Passing tones through a repeater Was: Need some wisdom

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drprepper

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Hey, new HAM operator here.

I have a quick question and before anyone rips me a new one I want to stress that this would only be used in a dire emergency.

Here's my setup:
Baofeng UV-5R (using CHIRP)
Local repeater uses PL tone

Is it possible to use a "privacy channel" (DCS or CTCSS, I'm not particular) on my local repeater?

I've tried to use cross mode "Tone -> DTCS" but the problem is I'm not transmitting using DCS while using the PL tone.

I've also tried "TSQL" tone mode but I don't think the repeater is forwarding th PL tone.

My overall goal is to make contact with family quickly in the event phones are down.

Any advice would help!
 

zz0468

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Not that way. That sort of functionality is best done with DTMF. The repeater may or may not pass a pl tone through, and almost certainly won't pass dcs. And since you can only encode one tone at a time, it has to be the one that keys the repeater. Extra signalling functions are done with the keypad.
 

pinballwiz86

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If you're a ham radio operator then you're welcome to use your local amateur radio repeater.

If you're talking about using a public safety repeater......you won't find any help here.


If you want to contact your family direct, get them licensee, then invest in two 50 watt VHF radios, etc. and have an agreed upon frequency. You can use PL tones on simplex if you wish.
 

R8000

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I think what your trying to do is be able to send any PL tone in, and get that PL out. Most repeaters don't do that. It can be done, but most ham systems aren't setup to do that . Most ham repeaters will let the repeater itself handle PL, since they usually do a good job at that. To do what you want to do, you'd need to let an external controller handle PL or multiple PL's.

Most ham systems are just single PL for the user side of things.
 

rapidcharger

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I want to stress that this would only be used in a dire emergency.
Since I think others have already addressed your questions adequately, I just wanted to comment on this part. If you're preparing for a dire emergency, if by "dire emergency", you mean SHTF scenario, you might want to find a way that does not involve infrastructure like repeaters, especially when you don't have control over them personally.
 

KC8ESL

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That's the beauty of amateur radio. Our infrastructure are the radios that we can program in the field, quickly, in any random situation for any random purpose.

Find a police department radio that is FPP. sure they have talkaround freqs bit usually the radios are programmed for what's in the county. My ht will communicate with another ham ht here in Cleveland, in Dallas, or (licensing excluded from this comment) Zimbabwe.
 

davedaver1

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Find a police department radio that is FPP. sure they have talkaround freqs bit usually the radios are programmed for what's in the county. My ht will communicate with another ham ht here in Cleveland, in Dallas, or (licensing excluded from this comment) Zimbabwe.
Huh?
 

KF5YDR

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Huh what? FPP means front-panel programmable, the rest of his post couldn't be any simpler.

Most public-safety radios have so many channels you can program every repeater pair and simplex channel and have space left over. Program MPL in with the 5-10 most popular PL tones and you have the same frequency agility as a ham unit, with loads better RF performance and usually weather sealing.
 

WA0CBW

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In general most repeaters detect the PL tone and filter it out of the audio that goes to the transmitter. The transmitter re-generates the PL tone to be sent out. Some repeaters have a different receive tone than the transmitted tone. Some repeaters let the controller decode and generate the tone which may/or may not be remotely selectable by the repeater control operator/owner. In either case your transmitted tone must match the selected repeater/controller tone for the repeater to transmit.
BB
 

jim202

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I would try and contact the owner of the repeater your looking to use. See what the owner will allow you to do.

The controller used in some repeaters might or might not allow a DTMF tone to pass through the repeater. Many controllers are set to block the pass through of any DTMF tones so people on the repeater can't hear and record control codes of the controller. Then once they have the codes, it allows them to go and play around with the repeater. Some repeaters do allow the DTMF tones to be passed through. You really need to find out what the repeater your planning to use will allow.

Another point to remember in using DTMF signalling, is that the tones do not want to be distorted coming out of a repeater. Many repeaters actually are set wrong and add audio compression of audio going through a repeater. So to compensate for this and make sure that your tones will through a repeater have a chance, you don't want to set your DTMF level at the same level as your normal transmit audio. You want to set it at about the 50% point or about half the transmit audio level. This might sound low, but believe me it will work.
 

sloop

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Is it possible to use a "privacy channel" (DCS or CTCSS, I'm not particular) on my local repeater?

In a word...no. Repeaters are set up to pass one signal at a time making the prospect of having 'private channels' impossible through a normal repeater. As far as direct (simplex) communications if SHTF, a lot would depend on the terrain, distance between you and your relatives, frequency used (uhf,vhf,hf). If I were you I would get with some of the local hams (that helped you get your license) and get them to help you. They will be more familiar with your needs/wants than any of us on the internet could ever be. Best of luck.
 

WA0CBW

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Privacy channels using DCS or CTCSS aren't really private. They are private only in the respect that you won't be able to hear anything on the frequency unless someone talking to you uses the same "code." Everyone else on the channel will be able to hear your conversation. Most modern day radios can scan for and find the code you are using. Privacy codes or PL were use so that multiple commercial users could use the same frequency without having to hear other. That is why the FCC requires you to monitor the frequency to see if a conversation is in progress before you talk. In commercial radios that is taken care of by pressing the monitor button or lifting the microphone out of the hang-up clip. Repeaters use DCS or CTCSS codes to prevent the repeater from keying up with random noise bursts or adjacent channel users or intermod interference.
BB
BB
 

KC8ESL

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Actually, in my radio arsenal I have 2 baofeng UV5RE radios. More difficult than a yaesu? Yes. Programmable by hand? Yes also. Take 5 minutes to learn something without the help of a computer. Amazing things happen. You retain a memory.
 

SOFA_KING

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I think something obvious has been overlooked. If you need a PL tone to access a repeater, your radio needs to generate that PL tone...and your radio can't generate a second PL tone.

Back in the days before most repeaters used PL tones to reduce co-channel activation during band openings, my local mega-repeater was carrier activated. The Micor repeater filtered out almost all tones except the high ones like 250.3 Hz. A few of us had our radios sitting on this repeater frequency decoding that tone. We could filter out the day to day traffic and just hear someone calling with that tone. Worked great until they changed the repeater to tone access. The radios needed to use the correct tone to get into the repeater and the radios only do one tone at a time. It was nice while it lasted.

DTMF tones? Most repeaters I know of filter those out in the repeater controller, but not all. You might get lucky and be able to use that method, but not while scanning on your radio. With PL decode you could also scan silant because the radio was PL sensitive on scan (not just carrier activated).
 

k6cpo

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I think something that's misunderstood by a lot of new hams is just exactly what the acronyms "PL," "DCS," and "CTCSS" actually mean.

CTCSS is the "Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System." This is a low frequency audio tone superimposed on the transmitted signal, usually used to open a repeater, but can also be used on simplex to silence a radio to any signals not coming from a radio using the same CTCSS frequency.

DCS or "Digital Code Squelch" is a more advanced tone system which is less susceptible to false paging than CTCSS.

PL or "Private Line" is nothing more than Motorola's proprietary name for CTCSS. It is exactly the same. It has fallen into such common usage that it's become a generic name for CTCSS.

More: Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

davedaver1

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Huh what? FPP means front-panel programmable, the rest of his post couldn't be any simpler.

Most public-safety radios have so many channels you can program every repeater pair and simplex channel and have space left over. Program MPL in with the 5-10 most popular PL tones and you have the same frequency agility as a ham unit, with loads better RF performance and usually weather sealing.
The "huh" is because it's a new ham asking the guestion and that post was a bunch of jargon. Your post is about the same.
 

KC8ESL

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Last I recall these were answers in the technician class license test. CTCSS definitely was a question. I'm fairly sure that dpl was on there as well.

Hams use jargon. It comes with the territory.
 
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