("LA", "Valley", "Antelope") - YouTube
 
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spectr17

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Oh, I remember those days. I always thought they sounded so professional. I enjoyed listening to LACoFD in those days. I found this a couple of weeks ago that old guys might enjoy.
1980s LACoFD Structure Fire Dispatch ("LA", "Valley", "Antelope") - YouTube
Who watched Emergency? Same 1+1 tones sent Squad 51 rolling code.

The LA County FD backup system is the White SCU in the station. 1+1 tones tone out the white SCUs at the stations each morning at 7am as a health check, aka the morning wake up call. Maxtrac VHF radios with a custom relay board to trip a tone alert, lights and to umute the PA for audio traffic. The BCs also have the ability to use 1+1 tones to alert stations from the back of their Suburbans.
 

scottyhetzel

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I think you are referring to Riverside County Fire based your comments and previous posting history instead of LA County Fire. Am I correct? The station radio can be set to "open" or "mute". Open allows you to hear all radio traffic. The station alerting system will still go off in open mode when dispatched. In mute mode, no radio traffic is heard until dispatch and the station alerting system goes off. The radio opens up and you hear traffic. After 3 minutes, the radio automatically goes back into mute mode. I am fairly certain this common in most areas of the U.S.

The tone out feature on your Uniden scanner will become less usefull as from what I am hearing, the 1+1 tones will be relegated to a back up system. With the new PSEC system, a call will be sent to the MDC and the MDC will set off the station alerting system via wifi network. I am sure chief officers and others carrying pagers will need the 1+1 tones so there will still be a need for that. Some of this is rumor and some of it is guessing what will happen. I can't seem to get any further info.

The MDCs currently use a Sprint data card to receive calls. Once the new Riverside County PSEC project is fully operational, the MDCs will use data channels and the data cards will be back up.

Sorry to derail the subject but wanted to clarify things.



Oh, I remember those days. I always thought they sounded so professional. I enjoyed listening to LACoFD in those days. I found this a couple of weeks ago that old guys might enjoy.
1980s LACoFD Structure Fire Dispatch ("LA", "Valley", "Antelope") - YouTube
Is ok to derail... I should have clarified. I should have started a new topic. I got excited that's all. You were correct.
 
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