Need Frequency of Police Hot Tones

p19997

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My local police department uses a "hot tone" to alert officers that an urgent call is coming. I am wondering if this tone can be programmed as a Tone Out. I'm thinking that if the hot tone lasts 8 seconds, it might be equivalent to an "All Call Page", which consists of a single tone (instead of a 2-tone call out). In order to do this, I need to know what the frequency of the hot tone is. Does anyone know?
 

nd5y

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It will only work as a scanner/pager tone out if it is sent for the length of time that the particular receiver is configured for. If it is just the dispatcher pressing a button for a random length of time it might not work all the time.

The tone is probably 1000 Hz. If you record it you can use Audacity's spectrum analyzer function to find the frequency or post/link the file here and somebody else can do it. There is probably other software that can find tones.
 

p19997

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If you record it you can use Audacity's spectrum analyzer function to find the frequency
Thanks for your response. I do have/use Audacity so, if someone doesn't know the frequency, I'll give it shot. Yes, the tone has to last 8 seconds for this work.
 

GlobalNorth

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When I was around, there were two hot tones: the first was a single tone for the vast majority of calls and the second was a warble tone, similar to the one used by USAF Strategic Air Command for 'nucflash' traffic [which I absolutely hated] for drownings and officer needs help traffic.

I don't know what's used now, since I stopped listening to common LE traffic about 10 hours before I quit the field.
 

p19997

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I recorded a hot tone. Audacity said it was 1,003 Hz. It is probably really 1,000 Hz. It lasted exactly 6 seconds, so I do not think its length was determined by the dispatcher. It is possible that the scanner will trigger on it, even though it doesn't last 8 seconds. So I am going to try it to see if it works. I will listen on a second scanner while the other scanner is in Tone-Out Standby mode.
 

TJX400

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Depending on the manufacturer of the radio console, the length of the tone is determined by the dispatcher. With the Motorola console, we hold the button for as long as needed (or as policy requires). Not sure how the Harris Symphony consoles work, but I'd imagine it's similar.
 

N9JIG

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It did not work. I guess the scanner expects and requires 8 seconds to trigger. Oh, well.
Newer computer based consoles can have buttons programmed for specific length tones, dispatcher select tone lengths or both depending on how they are programmed. On our old ModuCom console from the mid 1990's (which ran in DOS 5.0) we had 4-second alert tones as well as a steady tone alert button that stayed on as long as one held the button. With the old touchscreens based on add-on serial port adapters we had then the pre-set alert button was more useful. When we updated to integrated touchscreens on the newer Windows 7 based ModuCom system we imported the same controls.

I think (but cannot prove) that older Motorola CentraCom II systems could also have pre-programmed alert tone lengths. Regardless current stuff can be programmed to do pretty much whatever you want.

On the 536 try programming it with Tone A at 1000 and Tone B at 0, and then again with Tone A at 0 and Tone B at 1000 as well as both tones set to 1000. I have had success with one of these (can't remember which) on Phoenix FD's alert tone and I don't think that is over 6 seconds.
 

nd5y

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On the 536 try programming it with Tone A at 1000 and Tone B at 0, and then again with Tone A at 0 and Tone B at 1000 as well as both tones set to 1000. I have had success with one of these (can't remember which) on Phoenix FD's alert tone and I don't think that is over 6 seconds.
I remember trying that over 20 years ago when I got a BCD396T. I used 1750 Hz which some ham radios have configured as a burst tone. I don't remeber exactly how it worked but the results were inconsistent or useless because of timing. I don't know if later models work the same as the 396T.
 

N9JIG

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I remember trying that over 20 years ago when I got a BCD396T. I used 1750 Hz which some ham radios have configured as a burst tone. I don't remeber exactly how it worked but the results were inconsistent or useless because of timing. I don't know if later models work the same as the 396T.
The older (pre-X) BCT-15, BCD396T and BCD996T firmware versions depended much more on timing and IIRC even had a timing programming function. Newer firmware versions on these scanners eliminated that issue and made them much more reliable as tone-out receivers. This carried over to the XT and P2 series as well as the 436/536 and SDS's.
 

p19997

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On the 536 try programming it with Tone A at 1000 and Tone B at 0, and then again with Tone A at 0 and Tone B at 1000 as well as both tones set to 1000.
The case I tried was A=0 and B=1,000, which is the setting for an All Page or All Call (can't remember which). I will try the other two cases. Thanks.
 

nd5y

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If I remember right when I had both A and B the same tone it woud not do anything because it waits for the first tone to change frequency or stop. If you only use A or B then it depends on how long the single tone is sent.
 

p19997

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If I remember right when I had both A and B the same tone it woud not do anything because it waits for the first tone to change frequency or stop.
I would think that if you give it the 1,000 tone for both A and B, it would expect a gap between them and look for the second tone. I am currently trying A=1,000, B=0
 

n0doz

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I believe that by putting 0 as the first tone place, the scanner isn't looking for a tone. I know I was able to get my 436 to "beep" and flash the light by entering the alarm tone frequency from PHXFD channel 1 in mine.
 

p19997

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I believe that by putting 0 as the first tone place, the scanner isn't looking for a tone.
Putting a 0 for the first tone is the way you program the scanner for an All-Call page. It looks for an 8-second tone programmed as the second tone. I'm still waiting for a hot tone to see if (1,000, 0) works.
 

n0doz

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Putting a 0 for the first tone is the way you program the scanner for an All-Call page. It looks for an 8-second tone programmed as the second tone. I'm still waiting for a hot tone to see if (1,000, 0) works.
OK, thanks, I forgot about that.
 

Foresigt

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After all this talk, I timed the hot tones put out by Phx PD and their tone is only 4 seconds. Phx doesn't sound any longer or shorter than any others I've heard. I would recommend you listen and time the tones because if it is 6 seconds the scanner is looking for and your local PD uses less you are just spinning your wheels. Six seconds seems like a long time for a hot tone.
 
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