Tuscaloosa County frequeny help

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Skidrowe1

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All,
Hello newibe to the site and radios first and formost.My Location is Tuscaloosa,Alabama close to the Bibb county line on Highway 82 East. Have been trying to find what i need for mobile radio for my truck. I have found myself doing more and more for my Vol. Fire Department. The down side is we are such a rual area and at the eadge of the county that our hand held radios lack the power in parts of or area to trasmit out(Kenwood 4w handheld). I would like a radio that i can use now and able to grow if and when the system does like narrow banding (makeing any sense here?) . Not sure of the frequency for the county fire dispatch or any of the repeaters, would like to be able to add other fire district as well. I hit up the local Motorola installer for some answers and got RX 453.150 w/ DPL 115 and TX 458.150 w/DPL 143. All of this is greek to me does it sound correct or how can i verifiy the #'s. Also can you guys offer some ideals on radio's? I have looked at a ICOM-F6021/F6061 and Vertex EVX-5300. Thanks for any and all help
 

BamaScan

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15 miles from Florida Line in Alabama
Welcome to the site Skidrowe1. Tuscaloosa County Should give you a preprogramed mobile radio and handheld when you join the Fire Department. Narrowbanding should have already taken place about 2 years ago. As far as the frequencies they are listed in the Database here on RR.
Alabama Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference
and
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama (AL) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Also look at this page.
Common Conventional Programming Questions - The RadioReference Wiki
 

Skidrowe1

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Jul 16, 2014
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Thanks the last link was what i realy need to help understand the terms used. The first and 2nd links i have seen before I just was not sure how to use, Like 453.1500 is the frequency and 179 was the PL,what I found was the repeater was the problem and found that they are 115DPL and 143DPL. Thanks again for the help. They do give us hand held but the rual area does not allow them to hear us with the 4 watt hand held on most cases.

ROLL TIDE
 

Avery93

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Marion County, AL
Thanks the last link was what i realy need to help understand the terms used. The first and 2nd links i have seen before I just was not sure how to use, Like 453.1500 is the frequency and 179 was the PL,what I found was the repeater was the problem and found that they are 115DPL and 143DPL. Thanks again for the help. They do give us hand held but the rual area does not allow them to hear us with the 4 watt hand held on most cases.

ROLL TIDE
As you have discovered, the database is somewhat outdated for Tuscaloosa County. The change to DPL would have occurred ~2010 when the Alabama Forestry Commission narrowbanded the UHF volunteer fire net.

You now have the needed information for one of Tuscaloosa County's VFD repeaters. Their license shows six possible repeaters, but I don't know how many are actually used. I can't imagine them using any less than 2-3, however. You should also have a countywide talkaround channel (should be 453.750, possibly with PL/DPL), and may possibly have a "private" channel specific to your department. As you can see, you will need the information for these channels as well to fully utilize a new radio.

Since you are new to radio programming and will be using this in a public safety environment, I would highly recommend that you have a radio shop handle programming and installation. See if you can find out who services your department's radios, as they should already have all of the required programming information. At the very least, see if you can find someone in your, or a surrounding department that has more experience with public safety radios, and the county's system to help you.

As for what radio to purchase, I would suggest either the Kenwood TK-8360, or Motorola PM400. Both are solid, simple radios that should serve your intended purpose well. I have used the VHF versions of these radios quite extensively as a volunteer FF/EMT, and have had no problems with them. The PM400 in particular is simple enough to use that it's almost firefighter-proof. Note that you may find a better deal on a Motorola CM300, which is extremely similar to the PM400, however it comes standard with the lower quality HMN3596 microphone. I have had nothing but trouble with these mics, and am in the process of replacing the ones my VFD uses with the HMN1035C. That is the mic that comes standard with the PM400, and usually costs more than the price difference of the PM400 and CM300.

Lastly, you should ensure that you have permission from your department before the radio is programmed transmit capable. The Alabama Forestry Commission actually holds the license for the VFD repeaters and talkaround channel, and likely owns some or all of the infrastructure. Since we don't use the AFC's UHF system, I'm not sure how they handle personally owned radios on the system. That is something else to confirm with your department. However judging by some of the traffic I've heard from certain counties to your north, they seem to be quite lax.
 

CSL126

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Dec 19, 2002
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Tuscaloosa, Alabama
453.150 is Tuscaloosa County VFD's primary dispatch frequency for all stations in Tuscaloosa County. Some districts have secondary channels, but all of the calls go out on the frequency that you have. UAPD (159.150) is still in the clear as well as Northport PD & FD (855.7125/856.7125). If you have a digital scanner, Tuscaloosa Fire is P-25 digital 154.400. Everything else, for the most part, is P-25 and encrypted (including TPD and TCSO). It sucks, but that's pretty much the trend around here. Also, Northstar EMS uses SouthernLinc most of the time, but you might occasionally catch a call on 155.160. Hope this helps! Welcome to the site.
 
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