New Rowan county DTMF tone?

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E-542

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Well with Stations 74 & 75 they tested the crap outta em for the new siren tone,w hich was the same DTMF tone, it's interesting...I really hope it doesn't replace the ol' QC1 tone's though. Eh if anyone can shoot me an email and I'll send em the DTMF tone so they can tell em what freakin digits it is? It's drivin me up the wall!
 

E-542

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Well, I used NCH tone generator *my scanner is a Regency ACT10R*, and NONE of those tones come even close to it, nor the KNOX style... Maybe this is a custom DTMF setup?
 

CFP387

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E-542, according to a couple powers that be that I've talked with in the past two years, these DTMF tones you are hearing are indeed custom. Eventually the county will use these tones for every volunteer fire department's sirens who still wish to have them activiated. Timing has been a real issue lately because the tones are broadcast very slow. I'm sure that you have heard the much faster DTMF tones used on NOAA's weather radio broadcasts and that's the speed we will soon start to hear.

Some of the old decoders made by Bramco that some departments own are no longer working correctly, if they are even working at all. The 1950's and 1960's parts are becoming obsolete. Rather than to spend money on new two-tone decoders for stations' sirens, the county's emergency management decided to go with DTMF tones instead. I too hate to see the old tones go by the wayside, but I'm afraid those days are gone forever. However, the two-tone paging tones will be around for a good long while. And speaking of changes, we ain't seen nothing yet. I'm afraid for us Rowan County scanner fans, it's going to get a lot worse before it ever starts getting better.

By your username, I'm going to assume that you are with Faith station 54. I know that Faith's station siren has not been used on calls for a while now; do they have a decoder issue as well?
 

E-542

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Well used to be... I'm transfering to Bostian Heights VFD, Staiton 41. But yeah.. I understand why, but I'm hating to see the old QC1 tones go away :( You with a dpt? And Faith has a decoder, but they just don't run for fire calls, tornado only.
 
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CFP387

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E-542 said:
Well used to be... I'm transfering to Bostian Heights VFD, Staiton 41. But yeah.. I understand why, but I'm hating to see the old QC1 tones go away
Keep in mind that this transition to DTMF will take some time, not to mention it will take the fun out of knowing what stations are being toned out before the dispatcher broadcasts the call. Right now, the tones are so slow that they are indeed recognizable. Later, when the tones are broadcast at the much faster rate, there will really be no way to determine which tone is which.

E-542 said:
You with a dpt?
No sir, I really don't have the time to commit to an agency like I'd wish. I'm very familiar with guys at 41 and I'm really pleased that the chief still has the siren activiated for every fire call. I still miss the old feedback monitor though.

E-542 said:
And Faith has a decoder, but they just don't run for fire calls, tornado only.
And that's a real shame. A lot of volunteer and small municipal stations are doing away with their sirens and that is something I hated to see start to happen around Rowan County in the early 1990s. Right now, the county has an eight second tone that will set off most sirens in the event of "severe weather". I'm curious to see how long it will take them to figure out that by setting off each individual DTMF tone at the speed they have now, it will take longer (and more air time) than it would if they just kept the old eight second tone.
 

E-542

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Keep in mind that this transition to DTMF will take some time, not to mention it will take the fun out of knowing what stations are being toned out before the dispatcher broadcasts the call. Right now, the tones are so slow that they are indeed recognizable. Later, when the tones are broadcast at the much faster rate, there will really be no way to determine which tone is which.



No sir, I really don't have the time to commit to an agency like I'd wish. I'm very familiar with guys at 41 and I'm really pleased that the chief still has the siren activiated for every fire call. I still miss the old feedback monitor though.



And that's a real shame. A lot of volunteer and small municipal stations are doing away with their sirens and that is something I hated to see start to happen around Rowan County in the early 1990s. Right now, the county has an eight second tone that will set off most sirens in the event of "severe weather". I'm curious to see how long it will take them to figure out that by setting off each individual DTMF tone at the speed they have now, it will take longer (and more air time) than it would if they just kept the old eight second tone.
Who knows really.. Yeah, the chief Mike Zimmerman really has no intention of shuttin the siren off. And well you'll still get to know which stations are being toned out even when they have the DTMF, the QCII tones are as unique as the QCI.
 

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E-542 said:
And well you'll still get to know which stations are being toned out even when they have the DTMF, the QCII tones are as unique as the QCI.
This is true. Maybe our friend Daniel (FD5722) will stop in sometime and give us an update on some type of a timetable on when they plan to have all this implemented. Personally, I'm not looking forward to this at all.
 

E-542

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This is true. Maybe our friend Daniel (FD5722) will stop in sometime and give us an update on some type of a timetable on when they plan to have all this implemented. Personally, I'm not looking forward to this at all.
I'm not lookin forward to it either really, I love the ol QCI tones myself. Took forever deciphering em too, that was fun.
 

CFP387

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I'm not lookin forward to it either really...
I know what you mean, but bear in mind the benefits of DTMF. Rowan can really save on air time and, by using the "wildcard" feature, one tone can set off multiple stations sirens. But again, I'd think that they've got to be able to get the single stations tones assigned and working before they would move on to inserting wildcards in for multiple stations' assingments. And who is to say if they will even use the wildcard feature? There is so much more they can do with DTMF than they can do with standard Motorola two-tone alerting.

If you listen to the county's TRS, there are several talk groups that are nothing more than sporadic rapid bursts of DTMF tones to turn on and off different features in the water-sewer system. Some water towers transmit DTMF tones back to the W-S Department with information on how much water was used during a single time period. There are many other uses for DTMF that the county has already implemented and been using for years. The tones are broadcast at a very high speed over the trunked system, similar to those heard over NOAA radio.

I think the main issue when building out the DTMF fleetmap for the county volunteer fire departments is the radio interconnect (RIC). The TRS is RIC'ed with VHF for dispatches of VFDs, EMS and Rescue. I don't know for sure, but I'd say that they can get DTMF to flow pretty fast over 800 (as discussed in the paragraph above), but something in the system is slowing things down when it has to be broadcast simultaneously over VHF. Once they get over that hurdle, I'd look for DTMF tones to start being the norm for dispatches across the board.

I've often wondered why the the City of Salisbury FD isn't dispatched using DTMF since they are strictly 800 and, again, the county is already using it in the trunked system. At the fire station, it can be used to open bay doors, turn on lights, ring a bell, turn on the coffee maker (just kidding), or anything that they wish. Time will tell, but it's certain that the possibilities are endless. The times, well, they are a-changing and with it comes many new things. And the biggest thing that changing times brings to Rowan County Emergency Services is bigger bureaucracy (red tape), bigger heads, and bigger politics.
 

E-542

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Yeah, agreed. Well, as long as Frank's still in charge of it I'm fine with it, I know Frank pretty well, so. Also, what's the stuff for that trunekd system you're talking about? I can't seem to find that on my scanner.
 
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CFP387

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Also, what's the stuff for that trun[ke]d system you're talking about? I can't seem to find that on my scanner.
While you are in the search mode for new talkgroups, providing you have all talkgroups unlocked, the following talkgroups are entirely DTMF: 6416, 6480, 12336. There are others out there, but those are the ones I know off the top of my head. I have them all locked out so I don't see the numbers every day. You shouldn't have to monitor these talkgroups very long at all to start hearing the data bursts.
 

E-542

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While you are in the search mode for new talkgroups, providing you have all talkgroups unlocked, the following talkgroups are entirely DTMF: 6416, 6480, 12336. There are others out there, but those are the ones I know off the top of my head. I have them all locked out so I don't see the numbers every day. You shouldn't have to monitor these talkgroups very long at all to start hearing the data bursts.
Hrm, I'm hearing bursts of data, but not DTMF tones...Odd.
 

CFP387

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If it is talkgroups on the trunked system there is a good chance the data bursts could be MOSCAD/SCADA.
Now that you've mentioned it, I'd say that's probably what we're hearing instead of DTMF tones. SCADA is a pretty popular software for water-sewer systems. I hadn't given it a thought. E-542, sorry about steering you in the wrong direction on that but at least we're on the same page now.

Back to the topic: there seems to be some inconsistancy on just how many "digits" or numbers there are for each station's DTMF tone. Some have five and others have four. I'm not sure how many digits it takes or what each decoder can be programmed for. There seems to be a lot more questions than are answers at this point.

Someone here who has experience in DTMF and decoding same may be able to help out with a question. What is the minimum and maximum number of digits that can be in any DTMF tone? Does the type of radio system on which it's operating make any difference?
 

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Hey folks,

Just saw this thread. Sorry for taking a while to get back around to it, but I have been out of town since the first part of December & haven't had time to get on.

As far as the DTMF stuff for the stations go, I'm not sure of the timetable for implementation but I will see what I can find out.

Also, the stuff you here noise wise on some of the TGs mentioned above is as Marshall said is infact SCADA, which is data for the W/S stuff. We haven't used anything as far as MOSCAD in Rowan County in years. The last thing that used MOSCAD here was when ROWAN could still open the station doors for Salisbury City Fire (Well bay doors).

As soon as I can get some more info locked in I'll let everyone know !!
 

E-542

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Hey folks,

Just saw this thread. Sorry for taking a while to get back around to it, but I have been out of town since the first part of December & haven't had time to get on.

As far as the DTMF stuff for the stations go, I'm not sure of the timetable for implementation but I will see what I can find out.

Also, the stuff you here noise wise on some of the TGs mentioned above is as Marshall said is infact SCADA, which is data for the W/S stuff. We haven't used anything as far as MOSCAD in Rowan County in years. The last thing that used MOSCAD here was when ROWAN could still open the station doors for Salisbury City Fire (Well bay doors).

As soon as I can get some more info locked in I'll let everyone know !!
Sounds great, thanks!
 

CFP387

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Good to hear from you again, Daniel. I was beginning to wonder what had happened to you!

The quarterly tornado alert test that they did last Saturday at noon contained no DTMF tones. I'm curious as to why it didn't and how (or if) they set off the sirens at stations without working QCII decoders.
 

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I'm not sure what the county is thinking as far as the paging stuff goes, but I do know they need to get it together. I still carry a Minitor II just for the simple fact that the Minitor IV & V will not activate for the weather tones.

Gotta love that Motorola technology, lol.
 

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I think the timing of the tones has a lot to do with opening up the new Minitor pagers. Since you still carry a II, if you can still find parts that pager will work almost forever. The electronic pagers like the II, IV and V are a little temperamental. My V has always opened on the weather tones.

The same goes for DTMF and the timing issues they have. I have a lot more questions than I'm getting answers on all these new procedures. Do they need new software to broadcast those tones faster, or do they need someone else to come in and show them what they're doing wrong?
 
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