Special Audible Signals


VERN • Special Signal Tones

Network Control and Group Leaders (with a GMRS radio+license) could use additional audible DTMF tones to indicate certain conditions on a Volunteer Emergency Radio Network. These tones are sent using the radio’s numeric keypad as described here for the two basic signal tones.

A standard GMRS radio, the BTECH GMRS-V1

NOTE: FRS radios generally have no keypad and are NOT able to produce tones.


SPECIAL SIGNALS

For Network Control & Group Leaders ONLY, three (3) additional special audible signals are proposed. Most VERN operators will not send these but could hear them.

(3) Danger Level Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 ###  ###  ###  ###  ###            Danger !
 
###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###  ###   HEY !!

• Press “pound” key 3x rapidly (a ‘triple-tap‘)
• Pause for one (1) second between each ‘triple-tap’
Repeat ‘triple-taps’ 5x-10x (more indicates higher danger)
• 10x = highest possible danger level (catastrophe: almost never used)

NOTE: These signals are sent by Network Control
   —> Only to the Emergency Alert Channel (FRS 9, GMRS 33)
—> Only when there is useful incident info to broadcast.
   —> Followed by:
            A brief incident summary.
            More info on Main VERN Repeater channel (FRS 8, GMRS 23)

(4) Group Leaders / GMRS “Gather” Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
  88 33 77 66                                 Group Leaders Gather

• ‘Musical’ tone for NetCon/Group Leaders to call all GMRS operators*
Press & Hold each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each
Pause 1 second between pairs

NOTE: Spells “VV EE RR NN” for Volunteer Emergency Radio Network operators. Variations on this are still being proposed and refined.
* GMRS operators are the network‘s backbone, leading the groups and relaying other people who cannot be heard: this calls them together for something important.

(5) Test Signal

Keys                                                  Name                                      
 218  218  218                                  Start Test / End Test

Used by operators to: test the Repeater and train on using signals.
Press each key Twice (2x) holding for a half second each press.
Pause 1 second between pairs.
Preceded by saying “START Test Alert” out loud.
 • Followed by saying “Test Alert END” out loud.


FAQ

Q: What is FRS?

A: FRS stands for Family Radio Service and is a low-power 22 channel two-way radio service in the UHF 462/467 MHz range. Shares same frequencies with GMRS.


Q: What is GMRS?

A: GMRS stands for General Mobile Radio Service, and is a medium-power 22 + 8 (repeater) channel two-way radio service in the UHF 462/467 MHz range. Shares same frequencies with FRS.


Q: Is CAVERN Channel 8 or 9, 15, 23 or what?

A: All of the above! CAVERN is heard on 462.550 MHz which is GMRS/FRS Channel 15, however different radios access this channel via different channel locations. CAVERN-programmed RETEVIS RT22 hear.

Q: How do I monitor for emergencies only?

Q: How do I alert people to an emergency?

Q: What constitutes a local emergency?

Q: Does CAVERN own these channels?

Q: Why can’t people hear me?

CAVERN Emergency Channel

Not everyone wants to listen to a scanner or CAVERN throughout the day…and especially at night. Luckily CAVERN programmed radios can screen out the day–to-day chitchat on the frequency, so that you only hear alerts of local emergencies put out by fellow CAVERN volunteers.

Monitoring

To screen out chitchat set your CAVERN-programmed RETEVIS RT22 to channel 9, or (newer) BTECH GMRS V1 to channel 33. Additionally any FRS/GMRS radio that supports privacy tones can be set to the standard channel 15 with a “privacy tone” or CTCSS receive tone of 103.5 Hz. (Often tone #13 corresponds to 103.5 Hz.) Consult your radio’s manual or send email to Net Control.

NOTE: We test the Emergency Alert channel tone at the beginning of our check-ins or when a Fire siren is tested. But we conduct the actual check-in roll calls on our non-emergency channels! (RT22 Ch 8, GMRS V1 Ch 15 or 23, most FRS/GMRS radio ch.15 with NO privacy tone.) If you modify your radio to hear the Emergency tome, be sure to reset your radio to the regular channel after test or you may not hear anything else!

Transmitting

Should you need to announce an emergency, first listen and ask on the non-emergency channel if the network is already aware of the emergency.

If there is imminent danger to the some part of the Cobb area (as in a moving fire within 1-3 miles likely to require evacuation) put out an emergency alert with as much detail RETEVIS RT22 to Ch 9, or BTECH GMRS V1 to Ch 15 or 23 with CTCSS 103.5 set on transmit. Additionally any FRS/GMRS radio that supports privacy tones can be set to channel 15 with a “privacy” or CTCSS tone corresponding to 103.5 Hz (often named tone #13).