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Author Topic: UV-5R FOR PART 90 FIRE DEPT USAGE.  (Read 58217 times)
WB6DGN
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« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2013, 08:45:36 AM »

Quote
While the manufacturing areas are referred to as "explosion proof",the terms intrinsically safe and explosion proof are interchangeable as regarding electronic equipment used in these areas.

OK, now we're getting into the fine points of this issue that I haven't seen since early 2005 so forgive me if my memory is getting a bit foggy.  If I remember correctly, the Factory Mutual Intrinsically Safe rating includes a (rather large) number of individual specifications including, but not limited to most of the military specs relevant to communications gear (see, I forgot that base spec series number too).  Included in this group is the Bureau of Mines explosive environment and the hazardous vapor specifications.  So, to restate, the Factory Mutual intrinsically safe designation includes a rather large number of these individual safety specifications under one blanket rating.  That's, no doubt, where some of the confusion is coming from.
Tom
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VE1GAT
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« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2013, 12:55:47 PM »

the UV-5R can be set to make VFO mode useless,
set the VHF and UHF ranges to an out of range value 999 or even 1
once one enters VFO mode they can't scan or TX or enter usable freqs.
I've tried this an it works.
You could also disable menus under the CHIRP software for further protection
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K1CJS
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« Reply #62 on: September 28, 2013, 05:58:24 AM »

Pardon me for stating it once again, but such cheap unit should not be used where life safety is a question. 

If firefighters want to use these to monitor their fire department radio frequency or for communication outside a fireground scene, all well and good--but if a firefighter uses these cheap units to actually go into a building on fire or a fire scene because the units are supplied to them by their fire department, they're taking their lives in their own hands.  These units are not now nor ever have been rated to the standards of commercial radio units made by Motorola, Kenwood and others, and for the money paid for them, never will be.

If the fire departments actually issue these units to firefighters and were to be sued by a spouse or family because of loss of life because they supplied those cheap units instead of tested proven ones, they certainly deserve to pay whatever the courts wring out of them for issuing cheap, inadequate equipment to their volunteers.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2013, 12:45:35 PM »

The following news story is an example of what may happen to fire crews in an emergency situation.  These men probably had commercial radio equipment, not the Chinese knockoffs, but it didn't help.  Just imagine what could happen in a similar situation if the cheapie radios ARE used.  
__________

Radio problems cited in deaths of 19 firefighters

Story copyright--Associated press

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) 9/28/2013— A three-month investigation into the June deaths of 19 firefighters killed while battling an Arizona blaze cites poor communication between the men and support staff....   All but one member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew died June 30 while protecting the small former gold rush town of Yarnell, about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix, from an erratic, lightning-sparked wildfire.

While maintaining a neutral tone, the investigation found badly programmed radios.... and a 33-minute communication blackout just before the flames engulfed the men. Investigators did not consider whether better communication might have saved the men.

...the command center lost track of the 19 men. The firefighters either ignored or did not receive weather warnings....
___________

The complete article can be seen at this URL, but may be unavailable to non-Comcast customers:

http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20130928/US--Firefighters.Killed/

Hopefully purchasing managers and public safety departments will see this article and won't gamble with firefighters lives just to save some money.  73.
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N3HFS
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« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2013, 01:09:06 PM »

The following news story is an example of what may happen to fire crews in an emergency situation.  These men probably had commercial radio equipment, not the Chinese knockoffs, but it didn't help.  Just imagine what could happen in a similar situation if the cheapie radios ARE used.  

Doesn't seem to me like there'd have been much, if any, difference.  It seems that these "hot shots" decided to make a move without asking for or receiving any information from (what we hams might call) "net control."  Perhaps a bit of discipline and skill in proper communication protocol would've saved their lives?  Perhaps they would be alive if they had a dedicated communications person with the skills and training to keep in contact with those who had the resources to know where the flames, winds, and weather would cause big problems?  A ham, perhaps, with enough knowledge of RF behavior and physics to maintain the vital links with their command center.

It's very unfortunate what happened to them, but blaming their radios for poor communication doesn't seem to fit the description of what occurred.

Quote
The day went according to routine in the boulder-strewn mountains until the wind shifted around 4 p.m., pushing a wall of fire that had been receding from the hotshots all day back toward them.

After that, the command center lost track of the 19 men. The firefighters either ignored or did not receive weather warnings. They left the safety of a burned ridge and dropped into a densely vegetated valley surrounded by mountains, heading toward a ranch. The report states that they failed to perceive the "excessive risk" of repositioning to continue fighting the fire.

The command center believed the hotshots had decided to wait out the weather change in the safety zone. They did not find out the men were surrounded by flames and fighting for their lives until five minutes before they deployed their emergency shelters, which was more than a half hour after the weather warning was issued.

Without the guidance of the command center, the men bushwhacked into a location that soon turned into a bowl of fire. The topography fostered long flames that bent parallel and licked the ground, producing 2,000 degree heat. Fire shelters, always a dreaded last resort, begin to melt at 1,200 degrees.

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K1CJS
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« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2013, 02:55:21 PM »

Doesn't seem to me like there'd have been much, if any, difference.  It seems that these "hot shots" decided to make a move without asking for or receiving any information from (what we hams might call) "net control."  Perhaps a bit of discipline and skill in proper communication protocol would've saved their lives?  Perhaps they would be alive if they had a dedicated communications person with the skills and training to keep in contact with those who had the resources to know where the flames, winds, and weather would cause big problems?  A ham, perhaps, with enough knowledge of RF behavior and physics to maintain the vital links with their command center.

It's very unfortunate what happened to them, but blaming their radios for poor communication doesn't seem to fit the description of what occurred.

Didn't say their radios were to blame.  I even said they probably had proper equipment.   I DID say, however, that the problems these men had could have been worse if the equipment used wasn't the best money could buy.
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N3HFS
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« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2013, 04:40:57 PM »

I DID say, however, that the problems these men had could have been worse if the equipment used wasn't the best money could buy.
You mean all twenty of them would have died instead of just the nineteen??
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WB6DGN
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« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2013, 11:02:43 PM »

Quote
It's very unfortunate what happened to them, but blaming their radios for poor communication doesn't seem to fit the description of what occurred.

The article that I read did not blame the equipment, per se, but, rather, said the PROGRAMMING of the radios was inadequate.  I was quite surprised that a typical contemporary media jockey even knew the DIFFERENCE between programming and "the radio".  I had to read the lines several times but THAT IS wast they said.
Now whether there's any basis in fact to that premise remains to be verified but it does narrow the blame considerably and directs it toward an entirely different group of people.
Tom
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N5INP
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« Reply #68 on: September 29, 2013, 04:45:53 AM »

The article that I read did not blame the equipment, per se, but, rather, said the PROGRAMMING of the radios was inadequate. 

Yep, I read the same thing the other day. Whoever set up the radios didn't program the correct channels or something else. The radios per se were not the issue.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2013, 08:43:41 AM »

And how many times has it been said on here that the programming of those Chinese wonderboxes isn't that simple? 

Once again, I didn't imply that the radios were at fault.  It could have been that the radios weren't being properly used in that the firemen didn't have the radios set to the proper channel--if they used multiple channels.  The way that those Chinese radios can be used and the way they can be set up to change frequencies can work to make them less dependable than regular commercial radios, and if the regular commercial radios they had failed them, just think about if they had the Chinese radios and didn't have them set and locked to a certain frequency.  That is what I meant by 'things could have been worse.'
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W9FIB
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« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2013, 06:42:11 PM »

Sorry but there is no better or worse when 19 firefighters died in the line of duty. To speculate about this, or that, or another thing dishoners them and the service.

If their deaths had any meaning at all, it should serve as a reminder that mistakes should be used to learn from, not blame. That is the honor they deserve.
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AE5DB
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« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2013, 09:49:07 PM »

As Asst Chief of a small town fire dept. All I can say is if someone told me to use a chinese ham ht in the field I would promptly beat them over the head with the radios until they understood to go back and get us some real radios that are designed for the fire service. We run xpr6550 moto HTs that are mil spec,somewhat waterproof and rugged.

There is no excuse possible to put your firefighters in danger due to cheap ass equipment. And besides if you supply the firefighters with equipment that is not nfpa rated you are opening yourself up for personal liability due to gross incompentience/ neglegence.
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #72 on: October 07, 2013, 10:11:39 AM »

The article that I read did not blame the equipment, per se, but, rather, said the PROGRAMMING of the radios was inadequate.

Yep, I read the same thing the other day. Whoever set up the radios didn't program the correct channels or something else. The radios per se were not the issue.

Wow, don't they test the programming? We test everything ourselves before it goes into service, especially any program changes as we've caught errors before from time to time. Someone is counting on that with their life to work! I'm not sure it would have changed the outcome but who knows..

There is no excuse possible to put your firefighters in danger due to cheap ass equipment. And besides if you supply the firefighters with equipment that is not nfpa rated you are opening yourself up for personal liability due to gross incompentience/ neglegence.

I agree!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 10:15:17 AM by KB2FCV » Logged
K1CJS
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« Reply #73 on: October 09, 2013, 05:18:37 AM »

As Asst Chief of a small town fire dept. All I can say is if someone told me to use a chinese ham ht in the field I would promptly beat them over the head with the radios until they understood to go back and get us some real radios that are designed for the fire service. We run xpr6550 moto HTs that are mil spec,somewhat waterproof and rugged.

There is no excuse possible to put your firefighters in danger due to cheap ass equipment. And besides if you supply the firefighters with equipment that is not nfpa rated you are opening yourself up for personal liability due to gross incompentience/ neglegence.

I also agree.  But if you look, this thread was started by a volunteer on the volunteer fire department board of directors--someone who should know better to begin with!
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