Uniden, Whistler, FIX FTO please?!

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milf

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FTO on both Uniden and Whistler Scanners has one huge glaring flaw that seriously needs to be fixed on the next generation of scanners. You MUST add tone handling for frequencies! In order to truly be fully functional there must be tone settings for each frequency you monitor. Example: Here in central Indiana, you have 2 counties, Hamilton, and Johnson separated by one county in between, Marion. Tone Out frequency for Hamilton County is 154.0100, as is the Tone Out frequency for Johnson County. Hamco uses CSQ, JoCo uses 103.5 CTCSS. But in the FTO features of current scanners, there is NO way to distinguish who is who unless you are actively listening to each and every tone out, or record every single tone out. At least on the scanning side, Uniden did come up with a tone lock out feature so you can put in multiple instances of same freq's and add lock outs to tones so you accurately can distinguish users.
 

ofd8001

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It is not "sinking in" what you are driving at. Fire Tone Out is a way of causing a muted channel to open the audio so it can be heard. CTCSS is another way of unmuting the audio so it can be heard.

Whether or not the proper tone squelch is present makes no difference in FTO because the correct tone sequence has to be present for the audio to function.

If you are looking for a way of distinguishing whether you are hearing a transmitter with tone squelch on a channel you have to set carrier squelch (due to common usage) is, I think, an issue separate from Fire Tone Out.

That said, I do feel your frustration as I've been in the same predicament going back many years. Hardin County Kentucky used to use the same dispatch/paging channel as did Clark County Indiana. One had CTCSS, the other did not. I suspect it got to be irritating to Hardin County because they recently adopted a different dispatch/paging frequency.
 

milf

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No, I am not looking to tell PL Tone from CSQ. Its simple. I want to be able to put multiple users of the SAME FREQUENCY, in an FTO and have the scanner be able to use the same way it does when scanning to separate them. Then you can have CH 1 with X FD 154.010 103.5 PL, and its tones. And CH 2 with Y FD 154.010 CSQ and its tones. And CH 3 with Z FD 154.010 223 DPL and its tones. The scanners already have both technologies, just combine them. That is not that hard to ask for when they already do almost everything else from dawn to friggin daylight.
 

dispatch235

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Anytime you have two agencies on the same frequency there's going to be problems.... we have a pd in one county and an ems agency in another county on the other side of me, my location being in the middle. Both agencies use different pl tones, which works if they don't key up at the same time... anytime they both try to use the frequency at the same time no matter they both use different pl tones, they are about equal signal strength and just cover each other up. Since they are about 60 miles from each other however they hardly get any interference on their end.
So the interference with each other on your end I doubt will be improved... BUT having said that it could be a useful feature in some cases. But as long as one agency is operating csq it's still going to be a problem...
 

ofd8001

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I'm still scratching my head a little bit. I can't see any tone squelch setting when setting up Fire Tone Out. Also the way I understand it and would be happy to be corrected, but in Fire Tone Out Standby, you are listening to only one frequency and one set of tones.

If I'm wrong, please direct me to the place in the manual.
 

dispatch235

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I'm still scratching my head a little bit. I can't see any tone squelch setting when setting up Fire Tone Out. Also the way I understand it and would be happy to be corrected, but in Fire Tone Out Standby, you are listening to only one frequency and one set of tones.

If I'm wrong, please direct me to the place in the manual.
There isn't a tone squelch setting in the fire tone out menu.... this is the feature he is wanting to be added.
I think he is hearing one dept being toned out, and then hearing traffic from the other dept that is on the same frequency, thus the desire for the addition of a pl tone setting to help eliminate hearing the other dept on the same freq.
However, since one dept does not use a pl tone on their radios, its not going to help to have the feature as long as the dept. doesn't use a pl tone on their system
 

milf

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On the BCD436/536HP's and also the SDS100/200 there is a feature in the tone set up for scanning, where you can lock out tones. So yes, you can monitor multiple agencies on one freq. If this can be done there, then it CAN be done in FTO. They CAN add it to the FTO set up. Then those of us that are forensic scannists can finally dig even deeper into the FTO features.
 

ofd8001

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So in other words, you are wanting to decode a tone sequence and know if it is for Department X or Department Y by using tone squelch to determine which of the two is transmitting?

You could do that, but it would require two scanners at once. The first scanner is doing the Tone-out Search while the second scanner is monitoring the same frequency with the desired CTCSS value. It's also very possible that you could do this with one scanner if you use a virtual control software with logging. The scanner display shows the alert tones (the Tone A/B) and the logging software would show the CTCSS being received. (I have tried that, but can't see why it would not work.)

However I think you are asking for the scanner to be modified to do something over and above what it is intended to do. The purpose of Fire Tone Out is to replicate the function of a two tone sequential pager. For this feature, CTCSS is ignored and an even higher level of specific conditions is needed for the scanner to alert, as in the correct Tone A and Tone B. Even Motorola Minitor Fire Pagers do not use a CTCSS/DCS system - they could care less about that, it is the A/B tones they are interested in.
 
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