When You Program Tone-Out Standby Frequencies, Do You Use Standard Tones From A Chart?

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JASII

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As posted above, when you program Tone-Out frequencies, do you select standard tones from the charts?

One of the fire stations I am going to program in was decoded as: Tone A: 742.6 Hz and Tone B: 847.5 Hz.

Usually, when I have tone pairs, they are only one or two hertz away from one of the Motorola Quik Call II (QCII) standard tones and I simply enter the standard tones, but the above pair looks a bit too far off from the standard tones.




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w2lie

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I just program them in by hand. It is much faster to do that then to bring up the chart every time I need to program in tones.
 

RBMTS

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FTO tones are not all Motorola QuikCall II tones. They can also be of the Plectron / Federal family as well. If you use the FTO tone search feature, use what pops up ( I record and play them back to view them later). If you use a audio recording feature out of a different scanner (or used recording software) and analyze the tone frequencies, try to determine the best hz frequency and use the various tables to best determine what to enter as the FTO tone into the Uniden. But again, don't go by just the Motorola tones.
 

JASII

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Another question related to this. If dispatch sends an All Call 8 second Long Tone B of 847.5 Hz, will the Uniden SDS100 decode it, if I only have

Tone A: 742.6 Hz Tone B: 847.5 Hz

programmed in? I have had some people say that the Uniden SDS100 should open up for a Long Tone B, but others have said to program the Long Tone B in separately.
 

ofd8001

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Another question related to this. If dispatch sends an All Call 8 second Long Tone B of 847.5 Hz, will the Uniden SDS100 decode it, if I only have

Tone A: 742.6 Hz Tone B: 847.5 Hz

programmed in? I have had some people say that the Uniden SDS100 should open up for a Long Tone B, but others have said to program the Long Tone B in separately.
If memory serves correctly, you can leave Tone A at 0 and just program the long tone for B.

My method is to see what tones I discover via search, then consult the tone charts and select the "official" tones. While there is some tolerance in the scanner, I figure I might be pushing my luck if I count on that.
 

ko6jw_2

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When I first programmed tone outs on my Uniden 396T I had to record the tones (they did a test every morning) and then used some software to analyze the tones, but they weren't exact. I new that the department in question used old GE station receivers and so I used the GE charts. Quite a project, but it worked.

The other thing to keep in mind is the two tone alerting is a dinosaur. It takes too long to tone out a large alarm. Wastes time. Large departments have gone to computer dispatching where the alerting is digital. One local department has its own secure mesh network to link the stations and a computerized dispatch system. Fast, secure and you can send a lot more than alerts.

I no longer bother using tone outs. Our department uses Pulse Point and I get my alerts that way if I'm not monitoring.

By the way LA County FD used DTMF tones that Uniden (early models anyway) could not decode.
 

wa8pyr

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The other thing to keep in mind is the two tone alerting is a dinosaur. It takes too long to tone out a large alarm. Wastes time. Large departments have gone to computer dispatching where the alerting is digital. One local department has its own secure mesh network to link the stations and a computerized dispatch system. Fast, secure and you can send a lot more than alerts.

I no longer bother using tone outs. Our department uses Pulse Point and I get my alerts that way if I'm not monitoring.
Two-tone alerting can be slower, but in a large part of the country it's still a necessity; with large numbers of volunteers there really isn't a viable alternative. PulsePoint, Active 911 and apps of that nature are fine as long as 1) the dispatcher can get the information entered into CAD (assuming they have CAD) and sent immediately, and 2) the cell phone network is working and has the coverage; coverage in rural areas and some towns is an issue for many volunteer departments.

NFPA recommendations call for an alerting system which is separate from the operations/fireground radio system, and cellphone apps do meet that requirement, but our over-reliance on high technology can come back to bite us when cell phones aren't working right. Tone alerting is still relatively inexpensive, and it's fairly easy to set up and maintain emergency backup dispatch points; with careful layout of the tone plan and proper dispatching procedures, two-tone alerting can be effective. It would have been long gone by now otherwise.

By the way LA County FD used DTMF tones that Uniden (early models anyway) could not decode.
I thought LACoFD used Motorola Quick-Call I (2+2), or did they use both?
 
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N9JIG

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LA County did indeed use QuickCall 2+2 but I think they eventually switched to QuickCall 2 eventually.

I created a chart that contains all the tones color coded with the various code manufactures standard tones and types that might be helpful.
 

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JASII

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Rich,


That is a great chart! Thank you very much for posting that.


Jim
 
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