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Use of Travel Tone


wqss651
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I am simply asking an open question here for anyone, not an argument.

 

So everyone licensed for GMRS have an understanding that 141.3Hz PL tone is an open travel PL Tone.

 

So why do people use that tone on a repeater they list here and ask for an email contact prior to use of repeater, if I am traveling, I cant possibly expect a response back within minutes right?  If you want it selectively used wouldn't you then use a tone OTHER THAN the well known travel tone 141.3Hz?  So...  Just asking.  I do have a repeater, no longer on air as I live in a very low spot and it didn't even cover my small town from my home. 

 

I guess what I am saying is if you don't want your repeater to be an open access repeater for ALL then wouldn't you select a PL tone other than the common travel tone?

 

Just asking...

 

r/

Glenn

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Lo and behold, there is something we can agree on. I’m actually with you 100% on this one.

 

I can’t speak for the people who do that, but I know others who’ve encountered it before. One guy I was chatting with on Zello said he sat about equidistant between two repeaters which used the same frequency and PL tone and that sometimes the owner of the one repeater would chew him out and say it’s a private repeater. I’d explain the situation and tell the owner ultimately, look, it’s another repeater I’m trying to hit, and you’re using travel tone…. maybe you should consider changing your PL tone or setting up your repeater to accept a registered list of PTT-ID numbers if you don’t want others on it, Beyond that, as far as I’m concerned, it’s their problem, not mine.

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Sounds like a reasonable question. I just don't know that everyone that is licensed and has a repeater, knows that is the universal travel tone. Especially since the group who started OPI is long gone, there are no published stands and no knowledge base, beyond some operators keeping the tradition and knowledge alive.

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I used PL141.3 on GMRS for years and on my 462.625 repeaters I had back then, having nothing to do with the travel tone concept.  462.675 used to be reserved for emergency and traveler assistance prior to all-channel licensing which started in 1999.  The reservation of 675 for emergency and traveler assistance went away when the FCC switched to all-channel licensing.  Many local REACT groups used 675 and PL141.3 back in the day.  I was using 141.3 on all GMRS/FRS channels.

 

I got GMRS licensed back in 1992 and you had to pick any 2 of the available GMRS primary channels and you put them and the corresponding 467MHz repeater inputs on the license application.  The license was issued showing the 4 frequencies and a note at the bottom saying that additional frequencies were authorized per rule section 95.29 and to refer to that section.  95.29 authorized the 7 12.5kHz "splinter" channels now shared with FRS 1-7 and authorized the use of 675 for emergency and traveler assistance if it wasn't already one of the 2 primaries you applied for.  I purposely got licensed on 575 and 625 because of manufacturers starting to make cheap 10 channel radios containing the 7 splinters now shared with FRS plus 575, 625, and 675.  These were the early cheap radios prior to the creation of FRS in 1996 and the ensuing bubble pack invasion which followed.

 

I got away from 141.3 and have used DPL to help thwart a jammer I posted about in another thread.  The jammer had antiquated equipment with only CTCSS capability and no DCS/DPL capability and didn't have a clue about DPL.  I have a few favorite DPLs and my favorite PL tone is 156.7.  PL156.7 is in the sweet spot of tones I like in the middle of the tone range.   I'm sort of on the fence whether to use PL156.7 or DPL full time on GMRS/FRS and MURS.  One thing for sure is I won't be using PL141.3 anymore because of too many people using it.

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One thing for sure is I won't be using PL141.3 anymore because of too many people using it.

I wonder if that’s a regional thing? I programmed one of the zones of my TK-8360 with all FRS/GMRS frequencies with 67.0 and 141.3 tones. I hear a lot on 67, but rarely anything on 141.3. Another zone, I’ll do the same, but I’ve been switching up the tone for that one each day, and it seems like people here tend to stick to the first and last 20 tones from the standardized Motorola list here (fourth page).
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I don't think it's a regional thing but maybe more popular in urban areas.  There was a local REACT group on 675 in my area about 20 years ago and they're gone now.  They used 675 w/PL167.9 for their local ops and also had 141.3 for traveler assistance.  The 675 repeater they were using is also gone.  I've heard REACT groups active on 675 in a few major urban areas of the country.  This was around 20 years ago.

 

67.0Hz is a good tone to avoid due to it being the out of box default tone in Motorola Talkabout FRS bubble packs.  I've found FRS users tend to use their radios right of the box at the factory default settings.  If they change tones, they typically don't stray far from the default tone.  The middle tones tend to rarely get used by FRS users.

 

I narrowed my favorite tone range down based on a number of factors.

  • Avoid all tones below 100.0Hz due to them being more susceptible to being false decoded by noise and adjacent tones.
  • Avoid 100.0Hz because it's used a lot and I've had problems with noise from electronics having 100.0Hz modulation.
  • Avoid tones that are harmonics of AC power line frequencies.  Avoid 118.8 (close to 2nd harmonic at 120.0Hz) and 179.9 (3rd harmonic at 180.0).  Avoid 100.0Hz in Europe due to 50Hz power.
  • Avoid 131.8 and 136.5 due to the DPL kerchunk problem caused by the 134.4Hz DPL reverse burst.
  • Avoid all tones above 167.9 due to them being more likely to be audible and annoying.  Tones above 200Hz tend to be screamers.

 

My favorite tones are 141.3 through 167.9, with 156.7 being in the middle of the range.  They seem to work the best and aren't annoying to listen to.  156.7 is also the tone specified by FCC rule to be used on the nationwide public safety interop channels on VHF, UHF, 700MHz and 800MHz.  These are the LTAC, VTAC, UTAC, 7TAC, and 8TAC inter-agency TAC channels.  I've also heard of preppers liking to use PL156.7.

 

When I use PL on GMRS/FRS and MURS, my favorite is 156.7.

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I am simply asking an open question here for anyone, not an argument.

 

So everyone licensed for GMRS have an understanding that 141.3Hz PL tone is an open travel PL Tone.

 

So why do people use that tone on a repeater they list here and ask for an email contact prior to use of repeater, if I am traveling, I cant possibly expect a response back within minutes right?  If you want it selectively used wouldn't you then use a tone OTHER THAN the well known travel tone 141.3Hz?  So...  Just asking.  I do have a repeater, no longer on air as I live in a very low spot and it didn't even cover my small town from my home. 

 

I guess what I am saying is if you don't want your repeater to be an open access repeater for ALL then wouldn't you select a PL tone other than the common travel tone?

 

Just asking...

 

r/

Glenn

 

I used to use 141.3 on GMRS/FRS and MURS, having nothing to do with the travel tone concept.  I moved away from 141.3 due to it being advocated as a travel tone on GMRS and I like 156.7 better anyway.  I also like using DPL.

 

What is it that makes 141.3 officially (and legally) the travel tone for GMRS?  The FCC doesn't regulate the use of specific CTCSS tones for licensees.  The only case I know of where the FCC has specified a particular CTCSS tone in its rules and required to be used is for public safety agencies on the nationwide public safety interop channels on VHF, UHF, 700MHz, and 800MHz.  These are the LTAC, VTAC, UTAC, 7TAC, and 8TAC inter-agency TAC channels.  I don't think we will be able to mandate a specific tone to be used as a travel tone, short of getting it written into the FCC rules for GMRS.

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What is it that makes 141.3 officially (and legally) the travel tone for GMRS?

 

 

Nothing at all. It's an old, unofficial concept. There was a nationwide group of owners that started something called the Open Repeater Initiative. They decided among themselves that 141.3 would be the universal tone for repeaters that were open to travelers, for safety and general communications needs.

 

The idea was, you could put your radio on repeater pair 462/467.675 (rCh 20), set the tone of 141.3 and just drive wherever you needed to. If there was an OPI repeater near by, you could use it.

 

Over time, OPI died off as a group, but many owners still honor the travel tone concept. Though, on all channels. Not just the original pair.

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