4.2 RF control commands

There are several FF-800 commands that directly or indirectly affect the RF interface of the FF-800 repeater system. This section describes these commands and illustrates the operation of each with examples. These commands are used to define or control the RF system to which the the FF-800 is connected.

TR Mode Access level: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg)(5421) ; (type) (telemetry) (duplex)Local Mode
(cnfg)(5422) ; (type) (telemetry) (duplex)Port A Mode
(cnfg)(5423) ; (type) (telemetry) (duplex)Port B Mode
(cnfg)(5424) ; (type) (telemetry) (duplex)Port C Mode
(cnfg)(5425) ; (type) (telemetry) (duplex)Port D Mode
Response: "T R" + port + type + telemetry + duplex

The entry of each parameter is as follows:
This command gives the user the flexibility to configure the FF-800 for a variety of RF interface protocols. Changing system configurations can be quickly updated with just a few commands.

Type definitionsType characteristics
0) OffPort input/output is disabled.Port will not respond to TR Control command
1) MainConstrained by the QSO timer.TR Control requires control unlock.
2) LinkConstrained by the QSO timer.TR Control does not require security. There is no hang time or courtesy tone on link outputs.
3) Remote BaseNo timer constraints.TR Control does not require security. Remote base inputs can not enter DTMF commands directly, these ports also do not output a hang time or courtesy tone.
The four TR ports on the FF-800 may be configured in any combination of Main, Link, or Remote Base as desired by the user. In addition, there are two other port options that must be included in the TR mode parameter:

Of course, before the ports can be configured, the user must make a determination of what types of TR systems will be used. This may involve detailed knowledge of other repeater installations in a multi-site link system. For example, given a full duplex 70cm link from a remote repeater, a user may be tempted to configure the port as a full duplex TR. However, if the remote system loops back audio, a feed-back loop may be created. In this case, the full duplex RF link would be configured as half duplex on the FF-800 to prevent a feedback path, even though the RF hardware can support full duplex.

DD5422111		set port 1 for main, full duplex and aux interrogate
"Set T R M A F"		"TR" is the function response, "M" = main, "A" = aux 
interrogate on, 
			"F" = full duplex.
DD5422			interrogate port A
"T R M A F"
DD5423310		port B = remote base, aux = on, half duplex
"Set T R R A H"
DD5424300		port C = remote base, aux = off, half duplex
"Set T R R H"		the omitted "A" means that the aux. interrogate is off for this 
DD5424211		port C = link, aux on, full duplex
"Set T R L A F"
DD5425000		port D = off.
"Set T R Off" 
TR Priority Set Access level: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg)(541) ; (port#HI)...(port#LO)
Response: "T R P" + a list of the ports from high to low priority

Each port in the FF-800 system is assigned a priority level for resolving multiple access contention situations (voting). This priority system is separate from the mode configuration and allows any priority hierarchy regardless of the port mode definitions. The most popular method for assigning priorities is to place main ports first, followed by link ports (if any) and finally with remote base ports (if any). If there are multiple ports of the same type, the user chooses one port to have priority over another of the same type (this choice is usually arbitrary between ports of the same type).

DD54112345		; Local mic = Highest priority, Channel A = next highest, etc...
"Set T R P  L A B C D"	; Responds with priority list

DD54151342		; Channel D = highest priority, Local mic = next highest, etc...
"Set T R P  D L B C A"

DD541			; Interrogate priority
"T R P  D L B C A"
TR Control Access: GENERAL
{#38} (AD2) ; (c)Port A
{#39} (AD3) ; (c)Port B
{#40} (AD4) ; (c)Port C
{#41} (AD5) ; (c)Port D
Response: See below
TR control is a collection of four command prefixes that control the receive and transmit status of any of the four T/R ports. Main and Link ports have four operating states: Off, Receive, Transmit, and Transceive. The Remote Base ports only have three operating states: Off, Receive, and Transceive. The difference is the presence of the Transmit only state for Link/Main ports. This allows a transmitter in a multiple receiver system to remain in operation even if its receiver is disabled (Main) or a remote system can monitor via a Link port without formally linking into the system. It should be noted that it takes two command sequences to place a Main or Link port into transceive mode while remote base ports can be placed in transceive with only one sequence. Also, Main port operations require that control security be unlocked (but they do not require a control prefix).

AD51		; port D = receive (assume port D = Remote base)
"D R X"
AD52		; port D = transmit
"D T X"
AD5		; interrogate port D
"D T X"

AD21		; port A = receive (assume port A = Main)
"A R X"
AD22		; port A = transmit
"A T X"
AD2		; interrogate port A
"A T R"

Note: The interrogate response is different for remote base channels because they do not 
have a transmit only option.
The response messages for TR Control can be user defined. This allows the user to customize the responses to reflect their system setup. A port with an ICOM IC-901 radio interface might be programmed as "901 T X", and "901 R X", etc... . Also, If a Digital Voice Recorder is installed in the system, these messages can include DVR tracks to add a higher degree of customization. Refer to Message Assign and Text Edit functions for details on changing these responses.

(cnfg) (546) (port#) ; (mode)
"C O S"0CTCSS input ignored
"P L"1COS input ignored
"C O S And P L"2COS and CTCSS required
"C O S Plus P L"3COS or CTCSS required

This command allows the CTCSS inputs to be included in the test for port activity. The various modes available allow several combinations of CTCSS and COS to represent port activity. Though not directly indicated, an "anti-PL" mode can also be implemented by setting the "AND" mode with this command, and setting the active level for the corresponding CTCSS input OPPOSITE of its normal active level. This will have the effect of "fooling" the FF-800 into thinking that there is always a CTCSS signal until a CTCSS input is applied.

Remote Base Activity Action Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (540) ; (mode)
0 = no action taken
1 = set receive action
2 = set off action
Response: "R B A" + "N A" if no action, "R X" if receive, or "Off" if off

The Remote Base Action command is used to control the remote base activity option -- this option allows the FF-800 to automatically modify the operating status of any remote base port that is in transceive mode. The automatic action occurs if there is no COS activity for a certain period of time (set by the ACTIVITY timer, see Timer Set). The user selects one of two actions to take on timeout: place the remote base(s) in "receive" or "off". The feature is not port selective, but it will only affect a remote base that is in transmit mode when the timeout occurs. Any valid COS into the FF-800 will reset the activity timer (which keeps the remote base(s) in transmit mode).

DD5401			; set Receive action
"R B A R X"
DD5402			; set Off action
"R B A Off"
DD5400			; set No action
"R B A N A"
When either the RX or OFF action is selected, and any remote base port(s) are in transmit, and the ACTIVITY timer times out (no COS detected), then the FF-800 will key the main port(s) and announce "R B Adjust" to signify that the remote base activity action has occurred. At this point, the affected remote base(s) will be placed in the selected mode. Any remote base(s) that were not in transmit will be unaffected.

TX Lock Access: CONTROL
(cntl) (420) (m) (m) = # of minutes to lock (m = 1 to 9)
Response: "T X L"

The FF-800 has the ability to lock on any enabled transmitter for test purposes. This command is useful where the user needs to have one or more transmitters activated for an extended period to perform adjustments or tests that involve the repeater transmit equipment. The lock may be deactivated by the entry of any valid DTMF digit. If the lock is not deactivated manually, the transmitters will automatically deactivate after the specified time has elapsed. The user should be aware that this command will activate the PTT on any main, link, or remote base port that has transmit enabled.

Audio Level Set Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (500) (pot#) ; (level%)

The digital level controls present on the FF-800 allow independent level control for each receiver as well as the computer speech and courtesy tones. This level control only affects the input to the main mixer -- the input to the DTMF decoder is not affected by these settings. The DTMF levels must be set at the receiver for proper DTMF detection (see 3.9 Repeater Audio Adjustments). This gives the user some latitude in balancing the various audio signals and allows adjustments to be made without gaining access to the controller. Since most repeater controllers are mounted in a rack chassis and surrounded by other rack chassis in a typical installation, it can be very difficult to gain physical access to rack equipment without disconnecting the equipment from the rack. Additionally, this feature allows the user to effect changes in any of the levels without being present at the repeater site.

DD500099		set speech level to full amplitude.
"Set R X S Nine Nine"	responds with new speech setting
DD500850		set user pot to 50%
"Set R X Five Zero"
DD5003			interrogate current setting for port B
"R X B Three One"	
(cnfg) (510) (timer#) ; (timer value)
(timer#) indicates the timer of interest, (timer value) is from 1 - 9999
Response: "Timer" + value

There are several user programmable timers on the FF-800 for controlling various repeater operations like hang time, courtesy delay, etc... . There are two timer units that are utilized by the various timers: "sec" timers are programmed in units of 1 second and have a resolution of 1 second -- "ms" timers program in milliseconds and have a resolution of 10 ms. The following list describes each:
UnitsTimer #Description
sec0Tail delay -- this is the delay between tail messages. When a tail message is sent, this value is set into the tail timer. No tail messages will be sent until the tail timer has expired.
sec1QSO delay -- this is the time out timer for the repeater. The QSO time defines the maximum length of transmissions from Main or Link ports.
sec2QSO window -- this sets the point at which the FF-800 will begin to send warning beeps of an impending timeout. This is set to the number of seconds remaining in the QSO time during which time the warning beeps are sent. Thus, if this timer = 15, then the warning beeps will sound 15 seconds before QSO time out.
sec3DTMF access activity timer. This timer is reset anytime that a valid COS signal is received by the FF-800. If this timer reaches zero (no activity), the FF-800 will automatically enter the down state of the DTMF access mode. If DTMF access is disabled, this timer has no affect (see DTMF Access Control and DTMF UP/DN).
sec4ID TIME. This is the maximum time between IDs.
sec5ACTIVITY. This timer determines how long the FF-800 will wait after the last valid COS before automatically modifying the status of a remote base that is in transmit (see Remote Base Action). ACTIVITY is also used by the FF-800 to determine when to send welcome IDs. If the repeater has not had any activity for the duration of ACTIVITY and a COS is detected, the FF-800 will send a welcome ID bulletin IF an ID is required at the time the COS was detected.
ms6Courtesy tone delay -- this is the amount of time (in milliseconds) that will pass after loss of a Main or Link COS before the courtesy tone is sent.
ms7Hang time. this is the amount of time that the FF-800 will keep any Main TX active after the courtesy tone has finished.
ms8"Kerchunk" filter time. This value is the minimum duration active COS that will activate the FF-800. When a valid COS is detected, the FF-800 will activate all enabled TX PTTs (usually within 40 ms of the COS activation). However, if the duration of the COS is less than the "kerchunk" filter time, the FF-800 will deactivate the transmitters after the COS signal is removed. Thus, no audio is lost, but the repeater will not respond to "kerchunkers". Once the FF-800 has been activated, the kerchunk filter has no affect.
sec9Autopatch Duration. This is the maximum duration for the normal autopatch.
sec10Autopatch Extend Time. This is the time that is set when the Autopatch Extend command is issued during an autopatch.
sec11Autopatch Activity. This is the maximum allowed delay between valid COS input during an autopatch.
sec12Emergency Autopatch Duration. This is the maximum duration for the emergency speed dial functions.
sec13Control Patch Duration. This is the duration of a control autopatch (see section 4.5).
sec14Reverse Patch Duration. Specifies length of a Reverse Autopatch function.
sec15ID Window Anxious. This setting indicates how soon before the ID Time expires that the FF-800 will try to send anxious IDs.
sec16ID Window Pending. This setting indicates how soon before the ID Time expires that the FF-800 will try to send pending IDs.
sec17Control autopatch security duration. This is the duration of the security access for the control autopatch.
ms18DTMF mute duration. This is the length of time after loss of DTMF that the FF-800 will continue to mute audio from the currently active receiver port.
ms19TX key-up delay. This is the length of time after an initial COS before the FF-800 will activate the PTT lines.

DD51001100		set time out timer to 100 seconds
"Set Timer One Zero Zero"	response
DD510061000		set courtesy tone delay to 1 second
"Set Timer One Zero Zero Zero"
DD51004			read current ID period
"Timer Five Seven Zero"
DTMF Access Control Access: CONTROL
(cntl) (442) ; (on/off)
Response: "T T A On" or "T T A Off"

The DTMF Access Control command is used to enable or disable the DTMF access mode. The DTMF access mode allows controlled access by users via a DTMF command entry. With DTMF access off, any valid COS/CTCSS combination will activate the FF-800 normally. The DTMF access mode allows general users to activate and de-activate the repeater on demand and is useful for intermitent interference problems that are sporadic and short lived. This mode can also be useful in situations where a system operator allows non-members access to their system, but only when an approved member has activated the repeater.

When DTMF access is on, the FF-800 can be activated and de-activated via the DTMF UP/DN command. While de-activated, the FF-800 will still perform mandatory IDs, so this feature is not suitable for de-activating the FF-800 for system service (use Repeater Off for this function). Also, the FF-800 will not respond to any other DTMF commands from main or link ports while deactivated (the FF-800 will always respond via the control receiver or the control autopatch). In addition, an activity timer will automatically de- activate the FF-800 if there is no repeater activity for a period defined by ACTIVITY (see the Timer Set command).

{#06} (AA3) ; (on/off)
Response: "T T Up" or "T T Down"

This command is used to activate or de-activate the FF-800 while the DTMF access is enabled. If DTMF access is off, this command has no effect. If the (on/off) is omitted, the status of the repeater will toggle (if the repeater is up, it will go down, and vis-a-vis). While the FF-800 is de-activated it will not accept any command other than DTMF UP/DN (except for the control receiver port and the control autopatch -- these inputs will respond normally to command inputs). Thus, the FF-800 must be activated before it will accept commands from the TX/RX ports.

CC4421			enable DTMF access mode
"Set T T A On"
"T T Down"
AA31			force UP
"T T Up"
AA3			toggle DTMF UP/DN to enter "down" mode
"T T Down"
AA3			toggle again for "up" mode
"T T Up"
CC4420			disable DTMF access mode
"Set T T A Off"
Aux. Repeater Off/On Access: GENERAL
{#08} (AA5) (on/off)
Response: none

This command was designed to be a stealth repeater disable command. It provides no annunciator and takes effect immeadiately. The FF-800 will still perform mandatory IDs. Its effect is similar to the DTMF UP/DN command, but without any announcement.

Repeater On Access: GENERAL
{#05} (AA2)
Response: "R P T Up"

This command is used to re-activate the FF-800 after the Repeater Off command has been executed.

Repeater Off Access: GENERAL
{#04} (AA1)
Response: "R P T Down"

This command de-activates the FF-800. The controller performs an ID and drops the PTT on all ports. If a COS attempts to interrupt the ID, it will be ignored and the PTTs still drop after the ID is complete. No commands or COS signals are recognized until the repeater is re-activated via the Repeater On command.

AA1		turn off repeater
ID message
(all PTT lines de-activate)
AA2		turn on repeater
"R P T Up"

AA50		turn off inputs, no acknowledge
(all PTT lines de-activate)
AA2		turn on normally
"R P T Up"

AA50		turn off
(all PTT lines de-activate)
AA51		turn on
(no response, but FF-800 will respond to valid COS)
Warm Restart Access: GENERAL
{#07} (AA4)
Response: "FF Eight Hundred V x.xx Delta" + repeater ID

This command performs a warm reset -- this command generally should not be used unless the FF-800 is displaying erratic behavior.

Tone Test Access: GENERAL
{#13} (AB0) (test digits)
Response: lists digits entered

This command will read-back valid DTMF signaling and is useful to identify defective digits on marginally functional keypads.

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