Adapting Radio to Fire Alarm Work
Showing Practical Uses to Which Wireless Can Be Put in Communicating Between the Houses and Apparatus—Also with Other Cities
IT is becoming recognised thet the radio has its definite use in the fire department and the fact is well established that wireless telephone and telegraph as a means of communication between stations and apparatus has passed beyond the experimental stage and will eventually be in quite general use for this purpose. The following paper gives some very excellent suggestions along this line:
I will omit all technical and theoretical terms and phrases and adhere to the everyday language that will be understood by those that are to be beginners in the practical use to which the wireless telegraph and telephone is put in conjunction with fire and police departments. The writer has devoted a great deal of time in the research work to determine the practicability of such utilization and I can say it has reached the stage where it is essential for department use as the writer has demonstrated by practical tests to a large gathering of eastern fire and police officials.
Places Apparatus in Constant Communication
Can you recall a case where the fire apparatus was called to some outlying district, beyond all wire communication, and you wished to know if they had sufficient help to handle the situation? It means that a detail must be sent to them and the chief in turn must get in touch with his headquarters. What a relief it would be if it was possible to devise some means by which every piece of apparatus was under constant surveillance, moving or standing! This is now being done by use of the radio telephone.
Double Alarm System
Everyone can recall numerous storms that have crippled the fire and police signal system with wires and poles down, and in some cases pole lines coming down as fast as one could get them up. To overcome the loss of signals in cases of this character, I have devised a small radio spark set that will, when adopted, be installed in a shell containing the present wire signal set and the radio set, so devised that the action of starting the wire signal boxes will also start the spark set, both sets having the same signal number. The result is that two alarms will be transmitted simultaneously to fire headquarters, one signal sent by the ordinary wire system already installed, and tiie other signal sent by a spark wireless system, which can be relayed to the various stations by means of the usual wire transmitter and also by the use of the wireless transmitter. All fire houses are equipped with radio short range sets.
With these two systems installed, double assurance is procured that the signal will be received at headquarters. Any breakdown due to storms, either wind, sleet or snow which would affect the wire system will not affect the wireless or radio system and will enable the signal to come through.
Useful for Thinly Settled Outlying Districts
This method of communication will also have a very large application in thinly settled or outlying districts, where the cost would be prohibitive to install fire alarm service, but where the wireless svstem can be installed at an extremely low cost, with a high degree of accuracy and reliability.
It is proposed to install in Waterbury a 1-K. W. telephone transmitting set in the main fire alarm operating room, which will enable this office to communicate with all of the fire houses in the city, all apparatus, stationary or moving, and communicate with fire departments in neighboring cities, likewise equipped, within a radius of 200 miles. This will enable assistance to be called for promptly and accurately if required.
The set which it is contemplated to install will be of a type similar to O. T. 201 1-K. W. oscillion transmitter complete with receiving equipment and adapted for either telephone at the above mentioned range or telegraph with a broadcast range of 800 miles.
It is proposed to install in the various fire and police stations and precincts, short range telephone and telegraph sets, with a telephone transmitting range of up to 25 and 30 miles, which will enable the fire houses to communicate with headquarters at will. It is also proposed to install at these stations a 110-Watt set with the above mentioned telephone range and a telegraph range up to 100 miles. The set is similar to a MS-2, which is a complete transmitter, receiver and amplifier, together with all accessories, including vacuum tube, motor generators and antenna material.
Chief Can Communicate with House and Apparatus
Transmitters and receiver to he installed on apparatus will be of similar type and will enable the chief or officer in charge to communicate with headquarters, various fire stations, or other pieces of apparatus. The antenna used in this class of construction consists of the tube antenna for open trucks and a screen net drawn snugly to the inside of the top of the car. The energy for transmitting is supplied by a motor generator, while the primary current is supplied by the usual storage battery of an automobile.
Thus, in summarizing the results of the proposed equipment as outlined, it will be possible to get constant and reliable communication between headquarters and all fire houses, headquarters and all fire and police apparatus whether on its wav to a duty call, or while at that point; it will enable hre and police stations to communicate with other stations and apparatus, and will enable the chief to communicate with any fire house, headquarters, or any and all pieces of apparatus at his will.
A double means of receiving fire alarm signals and transmitting same will be one of the great advantages of radio work and in reality a complete duplicate system will be established at a reasonable cost that will be in operation under the most adverse conditions that our present wire service has been unable to withstand.
(Continued on page 555)
Adapting Radio to Fire Alarm Work
(Continued from page 537)
Equipment Can Be Made Fool Proof
I will say in conclusion that the actual knowledge required for handling a system of this character is based on common sense and a technical knowledge will be gained as each one works at it. The equipment can be made fool proof and all sets may be at a set wave length that is established. Maintenance and construction is a small item in comparison with wire service maintenance and the service of radio telegraph and telephone as used in conjunction with fire and police signals, while 1 feel sure that it will never supplant the wire service, it will be a big factor in assuring a duplicate means of operating fire and police signal systems.
(Excerpts from paper read before annual convention of International Association of Municipal Electricians.)