4.6 Courtesy Tones

The FF-800 allows the system operator to define and allocate courtesy tones. The entry of a courtesy tone is a two step process. First, the user "defines" the tone by entering the information that will determine what the tone will sound like. Second, the user must "allocate" the tone by telling the FF-800 what port and mode the tone is assigned to. There are 8 user defined tones, and 8 fixed tones, all of which may be allocated in the same manner. Each receiver port has two associated courtesy tones, one for all remote bases = off, and one for any remote base = RX or TX -- both tones can be allocated by the system operator. In addition, there is a remote base transmit annunciator courtesy tone that can be allocated as desired. This tone is sent immeadiately after a loss of COS when any remote base = transmit. The dependence on remote base status is intended to provide a simple and direct means of identifying when there are remote bases active on the system. This would alert operators that there could be traffic coming from, or going to other systems via one or more of the remote base ports. Of course, these features can be easily configured to mask the state of the remote bases if the system operator does not desire such indications. The tone generator system that is incorporated into the FF-800 features sine-wave synthesis, attack/decay and frequency sweep effects. The system can generate CW characters, constant tones, "bell" tones, swept tones, two tone "notes", as well as any combination of these effects. Most courtesy tones are actually several tone elements that are strung together in sequence. By varying the parameters of each element, the system operator can create a virtually endless variety of courtesy tones. These "elements" are the basic building blocks with which the system operator will create courtesy tones. Each element has the following parameters that determine the characteristics of that element: How these parameters are combined depends upon the particular effect that is desired. Once a courtesy tone is complete, it is stored to one of the 8 available slots for user courtesy tones where it is then available for allocation.

(cnfg) (551)
Response: "C T Enter"

This command places the controller into courtesy tone edit mode. In this mode, all DTMF entries are interpreted as edit commands. These edit commands allow the system operator to enter the elements of a courtesy tone. The user can test all or part of the courtesy tone at any point of the edit process. Elements are entered one at a time per the following syntax:

(duration) (*) (F1) (*) ; (F2) (*) ; (level) (*) (fx) (*) (fx rate)
(duration)length of element in (msec)
(F1)frequency of tone 1 (0 - 2540 hz)
(F2)frequency of tone 2 (0 - 2540 hz)
(level)amplitude of element in % (0 - 99)
(fx)tone effects command (see table below)
(fx rate)specifies the rate of the effects (if any)
If an element entry begins with a (*), it is an editor command. The following commands are supported:
(*0n)delete the last "n" elements
(*1)test last element
(*2)test all current elements
(*3n)save to ct# "n" and exit
(*4)abort edit (no save)
if an entry ends with a "#" it is ignored.

The entry of effects options (attack/decay and sweep) is accomplished with a single digit according to the table below. This format is intended to simplify the entry of elements by limiting the number of digits that must be entered. The user might note that the effects are arranged on the DTMF key pad with attack/decay from right to left and sweep from top to bottom. The center of the numeric pad, "5", represents no effects. To do attack, the command would be "6"; to do sweep+, the command would be "2"; to do attack and sweep-, the command would be "9" and so on... .

Another feature of the CT Edit function is the element "memory". The FF-800 remembers the last element that was entered and uses it as a template to fill in the optional parameters of the next element. Thus, for many courtesy tones it may only be necessary to enter the (duration) and (F1) parameters for each element. In addition, a default "memory" is initialized when the CT Edit mode is invoked: (F2) = 0, (level) = 99, (fx) = none, (fx rate) = 30. If no changes are made to these parameters during the entry process, they will remain in effect throughout the edit mode (these defaults are typical for most courtesy tones).

The following examples help illustrate the element entry process:

CT example #1: a sequence of three tones with a short space between each.  A space (F1 =
F2 = 0hz) is an element, so three tones plus two spaces = 5 elements total.

unlock configuration security.
enter "01551"
response: "C T Enter"
enter "300*400"
response: a 400 hz tone
enter "100*0"
response: no tone
enter "300*800"
response: an 800 hz tone
enter "100*0"
response: no tone
enter "300*400"
response: a 400 hz tone
enter "*2"
response: all three tones in sequence
enter "*30"
response: "C T Complete"

CT example #2: A bell tone.

unlock configuration security.
enter "01551"
response: "C T Enter"
enter "1500*800*0*99*4*15"
response: an 800 hz tone with a medium rate decay
enter "*01"
response: "Minus One"
enter "1500*800*880"
response: a dual tone with medium rate decay (note memory feature filled in the remaining 
parameters from the previous element)
enter "*01"
response: "Minus One"
enter "1500*400*0"
response: a 400 hz tone with a medium rate decay
enter "*4"
response: "C. T. Abort"
CT Test Access: GENERAL
{#27} (AC1) ; (n)
Response: sends indicated courtesy tone

"n" indicates the courtesy tone number that is to be interrogated. This allows the user to easily check any of the current courtesy tones. If "n" is omitted, the FF-800 will respond with the tone that is currently in the serial port courtesy tone edit buffer (see chapter 5 for information on how to use the serial port interface). This command is not applicable to the DTMF command CT Edit (there is already an interrogate command available to this mode).

(cntl) (550) (rx#) ; (ct#)
Response: "C T" plus the tone assigned to (ct#)

Once courtesy tones are entered, they must be allocated so that they can be linked to a particular receiver or action. As noted earlier, each receiver has two associated tones, one for indicating that no remote base ports are on, and one for indicating that any remote base port(s) are on. There is also a tone for indicating that there is a remote base port in transmit. The following table describes the different values for (rx#):

(ct#) is from 00 to 07 for the user defined courtesy tones, and 08 to 15 for the factory defined courtesy tones.

DD55001			interrogate the local receiver courtesy tone
"C T" + assigned tone
DD5500313			set port B to a factory defined tone
"Set C T" + new tone
DD5500405			set port C to a user defined tone
"Set C T" + new tone
DD5500615			set remote base transmit indicator to factory tone (#15 = no 
"Set C T"
Voter Port Assign Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (570) ; (rx#)
(rx#):0 = none1 = local
2 = rxA3 = rxB
4 = rxC5 = rxD

Response: "V R X" + (rx#)

For systems that incorporate a voter, the FF-800 has the ability to assign a different courtesy tone to each receiver in the voter system (up to 8 receivers). Voter Port Assign is used to tell the FF-800 which port is connected to the voter so that courtesy tones can be determined according to the voter logic inputs. Connector P-10 is used to connect the voted receiver inputs. The voter logic inputs are derived from the voter system and should indicate only the current voted receiver. The default active level for these inputs is LOW (ground = voted, open = not voted) but the active level can be changed with the Voter Active Level command.

DD570			interrogate current assignment
"V R X Off"
DD5702			set port A as voted port
"Set V R X A"
Voter CT Allocate Access: CONFIGURATION
(cntl) (553) (rx#) ; (ct#)
Response: "V C T" plus the tone assigned to (ct#)

Courtesy tones may be allocated for the voted receivers in the same fashion as for the TX/RX ports. Voter courtesy tones assigned in this fashion will not have any provision for remote base indication. (rx#) = 1 through 8 for the respective voter input. (ct#) is from 00 to 07 for the user defined courtesy tones, and 08 to 15 for the factory defined courtesy tones.

DD5531			interrogate voter#1 courtesy tone
"V C T" + assigned tone
DD553113		set voter#1 to factory defined tone
"Set V C T" + new tone
(cnfg) (572) ; (mode)
Response: "V M Current" or "V M Time"

The voted courtesy tone can be chosen by one of two methods. (mode) = 1 selects the "Current" mode. In this mode the voted courtesy tone is based on the last active receiver on the voted channel. (mode) = 2 selects the "Time" mode in which the selected courtesy tone is chosen based on the receiver that is voted for the longest amount of time during a particular transmission. The receiver timers are reset after each loss of COS so the indication is updated each time the voted channel is activated.

DD572			interrogate current mode
"V M Current"
DD5722			set time mode
"Set V M Time"
Voter CW String Enable Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (574) ; (on/off)
Response: "V C W" + "On" or "Off"

If the user desires to assign a CW character to each receiver in their voted system, they may use this feature to simplify the assignment of receiver courtesy tones. Since this feature doesn't use any user defined courtesy tones, it also helps free up space for other courtesy tones. When this feature is enabled, the courtesy tones for the voted receivers are taken from a message string in message number 0. This message must have a particular format as follows:

[CW] (frequency) (speed) A B s t u v w x y z

The [CW] phrase command provides the speed and frequency parameters that the user desires for the voter courtesy tones. The "A B" characters are required to allow the firmware to verify the message format. The characters that follow the "A B" sequence are the CW characters to be sent -- s = receiver #1, t = receiver #2, etc... . Unused receivers must still be assigned some CW character in order for the format checking to be satisfied. If this message is not entered according to the above format, the FF-800 will revert to the normal voter courtesy tone assignments.

The following examples depict the entry of the CW string via DTMF commands and serial 
commands (see Text Edit for DTMF message entry and chapter 5 for message entry via the 
serial terminal interface):
	The example system has four receivers at East, South, West, and North.

Message entry via DTMF command:

enter text edit mode
180*900*30*65*66*	(enter first part)
responds with CW "A B"
69*83*87*78*		(enter receiver characters)
responds in voice "E S W N"
88*88*88*88*		(fill in unused receivers)
responds in voice "X X X X"
*2			(read back entire message)
responds in CW "A B E S W N X X X X"
*300			(save to message # 0)
"T X T Complete"
DD5741			(activate voter cw string mode
"V C W On"

Message entry via serial terminal interface:

>MESSAGE 0 [CW] 900 30 A B E S W N X X X X
[CW] 900 30 A B E S W N X X X X
Voter Remote Base Mode Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (554) ; (frequency)
Response: "V R B" plus (frequency)

This command allows the user to set a different CW frequency for voter CW string courtesy tones during "any remote base = RX or TX" conditions. If (frequency) = 0, the remote base status is ignored and there is no change in the voter courtesy tones. Otherwise, the CW frequency of the voter courtesy tones will change to (frequency) if any remote base port is in RX or TX mode. If no remote base port is on, then the CW tone is defined by the voter CW string.

Voter Active Level Access: CONFIGURATION
(cnfg) (575) (rx#) ; (on/off)
Response: "V A L" + "On" or "Off"

The active level of each voter logic input can be set individually. By setting the active level to "on", a high voltage (Vin>2.8 volts) or open circuit will activate the respective input. Selecting "off" as the active level, a low voltage (Vin < 0.8 volts) will activate the respective input. The factory default levels are all active off.

DD5751			interrogate receiver #1
"V A L High"
DD57510			set receiver # 1 active low
"Set V A L Low"
(cnfg) (552) ; (mode)
(mode)"01" = no muting"02" = muting, no beeps
"11" = muting, steady beeps"12" = muting, individual beeps
Response:"C T M S"steady
"C T M I"individual
"C T M Off"none
"M U T Off"no muting

The FF-800 is designed to mute incoming DTMF signals and send a "cover tone" to the repeater output in place of the DTMF signal. This helps to enhance security (because the DTMF signals are not broadcast over as large an area as the repeater covers) and also eliminates DTMF signals from the repeater output (many users find DTMF signaling to be annoying). However, the user has the option to set the muting and cover tone to suit their own needs. The four options are indicated above. With "no muting" the DTMF signals pass through the FF-800 just as other audio signals, and there are no acknowledge beeps. "muting, no beeps" will mute the DTMF signals, but there are no acknowledge beeps. "muting, steady beeps" also mutes DTMF signals, an acknowledge beep is sent once each second as long as DTMF digits are entered. "muting, individual beeps" is similar to the "steady" mode, except that the acknowledge beep is sent after each DTMF digit.

If muting is selected, the tone un-mute digit (default un-mute is "#") can be used to temporarily defeat the muting feature. This is most often done to send DTMF signals to a remote system. To engage the un-mute, simply enter the un-mute digit followed by the digits that are desired. NOTE: any pause of more than 4 seconds between digits after the un-mute digit (#) will cause the un-mute to cancel and DTMF muting will automatically resume.

DD552			interrogate current mode
"C T M I"			individual beeps
DD55201			disable DTMF muting
"Set M U T Off"
{dtmf digits will now pass to the repeater output}
DD55211			steady beeps
"Set C T M S"
{muting on with steady rate beeps}

To: Table of Contents Next Section