Point of programming the "tone" into a scanner.

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JDodson

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Just wondering what the point of programming the tones into the scanners are (I'm pretty new to scanning).

I have a GRE scanner and when I first got I just programmed the frequency and left the tone set to "search" (the defult). I programmed the CTCSS tones and did notice any differencethan before (other than a "lighting bolt" like icon in the bottom right of the display).

Maybe the systems I'm scanning are just too small for it to matter?
 

CompuDoc

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I have the tones programmed so that I do not have to use the squelch. Also in having the tones programmed you would only get the station that uses that tone. In Monmouth County the MonOc channel is also used by some other service. Having the tones programmed in I do not hear that other service. My Pro 2006 does not have capability of programming tones so when the MonOc channel is on I am also hearing the other servicwe which is in spanish and probably a taxi company whch I do not want to listen to so I locked that frequency out on the Pro 2006.

Having your scanner set for search is probably a good idea so that when you hear the service your looking for you then know you have the right tone to program in. When I programmed in the tone for the Middletown DPW I programmed the tone that was previously listed in the database and was able to hear the DPW on the pro 2006 but not my BC246T so I set the 246T for search on the tone and once I had the correct tone I programmed the tone in as well as leaving a note for the data base administrator so that he or she could update it which they did within a few hours.
 

n5ims

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The CTCSS tone is generally used by a system to restrict the signals received by their radios to only those by users of that system (assuming that nearby folks on the same frequency use different tones for their systems).

If you only want to listen to a specific system (and don't want to listen to distant systems on the same frequency during band openings) you should program the tone value into your scanner. If you want to listen to anything that may be on that channel, leaving the tone to "search" or "none" would allow all signals to come through.

Please note that this answer is fairly basic and glosses over quite a bit, but hopefully will point you in the direction you want to go with your scanning. If you want more details on CTCSS tone use, please see the WIKI entry --> Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System - The RadioReference Wiki
 

JDodson

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Thanks guys. Other users don't seem to an issuse around here for me, but knowing it takes care of the squelch is nice. I had a couple of channels were I had to set the squelch high enough that it was cutting out some of the more distant signals for other channels and the CTCSS tone is taking care of that for me!
 

gmclam

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I think the main reasons were covered in prior posts. Here is an example of what I do. Since my scanners have 'alpha tags' (a text description of the channel I am receiving), I want the text to be correct. This often means programming the same frequency multiple times, each with different text.

Code:
[FONT=Courier New]PLACR FIRE E CMD  154.415000    CT  94.8
BUTTE CO FIRE     154.415000    CT 123.0
NAPA COUNTY FIRE  154.415000    CT 131.8[/FONT]
[FONT=Courier New][/FONT] 
[FONT=Courier New]or[/FONT]
[FONT=Courier New] 
SANTA CLARA PARK  151.145000    CT 107.2 
ORANGEVALE PARKS  151.145000    CT 179.9
CAL FIRE TAC 1    151.145000    CT   0.0
In the last example, Cal Fire uses CSQ and no tone. So I have to put them last on the list. If neither of the earlier tones is detected, it displays Cal Fire.
[/FONT]
 
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