When you set up a voice call, text, or location text message, myAvail displays the Communications Window.
When you set up a voice call, the window opens with the Voice Call tab active. For Text Messages, the Text Message tab is active. When you open the window by selecting an event in the Communications or Events queue, myAvail pre-populates the Vehicles field with the relevant information.
Use the Selected Destinations fields to specify where you want your text message or voice call to go. You can select destinations by Vehicles, Operators, Runs, Routes, or any combination of the above except for Users. When you select any of these categories a window opens allowing you to select the items you want. The window also contains a search box to find items in the list.
For Operators, Runs, and Routes, the system displays only values that correspond to vehicles that are both currently logged in and are in a fleet group that you are monitoring. However, the Vehicles list always displays all vehicles. Click the X at the end of each row to clear selections in that row or click the Clear button to clear all destinations in the window.
By default, the destinations for Operators, Runs, and Routes only show the active data in use at the time. To show all data for these destinations, check the “Show All” checkbox, which is useful for Store & Forward messaging.
Check the All Vehicles checkbox to send to all vehicles, or the My Vehicles checkbox to send to all vehicles that you are monitoring. The Fleet Groups box allows you to send to all vehicles within a chosen fleet group. To select a fleet group, you must first clear any selections in the other categories.
When using the Location Text tab to send a message, only the Users destination option is available.
If you send messages to the same set of destinations frequently, save that set as a group. To select a saved group, click . To clear all selections and start over, click .
Saving a Destination Group
Select the destinations that you want to include in the group, then click .
In the next window, enter a name for this group and click OK.
Choose this group by clicking the Select Group button, and then select the name of the group. Delete any group that you’ve created by clicking Select Group, and then click the X next to the group name that you want to delete.
Voice Call Settings
When you set up a voice call, the Voice Call tab displays three settings: Voice Call Type, Voice Call Duration, and Talk Group.
The Voice Call Type can be either One-Way or Two-Way. To talk back and forth with the operator, select Two-Way. A One-Way call does not allow the operator to respond. One-way calls are most useful when you need to call many vehicles to make an announcement, and you don’t need the operators to respond.
Voice Call Duration is how long the voice channel is open on the vehicle. At the end of this specified duration, the voice channel is shut down. If you still need to talk to the operator after that time you must set up another voice call.
The Talk Group identifies the radio talk group that the call goes out to. The default group is the talk group that you set up in your settings. However, if you need to use a different talk group, select it with the drop-down list.
When your destinations and settings are correct, click Send to initiate the voice call. This sends a data message to the selected vehicles that instructs them to put the radio in voice mode on the selected talk group. Additionally, a tone and a light indicator on the mobile data computer inform the operator that they need to pick up the handset. At this point, your conversation can begin.
When you click Send, a call status indicator appears at the bottom of the screen. It first indicates Connecting while it is trying to reach the vehicle with the data message. After the vehicle receives the message, the status changes to indicate the call duration. Use this to determine when the call is about to time out. If the system is not able to reach the selected vehicle after 40 seconds, the system stops trying and the Connecting indicator and the End Call button disappear.
If the operator hangs up the handset before the end of the call duration, the call is ended. You can also end the call at any time by clicking the End Call button next to the time duration indicator.
If you try to set up a voice call on a talk group that another dispatcher is currently speaking to, or to a vehicle that another dispatcher is currently speaking to, the system notifies you that your voice call cannot be set up as specified.
Text Message Settings
To send a text message, type the message you want to send in the Message to Send box. Your message can be up to 230 characters long. The character count field at the bottom of this box indicates how many characters you have used. You can also select from a list of Canned Messages by clicking the Canned Messages button. Use the search in the window to help find the message you need. After you select a canned message, you can edit it in the Message to Send field. For more information on creating and managing canned messages, See How to Use the Canned Messages.
Specify that the operator must respond to your message by choosing Ack Required (acknowledgment required) or Yes/No. Both options tell operators that you require a response and they cannot delete the message until they respond. You can see responses in the Sent Msgs tab.
After you select the destinations and enter the text message, click Send. If the vehicle does not receive the message, the Communications queue indicates that the message failed. The Sent Msgs tab also displays this status.
Store & Forward Text Messages
Check the Store & Forward box to create a text message that myAvail can send immediately and in the future.
Store and Forward messaging sends messages to recipients that match the criteria you specify in destinations (e.g., route, operators, etc.) during the time period you indicate. The system records the recipients to ensure all pertinent destinations receive it.
For example, if an event affects route 10 from 1PM to 5PM, myAvail can automatically send a message to vehicles on route 10 during that time period. If a vehicle runs a different route until 4pm and then switches to route 10, myAvail knows to send it a message because it tracks the recipients.
The setup for this type of message is the same as a normal text message except for the Date/Time range and Days of Week. Check “Store & Forward” to display this functionality. The system automatically sends the text message to the selected destinations during the Date/Time range and Days of Week you specify. When myAvail sends the message, it appears in the Sent Messages tab. An example of the screen with the selection of “Store & Forward” is below.
This area allows you to set the start and end date that you want to display the message. Pick the date by clicking the calendar icon . Or click in the field and type in a date. The default date range starts on the current day and continues for a month.
This area allows you to set the start and end time range in which you want to display the message. myAvail displays the message only during this time range each day. The default time range is all day. If you change the time range and want to set it back to all day, click Set all day. To change the times, click the clock icon . Or click in the field and type in a time.
Days of the Week
These checkboxes allow you to select which days of the week you want to display the message. myAvail displays the message only on the selected days of the week within the Date Range. The default is that all days are checked.
Clicking Send saves the message for future delivery to the selected destinations.
myAvail provides the location URL. Enter the text that explains why the recipient is receiving this location information. Then, click Send.
Store & Forward Queued Messages
The Queued Msgs tab allows the user to view Active and Expired Store & Forward messages. The user can Copy or Edit existing active messages and Copy expired messages. At the end of each Active row, there are two icons that allow you to Copy and Edit that message.
When the user selects either the Copy or Edit, myAvail returns to the Text Message tab and populates a message that is ready for modification. Users can use search to find a specific message.
At the end of the date range, the Active grid no longer displays the message, but it is listed in the Expired grid. To view the Expired grid, click Expired. Items in the Expired grid cannot be edited, but you can copy them to use as the starting point for a new message.
In the upper-right-hand corner of the screen, the search box allows you to search for text in a message. To perform a search, enter the text and then click the search icon . This filters the list to show only the items that contain the search text. To revert to the full list, click the cancel icon within the search field. This search applies to both the Active and Expired tabs. The refresh icon reloads the list, which allows you to see any new messages created by someone else.
Location Text Settings
If the Location Text tab is launched from either the Status queue or Map windows, the dialog box includes a Google Maps URL with location information for a specific vehicle. When the user clicks on this URL on their smartphone, it launches a web browser or a Google Maps application. The URL provides location and direction information to help the user find the vehicle.
The only active message destination on this tab is the Users field. This field only displays myAvail users who have their Phone 2 field filled out in the Users Settings tab.