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F3161 2-tone help

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Avery93

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Marion County, AL
I have been trying to get the two tone decode to work on my F3161, however it doesn't seem to be working with my county's tones. One of the departments I'm trying to get it to alert on is also paged out by another county, and their tones set it off every time. Both county's use standard 1 second / 3 second timing, however my county has a 250ms gap between the tones. I believe this could somehow be throwing it off.

Now, I have tried adjusting the "No tone" timer to 250, 260 and 300ms without success. I also tried lower values just for the heck of it.

The only other thing I can think of is the other county's tones sound a little bit "cleaner", ours sound more like square waves or have some kind of noise. They just sound a bit different, however this doesn't effect their decode on two of my scanners or Audacity.

Any Ideas? This isn't really important at all, it just ticks me off a little when I can't get something to work right. But I really would like to get it working.

Thanks.
 

stevelton

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Apr 19, 2005
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With the Icom radios, you can directly type in the tone frequencies.

One thing to try maybe is the type in the frequencies just a few hz off what you think they are supposed to be.
Worth a shot.
 

Avery93

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I don't believe its the tone frequencies that are causing the problem, I took them straight out of the Motorola code table. I can decode them just fine with my Uniden scanner and a computer program, usually less they are less than 1 hz +/- from the correct frequency.

I'm almost positive its the 250ms gap between the tones causing it, especially after reading this thread: http://forums.radioreference.com/icom-forum/102084-icom-f50v-programing.html

EDIT:
One of the departments just paged themselves out, and their encoder sounded exactly like my counties 911 encoder, except without the gap, and my radio alerted perfectly. So I guess this confirms it is the gap and not the slightly "dirty" sounding tones that's causing it.
 
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jim202

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New Orleans region
Let me take the flack from he radio shop that serves the county your having the problems with. With
what your describing is a very common problem around the country. Most of the radio techs are
not like the techs 20 years ago. No one ever told them that you can't run paging tones at the same
audio level as the voice. It causes them to go into compression and distort. Paging tones need
to be sent out at a level where they are clean sine waves and not run into compression where
the transmitter causes the tones to clip the top and bottom of the sine wave.

If both of the dispatch centers are using a control station to trip off a repeater, it becomes even more
important that the repeater also not have the throughput audio set into compression. Because the
repeater can also clip and distort the paging tones.

The simple way to even have a clue that the repeater is set with too much audio compression or
gain as some call it, is to listen to a mobile going down the and talking on the radio. If you hear
a bunch of road noise and have a hard time understanding the person, the bet is the throughput
audio setting on the repeater is too high.

A good way to prove this gain on the repeater is too high is to have someone talk through the
repeater and then have them go to the talk around or simplex channel. If the audio sounds much
higher or louder through the repeater, I rest my case.

Jim




I have been trying to get the two tone decode to work on my F3161, however it doesn't seem to be working with my county's tones. One of the departments I'm trying to get it to alert on is also paged out by another county, and their tones set it off every time. Both county's use standard 1 second / 3 second timing, however my county has a 250ms gap between the tones. I believe this could somehow be throwing it off.

Now, I have tried adjusting the "No tone" timer to 250, 260 and 300ms without success. I also tried lower values just for the heck of it.

The only other thing I can think of is the other county's tones sound a little bit "cleaner", ours sound more like square waves or have some kind of noise. They just sound a bit different, however this doesn't effect their decode on two of my scanners or Audacity.

Any Ideas? This isn't really important at all, it just ticks me off a little when I can't get something to work right. But I really would like to get it working.

Thanks.
 

RADIOGUY2002

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Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,103
Location
Chicago Burbs
2Tone

Try these settings

No Tone 0.080
Group 3.000
Ringer Repeat (SEC) 10.000

Tone Decode Comparison-ON


1ST 250.0
2ND 3300.0

1ST 1.0
2ND 2.0

If that does not work try 0.7 or 0.8, Jim is right on the money. The timing is very tricky to the tone decoding. Another helpful trick to this is knowing the proper dpl or ctcss code for that frequency pair, you'll isolated a lot of the crap out as well this way. Remember the tones are only really applying here to the receiver gate or switch on the circuit board of the radio.
 

Avery93

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Messages
528
Location
Marion County, AL
Thanks, I'll try that. I am wondering how it will recognize the second tone with the gap limited at 80ms though? I do have the PL tones on the channel but I had the tone decode comparison off, figuring that would keep it from cutting off any of the first tone.

I do believe we have some of what Jim was talking about going on, our tones (and voice) are much louder than the other county's, and seem to have more bass. Although I don't think this is actually causing my specific problem (believe its the timing, see post #3), but if it was, am I right in assuming that there's nothing I can do on my end?

The loud tones are actually the main reason I am wanting this to work, so instead of being blasted by tones, all I will hear is a nice quick "beep".

Try these settings

No Tone 0.080
Group 3.000
Ringer Repeat (SEC) 10.000

Tone Decode Comparison-ON


1ST 250.0
2ND 3300.0

1ST 1.0
2ND 2.0

If that does not work try 0.7 or 0.8, Jim is right on the money. The timing is very tricky to the tone decoding. Another helpful trick to this is knowing the proper dpl or ctcss code for that frequency pair, you'll isolated a lot of the crap out as well this way. Remember the tones are only really applying here to the receiver gate or switch on the circuit board of the radio.
 

RADIOGUY2002

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Jul 19, 2002
Messages
1,103
Location
Chicago Burbs
Well, you

Well you don't necessarily need to hear the audio path or the tone to have it work. You choose the option in the programing mode that only activates after rx'ing the tone. Then it would beep and the audio path would open, the tone acts as the switch on the broad allowing audio to pass until its reset.

Not all dispatch centers are created equal, systems are customized based on the needs of that particular jurisdiction or agency requirements for the workers. The other thing you might have issues with is how close you sit to the dispatching agency building or its components. What that means in laymen terms is if your right under the transmitter tower, the actual console that's directly attached to the antenna, if it being broad cast on one frequency and being retransmitted on another. There are a lot of variables that come into play. You be shocked to know how many agencies have both devices of a radio and 2 tone pagers that are still floating around with the new advancement in technology. Some of it is more practical in theory then being really thought out for needs, why change the wheel if it works. The trend is changing, if your a first responder and you have access to a radio it might be better for you to respond from a more centralized location, as oppose to going to a distant location and then going back to that centralized location. The nature of 2 toning for firefighters, anyway has change quite a bit from the earlier years. Especially considering mass notification systems of data.
 
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Avery93

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Joined
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Messages
528
Location
Marion County, AL
Unfortunately those settings didn't work. I'm gonna play around with the timing a little more, but I'm beginning to think it just won't work with my county's tones. This is still a really great radio, the tone issue is the only minor problem I've had with it.

This has really got me wondering though, why the tones don't work with it. I attached recordings of our tones, and the other county's tones that work fine. Maybe one of you could look over them and see if there's anything obviously wrong?
 

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RADIOGUY2002

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Messages
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Location
Chicago Burbs
Take a peak

I'll take a peak when I get a chance. Is it safe to assume you tried them on the IC-F33 as well. Did the prolbem occur there as well? Are the countys tone long in duration or spilt up. Like long tone as oppse 2 seperate tones. Like you could have long tone A followed later by another tone. One might be a general tone and the other to a speciffic group within the general. Either way I'll take a look. What is the tone pair you tring to get, do you know the hertz cycle. Example Tone A 530 / Tone B 1830
 

Avery93

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Marion County, AL
I forgot to mention that I had the same problem with my F33, but I didn't pursue it because of the lack of the and/or squelch setting.

Both counties use the standard 1 second/3 second timing, mine just has the 250ms gap between tones. The tone pairs I'm trying to receive are:

569.1 A / 600.9 B
569.1 A / 669.9 B
569.1 A / 879.0 B

The last one is the department that's also paged by the other county, and the only one that works at all so far.
 
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