Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 11, 2012

Hulbert board OKs storm siren proposal

TAHLEQUAH —  

The Hulbert City Council approved a proposal from Washington Electronics that will ensure the effectiveness of its storm siren system.
The measure was considered to meet a Federal Communications Commission narrowbanding mandate
“It’s the new 800 megahertz system they’re going to,” said Hulbert Emergency Response Director Kenneth Fore. “Right now, they’ve got so many frequencies out there that they’re overrunning each other. So they’re cutting everything in half so there’ll be more frequencies. You’ve got more fire departments popping up, more DOCs, more everything, so you need more frequencies.”
According to the FCC’s website, all public safety and business industrial land mobile radio systems using the 150-512 MHz radio bands must cease operations using 25 kHz efficiency technology, and begin operating using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology. 
The switch from a wideband system to narrowbanding will reduce any possible radio interference, said Fore.
“Right now, they have to share,” he said. “Like our fire department. We share a frequency with a department in Missouri, and if you catch the weather just right, we can hear them coming in over our frequency. The narrowband will help get away from a lot of that.”
The change in the system was prompted by the need to repair and upgrade the city’s current equipment. Fore said two of the city’s three radio-control board sites have been damaged.
“[The east site] got hit by lightning last fall, so we put a new radio board in it,” he said. “Then they got a power surge in this one on Broadway and knocked it out. The one on the west side of town was too old to switch over to narrowband. It still works, but it’s too old. So we’ve got to upgrade it. We’ve got to have it done by Jan. 1, so we might as well do it while they’re here and be done with it.”

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