03/28/12 578 W - + 9 - 3 Reader Mail - March 2012

Let's open the mailbag. Low creative energies at this time. And since I am already reading and filing mail at this moment...

Q: Mike, I saw this in the Wilmington paper. Thought you may be interested in it .Enjoy your website very much. http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120224/ARTICLES/120229802/1004/

A: Thanks, that's an interesting story about the city testing preemption technology for stoplights.


Q: Hey Mike, some New Bern Fire Department trailers were recently broken into. If you can pass the word around up there about this, we would greatly appreciate. There are some low people out there.   http://www.newbernsj.com/articles/equipment-105333-fire-burglary.html.

A: Thanks for the story link. Saw that FireNews.net had posted same. I will add to my next posting of morning or evening reading.


Q: Someone showed me a fire bucket they owned a while back and asked why the bottom of the bucket is rounded, and not able to stand up on it own. I could not think of a reason. I saw a similar bucket in the Raleigh Fire Museum. Do you know why they are made that way?

A: Such buckets had rounded bottoms so they couldn't be re-purposed for regular use. You couldn't set them down, or they'd roll over. Thus they had to hang on a wall, for fire use only.


Q: I have an idea for a blog topic. In Montgomery County, VA, earlier this month, the death of retired firefighter was reported. He had just retired from Elliston Volunteer FD, where he served as a member for 55 years. It may be interesting hear from your readers about some of the long-time firefighters in various departments around Raleigh and Wake County, and also who some of the long-time chief officers (past and present) are or were. Just an idea.

A: That's an intriguing idea. Let me ponder that one. And shoot back your thoughts on this, readers. How would one start such a quest?


Q: I moved to Raleigh with an old scanner my dad had, and since all the frequencies have changed, it will not pick up anything. What kind do I need to get to pick up police, EMS, etc?  I think from what my neighbor told me, who is a Raleigh Police Officer, that I need a 800 megahertz?  Also, do you know where I can get one that will not cost me a arm and a leg?

A: If you want to listen to Raleigh FD dispatches only (154.370) or Wake County FD dispatches only (154.190), a simple/old VHF scanner will work fine. But to hear the cross-traffic, a digital trunking 800 mhz scanner is required. Those run in the $300+ range. Some years ago, the local agencies migrated from VHF to the statewide VIPER system.  The two "alert" talkgroups, above, are rebroadcast on VHF, for the benefit of people with analog pagers. You could also "sample" the waters by listening to online feeds. Maybe start looking around here: http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=1978 and http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?ctid=1978


Q: Hey, I was looking at a Radio Shack scanner on sale, PRO-163 1000-Channel Triple Trunking Scanner. Do you have any experience with it?

A: I don't believe that scanner is capable of monitoring our local VIPER traffic, e.g. the public safety talkgroups. See this thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/north-carolina-radio-discussion-forum/218132-martin-county-nc-new-frequencies.html

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