Im still active after 25 yearsEach firehouse has their own dispatch room with a radio and an antenna (White Hills being tied into the main tower there). Each truck also operates a 33MHz radio and there is a UHF cross-band repeater for portables to the 33MHz system. I take it from people who I know in Shelton and also from the local forums speaking about the problem that the system in general has been piece-mailed over the years just to get by, at least that is how I have interpreted it. Most of the FDs and EMS agencies in the area operate on the UHF bands, and since Shelton FD is already licensed for UHF communications (fairly recently approved) they want to build something that will cover the city properly and in case of failure, a back up be provided.
But the fire department is not the only one that has had problems over the years. The police department operates on 800MHz, just went through the re-banding and still have major coverage issues in the city. This has been put on the back burner by the politicians as well. EMS has lucked out as they upgraded their system a few years ago (with in 5 I say) to a UHF repeated system for their primary ops along with tactical channels. The switch to UHF for them also made it easier for their C-MED communications statewide instead of having two separate radio systems (they also at one time operated on the 33MHz band).
I don't live in the town but I know a few people here work and / or live in Shelton and know more than I do.
Firebuff 66, are you still active with Shelton? If so you have any other insight on this or can you correct me where I may be wrong with my explanation?
Shelton operates on a simplex (non-repeater) low band two-way radio system. Their PPL is different from the CSQ for the county side of the frequency which I beleive Rowayton still operates on and NEwtown does the roll call (not even sure if that is done any more.Joe and Jon,
I first read this article from a land mobile radio list. I didn't get a whole lot of technical information from the article aside from having an obvious problem, then I checked the database and ULS and saw it was lowband on one of the frequencies we used up to the late 70s (33.86... we used to always hear "Rowayton Base"). Thank you for filling in much of the background I was wondering about.
The UHF portables are used for the fire ground and the Moto CMD radios (33.86) are hooked up to a Pyramid X-band UHF repeater. Thus one of the problems. Also on the KCE518 license, you will see the UHF frequencies they applied for, co-ordinated and want to use for the new system by what has been discussed by members of the local CT forum. They had most of the UHF frequencies and for the portables, now they would like to go to a UHF repeated system to cover the city. Also practically every town they do mutual aid with has UHF systems or have UHF radios in their rigs if they work on another system. The problem they are getting with the X-Band is that the re-transmit of the 33.86 traffic back over to UHF is not coming through.I saw the MO3 (mobile repeater/ "extender") units on the license. Can you please elaborate on how fireground communications is handled? Does Shelton use UHF handhelds for FG? If so, do they go through the extenders to a common low band channel, or are some portable radios low band and some UHF?
Like I stated above they have Motorola CMD low band radios, I am not sure which model. As for the UHF portables I do not know what brand they are, also I do not know what was being used at the school. I'm assuming it the current set up as this has been an ongoing issue for a few years now.Can you please say what kinds of mobiles and portables are used? Were low band portables used in the high school incident?
The voting is for the receiving at the dispatch, it is not base repeater system. 33.86 is simplex and set up like all old VHF Lo-Band systems. As for why it failed and dispatch was in the dark, I do not know.Was the source of voting failure ever identified? A telephone line or comparator issue? Usable sensitivity issue? A co-channel user (several NJ departments seem to have "hard-patched" their UHF operations to 33.86).
Yes, all traffic and paging is over 33.86. To get the proper coverage of a dispatch (at least 95% of the city) they dispatch over one tower and then dispatch again over the second "backup" tower so that all the companies can hear the dispatch. When on the White Hills tower, no one in Pine Rock (southern end down by Sikorsky and the Stratford line) and vice versa with the tower located off of Constitution Blvd.Is alerting pager coverage part of the issue?
No problem. The problem is that the equipment is very old, has been piece-mailed over the years and should have been replaced 10 years ago with a better system. Granted I don't live in the town but my FD does do mutual aid with Shelton from time to time and we have a great re-pore with them. I just hope they get what is needed and no one gets hurt between now and then.Sorry for all these questions, but these could be leads toward some easy fixes... radios can't get replaced overnight and there seems to be a need for immediacy.
As for migrating everything up to UHF, clear channels in southwestern CT are next to impossible without a shoehorn.