Tone out vs Alert

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banditt2344

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I am a little confused when it comes to the Tone-out vs. Alert for instance when they say tones drop and then you hear dispatch, dispatching a Fire call. Would this be setup as a tone-out or a alert on the scanner? I have also been using sentinel messing around with the programing for my area. (Austin, TX) and sometimes it has Depts listed and it will show tone-outs still used. What exactly does that mean? And are the tones coming from the dispatcher or are they coming from the scanner? Thanks for any help. I keep to trying to figure this out on my own but rite when I think I have it I read something else a little different concerning this and get confused all over again.
 

captclint

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I think you are confusing TONE with TONE OUT. For each frequency listed in the database, There is a column marked Tone. This is a tone which "unlocks" that frequency. If another agency is using that frequency, either with or without a tone, Your scanner will not stop on it, unless it is the exact tone you programmed from the database. Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System - The RadioReference Wiki

Tone out is a special function that acts like a pager that will only "open up" when the particular FD or EMS group assigned to that tone is paged. You can't be scanning while monitoring a Tone out. Fire Tone Out - The RadioReference Wiki

An alert is something you program on a particular frequency to add a "beep" or light color so you are alerted whenever anything is received on that frequency. http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Channel_Alert
 
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banditt2344

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Round Rock, Texas
I think you are confusing TONE with TONE OUT. For each frequency listed in the database, There is a column marked Tone. This is a tone which "unlocks" that frequency. If another agency is using that frequency, either with or without a tone, Your scanner will not stop on it, unless it is the exact tone you programmed from the database. Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System - The RadioReference Wiki

Tone out is a special function that acts like a pager that will only "open up" when the particular FD or EMS group assigned to that tone is paged. You can't be scanning while monitoring a Tone out. Fire Tone Out - The RadioReference Wiki

An alert is something you program on a particular frequency to add a "beep" or light color so you are alerted whenever anything is received on that frequency. Channel Alert - The RadioReference Wiki
Aww thank you for your reply. So my thinking I have had on the way an alert works was correct. So I'm guessing now any Fire tones you hear drop prior to a Fire page would be actually coming from the dispatcher? For programing this into the scanner would I program the dispatch channel? (some channels on the datebase say tones still used.) Or would I have to do it under tone-out search? thanks
 

WuLabsWuTecH

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Aww thank you for your reply. So my thinking I have had on the way an alert works was correct. So I'm guessing now any Fire tones you hear drop prior to a Fire page would be actually coming from the dispatcher? For programing this into the scanner would I program the dispatch channel? (some channels on the datebase say tones still used.) Or would I have to do it under tone-out search? thanks
So usually, tones are dropped from a dispatcher, but some stations/departments can drop their own tones. In our area, the county next to us actually has their full-time firefighters drop their own tones when volunteers are needed because they are dispatched via 800 but the pages are on lo-band.

You program the dispatch frequency into the tone-out menu.

If you know what tones you want, program those in as well. If you don't then use tone-out search which will record the tones and tell you what the tones are for the departments when they get dispatched.

Think of it this way:
Tone-Out HOLD is the equivalent of your pager being on monitor mode. The channel is never squelched and you hear everything coming across that channel.. The difference is when the tones you want to hear are dropped, the uniden scanner won't sound an extra alert (whereas your minitor will).

Tone-Out STANDBY is the equivalent of your pager being on alert mode and acts exactly like it. When the desired tones are heard, the uniden scanner will play the alert tone of your choosing, and then it will unsquelch and place itself into the HOLD mode (see above, basically the same as the monitor mode on your minitor) untill you squelch it again using the hold button (the equivalent of the squelch button on your minitor pager)

Tone-Out SEARCH is a function unique to the scanner. This is the one that will readout on the screen what the frequencies of the tones that just played were so you can decide to store them if you want.; This is useful if you do not know what the department's audible tone frequencies are.

Hope this helps!
 

captclint

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would I program the dispatch channel? (some channels on the datebase say tones still used.) Or would I have to do it under tone-out search? thanks
Again, tones in the database have aabsoluately nothing to do with the pager tones. WuLabsWuTecH's explanation is excellent. For normal scanning, you can program the tones listed in the database or not. See my expiation and link
 

ka3jjz

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To branch off a little and add a bit more information on Fire Tone Outs or FTOs...

While the FTOs are not listed in the database, we keep them in our user-maintained database known as a wiki. Note that anything that's blue is a link. For Texas, we have the following

Category:Texas Fire Tone Outs - The RadioReference Wiki

Now if we don't have what you're looking for (always possible) you have 2 avenues - you can find them yourself using FTO search (or the method described in the wiki article on FTOs), or ask for what you're looking for in our Texas forum

Texas Radio Discussion Forum - The RadioReference.com Forums

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can't do normal scanning and FTO search at the same time. It's one or the other, not both.

HTH...Mike
 
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