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Minitor FD Pagers

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FireCaptJohn

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Chicago, Illinois
Hello. Hope I am posting in the correct place. I am trying to purchase a used Motorola Minitor pager for my wife. I know our dispatch freq's however, i do not know our pager freq's. Our department pagers were issued some time ago and programmed by Motorola. Does anyone know if there is a site that publishes pager freq's per department? Or, if anyone has some information, please let me know and I will give you our town and dispatch freq.

I also need a good reference as to where I can buy a used pager, and program it as well.

Thank you
John
 

sfd119

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John,

Radio Reference has some tones on here, but not all. A quick and dirty method of finding tones is by using the Radio ID app. Hold the phone to a scanner or radio when the tones are being transmitted and you'll find out the set of tones instantly.

You can buy used pagers on eBay from reputable sellers. Just make sure its the right band (VHF/UHF) and you're set. For programming, most sellers will program it for free.
 

cmjonesinc

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Apr 25, 2011
Messages
690
Most stations have that info laying around in a file somewhere. Or a call or email from an officer to your dispatch center. Or you could even call the radio shop that did the programming. Chances are they'll have a copy if they do a fair amount of work for the area. If none of that works you can use an uniden scanner with fire tone out, or as sfd119 said the Radio Id app can work as well. The info may also be in the wiki on this website for your area. And one more idea, if your department is like most they may have some old junk minitor ii pagers in a box somewhere. Open one up and read the tone off the side of the reed.
 

SteveC0625

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Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
2,574
Location
Northville, NY (Fulton County)
Hello. Hope I am posting in the correct place. I am trying to purchase a used Motorola Minitor pager for my wife. I know our dispatch freq's however, i do not know our pager freq's. Our department pagers were issued some time ago and programmed by Motorola. Does anyone know if there is a site that publishes pager freq's per department? Or, if anyone has some information, please let me know and I will give you our town and dispatch freq.

I also need a good reference as to where I can buy a used pager, and program it as well.
Check the RR database under your state and county to locate radio frequencies.

Then click on the Wiki button on that page and look at the other info on your county. Depending on how much info is on the Wiki page, the fire tone out info (tone frequencies) should be there or in a linked page for Fire Tone Outs.

If the info isn't here on RR, several others have given you possible local sources. Even if the info is here on RR, it is always best to verify radio and tone frequencies with a local (to you) source before spending any money on a pager or programming. Generally, someone at your agency will have the correct info.
 

FireCaptJohn

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Location
Chicago, Illinois
Tone Alerts

Thank you everyone for your help. Sorry I didn't reply sooner but my mail forwarding has not been working and I did not realize it until today!
 

wv2vvl

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Messages
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Location
Bucks County, PA
County 911 center or local radio shop is best bed for those codes. As for pagers check out G&G in new york Gerry is good people to deal with.
I asked G&G if they had any new & used Minitor Vs & their response was no. That was yesterday so it never hurts to ask,

The outfit that I'm getting my M5 from is P&W in FL. You pay extra for the programming but that's something they need to do anyway in order to check the unit out before shipping. There's also a neat video on how to program the M5 on their website at https://www.pwservice.us/index.php. Important note: always have the programming app read the pager before making changes & reprogramming the unit.

The M5 programming app is free on the net & there are a number of folks on eBay that will program a pager for a modest fee if you don't feel adventurous. Also on eBay are docking/programming bases for USB programming of the M5 as well as folks who will convert your charger into a USB programming base.

I've read here that the M5 is more sensitive than the current issue M6 & has better audio. If it's for the wife, the M5 comes in a 1-channel model for a lot less $$$ than an M6.

Jack
 

Tech792

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Central NJ
Both G & G and P & W are both reputable. I've dealt with both over the years.
IMO, the Minitor 6 audio is better than the Minitor 5. The 5 is a little too tinny sounding for me.
 

wv2vvl

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May 28, 2012
Messages
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Location
Bucks County, PA
I guess audio quality is the ear of the user. I'm only planning to use this unit as a portable scanning monitor receiver so I'm not looking for hi-fidelity audio. Hi-quality audio if needed I can get from my AR-33 programmable handheld receiver. I have no direct experience with the audio quality of these pagers & was only repeating what has been posted in RadioReference by an apparently experienced first-responder who did a side-by-side comparison between his M5 & and his M6, which I found helpful.

Better sensitivity for the M5 compared to the M6 was the main reason I chose a used M5 over a new M6, besides higher cost & other factors, including the lack of an earphone jack on the M6. While I only live a mile from both the Bucks County EMS/fire dispatch & Doylestown Borough FD transmitters, the ability to copy fire units while mobile in the Borough & Township might require that extra sensitivity.

I did not say anything about G&G not being reputable, only that they replied to my inquiry that they could not supply. I've heard back from both P&W & United Communications that they can supply at reasonable prices. With the arrival of the M6 I would expect ready availability of used M5s.

Jack
Doylestown Borough, PA
 

FireCaptJohn

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Location
Chicago, Illinois
Tone Pagers

Thank you guys! I've been trying to get the frequencies for our tone outs with no real luck. At least what I can depend on. The city purchased the Minitors through a deal set up via the county and Motorola. We all just switched to the Starcom21 system and that seems to be why I am having a hard time obtaining the the tone out frequencies. We know the Police already transferred over to the digital system rendering the older scanners useless. However, we are still heard via the older scanners (Radio Shack, Uniden, etc) via simulcast, what ever that means. We are sure the information is out there but we can't find anything yet. We are trying to capture the tones via the app.
 

sfd119

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If they're sending the tones over the P25 system you will not have much luck decoding it. It needs to be decoding it from the analog side of things.
 

richardbritt

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Sep 17, 2006
Messages
270
Location
Chowan County
Bucks and Doylestown on Minitor pager

Hi. I looked up Bucks County FD and you should listen on 155.55 for the pager tones and Doylestown FD tones on 153.905

I am in NC so can't do it for you. The Radio ID app is what I use and it works well. I have compared a Minitor 4 to a 5 (I own several of each including my issued M5). For casual listening a old M4 on VHF can be had on eBay for 30 dollars. Vs 200 for a M5. The audio is a little low on the M4 because its wideband but if you turn up the volume its ok . I still use a M4 as a backup all the time. Never missed a call in 5 years.

Of course for liability I carry the issued M5 when on call.

Also all M3, 4 and 5 units are 2 frequency. Just need to get turned on thru the software.

Hope this helps
.
Richard in NC
 

wv2vvl

Member
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
18
Location
Bucks County, PA
More on getting an M5 programmed

I received an excellent M5 from P&W in FL programmed with just the local Bucks County fire channel (Fire North - 153.905) in F1 & Bucks County Fire/EMS dispatch (155.550) in F2 because I had no clue as to the tone pairs needed for local FDs as well as local EMS. As previously posted, I started out trolling for tone pairs using a tone decoder app, an AR-3-B programmable VHF receiver & a cheap microphone. As I could never get the logging function of the app to work, this proved to be unduly time consuming approach. So I asked our County communications supervisors for the official info. Since this data is not confidential, they had no difficulty sending it to me but did comment that no one had ever asked for this data before, so they were a bit curious.

It took 3 tries to find a programming kit that would work. The first was one I got off eBay would consistently not read the pager's code plug. It worked after I returned it, so perhaps it was my lack of familiarity with the M5 that was the problem. The second programmer was an older version that connected to the serial port on older 32-bit OS computers but Dell's ProSupport was clueless in helping me configure the com ports to get it to work reading my M5. The 3rd try was from a fellow on eBay in VA who converts M5 charging bases into USB programming bases. This worked the first time but the resulting effort to program my M5 would not respond to any calls. P&W convinced me that I had somehow messed up the pager's programming, so they sent me the following link to a step-by-step video they had produced on programming an M5:
Minitor V programming instructions & told me to follow their instructions exactly.

I went through the programming again & found that under the User tab I had selected Motorola instead of User for the paging tone system. That got changed & now the M5 works like it was designed to work. (This setting affects how the pager's OS rounds off the tone frequencies you enter).

My overall impression of the M5 is: excellent quality audio (loud!), extremely sensitive receiver, no intermod or other interference heard. I could hope for longer battery life but a mostly discharged battery recharges in a relatively short time.

I'm going to keep the M5 mainly because it's a nice thing & there is a headphone jack if I ever want to add that accessory. I plan to buy a new M6 because it has a 5-channel capacity & due to channel congestion there are frequent dispatcher calls to 'switch to & operate on South Band' etc. There are 4 area channels labeled North, East, West & South (NEWS to help me remember the rotary knob assignments) as well as the dispatcher channel, so the M6 would give me the ability to follow the action while still monitoring my local operations at other times.

There are also on-air calls to 'switch to Emergency band' & 'switch to Channel 5'. I visited the Doylestown fire station & was told that I would need a 700 MHz digital scanner in order to monitor these.

Anyone with questions regarding Bucks fire & EMS tone pair assignments for pager programming can PM me. I don't check in here often so allow 1-3 weeks for a reply.

Jack
 

wv2vvl

Member
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
18
Location
Bucks County, PA
More on programming a Minitor V

While I had successfully programmed in the tone pairs for several area fire companies & the local EMS, I was puzzled why I was not receiving the call-outs for Doylestown. There are 8.000 residents in the Borough & obviously more if you figure in the Township & non-residents working in the area, so call-outs should be frequent. I rechecked the pager's programming & was not happy with the programmed tones for Stations 19 & 79. They were obviously too far off to successfully decode alerts after the software rounded them in the User option.

There are a number of tone signaling options available in a drop-down menu. I tried them in turn but did not get the result I was looking for. Finally I tried the option 'STD' & succeeded in getting the correct tone pair to program. But this option limits you to 2 channels instead of 10: A & B. So while I can now receive call outs from my home station, I cannot now monitor the busy EMS channel & the other area fire companies.

Jack
 
Last edited:

wv2vvl

Member
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
18
Location
Bucks County, PA
More on programming Minitor V

While I had successfully programmed in the tone pairs for several area fire companies & the local EMS, I was puzzled why I was not receiving the call-outs for Doylestown. There are 8.000 residents in the Borough & obviously more if you figure in the Township & non-residents working in the area, so call-outs should be frequent. I rechecked the pager's programming & was not happy with the programmed tones for Stations 19 & 79. They were obviously too far off to successfully decode alerts after the software rounded them in the User option.

There are a number of tone signaling options available in a drop-down menu. I tried them in turn but did not get the result I was looking for. Finally I tried the option 'STD' & succeeded in getting the correct tone pair to program. But this option limits you to 2 channels instead of 10: A & B. So while I can now receive call outs from my home station, I cannot now monitor the busy EMS channel & the other area fire companies.

Jack
Fire call-outs are not that frequent in our area but EMS calls are frequent. Having a pager that was not receiving fire & EMS call-outs made me impatient, so I read the M5 & switched back to 'User' & looked at the programmed tones. All appeared to be within the 1-2% accuracy required for decoding. Before writing the code plug into the pager, I clicked on the 'Wide Band' button for the dispatch channel just as an experiment to see if that would have any positive effect on reception. It appears to have solved the reception problem I was having with the local fire tones, with no noticeable change in the audio quality. I now get the Bucks County Fire/EMS dispatch channel in knob position B with tone selective calling & the local area Fire North channel (no tones) in knob position A.

Sensitivity of the M5 is outstanding & listening to fire apparatus talking to the dispatcher is as clear as if I was listening to the output of a local repeater. Of course, they are all within a mile or two of me. But now I don't have to be curious when I hear the fire horn go off.

Jack
 
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