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Recommendations for Radio System

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paramedicbob

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Joined
Apr 24, 2010
Messages
22
Hello everyone, I am looking for some ideas to fix a logistics issue with our radio communications.

Our Company in a large ambulance transport company in three states, Ohio, WV, IN. We have a cental dispatch center in southeren ohio, which each unit needs to communicate with. I am looking for a way that is cost effective and realistic that will allow us to communicate as needed.

Currently we are utilizing the ATT PTT phones which is not effective at this time, we would like to move to a traditional type radio system, that allows us to use VHF, or UHF. Also would like a software for the dispatch computers that would allow them to have the radio console displayed on the computer.


Any help is greatly appreciated.


Thank You
 

RKG

Member
Joined
May 23, 2005
Messages
1,094
Location
Boston, MA
1) You're not going to find much help on an Internet forum. What I'd do in your shoes is look up the top 2 or 3 radio shops in your area(s), go in and speak with the owners and tell them you don't want to buy anything but do want to hire an hour or two of their time to get some advice.

2) Given your service territory, setting up an owned-infrastructure system would be prohibitively expensive (if even possible). What you're looking for is an SMRS-type provider, if one exists in your area.

3) When 800 trunked radio came about, in parallel to the public safety applications, there was a commercial side known as Specialized Mobile Radio Service (SMRS). In some places, it was pretty well developed: in New England, for instance, Industrial Communications (Kingston, MA) licensed and constructed an 800 trunked system that covered most of eastern MA, large parts of CT, and large parts of southern NH.

4) Nextel then came along and, at the time, it could not break into the cellular phone business directly (back then each MSA was limited to two cellular licensees, one of which was the incumbent local wireline phone company), so they purchased SMRSs, converted them to iDen, and sold service (primarily to commercial, versus consumer, accounts). Today, of course, 800 MHz cellular is all but dead, and Nextel (Sprint) is in the process of decommissioning its 800 MHz iDen system.

5) Many of the selling SMRSs then constructed 900 MHz SMRS systems. What there might be in your area is something I don't know.
 

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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Bob,

Based of your description, I'd suggest taking a look at either Motorola MotoTrbo, Kenwood NexEdge or Icom IDAS systems.

MotoTrbo and NexEdge will do VHF Hi, UHF, 800MHz and 900MHz
Icom IDAS will do VHF and UHF

The nice thing about all these systems is you can link all the repeaters together over the internet, or any Ethernet based network. You could place repeaters, any mix of bands, out in the areas where you provide ambulance service and connect them to DSL, Broadband, etc. Using the internet or a private IP network, you could link all repeaters back to a central location. You can link them all together, or have each separate.
All of those will support a PC based dispatch console, vehicle tracking, short text messages, etc.

Without getting into all the details about signal coverage and the like, this would probably be the most cost effective and flexible approach. Each area could use the frequencies/bands best suited for that location, interoperability with other local agencies, etc.

You can do the same thing with P25 systems, as well as others, but you will likely not find a solution as cost effective of the MotoTrbo or IDAS/NexEdge solutions.

One downside here would be that dispatch to repeater links would be over the network, and would therefore be affected if any part of that link goes down. One solution is to have a telephone work around, capable with all of the above systems.

Likely you could talk to a local shop about this, but I'd suggest finding a big shop that could handle the entire installation. Doing this with a bunch of separate shops at each location would be a logistical nightmare.
 

radiofan1

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Messages
190
One downside here would be that dispatch to repeater links would be over the network, and would therefore be affected if any part of that link goes down. One solution is to have a telephone work around, capable with all of the above systems.
Microwave. :cool:
 

catalina22

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
9
Leased Fiber could also be an alternative for connectivity or a combination with Microwave as well.
 
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