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Paging and Wireless Messaging Home Page image Recommended Products and Services image Carrier Directory image Reference Papers
Consulting Newsletter Archive Glossary of Terms Send an e-mail to Brad Dye

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Dear Friends of Wireless Messaging,

cellular 25
Celebrating the anniversary of the first commercial cellular phone call seemed to be an appropriate time to begin an important initiative to focus on the exquisitely colorful history of wireless. Cellular 25 is billed as a celebratory dinner on October 13 at the Drake in Chicago honoring the silver anniversary of cellular but, more importantly, it is the launch of the Wireless History Foundation. The Foundation will reach way back beyond cellular to chronicle and roll forward the timelines, tales, and images of those individuals and organizations that made what we have today possible — those who did the groundwork for the future. Private and public sector, all disciplines will be included — it was, and has always been, a robust ecosystem.

Although there is little memory by today's youth, those of us in the paging remember the advent of “text messaging” — what 15 years ago? Amazing things have happened since the advent of high-capacity paging in the early 70's. What few understand is that the technology and business models that became the foundation of cellular were first vetted in the labs of the technology leaders and the hundreds of paging service operations that dotted this country. Paging operators led the development of wireless communications and will hopefully be proudly and well represented at the Cellular 25 dinner.

All of those that participated or are interested in the history of our industry, should attend this celebration. It will be another historical event. With widespread support from leaders across the decades, the evening is stacking up to be quite a reunion. Please come. Information and registration is available at:

—from Arlene Harris
Dyna, LLC

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One of the best parts of this newsletter is the BloostonLaw Update from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP. I really appreciate Hal Mordkofsky and his partners for giving me permission to publish selected portions of their newsletters. Hal is a great guy, and an Electronics Engineer in a "prior lifetime" before becoming an attorney and specializing in telecommunications law.

Since the BloostonLaw Update is full of interesting news this week, and lengthy, I am going to try something different. I have created a link to a separate page for this section so the download speed of both newsletters will be faster. I am aware that not everyone reading this has a high-speed or broadband connection to the Internet. So I encourage everyone to be sure to read the BloostonLaw Update—please don't skip it. You will find the link further down where the BloostonLaw Update is usually located. At the end of the BloostonLaw Update there is another link to return you to where you left off. Please let me know if you find this convenient.

I have started finalizing my plans to attend the Enterprise Wireless conference. How about you? Make your plans today to join your AAPC colleagues at Enterprise Wireless 2008 for a 2-day information packed forum to share new ideas, network with one another, and develop fresh solutions. It will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona — November 5-7 this year. I hope to see you there.

If you are one of the many paging Resellers affected by USA Mobility's price increases, AAPC can help. In most instances, AAPC's members provide local or regional coverage, service and support equivalent to or better than USA Mobility's local or regional service.

Please read about AAPC's new "Reseller Help" program just below.

Now on to more news and views. . .

brad dye
Wireless Messaging Newsletter
  • Emergency Radio Communications
  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Telemetry
  • Paging
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi
  • WiMAX
  • Location-Based Services
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This is my weekly newsletter about Wireless Messaging. You are receiving this because you have either communicated with me in the past about a wireless topic, or your address was included in another e-mail that I received on the same subject. This is not a SPAM. If you have received this message in error, or you are not interested in these topics, please click here, then click on "send" and you will be promptly removed from the mailing list.

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iland internet sulutions This newsletter is brought to you by the generous support of our advertisers and the courtesy of iland Internet Solutions Corporation. For more information about the web-hosting services available from iland Internet Solutions Corporation, please click on their logo to the left.

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A new issue of The Wireless Messaging Newsletter gets posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the Internet. That way it doesn't fill up your incoming e-mail account.

There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world's major Paging and Wireless Data companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology. I regularly get readers' comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Data communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.

NOTE: This newsletter is best viewed at screen resolutions of 800x600 (good) or 1024x768 (better). Any current revision of web browser should work fine. Please notify me of any problems with viewing. This site is compliant with XHTML 1.0 transitional coding for easy access from wireless devices. (XML 1.0/ISO 8859-1.)

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Anyone wanting to help support The Wireless Messaging Newsletter can do so by clicking on the PayPal Donate button above.

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Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, and Vic Jackson are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects. Click here  for a summary of their qualifications and experience. They collaborate on consulting assignments, and share the work according to their individual expertise and their schedules.

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The local newspaper here in Springfield, Illinois costs 75¢ a copy and it NEVER mentions paging. If you receive some benefit from this publication maybe you would like to help support it financially? A donation of $25.00 would represent approximately 50¢ a copy for one year. If you are so inclined, please click on the PayPal Donate button above. No trees were chopped down to produce this electronic newsletter.

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 aapc logo AAPC Bulletin • 866-301-2272
The Voice of US Paging Carriers

Are you a USA Mobility paging reseller faced with huge price increases? AAPC can help!

As a result of USA Mobility's recent price increases, AAPC and its members have been deluged with calls from USA Mobility's Resellers concerned about their viability and looking for an alternative service. If you are one of the many paging Resellers affected by USA Mobility's price increases, AAPC can help. In most instances, AAPC's members provide local or regional coverage, service and support equivalent to or better than USA Mobility's local or regional service.

AAPC has set up a special "Reseller Help" (Find A Reseller) button on its website to direct you to a carrier in your area that can help. Go to the AAPC website and begin moving your customers today.

enterprise wireless 2008

aapcewa logousmss logo

Register Today left arrow [CLICK] and join your AAPC colleagues at Enterprise Wireless 2008 for a 2-day information packed forum to share new ideas, network with one another, and develop fresh solutions. Conference highlights include: Click here for a detailed schedule.

Hotel Accommodations Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort This hotel will sell out—make your reservations early by calling 800-222-8733. Please be sure to reference the Enterprise Wireless event to receive the discounted rate of $159/night. If you prefer to make your reservations online, you may do so by entering EWA as the group code at:


Thanks to our Gold Vendor member!

PRISM Paging

Thanks to our Silver Vendor Members!
isc technologies
ISC Technologies, Inc.
recurrent software
Recurrent Software Solutions, Inc.
Unication USA

Thanks to our Bronze Member Vendors!

AAPC Executive Director
441 N. Crestwood Drive
Wilmington, NC 28405
Tel: 866-301-2272
AAPC Regulatory Affairs Office
Suite 250
2154 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007-2280
Tel: 202-223-3772
Fax: 202-315-3587

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Phone Cord-Cutting: 20 Million U.S. Homes and Growing

September 17, 2008

cord cutting One in five U.S. households could be without a landline phone by the end of 2008, according to a white paper released Wednesday by Nielsen Mobile.

Seventeen percent of U.S. households — 20 million homes — have already ditched their home landlines, relying instead on mobile phones, Nielsen reported.

These “wireless substitutors” tend to live in smaller households with just one or two residents and have lower income-levels — 59% have household incomes of $40,000 or less. A significant number moved (31%) or changed jobs (22%) just before discontinuing their landline service.

Source: NielsenWire

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Advertiser Index

AAPC—American Association of Paging Carriers Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC
CRS—Critical Response Systems Preferred Wireless
CVC Paging Prism Paging
Daviscomms USA Raven Systems
GTES—Global Technical Engineering Solutions Ron Mercer
Hark Systems Sun Telecom
HMCE, Inc. Swissphone
InfoRad, Inc.    TAPS—Texas Association of Paging Services
Ira Wiesenfeld UCOM Paging
Minilec Service, Inc. Unication USA
Nighthawk Systems, Inc. United Communications Corp.
Northeast Paging WiPath Communications
NOTIFYall Zetron Inc.  

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unication pager unimax unication voip

10 Selectable Alerting Tones
3 Alerting Duration Settings
No Physical Connections
Powered by 3 - AA or AC Adapter

Unication USA 817-303-9320

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Seybold’s Take - SMS’ Hit and Miss

By Andrew M. Seybold
September 01, 2008

Obama’s SMS message strategy to reveal his running mate underscores all of the reasons a national alerting system based on SMS would fail.

Barack Obama launched an SMS and e-mail campaign in mid-August to build momentum for his running mate announcement prior to the Democratic National Convention. For individuals who supplied a cell phone number and/or an e-mail address, the presidential candidate promised to send a personal message alerting recipients of his choice ahead of the national news outlets.

andy seybold
Andy Seybold

What did we learn from Obama’s use of text messaging to announce Joe Biden as his running mate?

We learned what wireless operators and others in the wireless industry have known for a long time: Text messaging is great for one-to-one or even one-to-many (a few) non-essential communications. It is not a mission-critical alerting system nor is it designed to be used as such.

The U.S. government seems bound and determined to squeeze emergency alerting services out of a platform that does not support it, does not provide guaranteed delivery and sends each message sequentially.

SMS is routed using the phone number of the receiving device. Because each phone has its own unique number, a mass alert is first sent to the appropriate wireless network(s) and then each message is delivered one at a time over that provider’s network. Even those who seem to offer one-to-many text messaging actually resend the same message to a string of numbers sequentially.

In the case of the Obama text message, no real harm was done. A few reporters who were waiting on the text message to verify the story missed their deadlines, knocking the story off the front page. A number of false or fraudulent messages were sent out to thousands of people. Some of these messages announced the wrong person. “It’s Hillary,” one read. Comical choices such as Miley Cyrus and other bogus text messages also floated around.

Some people received Obama’s text message as scheduled; some got it hours later and some did not get it at all. As far as I know, most systems do not hold an undelivered text message for longer than 72 hours.

There’s no guarantee that the message has been delivered. Even on my BlackBerry where I receive a “D” for delivered, it only means the message has been successfully handed off to the appropriate network; it does not mean it has been delivered.

To test this, I sent a text message from my T-Mobile BlackBerry to my Verizon phone. I received a D indicating the message was delivered. I then turned my Verizon phone off and sent a second message from the BlackBerry and again saw the D for delivered even though the receiving phone was turned off.

The U.S. government is moving quickly to implement a nationwide alerting system using text messaging. There are a number of flaws in its approach.

Besides the problems mentioned earlier, the next problem is fairly obvious: Sending thousands of messages could easily jam up the networks and prevent any of the messages from being delivered at all.

Then there are the issues common to any wireless alerting system:

  • Is the phone on?
  • Is it in coverage?
  • If the alert is received, will it be treated like any other text message that may not be read for a while if the person is busy or in a meeting? (Or in a car in a state where texting is illegal?)

Add to this that in order for a message to be sent out at all, it will have to be routed to FEMA and approved by FEMA. By the time, FEMA became involved in the Hurricane Katrina response, the levees already had given way and much of the damage had been done.

Suppose the mayor of New Orleans wants to alert people in and around New Orleans for a new hurricane threat. He would have to ask FEMA to review the message and the circumstances and then authorize the delivery.

Last week, Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency and was taken to task for doing so before the worst of Tropical Storm Fay had hit. Even though the governor did the right thing for his constituents, 11 people lost their lives.

  By the SMS Numbers

Number of words in Obama's text message.

Number of subscribers who received a text message announcing Obama's VP candidate.

Number of subscribers who actively use text messaging.


But what if he had contacted FEMA and the person on duty thought the governor was jumping the gun and because that FEMA individual did not want to risk making his boss angry, he sat on the message and waited for someone else to make the call?

First, I have to question why someone sitting in Washington, DC, has the right to determine whether a message requested by a mayor or a governor should be sent.

Second, if a text message had been sent, how many people would have actually received it. And would they have received it before the storm made landfall or perhaps not at all?

Text or SMS is not a mission-critical alerting system, and the “one-to-many system” proposed by the government will require the replacement of every handset on every network.

Finding out who Obama tapped as his running mate by SMS is probably not a matter of life or death. However, finding out that a deadly storm is bearing down on your neighborhood is. Implementing a reliable alerting system is paramount. Hit or miss won’t cut it.

Seybold heads Andrew Seybold, Inc., which provides consulting, educational and publishing services. For more information, visit

Source: WirelessWeek

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shooting alert

The new RAVENAlert answers the need for a fast, intelligent, and dependable indoor alerting device. Features include:

  • High volume audible alert.
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  • Easy wall mount or sits upright on any flat surface
  • Battery or line powered
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The new RAVEN-500 series of high decibel alerting products allows for dynamic alerting and voice messaging for indoor and outdoor areas. Perfect for athletic fields, indoor gymnasiums, large retail stores and outdoor common areas.


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Court: warrant needed to turn cell phone into homing beacon

By Julian Sanchez
Published: September 11, 2008 - 04:28PM CT

It just got a bit harder for law enforcement agencies to turn your cell phone into a personal homing beacon: A federal court has slapped down the Justice Department's appeal of a February ruling that required investigators to seek a probable cause warrant before acquiring historical records of a cell phone users physical movements.

In a curt opinion released late Wednesday, Judge Terrence McVerry of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania affirmed that February's decision by Magistrate Judge Lucy P. Lenihan, writing for a unanimous five-judge panel, was "not clearly erroneous or contrary to law." The Justice Department had asked the court to overturn Lenihan's order, while an amicus brief filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, and Center for Democracy and Technology had urged McVerry to ratify the lower court's holding that a showing of probable cause was needed before a cell provider could be compelled to disclose geographic data about a subscriber.

The central point of contention between the government and civil liberties groups concerned whether records revealing the nearest cell tower to a subscriber's phone at the time of a call—information sufficient to pinpoint the phone's location only within several hundred feet—could be obtained using a "D order" based on "specific and articulable facts" showing its relevance to an ongoing investigation. This intermediate evidentiary standard is greater than what would be required to subpoena records, but less stringent than the "probable cause" required for a Fourth Amendment warrant.

tower Interestingly, both the government and civil liberties groups agreed that the lower court had erred in resolving the question by reference to language in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act pertaining to "tracking devices." (The appeals court declined to revisit this point.) Both the civil libertarians' amicus and the government's reply memorandum argued that the controlling statute was the Stored Communications Act, governing records pertaining to subscribers. That act permits judges to issue "D orders" for records on the basis of "specific an articulable facts," but the civil liberties groups argued that this establishes a "floor" rather than a "ceiling," leaving the courts leeway to impose a higher standard when disclosure of records might implicate Fourth Amendment interests.

The government cited precedent suggesting that the use of tracking technology did not amount to a Fourth Amendment search when it disclosed no more than could be gleaned from physical surveillance of a target in public places—as when a tracking beacon is attached to an automobile on public highways. Because cell tower data provides only a very approximate location, they contended, it did not permit the sort of detailed tracking that would permit authorities to follow targets' movements in protected private spaces. Moreover, Justice Department attorneys argued, the Supreme Court has ruled that information voluntarily disclosed to third parties—as when customers provide the phone company with a dialed number—falls outside the ambit of the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, according to the government, the court should refrain from imposing a standard higher than specified by statute.

The court, however, appears to have been more persuaded by EFF and Amici, who distinguished cell location data from automobile beacons, noting that it would permit law enforcement agencies to make inferences about the movements of persons—as well as about who was in possession of the phone at any given time—whether in public or private spaces. Moreover, they argued, a lax standard for seeking location data "enables dragnet surveillance" by permitting the government to acquire location records in bulk, then hunt for a particular pattern of movements. Though amici conceded that the government hadn't attempted such dragnet surveillance in the instant case, they warned that cell phone tracking is "ripe for such use."

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd told ARS that the government is reviewing the court's decision, but could not say whether an appeal is planned.

Source: ARS Technica   (Thanks to Barry Kanne.)

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GL3000 Paging Terminals - C2000 Transmitter Controllers
GL3200 Internet Gateways - Transmitter Equipment


GTES is the only Glenayre authorized software support provider in the paging industry. With years of combined experience in Glenayre hardware and software support, GTES offers the industry the most professional support and engineering staff available.

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sun st800



ST800, Sun Telecom's Best Selling Numeric Pager. Built for today's life style, the ST800 is rugged yet stylish and blends well with all day-to-day activities.

Michelle Choi
Director of Sales & Operations
Sun Telecom International, Inc.
Telephone: 678-541-0441
Fax: 678-541-0442

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flex logo FLEX is a registered trademark of Motorola Inc.

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Verizon Wireless: Rise of the Machines

SEPTEMBER 15, 2008

The scope of Verizon Wireless's "open access" network project is finally becoming clear, and it won't — initially at least — have much to do with us puny humans. In fact, 90 percent of the devices that are in the process of certification are actually focused on machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.

Machine-to-machine communication generally involves a wide array of sensors, tracking devices, temperature monitors, and other distinctly non-sexy gizmos. In fact, Tony Lewis, Verizon's VP of open development, tells Unstrung that the first two devices that have been certified for open use over Verizon's CDMA wireless network are a storage tank-monitoring device from SupplyNet Communications and a prisoner-tracking electronic ankle bracelet.

This will be followed by a wireless router for the insurance industry and a $69 speech and texting device. Lewis, speaking at the CTIA show last week, noted that this neatly reflected the early devices that are coming up for certification under the open access plans.

"Ninety percent of them are M2M," Lewis said. "The other 10 percent are low-cost handsets and PDAs." (See Where Is Verizon's Open Access?, Verizon Tears Down the 'Walled Garden and Open Access' Gets Closer.)

So why the sudden rise of machine-to-machine for Verizon? "The promise of machine talking to machine was always there, but the question for vendors was 'what network' and how to get on it quickly and cheaply," notes Lewis.

He claims that Verizon's open network plan now offers a "low-cost, low touch" model that appeals to vendors that are looking at applications that require straightforward automation and communication. "I have guaranteed those folks they will be on my network within four weeks," Lewis notes, reflecting on how fast initial devices have gone through the process.

He believes that the open access move could help open up the market for more commercial M2M applications, such as in-home sensors and health care-related products. Sensors in the home could be used for everything from heat regulation to security.

The initial burst of M2M activity doesn't preclude more consumer-orientated open handsets trickling onto the Verizon network as well, Lewis says. "Those [M2M] vendors were smart enough to see what the advantages where and approach us first."

Other handsets could follow soon. "Android, LiMo, Microsoft," says Lewis. "It matters not to me, I love them all."

LiMo Foundation handsets are expected to arrive on Verizon in 2009; there has been speculation about Google (Nasdaq: GOOG - message board)'s Android on the open network. Does Lewis, however, really expect Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - message board) — the sworn opponent of all things Linux — to go open access?

"You never know," Lewis says with a laugh.

Verizon spokesman Jeff Nelson also points out that if an Android device goes through an open network certification for Verizon, it could later become available on the "closed" network as well.

Verizon certainly sees the benefit of running the two networks in parallel, with more device cost breaks and customer support being offered on the regular old closed network. (See CTIA: Open Is the New Frontier.)

"There are 69 million people who do in fact vote with their wallet and say they do, in fact, enjoy closed," Nelson notes.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

Source: Unstrung   (Thanks to Barry Kanne.)

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Family Racks Up $19,370 Cell Phone Bill

UPDATED: 3:51 pm PDT September 4, 2008

PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland family racked up nearly $20,000 on their AT&T bill, local station KPTV reported.

The Terry family said they wished they would have received some kind of warning before receiving their 200-page bill in the mail for $19,370.

In July, their son headed north to Vancouver, Canada, and used a laptop with an AirCard to send photos and e-mails back home. The bill showed he used the service 21 times, but because he was out of the country, the activity added up to thousands of dollars in charges.

The AirCard allows users to connect to e-mail, the Internet and business applications while traveling, according to AT&T's Web site. On the Terry family's bill, they were charged international fees for the service.

The Terry family said they asked an AT&T employee about the service before their son left the country. They said they were told nothing about international fees.

Dave Terry also said they were never contacted by the company to be alerted of the high fees.

"(We) have a bill that runs normally $250 to $300 for our cell phones," Terry said. "When AT&T saw the numbers getting over $1,000, I would think it's their responsibility to inform us that something was amiss because that card could have been stolen."

An AT&T representative said they're treating the matter seriously and looking into it. According to the company, they hope to have an answer for the family in the next few days.

Source: KPTV FOX 12 Oregon

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prism paging

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Ekahau’s Wi-Fi tags support two-way communication

September 15, 2008 (USA)

Ekahau Inc, a leading provider of Wi-Fi-based Real Time Location Systems (RTLS), at RFID World introduced four new Wi-Fi tags that expand the functionality of its real-time location tracking solutions.

The tags, which were designed in response to customer demand in a number of vertical markets, include a personnel badge tag that offers the industry's first two-way Wi-Fi pager capabilities and other solutions for industrial, retail and temperature sensitive environments.

"Many of our potential customers understood the value of real-time location tracking, but had unique needs that exceeded the capabilities of our T301A and T201 asset tags or T301-B badge tag." said Arttu Huhtiniemi, director of Product Management at Ekahau.

"With the new additions to our product line, we are addressing those customers' demands and delivering the functionalities to support a wider variety of applications."

All of Ekahau's tags support two-way communication, enabling the tags to both send and receive information for communication and remote tag management across any brand or generation of Wi-Fi network.

Ekahau's newest Wi-Fi tags include:

• T301BD - Building upon Ekahau's proven personnel badge technology, the T301BD is the first RTLS tag to offer Wi-Fi pager functionality. It enables users to send messages, status updates and alarms.

It also allows them to receive and acknowledge text messages and location-based alerts on a bright display screen that uses the latest OLED technology. The T301BD also is a cost-effective solution for replacing legacy paging systems and services as it leverages an enterprise's own Wi-Fi network.

• T301i - A locatable industrial tag with two-way signaling and a call button, the T301i is a wireless replacement for the traditional hard-wired factory call buttons, which are used for plant floor part replenishment, service requests, status updates and quality alerts. It is an ideal solution for any applications where remote call requests and two-way acknowledgement are required.

• T301T - By integrating a temperature sensor, the T301T can automatically report temperature readings in a remote location and notify users if the temperature exceeds a predefined threshold range.

Designed for automated monitoring of refrigerators, freezers and any Temperature sensitive areas in hospitals, retail stores and industrial applications, this tag's Wi-Fi capability enables it to support multi- party cold chain monitoring and management applications.

The T301T supports an optional remote platinum temperature probe with a temperature measurement range of -200C to +200C for applications that require monitoring at extreme temperatures.

• T301Ex -Intended for use on oil and gas rigs, and in petrochemical refineries and chemical plants, where certification is required for hazardous or volatile environments.

The T301Ex can be used for asset tracking and status notifications, as well as supporting employee safety applications for reporting the location of personnel in accident or disaster situations.

Ekahau's complete line of tags deliver the broadest functionalities of any Wi-Fi tags on the market and offer enterprises the flexibility to leverage their existing Wi-Fi networks without installing proprietary readers or choke points.

The tags support two different modes of operation. The first is a full associating mode, in which the tag functions as would any standard Wi-Fi client, enabling it to operate and roam over Wi-Fi infrastructure from any vendor.

The second is a beacon mode. Using Wi-Fi networks from supporting vendors, the tag sends RF beacons to the Wi-Fi infrastructure without associating, enabling longer tag battery life. The tags also can leverage both modes in parallel.

Ekahau will be showcasing its tags, as well as the full Ekahau RTLS solution, at Booth 514 during RFID World, Sept. 8-10 in Las Vegas. Samples of all tags are available now and volume shipments will begin in the fourth quarter of 2008. Pricing is available upon request.


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Critical Response Systems

Over 70% of first responders are volunteers
Without an alert, interoperability means nothing.

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M1501 Acknowledgent Pager

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FCC moves forward on backup power rules

Wireless guys say sue 'em

By John Oram @ Sunday, September 14, 2008 2:31 AM

With tropical storms threatening the Southeastern US, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to prompt court review of a backup power rule maligned by the wireless providers and cellular tower operators.

The guidelines call for a minimum 24 hours of emergency backup power for telecom assets inside central offices. They suggest eight hours for other facilities like cell tower sites, remote switches, and digital loop carrier system remote terminals. CITA, a cellular telecommunications industry trade group, said there are about 200,000 cell sites in the US, with tower companies operating about 115,000 sites, and wireless providers controlling 85,000 sites.

These new FCC guidelines for backup power bring up the recent Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and GTL Infrastructure (GIL) projects for installing in rural locations. Will these new cell towers have adequate backup power? Or sometime in the future will they have to go through the process of fixing an obvious problem after the fact?

Backup power systems typically involve gas, diesel or propane powered generators with fuel tanks, and batteries generally with sulfuric acid. It is expected implementing the FCC backup power requirements for cell tower installations may cause problems in sensitive community locations, such as on roofs of municipal or school buildings, and on water towers. The FCC said that companies must implement reasonable methods and procedures to ensure that batteries are regularly checked and replaced when they deteriorate. They also must ensure that the backup power generators are maintained properly and are regularly tested.

back up generator Hydrogen fuel cell powered backup electrical generation systems are being used on a limited basis by wireless carriers. Although they are environmentally friendly, their increased cost is a deterrent for mass deployment for an eight hour emergency power supply. Sprint Nextel employs the system at slightly more than 200 cell sites, representing approximately 0.25% of their sites.

Below is how complicated that process of getting proper backup power for all cell towers has become in the US.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina wiped out much of the US Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The FCC developed their backup power guidelines following recommendations in 2006 by the Independent Panel Reviewing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Communications Networks.

The CITA filed suit in December 2007, along with Sprint Nextel Corp. and USA Mobility Inc., because they claimed the power backup rules would cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars to comply. We will look further at that assertion later in this article.

Last week, the FCC sent the backup power rule, which was stayed by a US Federal Appeals court in February, to the Federal Register for publication.

The Federal Register is expected to publish the rule and 30-day notice early next week. Next, the FCC sends the backup power rule, including some controversial information collection requirements, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB will determine whether the rule complies with the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The OMB review will include input from tower companies, wireless providers, lobbyists for both, and congressional committee staffers. If OMB says no to the FCC backup power rules, the FCC as an independent agency can implement them anyway.

At an oral argument in early May, a three-judge panel appeared to give weight to the wireless industry's argument that the FCC lacked legal authority to approve the backup power rule. In July, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said it would not rule on wireless industry appeals until Bush administration OMB officials finished their review of the backup power rule and the information collection guidelines. That is why the FCC finally sent the recommendations for publication in the Federal Register. Thus this allows the OMB to make a determination that will toss the problem back into the Federal Appeals court arena.

radio tower These FCC rules give wireless providers six months to determine which assets comply with the new guidelines and to ascertain which facilities are exempted for safety reasons or conflicts with federal, state or tribal laws. Carriers with wireless facilities covered by the new rule, but not in compliance, must rectify the situation or file an action plan within 12 months on how they intend to meet new federal requirements.

The FCC has stated it does not regard the reporting requirements as burdensome, but operators and tower owners believe otherwise. Moreover, they claim the rule could cost them millions of dollars in compliance.

We interviewed a Northern California company which does cell tower and radio tower maintenance.

The owner said in the western US the majority of the installations already have adequate backup power systems installed. He said they occasionally do contract maintenance in the Southeast and Midwest of the US. In those locations many of the tower locations were built long ago and only the minimum power back up technology was used.

So the US is going to go through another hurricane season where many of the cell tower sites will lose power and be forced to depend on backup power. Isn't it time to just fix the problem?

Source: IT Examiner

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Contact Zetron today to discuss your paging needs.

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Redmond, WA 98073-9704 USA
Phone: 425-820-6363
Fax: 425-820-7031

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$500.00 FLAT RATE

TAPS—Texas Association of Paging Services is looking for partners on 152.480 MHz. Our association currently uses Echostar, formerly Spacecom, for distribution of our data and a large percentage of our members use the satellite to key their TXs. We have a CommOneSystems Gateway at the uplink in Chicago with a back-up running 24/7. Our paging coverage area on 152.480 MHz currently encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Kansas. The TAPS paging coverage is available to members of our Network on 152.480 MHz for $.005 a transmitter (per capcode per month), broken down by state or regions of states and members receive a credit towards their bill for each transmitter which they provide to our coverage. Members are able to use the satellite for their own use If you are on 152.480 MHz or just need a satellite for keying your own TXs on your frequency we have the solution for you.

TAPS will provide the gateways in Chicago, with Internet backbone and bandwidth on our satellite channel for $ 500.00 (for your system) a month.

Contact Ted Gaetjen @ 1-800-460-7243 or left arrow CLICK TO E-MAIL

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InventHelp® Client Invents "Saver System"— An Invention That Could Offer Assistance in Emergency Situations

InventHelp® is attempting to submit the invention to companies for review.

Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) September 19, 2008 — InventHelp®, America's largest inventor service company, announces that one of its clients, an inventor from Buffalo, N.D., has designed a modified pager, which services as an emergency tracking device. This invention is patented.

The "Saver System" could alert authorities that the user requires assistance in the event of an emergency. The invention would enable authorities to determine the user's location. The unit would be easy to operate and could attach to the user securely. The compact design would provide discreet placement for the user.

The Saver System would consist of a device that would measure 1-1/2 inches long, 2-1/2 inches high, 3-3/4 inches wide and producible from plastic. The design would be similar in appearance to a wireless pager. The invention would feature an integrated GPS technology, power switch, red alarm button and a loop on the back of the device for attachment to the user's belt. The user could secure the device by sliding a belt through the belt loop and fastening to their belt or clip on as usual. In the event of an emergency, the user would press the red alarm button, which would send a silent signal to authorities. An integrated GPS technology would inform authorities of the user's location.

InventHelp® is attempting to submit the invention to companies for review. If substantial interest is expressed, the company will attempt to negotiate for a sale or royalties for the inventor. For more information, telephone Dept. 04-TKG-4670 at (800) 851-6030. Learn more about InventHelp® and their Invention Submission services at


Source: PR WEB — Press Release Newswire

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Panel gets static on how to develop first responder system


A House Homeland Security subcommittee Tuesday heard widespread agreement on the need for a nationwide communications system that will allow local, state and national first-responders to share information swiftly and seamlessly with each other in an emergency. But the panel heard considerable disagreement on how to achieve that.

The biggest gap appeared between the FCC and the Homeland Security Department, which are committed to developing a government-commercial partnership to build the system, and officials from well-resourced local jurisdictions and others who are concerned that the proposed network would interfere with their systems.

House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee Chairman Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and ranking member Charles Dent, R-Pa., appeared skeptical that the national proposal would serve their more rural constituencies.

FCC had tried to auction off part of the 700 megahertz spectrum to a commercial entity to obtain the funds and the expertise to develop the public sector emergency communications network alongside the private system. But the sole bid came in at about half the $1.33 billion minimum the commission set.

Derek Poarch, chief of the FCC Homeland Security Bureau, said the commission was preparing a draft proposal for a second auction, which he believed would be more attractive to the commercial sector.

That proposal would lower the threshold bid to $750 million, allow firms to bid for regional coverage and would relax some of the technical requirements of the first offer, Poarch said. It also would extend the license for the spectrum from 10 to 15 years, he said.

The draft proposal is to be reviewed by the FCC Sept. 25.

Chris Essid, director of emergency communications at Homeland Security, supported the plan, calling it essential to the interoperability of first responders' communications.

Although Thompson expressed his support for the public-private partnership, he questioned Poarch and Essid on how the proposal would cover rural areas. Essid said the plan would require coverage for every county but acknowledged that coverage might come slower to thinly populated areas.

Cuellar questioned how the proposal would coordinate with existing local and regional emergency communications systems, and was assured the plan was not to replace current systems but to make them compatible with the national system.

Essid said it would be prohibitively expensive and too slow to replace all the existing radios, so the proposal was to create "a system of systems" integrating current and new equipment.

Poarch noted that current communications systems were designed mainly to handle voice but the new national technology would allow them to transmit video and data.

LeRoy Carlson, chairman of Cellular Communications, supported the proposal for bids for regional coverage, saying that was something his firm could handle.

But Charles Dowd, deputy chief of the New York City Police Department, and Robert LeGrande, the former chief technology officer for Washington, D.C., complained that the current FCC plan could disrupt their already well-established communications systems.

"The national model, in our view, will not work," Dowd said, adding that his view was shared by all the major cities he had talked to. He proposed allowing New York to use the 700 MHz spectrum to build its own broad band emergency communications system.

"What we're asking is, let's not rush into another auction to give away this best opportunity for a solution," Dowd said.

Source: NextGov

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Finally, Minitor II housings available
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Repair of Minitor II pagers
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DHS will test multiband radios

By Alice Lipowicz
Published on September 17, 2008

The Homeland Security Department will soon begin testing newly engineered multiband radios for first responders in New York City and other locations as part of its efforts to improve emergency communications, officials said.

Historically, firefighters, police and other first responders have used radios that operate on only one frequency or on different bands. The new radios, which will operate across different bands and in both digital and analog modes, will make it possible for them to communicate in cases where they need to work together.

DHS’ Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and responder groups developed the requirements for the radios, which are being produced by several manufacturers.

The prototypes will be tested this year and in 2009, David Boyd, director of DHS’ Command, Control and Interoperability Division, and Chris Essid, director of the DHS Office of Emergency Communications, told the House Communications, Preparedness and Response Subcommittee Sept. 16.

The pilot program testing will involve radio operation across multiple systems, such as analog, conventional, digital and Project 25 systems, as well as across multiple agencies that include federal, state, local, tribal and military.

In addition, the office of emergency communications is establishing an Emergency Communications Preparedness Center to improve coordination of programs related to its mission across the federal government. The center expects to have an operating charter later this year and to submit a strategic assessment to Congress on progress made and challenges ahead in interoperability.

The emergency communications office is creating Regional Emergency Communications Coordination Working Groups to coordinate multi-state efforts to improve the survivability and interoperability of communication systems.

Starting in January, the emergency communications office intends to hire 10 regional coordinators who will work in FEMA’s regional offices, Essid said.


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  • January 11, 1997—Telstar 401 suffers a short in the satellite circuitry—TOTAL LOSS
  • May 19, 1998—Galaxy 4 control processor causes loss of fixed orbit—TOTAL LOSS
  • September 19, 2003—Telstar 4 suffers loss of its primary power bus—TOTAL LOSS
  • March 17, 2004—PAS-6 suffers loss of power—TOTAL LOSS
  • January 14, 2005—Intelsat 804 suffers electrical power system anomaly—TOTAL LOSS


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[Editor: Evidentially not wireless, but a good idea anyway.]

Walgreens Electronic Outdoor Signs Now Deliver Vital Weather Messages at More Than 3,000 Corner Locations Across America

DEERFIELD, Ill., Sept. 9, 2008 — The electronic outdoor signs at Walgreens stores across the country are now a source of critical weather updates. Walgreens has teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) National Weather Service to alert customers and passersby of impending severe weather.

Under the agreement Walgreens is able to access data about approaching storms, then post updates to any of its 3,300 electronic outdoor signs in affected areas. The drugstore chain will link to NOAA’s data feed every five minutes to provide timely and pertinent details as severe weather draws near. Walgreens locations with electronic signs represent more than half of the company’s 6,443 stores nationwide.

“Our highly visible corner locations give us a unique opportunity to provide this valuable service to communities,” said Walgreen director of community affairs John Gremer. “Severe weather warnings are potential lifesavers, and what better place to make this information available than a source that captures the attention of millions of people everyday?”

Walgreens weather alert system is just one of the ways it’s using its electronic signage to provide important information to local communities. In 2005, Walgreens launched its Amber Alert initiative that posts regional bulletins on recent child abductions.

“The use of our outdoor signs for public alerts is well received in communities across the country,” said Gremer. “Because so many of our stores are located in the heart of the communities they serve, we are well positioned to deliver important safety messages. We will continue to seek other opportunities to provide this type of service.”

Walgreens is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2008 sales of $59 billion. The company operates 6,443 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most convenient access to consumer goods and cost-effective health care services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health Systems, which is comprised of: Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of 220 convenient care clinics at Walgreens drugstores, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of work site-based health and wellness services at 368 employer campuses.

Source: Walgreens

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Intelligent Solutions for Paging & Wireless Data

WiPath manufactures a wide range of highly unique and innovative hardware and software solutions in paging and mobile data for:

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Mobile Data Terminals & Two Way Wireless  Solutions

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WiPath Communications LLC
4845 Dumbbarton Court
Cumming, GA 30040
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Cumming, GA 30040
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Phone: 770-844-6218
Fax: 770-844-6574
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Preferred Wireless
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Equipment For Sale
2 Aluminum Equipment racks
1 Outdoor Shelter, 60" tall x 40" deep x 35" wide, w/AC Unit
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2 GL3100 RF Director (e-mail for list of cards)
Link Transmitters:
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1 Glenayre QT4201, 25W Midband Link TX
3 Motorola 10W, 900 MHz Link TX (C35JZB6106)
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VHF Paging Transmitters
8 QT-100C, 100W VHF, TCC, RL70XC
3 Motorola Nucleus 350W, NAC
1 Motorola PURC 5000 125W, ACB
UHF Paging Transmitters:
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1 Motorola PURC 5000, 110W, ACB or TRC
2 Motorola PURC 5000, 225W, ACB or TRC
3 Motorola Nucleus 125W NAC
900 MHz Paging Transmitters:
1 Glenayre GLT 8600, 500W
40 Glenayre GLT-8500, 250W, C2000, w/ or w/o I 20
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County OKs $9.7 million for emergency communication system

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 18, 2008 1:38 PM

Wayne County commissioners Tuesday unanimously agreed to a $9.7 million loan to finance construction of a new countywide emergency communications system.

The approval followed a brief public hearing during which one resident said the county needs tax relief, not a radio system. He was followed by a line of firefighters who said the overdue system is a matter of safety for the public as well as emergency personnel.

The high-frequency radio system includes the purchase of between 1,500 to 1,600 radios, two towers — one to be built in Mount Olive and the other in Grantham — and buildings to house the equipment, computers and other "backroom equipment."

County Manager Lee Smith said that 80 to 90 percent of the project bids could be "piggybacked" on existing bids for radios and related equipment since most will be on state contract.

Some bids could be awarded as early as November or December, with the bulk of the work under way by spring.

Tuesday's hearing was required by the state before the county could enter into any installment financing agreement. The next step is approval of the financing application by the Local Government Commission. The application already is on file with the commission.

The county hired Davenport & Company, a Richmond, Va.-based investment company, to draft, distribute and receive bids from financial institutions interested in financing the project.

Commissioners approved a recommendation by the county's financial offices to award the financing bid to RBC Bank. The 10-year financing package carries a fixed interest rate of 3.38 percent, the lowest of the four proposals received.

The loan may be repaid at any time in whole or in part with a 1 percent premium.

Smith said there has been conversation about paying some cash on the project. However, that is not feasible because of the county's commitment to $23 million for school construction and concerns about uncertain economic conditions.

Should the economy improve, the county could pay down on the loan, he added.

During the briefing session prior to the board meeting, commission Chairman Bud Gray asked Smith if there was any chance the state would allow 911 emergency surcharge fees to be used on the project.

Smith said he did not think so. He said the telephone companies are using the revenues to improve their cell towers. Smith said the county needs to lobby legislators about the 911 revenues.

The county will buy radios for all emergency services and law enforcement agencies in the county, including those in the municipalities. The number of radios per fire department will be based on the number of trucks each department has. Departments that want more radios can buy them and use the discount that the county expects to receive by buying in bulk.

The radios carry a one-year warranty. After that time, each agency will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep of the units, Smith said. He said there has been some discussion about a maintenance contract -- something to be considered in the spring.

"We do not need it," Jim Barnwell said during the public hearing. "We need tax relief in this county."

Barnwell said voters had turned the proposal down in May. He said the money should be used for schools.

Commissioner Efton Sager noted that what voters had turned down was a one-quarter-cent increase in the state sales tax. Proceeds from the tax had been earmarked for the radio system.

"There is no doubt the schools need the money, but public safety is important. We can't afford to shortchange it," he said.

"The proposal before you is the best system for the county," said Norman Pendergraft, chief of the Rosewood Fire Department. "Tax money can be spent for a good purpose. We need this for fire departments to function."

Pendergraft said departments are using equipment they have used for many years.

Larry Pearce, deputy chief of the Belfast Fire Department, said the county is in "dire need" of the system.

Pearce said communications are not good in outlying sections of the county.

Wayne County Firemen's Association President Kirk Barnette said it was "time to move" on the system.

Source: Goldsboro News-Argus

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InfoRad Wireless Office

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Wireless Messaging Software

AlphaPage® First Responder (Windows 2000, XP, Vista). When the message matters, AlphaPage® First Responder is the fast, reliable, and secure solution Emergency Management Professionals choose. AlphaPage® First Responder is designed for the modern professional who requires full-featured commercial wireless messaging capabilities that include advanced features such as automated Route-on-Failure, custom message templates, and secure messaging with SSL encryption. AlphaCare™ extended premium support plans are also available. For more information on all InfoRad Wireless Messaging software solutions, and fully supported free demos, please click on the InfoRad logo.

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InfoRad Wireless Office

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radio mensajes



Miguel Gonzalez


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Hark Technologies

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Wireless Communication Solutions

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ISI-LX Internet Serial Interface with Protocol Conversion

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  • Supports Ethernet or PPP Connection to Internet w/Dial Backup
  • Includes 4 Serial Ports for Multiplexing Traffic
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IPG Internet Paging Gateway

  • No Moving Parts Such as Hard Drives or Fans to Fail
  • Supports 10Base-T Network Connection to Internet
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  • Sends TAP or TNPP to Your Paging Terminal


  • Inexpensive method of automating your paging monitoring
  • Uses standard paging receiver
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Omega Unified Messaging Server

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UCSF Seeks Ham Radio Operators for Emergency Communications Team

First Appeared Wednesday, 17 September '08

ham radio The UCSF Police Department’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) unit is establishing an emergency communications team to be activated in the event of a campus emergency when normal forms of communication are down or reduced.

In case of a catastrophic natural disaster, such as an earthquake, it is likely that cell phones, land lines and Internet connections will be inoperable.

The UCSF emergency communications program will be established in the following phases:

  • Phase One — Establish volunteers to join the team
  • Phase Two — Identify equipment needs, based on team members’ radio knowledge and experience, and purchase equipment
  • Phase Three — Develop emergency response job functions and checklists; set up team training by experienced emergency ham operators
  • Phase Four — Establish call-out protocol

The HSEM unit is looking for any campus personnel who have a valid ham radio license and would like to participate in this program.

For those who don’t have a ham radio license, but would like to get one and be part of the team, the UCSF HSEM unit, in conjunction with the San Francisco Fire Department and the Bay Area Educational Amateur Radio Society, will be hosting a ham radio licensing study session.

Upon successful completion of the study session and final test, participating staff will be issued a Federal Communications Commission ham radio license and call sign, and then be eligible to broadcast over ham radio frequencies.

Any person interested in joining the UCSF emergency communications team should contact John Racine, emergency preparedness specialist, UCSF Police Department HSEM, by e-mailing him.

Team recruitment will be ongoing for the remainder of 2008 and maybe longer, depending on recruitment results.

The next ham radio study session is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, in San Francisco at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Please go to the Bay Area Educational Amateur Radio Society website to register for the study session. There is a fee of $30. Unfortunately, there is no reimbursement for the fee. Those who attend this study session should indicate that they work for UCSF.

If you are registering for the ham radio study session with the desire to become a volunteer in the UCSF Emergency Preparedness Program, you will need to have supervisory approval. You can download the required authorization form from the UCSF Police Department emergency management website.

Source: University of California, San Francisco

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For faster downloading the BloostonLaw section has been moved to a separate page. left arrow CLICK HERE

There is a link and the end of the BloostonLaw section that will return you back here when you finish. Please don't skip this section since it contains lots of important information.


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Nighthawk Systems Inc. manufactures low cost and reliable remote control products for fire house alerting, volunteer alerting, activation of warning signs and sirens, and a number of applications for public safety. The Company manufactures the EA1 and the FAS-8 which have been designed specifically for these applications. Both products are paging based and will work with any public or private paging network. They are available in all VHF, UHF, and 900 MHz paging frequencies. The products can serve as the primary notification system or an excellent, low-cost backup to existing systems.

Public Emergency Notification & Volunteer Alerting

The EA1 is the solution for remotely activating public warning signage. Examples include tornado sirens, flash flood warnings, fire danger, Amber Alert, icy roads, etc. The EA1 can also send text messages to scrolling signs. This can occur in conjunction with the activation of audible alarms and visual strobes. This is ideal for public notification in buildings, schools, hotels, factories, etc. The group call feature allows for any number of signs or flashing lights to be activated at the same time over a wide geographic area. In addition, the EA1 Emergency Alert is the perfect solution for low cost yet highly effective alerting of volunteer fire fighters in their home. When activated the EA1 will emit an audible alarm and activate the power outlet on the units faceplate. A common setup is to simply place the EA1 on a table and plug a lamp into the faceplate. When paged from dispatch or any touch tone phone the EA1 will awaken the fire fighter to a lit room. As an option the EA1 can be ordered with a serial cable, allowing for attachment of a serial printer. When paged the alphanumeric message will be printed out at the same time the alarm sounds and the outlet is activated. The EA1 is an ideal complement to alphanumeric belt pagers common to volunteers.

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Firehouse Automation

The FAS-8 is designed for activating one or more relays in a firehouse and if desired, printing the alphanumeric message to a serial printer. For this application the FAS-8 is set to activate upon receiving the proper paging cap code sent from 911 dispatch. Up to eight different devices can be activated all with individual time functions. The most common devices to turn on include the PA amplifier, audible wake up alarm, and house lights. The most common device turned off is the stove. The FAS-8 can accept up to 8 different cap codes and have separate relay and time functions per cap code. This allows for different alerting to be accomplished at the same physical location depending upon which cap code is sent. This can be very helpful when fire crews and medical crews are housed in the same building.



Put the innovative technology of Nighthawk to work for you. For more information on any of our products or services, please contact us. Nighthawk Systems, Inc.
10715 Gulfdale, Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78216
Phone: 877-764-4484
Fax: 210-341-2011

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