Originally Posted by Stringer619
I'm hearing dispatches (the same as CDF DISP 10A on the RCS) on 159.225 with CTCSS 136.5, loud and clear. This is in the database as CDF Tac 14, but the CTCSS is listed as 192.8. My scanner shows it as "CDF TAC 14".
A tone-out of "beep beep beep" went out on 151.190 with CTCSS 131.8, again loud and clear, which this time is in the database as "Monte Vista ECC (San Diego)" and in my scanner as "CDF CMD 10".
Here's how the tones work for receive only in the CAL FIRE system:
CAL FIRE frequencies are almost all reused around the state as Locals, Tacs, and Commands. CTCSS tones are used to minimize interference. This is why you are hearing traffic on two different channels in your radios; they are the same FREQUENCY, but using different CTCSS. In this instance, both MVU L and CDF CMD 10 use the output frequency of 151.190...the use of the receive CT tone allows them to "share the air".
The 3-beep (beep-beep-beep) is what we call a "pre-alert". It is used to preface a Code 3 dispatch. You will also likely hear a 2-beep alert, which is used to preface Code 2 responses or used to get the attention of the frequency, usually for priority traffic or to divert a resource.
IF you have a scanner that can decode CTCSS, do this:
- On MVU Local, put the CT of 131.8
- On all CDF CMD's (1-10), put the CT of 103.5
- On all CDF Tac's, put the CT of 192.8
The tone announced on dispatch is for transmitting only to access the proper repeater. DDan was correct in that the tone does not pass through to the receive side. All repeaters transmit the same receive tone throughout the unit, in MVU's case the tone 131.8.
If there are other Local nets you want to hear, check the CAL FIRE page here in the database. I have made sure that the CT tones showing for the different frequencies and uses are accurate for RECEIVING. Also, read the explanations of the CAL FIRE system at the top of the CAL FIRE page...it may further clarify how the system works.
DDan is correct that only certain frequencies are NORMALLY used in each geographical area. Local and Command nets are hardwired to certain repeater sites, so the same ones will always be used in a geographical area in normal circumstances. The exception: Major incidents can set up portable repeaters and use other Nets not normally assigned in the area, with permission of the Regional Operations Center (South OPS for you there).
Along the same lines, each Unit has specific tac nets assigned to them for day-to-day use. My records show that MVU is pre-authorized for the use of Tacs 5 and 8. However, once again, if there is a need, South OPS can authorize the use of any available tac net as long as it doesn't interfere with nearby units (ie: A tac net that is the same frequency as a neighboring units Local net). For that reason, I would recommend that you keep all the frequencies in your scanner, but lockout all the frequencies your area normally doesn't use. That way, when you break a large incident, you don't have to reprogram...just unlock the frequencies you hear being used.
Oh yeah, the traffic you are hearing on 159.2250 is Monte Vista ECC transmitting calls to the repeater, which will rebroadcast it on 151.1900. Since you are getting 136.5 as a tone, they were transmitting to the Tone 4 repeater. You must live relatively closely to the ECC (or with good line-of-sight) if you are receiving them that well. You will hear traffic on that frequency with different CT tones (whatever CT tones they use to access different repeaters around the unit) but you will only hear the corresponding repeater output on 151.1900 on the repeaters you have good reception from.
If you have any other questions about CAL FIRE, let me know.