396XT FTO Question

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joetnymedic

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Recently 've been playing around with FTO search on my 396XT. How accurate do people find this to be? Reason why is on one channel I have had the scanner on, I have got at least 6 differenttones for the same department. They are all close, but I don't have 2 the same. In addition what is the best delay setting to use in order to pull both tones? Currently I am using infinite and it's ok. Tried 0 no luck. Tried 1 about the same. I know the long tones are at least 2 seconds.

Thanks
Joe
 

ko6jw_2

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If I understand your question, you have selected a single frequency to search. You have multiple results. You don't mention the type of paging used (two tone, long tone etc.). If you did such a search on my county fire department you would eventually get 20-30 tones. One for each station, one for each chief officer and inspector etc. There are also special tones for specialized apparatus like helicopters and bulldozers. It helps a lot to know what system is in use. Here we use GE paging. Once you know that you can use a table to see how close your search results came to the actual tone. The radio does not require absolute precision, but it helps to be as close as possible. I then programmed 10 pairs for the stations I'm most interested in. The delay really refers to how long the receiver stays on after it decodes a tone sequence - not how long it listens for the tone. I use 1 minute. If I'm interested in the call I go back to normal scanning. If not I can ignore it and not hear traffic I'm not interested in. I also have different alerting tones so that I can tell who just got paged.
 

scanman1958

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You won't get an "exact" match for each tone out. I don't know the specifics on why but I have monitored one freq for one department that has only one truck. So there is only one set of tones. When "searching" for their tones I would find that sometimes I would get 686.2 on tone A and the next time I would get 685.9 for tone A. All the scanner needs is to be pretty close to decode the tone properly. I would take written notes for about four tone-outs for the department then "average" the tones and then manually enter them. Seems to work OK.

I know this a basic answer but maybe it could help you. And I am running a little late for work.
 

ofd8001

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There are several other posts in this forum you may wish to read. Quite a bit of discussion on FTO has occurred, so I won't re-hash that.

What I'd do is look at the tone charts (link provided in other posts) and find that tone(s) that most closely matches what I found during my search. Then I'd program that tone(s) in the scanner.

Also how a tone "system" is arranged is very unique to an area. Some places do things one way and other places do things differently. So it is difficult to say something definitive for "everyone".

Here in our county, there are about 17 departments. Each station will have a fire and medical tone, along with certain command tones. The first tone (tone A) is unique to a department, then each station within that department has a second tone (tone B) unique to the station and whether it is fire or medical.

Thus you may have for XYZ Fire Department:

Station 1 Fire: 794.3/582.1 Station 1 Medical: 794.3/977.2
Station 2 Fire: 794.3/543.3 Station 2 Medical: 794.3/1084.0
Station 3 Fire: 794.3/489.8 Station 3 Medical: 794.3/1122.1

Below is a standard tone out chart
 
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