Fire Tone Out
From The RadioReference Wiki
Fire-Tone Out Operation allows the scanner to operate in a standby mode and respond to fire tone-outs, a system comprised of standardized two-tone sequential paging, short one-tone paging, and long group tone paging. You can save up to 10 settings. When you select a setting in standby mode, the scanner also monitors for any other setting that uses the same transmit frequency, modulation, and attenuation settings.
Common Questions and Answers
Can a non-Uniden DMA scanner be set up to measure or react to a FTO?
- Currently only the Uniden DMA scanners (See next question) are actually set up to react to a FTO. However, any scanner can be utilized to measure the FTO, using the right software (some suggested links are below). This includes Uniden scanners that don't have FTO capability, RS or GRE scanners, AOR, ect.
What scanners support Fire Tone Out alerting?
- The BCT15, BCT15X, BR330T, BCD996T, BCD996XT, BCD996P2, BCD396T, BCD396XT, BCD325P2, BCD436HP, BCD536HP, SDS100 and SDS200 all support Fite Tone Out alerting.
What do I need to connect a scanner that isn't FTO capable to measure it? Is a discriminator tap needed?
- No discriminator tap is required, as the tones are generally within a voice range of audio frequencies. A good clean connection from the PC to the soundcard is often all that is needed. See the Connecting Radios to Soundcards article for more on this subject
Can I use the scanner and FTO at the same time?
- No, only one function can be active at a time. Use as a scanner, or monitoring for a FTO, but not both.
Why is my FTO scanning the FTO memories?
- The scanner is showing you all systems it is actively looking for. A tone alert on ANY will alert you whether that is the one currently displayed or not. The unit will alert on any tone on the same frequency (and mode).
I don't know the tone timing for my local paging system for FTO use
- This is no longer an issue. Later firmware releases deleted the need to know this information.
Where can I find the tone outs for my area?
- Check the Fire Tone Outs category. All areas are listed alphabetically.
The Fire Tone Outs for my area aren't in the wiki. How can I find them?
- Fire personnel are often reluctant to give out this information. Try asking in your state forum. You can also set your scanner's "A" and "B" tones both to "0" (zero) and that sets it to Tone Search mode. The scanner will then display decoded tones accurate enough to program into the radio for use.
I'm missing calls; decoding doesn't seem to be reliable. How can I fix this?
- Per UPman, setting the wrong mode will affect the accuracy of the decoding. Try changing the modulation from Auto to one of the other 2 modes, dependent on what the correct default is for the frequency being monitored. On VHF-Lo (25-50 MHz.) use "FM" mode, on VHF-Hi (140-174 MHz.) and UHF above 400 MHz.) use NFM for most situations.
What tone frequencies are used and why are some tones longer than others?
- Midian Electronics has a signaling chart of the various industry standard tone signaling formats.
Software known to decode Fire Tone outs
- ComTekk Two Tone Decoder
- You can read TWhitson's review of this software here
- ARC-XT PRO V1.4 and up will log detected FTO tones
- Musical Tuner
- RADIO ID on the iTunes store will decode over the air audio of two tone codes
Return to the Uniden DMA FAQ