246T has toneout issues. Any ideas?

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CommRX

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My 246T has been acting strange lately. County fire dispatch has a two-tone fire toneout. Immediately following the first tone, my 246 stops receiving for approximately 4 to 5 seconds. When it returns, the dispatcher has already started the call. The does not happen on the city dispatch which uses a single long toneout. Also, this does not happen on my 396D sitting right next to the 246, so it is not a transmission problem.
The close call is turned off, as is priority and weather alert. This ONLY happens on the county fire frequency tone out, it does not exhibit this problem on any other frequencies. This seems like a firmware issue, however it just started doing this, and the 246 has no toneout feature of any sort. Any ideas?

Tone A varies for different departments
Tone B is 569.1 for all departments
DCS is set to 205
 
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DaveIN

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Maybe the tone out is causing the scanner to think the DCS code is different and it resume scanning. Try turning the DCS off. Do you have the 2 second delay turned on?
 

ROY_PICKETT

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I hope it is not a problem with the scanner , we just got one of them a few days ago. Have you tried making it a priority channel or setting the time it stays on the frequency to stay longer? I am fairly new to scanning and before this , we had a pro-82 . I feel a little weird giving advice not knowing much about them , but i thought i would give a shot helping.. After all thats what we are all here for.... Good luck Roy
 

KE4ZNR

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Uh, the 246T does not have the fire tone out feature...
are you sure you don't have a 330 or 396T?
 

DaveIN

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KE4ZNR said:
Uh, the 246T does not have the fire tone out feature...
are you sure you don't have a 330 or 396T?
I was thinking the same thing until he said this:
CommRX said:
and the 246 has no toneout feature of any sort. Any ideas?
 

CommRX

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KE4ZNR said:
Uh, the 246T does not have the fire tone out feature..
You are correct, it does not. BUT, it is responding to the 569.1 Hz second tone as if it had something to do with FTO.

KE4ZNR said:
are you sure you don't have a 330 or 396T?
I have a 396 and BCT15 sitting next to the 246T

I turned off the DCS, but no more calls this morning. The delay is set to 2 seconds. All of the other channels in the system are doing fine. This delay is in excess of 4 seconds, and I am missing part of the dispatch.
 

pathalogical

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I've noticed the exact same thing with my fire dispatches. We also have a two tone alert and often I have to hit the hold button as the tx may commence after my 2 sec delay. I don't have a second trunker to compare side by side. It sounds like the dispatcher has begun speaking THEN hits the push to talk button. However, it does sound like I am hearing the full dispatch which always begins with a list of fire vehicles being assigned to the call first, then the address is given out.
 

cubn

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Like pathalogical, when listening to my local fire dept with CTCSS turned on, the audio will cut out during part of the first tone causing the scanner to resume scanning and miss the beginning of the fire dispatch message. If I have a scanner sitting next to it monitoring the VHF freq without CTCSS turned on, I hear the entire tone sequence and then the following fire page message.

My guess is that they drop the DCS during part of the pager tones causing your scanner to resume scanning. If you turned the CTCSS/DCS off, you should hear all of the tones and the following page.

You could put the freq in as "Tone Search" and watch the display during the tones and see if the dispaly shows the DCS dropping out or possibly switching to another DCS during the pager tones.
 

pathalogical

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cubn said:
Like pathalogical, when listening to my local fire dept with CTCSS turned on, the audio will cut out during part of the first tone causing the scanner to resume scanning and miss the beginning of the fire dispatch message. If I have a scanner sitting next to it monitoring the VHF freq without CTCSS turned on, I hear the entire tone sequence and then the following fire page message.

My guess is that they drop the DCS during part of the pager tones causing your scanner to resume scanning. If you turned the CTCSS/DCS off, you should hear all of the tones and the following page.

You could put the freq in as "Tone Search" and watch the display during the tones and see if the dispaly shows the DCS dropping out or possibly switching to another DCS during the pager tones.
I should clarify, my local fire dept is on Motorola trunk along with police and ems. However, there is another fire freq from a neighbouring town that I monitor that is conventional. The tones are different than that of the Mot trunk (which is rapid alternating hi/low tones). The analog freq is a steady low tone, then a high tone. I have it on CTCSS Search. I don't think this is a problem with our scanner, but more with how quickly the dispatcher gets on the air after broadcasting the tones.
 

scanfan03

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pathalogical said:
I should clarify, my local fire dept is on Motorola trunk along with police and ems. However, there is another fire freq from a neighbouring town that I monitor that is conventional. The tones are different than that of the Mot trunk (which is rapid alternating hi/low tones). The analog freq is a steady low tone, then a high tone. I have it on CTCSS Search. I don't think this is a problem with our scanner, but more with how quickly the dispatcher gets on the air after broadcasting the tones.
No, it's the scanner, mine used to cut off during the middle of the tone out right after the second tone. I turned off dataskip and now it works fine.
 

pathalogical

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Data skip (conventional systems only) is not available on Motorola trunk. Status bit (just to avoid confusion) has always been on Ignore. On my Conventional system, data skip has always been " off ". My fire dept is Mot trunk and the other freq I monitor is conventional. It occurs on both of my systems.

commRX,
Which type of system are you experiencing this on ?

What happens when you have your 396 and 246 and maybe your 15 side by side on the same dispatch channel ?

I stand by my original comment of dispatcher taking their time after the tones. Pay special attention to the type of call. Does it sound urgent (dispatcher quick to get on the air) ? Not all calls are urgent.
 
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CommRX

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pathalogical said:
commRX,
Which type of system are you experiencing this on ?
It is a conventional system, single frequency.

What happens when you have your 396 and 246 and maybe your 15 side by side on the same dispatch channel ??
The other radios pick up the signal just fine. I have DCS set to 205 on them also.

I stand by my original comment of dispatcher taking their time after the tones. Pay special attention to the type of call. Does it sound urgent (dispatcher quick to get on the air) ? Not all calls are urgent.
No, it was not urgent. All of the fire pages on that frequency do the same thing. I am leaning toward it having something to do with the DCS setting though. I turned it to search as mentioned above, but we have only had two fire pages in the last 24 hours, and I was away from the radio. I still should not have to turn off DCS to receive a fire page, but if that is the way it is, then I will just turn DCS off and deal with it.
It is kind of sad that I have to wait until someone is in a life threatening situation to see if my radio works...
I'll keep everyone posted on todays results.
 

UPMan

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"Best Practices" for toning out include turning off any subaudibles during the tone transmissions (to prevent some decode problems that can occur when sending solid tones over a solid subaudible). If you don't have Data Skip turned on, then I'd strongly suspect either:

1) They are inhibiting DCS during the tones; or
2) The tone-on-tone is causing DCS to lose lock in the scanner.

You might try setting CTCSS/DCS to Search, and watching the scanner to see what the subaudible does during the tone-out.
 

ROY_PICKETT

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Now it has happened to mine..We heard dispatch call out fire to get ready for dispatch and then right after the two tones , lost them till they where already dispatched out. And this frequency is in priority and the only one in priority... Roy
 

DaveIN

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ROY_PICKETT said:
Now it has happened to mine..We heard dispatch call out fire to get ready for dispatch and then right after the two tones , lost them till they where already dispatched out. And this frequency is in priority and the only one in priority... Roy
Were you using CTCSS or DCS codes?
 
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