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Travel Tones, PL/DPL differences


wabutter
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I have tried to research this through the forum, so if The is redundant I apologize up front. I am new to the GMRS world and have explored the process of setting up radios for use on local repeaters. Of course PL codes and DPL codes are abundant, but some repeaters also indicate a Travel Tone. I think I understand the PL/DPL tones, but the Travel Tone is confusing to me.

 

Is the travel tone used in conjunction and as an overlay to the PL or DPL tone?

If not, how does it differ from the PL or DPL Tone?

Is the a field in the Chirp sotware that is specified for the Travel Tone?

 

Thanks in advance, if there is an obvious question I have not asked, please expand on your answer.

 

Using. baofeng UV5 2+

CHIRP Ssoftware

 

Regards,

Wayne

Wabutter.

WQZY273

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I have tried to research this through the forum, so if The is redundant I apologize up front. I am new to the GMRS world and have explored the process of setting up radios for use on local repeaters. Of course PL codes and DPL codes are abundant, but some repeaters also indicate a Travel Tone. I think I understand the PL/DPL tones, but the Travel Tone is confusing to me.

 

Is the travel tone used in conjunction and as an overlay to the PL or DPL tone?

If not, how does it differ from the PL or DPL Tone?

Is the a field in the Chirp sotware that is specified for the Travel Tone?

 

Thanks in advance, if there is an obvious question I have not asked, please expand on your answer.

 

Wayne,

 

The "travel tone" is simply an designated TPL (or PL if you will) tone that is accepted as a universal tone to access repeaters by travelers especially on Channel 20R which is the commonly accepted assistance or emergency calling channel. LIke any other PL, only one can be used at a time so there is no overlay.

 

The travel tone is 141.3.

 

Just a word of caution... Not everyone in the GMRS world follows this plan, but most do.

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I just learned about this myself and there are repeaters in my area using the Emergency Call Channel and Travel Tone.

How universal is the travel tone if Not all repeaters will hear and relay the transmission if they are programmed with different PL tones correct?

Doesn't the repeater have to accept the travel tone of 141.3?

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Ok, so from what I understand, some Repeaters allow Multiple TX and RX tones. That explains why I was not allowed to use the 141.3 and was given another Private PL Tone to use on the same repeater and frequency near me.  At first, I thought they had two repeaters setup using the same frequency with separate the PL tones. That didn't seem feasible or cost effective.

 

I'm in the process of setting up my own repeater and have to choose a Frequency and PL tones myself and thinking about a strategy to avoid not only interference but I want to make it the most private.

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I'm in the process of setting up my own repeater and have to choose a Frequency and PL tones myself and thinking about a strategy to avoid not only interference but I want to make it the most private.

 

You might want to investigate the phenomena whereby certain tones don't function as well as others. When we were preparing to deploy a repeater, I read quite a bit about that. Of course, those more knowledgeable on here would know if that is correct or just a myth.

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I'm in the process of setting up my own repeater and have to choose a Frequency and PL tones myself and thinking about a strategy to avoid not only interference but I want to make it the most private.

 

In that case you may want to use "split tones."  This is means the that TX and RX tones are different - for example TX on 467.675 MHz with DCS tone 654 and RX on 462.675 with DCS tone 172.  Our club repeater uses this strategy to help limit interference.  There is even a repeater in my area that uses a digital tone for TX and an analog tone for RX.  The caveat here is that many radios are not capable of operating with split tones - the recent Midland GMRS offerings are not capable of using split tones as far as I know.  A split tone strategy can help limit interference and people inadvertently keying up your repeater, but this is not a silver bullet.  A persistent repeater jammer can easily thwart this strategy.

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In that case you may want to use "split tones."  This is means the that TX and RX tones are different - for example TX on 467.675 MHz with DCS tone 654 and RX on 462.675 with DCS tone 172.  Our club repeater uses this strategy to help limit interference.  There is even a repeater in my area that uses a digital tone for TX and an analog tone for RX.  The caveat here is that many radios are not capable of operating with split tones - the recent Midland GMRS offerings are not capable of using split tones as far as I know.  A split tone strategy can help limit interference and people inadvertently keying up your repeater, but this is not a silver bullet.  A persistent repeater jammer can easily thwart this strategy.

I might add, a long hang time makes it easier for even a novice repeater jammer to find your tone. We have had some illegal commercial use and used this as well as other means to investigate who it was. However we have not encountered any malicious Jamming.

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There's no reason these days for a repeater to have a long "hang time" since the main purpose was to avoid wear and tear on tube type finals by constantly being keyed on/off rapidly. My repeater is programmed to have a 1 second delay before dropping carrier.

 

I wondered about that in day of modern transistors. When I was very young, my father was still repairing tube type equipment and he taught me a lot; including that hang time was because of tubes. You are the only other person I've heard/read stating the same thing. Thank you for the verification. I prefer repeaters with no appreciable hang time.

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I wondered about that in day of modern transistors. When I was very young, my father was still repairing tube type equipment and he taught me a lot; including that hang time was because of tubes. You are the only other person I've heard/read stating the same thing. Thank you for the verification. I prefer repeaters with no appreciable hang time.

Back around 1980 one of the repeaters my shop owned was an antique (circa 1950) VHF RCA. It used a pair of 3-500Z tubes in the final amp. Those had to be replaced in pairs even if only one failed for any reason. At the time it cost around $300 for a pair of them. As of today, they are around $220 each. That repeater I programmed with a six second hang time.
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ok. I'm also new to this all. I know on certain channels in certain areas i get a audible tone that comes across my radio. It is set at a interval. i haven't heard it in a while but then again i don't travel that direction often. any idea what it might be? would this be a travel tone?  

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oh ok and where i am only on a mxt105 w/o repeat abilities i cant communicate with it correct? 

no, it is just an ID that is automated. it likely translates to the call sign of the owner. If you can hear the ID, You may be able to key it up and talk to either the owner or another user, If they are listening,..

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Your radio  - mxt105, isn't repeater capable.  You can monitor the frequency the repeater is broadcasting it's id on with Morse code; that's what your hearing but you can't talk or bring up the repeater because the radio you have doesn't transmit the alternate frequency required to key the repeater and make it rebroadcast  your  transmission on the same frequency you hear.  Two different frequencies 1. broadcast and 2. transmit.

There are lots of radios that are repeater capable.  If you're coming from cb radio you have been talking on what called simplex - one frequency (channel).  When you start getting into repeaters to extend your range you use two frequencies - transmit and receive.  

Be cautious how you spend your $ on radios it can really put a drain on your wallet but not necessary give you what you want.

I would suggest you look into getting a ham radio license if you like radio talk especially in Maine, you can easily talk for 100s of miles over the network of repeaters.  Most amateur radio operators are welcoming to new hams, we even have nets(group talking sections on the air -like meeting up on the repeater to chat) that help newbies learn.  Last night the Portland repeater - 147.090 group had the newbies roundtable net at 7p.m. to talk about grounding your station.  It had about 10 check ins.  The technicians(beginners license) is pretty easy to pass with a little study and opens up a world of bands and fun.   Check it out - lots of clubs and activities for amateur  radio or send me a pm if you want more information on getting licensed.  

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I'm in the process of going Ham. I have reached out to the Waterville area wireless ass. for some info and help on retaining my ham lic. I'm looking into some inexpensive radios and looking at feedline and antenna. I have a couple local hammies around me as well. i'll pm you now. 

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When a repeater has split dcs codes for tx and rx is where I run into trouble.  All my Midland radios which have Repeater functions will not work as they assume that one dcs code is being used on tx and rx.  So I cannot receive if I use the tone to key the transmitter.    Then, another radio is programmable.  I still cannot find how to input two codes for tx and rx.  I can input a tx code and then instruct that the rx be activated by carrier only.  I have had luck with that setting.   So I guess maybe Motorola has both tx and rx dcs codes as programmable.  I have Garmin handheld GMRS radios with repeater function, but only can use one dcs code.  I suppose I need to talk to the repeater owner and ask they be made the same.     

 

Am I off base here?  Missing some important concept, or is Midland that short on function it can't handle two dcs tones...?

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Am I off base here?  Missing some important concept, or is Midland that short on function it can't handle two dcs tones...?

 

You are not off base, you are on home plate. Midland is indeed missing this split tone function, and that is the #1 complaint about them around this site.

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When a repeater has split dcs codes for tx and rx is where I run into trouble. <snipped>  I suppose I need to talk to the repeater owner and ask they be made the same.     

 

 

 

Pretty good chance that the repeater owner knew about the issue that Midland users would have, and chose to purposefully split the codes anyway. It's considered to be a cheap and effective way to keep "lesser" radios off the system.

 

I'd upgrade to a commercial radio, and sell off the Midland.

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