Overlaping users of one frequency

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Volfirefighter

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I just listened to an interesting problem this morning. Two users on the same frequency were cutting each other off over and over. The frequency was 154.4300 and the users were North Canton Fire and "8500" Wayne County dispatch. "8500" was attempting to hear traffic from a Wooster township fire mobile unit at the exact same time that North Canton dispatch was attempting to hear traffic from one of their mobile medic units. Every time one of the mobile units was attempting to repeat their traffic, the other dispatch center was instructing their mobile unit to repeat and overpowering the other mobile unit. This went on for quite a few rounds before they both gave up and asked for a "public service."

How many have heard similar problems? Different PL tones can alleviate some of the problems, but as evidenced by this incident, some problems can still occure. It was just funny today, but could cost lives someday if it is emergency traffic that is cut off. Between Stark and Wayne counties, 154.43 is a fairly crowded frequency:

East Sparta Fire PL 136.5
North Canton Fire PL 151.4
Minerva Fire PL 88.5
Wayne County 8500 Dispatch CSQ
Wayne County Orrville Dispatch CSQ
Wayne County Rittman Dispatch PL 203.5
 

Mike-KC8OWL

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I'm assuming tyhat each agency was doing this unintentionally because they did not hear the other because of different PL/CTCSS tones.

I know first hand that many professional responders (LEO, FD, EMS, etc ...) are not 'radio' people - they just expect it to work when they push the button.

One thing they could do if their equipment was programmed properly, is to look at the Busy LED or indicator to see if the frequency is busy before pushing the PTT (regardless of whether they actually hear anything or not). They could also hit the monitor button to open the squelch and see if they can hear the other traffic. Finally, they can program their radios to inhibit transmit on a busy channel (my least favorite option).

Mike KC8OWL
 

wa8pyr

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Mike-KC8OWL said:
IOne thing they could do if their equipment was programmed properly, is to look at the Busy LED or indicator to see if the frequency is busy before pushing the PTT (regardless of whether they actually hear anything or not). They could also hit the monitor button to open the squelch and see if they can hear the other traffic. Finally, they can program their radios to inhibit transmit on a busy channel (my least favorite option).
That's my favorite option for average users as well.

Of course, if their mobile radios are set up and installed correctly, they should go into Monitor mode automatically, as soon as the mic is lifted from the hook.

Tom WA8PYR
 

16b

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I have always wondered why there are so many places still using 154.430 in that area. I grant that VHF frequencies are hard to come by (probably even more so if licensing a base or repeater), but I would think that North Canton would put a reasonable effort towards a move if they haven't already. Then again the fact that they are still using simplex sort of baffles me, also. Maybe they are just going to switch to that UHF repeater they use for a fireground/chit-chat channel.

Then again, maybe they are holding out for a Homeland Security grant so they can get themselves some /\/\otorola digital radios. :lol:
 

Volfirefighter

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16b said:
I have always wondered why there are so many places still using 154.430 in that area. I grant that VHF frequencies are hard to come by (probably even more so if licensing a base or repeater), but I would think that North Canton would put a reasonable effort towards a move if they haven't already. Then again the fact that they are still using simplex sort of baffles me, also. Maybe they are just going to switch to that UHF repeater they use for a fireground/chit-chat channel.

Then again, maybe they are holding out for a Homeland Security grant so they can get themselves some /\/\otorola digital radios. :lol:

The UHF repeater for North Canton has better coverage than the VHF frequency. I think the hold up on moving dispatch may be getting UHF mobils for all their vehicles and UHF pagers for the volunteers. I think they currently only have portables for use on this repeater.

I also questioned members of Minerva FD recently when they purchased all new mobiles, portables, and pagers and yet stayed on 154.43 in simplex. They still complain of interference from other users and areas in the township where they cannot reach dispatch. I was told that they did this on the advice of the radio dealer who said a repeater and a move to 450 Mhz would not help their problems.
 

SLWilson

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Overlapping users....

Many moons ago in SE Ohio, EVERYONE was using 39.62 at their primary law-enforcement channel. Lawrence County, OH ran a 300 watt base. Jackson County, Jackson PD and Wellston PD ran I don't know how much power. Gallia County, Gallipolis PD were on that freq. Meigs County, Middleport PD, Pomery PD and Vinton County and McArthur PD as well. Talk about congested.....

They way things were SUPPOSED to work was as a duplex system. The cruisers were supposed to all be on 39.26 and listening to the base radios on 39.62.

Problem was, NONE of the involved agencies had mobiles capable of "scanning" at the time to be able to directly listen to the other officers they were working with. So, ALL the field guys ended up on 39.62.

Talk about a cluster. NONE of the surrounding counties could hear their 100 watt mobiles on 39.62 when Lawrence County was talking. Blew them off the air. The guys in the mobiles were too stubborn to go back to .26 to talk.....It was BAD!!!! At that time, the only county PL'ed was Lawrence. So, we could hear the mobiles everywhere else between county to county and the bases....

Well, Gallia County is now VHF-Hi band, Gallipolis PD is UHF. Meigs County all went UHF (separate freqs from Vinton County who also went UHF) Jackson and Lawrence all to went VHF Hi repeater systems (separate freqs too)... Everyone is getting along just fine now in SE Ohio!!!!

Steve/Gallia :confused:
 

wa8pyr

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SLWilson said:
Many moons ago in SE Ohio, EVERYONE was using 39.62 at their primary law-enforcement channel. Lawrence County, OH ran a 300 watt base. Jackson County, Jackson PD and Wellston PD ran I don't know how much power.
Enough power that I was able to listen to them regularly in NW Franklin County when we still had a dual-monitor base station on 39.58 and 39.62 (a leftover from the days when my agency dispatched Shawnee Hills PD on low band).

Listening to them (39.58 in particular) proved to be highly entertaining on a regular basis. Jackson, Lawrence and Meigs were regularly heard on 39.62, and Ross and Pike (as well as others) on 39.58 MHz. I always liked those dual-monitor base stations...

Tom WA8PYR
 

SLWilson

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Old Days - Low Band

wa8pyr said:
Enough power that I was able to listen to them regularly in NW Franklin County when we still had a dual-monitor base station on 39.58 and 39.62 (a leftover from the days when my agency dispatched Shawnee Hills PD on low band).

Listening to them (39.58 in particular) proved to be highly entertaining on a regular basis. Jackson, Lawrence and Meigs were regularly heard on 39.62, and Ross and Pike (as well as others) on 39.58 MHz. I always liked those dual-monitor base stations...

Tom WA8PYR
Tom, I was probably one of those you were listening to!!! I used to carry on a conversation with the Pickaway County S.O. dispatcher on the midnight shifts. I worked straight midnights from 1978 to about 1995. Worked a few evenings and days in between, worked days starting in 1996 & part of 1997 until I went to the 911 Center.

The ole Colonel from Jackson County used to order his cheesburger and coffe on Sunday afternoons. Geez, that probably sounded great all over southern Ohio!!!!

Those were the days. Say about anything. Never got into trouble.

Everyone statewide used 39.58 for county to county traffic. We could hear it all.

We STILL RUN 39.62 (WZM868) and have 39.58 (KQA360) available down here. The Gallipolis FD never left low-band. They're about all that's left there now. Have it all to themselves & communicate wonderfully on that freq!!!!

Steve/Gallia
 

jackthelad

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Hello there,
New to this site, but had read through postings for awhile before registering. I am a novice on the basics with radios, but wanting to learn more. I was talking to a relative of mine yesterday, 10-22 about this same issue about making the move in North Canton. He is in North Canton government. I asked him about the marcs system, and he told me he has his regular radio on (analog?), and that he was also given another hand held to contact the Sheriff during an emergency to be assigned a channel. He told me that the way the system works now, if he requests a channel from the sheriff, he has to transmit at least every 45 minutes or he must request a new channel. Does this sound correct? I asked about making the move to 800 mhz, and he said it was mostly logistics with the volunteer fire personnel vs the 4 ft Fire Inspectors and getting everyone on the same radios.
 

FireDawgEMT22

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So what do you do when you have a dispatcher for another area that insists on toning out over your radio traffic because that area thinks they own the air and are more important...lol
 
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N_Jay

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FireDawgEMT22 said:
So what do you do when you have a dispatcher for another area that insists on toning out over your radio traffic because that area thinks they own the air and are more important...lol
Live with it or move to a band where you can get exclusive use.
 

FPO703

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N_Jay said:
Live with it or move to a band where you can get exclusive use.
No, you educate your dispatchers to make sure the little 'frequency in use' light isn't lit up on the radio console prior to transmitting.

We have that happen from time to time in Geauga & Lake Counties on 46.140

And the base stations are so powerful that sometimes the pager tones/audio don't come through (because of two stations transmitting at the same time) and nobody knows what the call is/was about.
 
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N_Jay

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FPO703 said:
No, you educate your dispatchers to make sure the little 'frequency in use' light isn't lit up on the radio console prior to transmitting.
1) That is "living with it".

2) How do you educate THEIR dispatchers?
 
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