Any areas still using tone trailers/different pre-alerts/alert tones?

One13Truck

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
684
Location
N.E. Pa.
In this age where time is critical these things seem to have gone away more and more. Locally my county lost it’s last pre-alert usage about 10 years ago and very rarely use any other alert tones at any other times. We also lost the last of our tone trailers around 15-20 years ago. Think old Plectrons and such:

Loveland OH Fire Dept. vintage audio Plectron tones
Plectron tones Milford Fire Dept. Ohio- tones 1975 audio clip

One neighboring county still uses trailers. One or two neighboring counties will still use pre-alerts for messages but not in every day dispatching. One other neighboring county will use different alert tones during their dispatch (solid tone for EMS, warble for fire, beeps for cancelations) but doesn’t use pre-alerts. But that’s all that’s left in this area.

So is anyone running in departments or listening in an area that is still using the tone trailers, different pre-alerts/alert tones? I miss hearing them here. I’m curious to see how much is still in use out there.
 

One13Truck

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
684
Location
N.E. Pa.
I posted this here since no other section seemed appropriate not being manufacturer or state specific but if the mods feel it’s better placed somewhere else please move it.
 

R8000

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
747
The warble tone you hear in the first YouTube video is a result of that dept using the Plectron paging format. Plectron made portable pagers at one time (along long time ago) but their pagers didn't beep when activated. They simply unmuted the speaker. The warble tone was then head coming over the air from the dispatch center and through the pager's speaker as a way of getting the users attention.

We are a creature of habit, and because pagers now "beep" when activated, the Plectron warble tone became obsolete. But, people like the warble and don't want to get rid of it.

Modern dispatch consoles can still do the Plectron paging format along with a modified warble tone (not exactly the same), but it's usually a purchased option. There are minor differences in A/B timing, but I won't get into that.

The first video sounds like it's using a true, old fashioned Plectron encoder. Zetron offered a similar warble tone. Motorola has a modified rapid high/low warble tone available when Plectron format is purchased and the pager entry in the ADM database if configured for Plectron.

There is a time when folks must "let it go" and move on...but...you know.... :rolleyes:
 

kinglou0

Member
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
149
Still alive out here in Pierce County, WA. The tones and warble do get your attention.

I forgot to add that they use a variety of tones over VHF for everything from cardiac arrests, commercial fire alarms, monthly radio tests, all station alerts/general alarm, etc.

Some of the tones are also sent out over the 700 MHz P25 system as well.
 

One13Truck

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
684
Location
N.E. Pa.
There is a time when folks must "let it go" and move on...but...you know.... :rolleyes:
Why? If it's still useful why should it be "let go"? Back in the Minitor II days even with the amplified charger turned to max being a deep sleeper that thing would wake up everyone in a 5-10 mile radius but it wasn't always a certainty it would wake me up. Even if it did I'd be groggy for a while until I completely woke up. They gave a few more seconds to wake me up and let me fully wake up. We also used 3 different sets of the trailers over the 2 tone sets. One for EMS only, one for fire calls that weren't a working box, and one for the working box for working fires or major crashes so it identified the type of call. Even now when my Minitor V has that highly advanced technology of the replay button the pre-alerts and trailers definitely still have their place.
 

ltginrage

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Sep 28, 2018
Messages
299
Location
North Central, Illinois
I know Ogle County Sheriffs Department in Illinois uses warble on some fire tone outs on the fire west (154.340) . I got a recording somewhere in my computer I'll see if I can dig them out. A few agencies in Will County use warble and/or beeps on original tones. The whole county of Winnebago & Boone in Northern IL uses Plectron tones without any effects.
 
Top