MOTOTRBO CPS Signaling Systems: You've probably missed it at least once...

The below settings can be found here.
If you've programmed a MOTOTRBO radio before, chances are you've missed this page in the CPS. This is probably because we tend to focus on the parameters in the sub-items (e.g. 5 Tone Sys1). That's okay because I've sometimes missed these settings too. Lets have a look at them:

The above will vary according to model and region.

In most MOTOTRBO radios, it is possible to turn the Radio Disable Decode function off. If un-ticked, the radio will ignore all Radio Disable commands sent to it. 
I had one case where a disgruntled (former) employee left the company and "forgot" to give his radio back and spent the next day disabling all the radios on the system - until someone disabled his radio.

Remote Monitor Decode and Emergency Remote Monitor Decode determine whether the radio will respond to a Remote Monitor command. Remote Monitor allows a supervisor, or dispatcher, to make a specific radio transmit (without the users knowledge). This would be useful in emergency situations, where the user is (for whatever reason) unable to press the PTT and answer a call. The Emergency Remote Monitor Decode selection is only applicable if the radio has entered emergency mode - either via a button press; Lone Worker or Mandown. Remote Monitor Duration would, in this case, set the amount of time the radio would PTT when this happens.

TX Sync Wakeup Timer and TX Wakeup Message Limit sets the amount of time and number of retries the radio will send when attempting to key up a repeater. If no Snc transmission is received, the radio will assume the user is out of range and will emit the low pitched error tone known as a Bonk (which is quite funny since in non-American English, it has a quite different meaning :-P).

The remaining settings are applicable to analogue mode only. Some are applicable to 5-tone channels whereas most are applicable to analogue (MDC1200 and QCII) channels.

Call Alert Encode and Sel Call Encode determine whether the radio is allowed to send a MDC1200 or QCII call. Call Alert will only make the called radio sound an alert whereas Sel Call means that the receiving radio will unmute for voice.

Sel Call Tone ID will determine whether the Sel Call tones are sent only on the first PTT press or every PTT press while the call is in progress. Sel Call Hang Time sets the amount of time the squelch is open after the PTT, to intiate a Sel Call, is pressed. These two settings are applicable to MDC1200 and QCII only.

Auto-Reset Timer is used on 5-tone channels to determine how long the squelch must stay open, after a Selective Call is received and the auto-reset start criteria have been met. For example Auto-Reset Start could be set to Carrier Override (this is set up in the 5-tone channel) in which case, the Auto-reset Timer will only start counting when the carrier disappears from the channel.

5-Tone Call Answer Timer sets the amount of time the radio will wait for an Auto-Acknowledge. The called radio could, for example, be waiting for the channel to become free before sending an Auto-Acknowledge. The idea is that if the Auto-Acknowledge takes too long to come, the channel must be so busy that there would eb no point in setting up the call.

The 5-Tone Authorisation Request Monitor Timer sets the duration the radio will wait after sending a Select-5 (or 5-tone) authorization request. An authorization request is initiated from a radio with receive only capabilities, to request the controller (usually an unmanned device or radio) for permission to transmit on a channel. The request is initiated by pressing the 5 Tone Authorization Request Button Function (see below). If the correct telegram is received, the channel transmit capabilities are enabled in the radio.

5-Tone Authorisation Request Monitor Button defines which button will send the authorisation request. The button functions are set in Buttons and One Touch Access.

When operating on a 5-tone channel, the radio can be configured to operate differently when the emergency feature is triggered - this is defined by the 5-Tone Emergency Alarm Type setting. The choices (and logic) here are the same as for Digital Emergency, except that a Select-5 sequence is generally used to alert other radios: Regular; Silent and Silent with Voice. 
If Regular is chosen, the radio will simply send the configured emergency telegram. If Silent with Voice is chosen, the radio will stop sounding alerts, go into emergency mode, send the emergency Select-5 telegram and PTT a number of times. The telegram that is sent is defined by the 5 Tone Emergency Encoder Telegram setting below.
Putting the Emergency Channel in the Channel Pool prevents users from selecting it by mistake.

The radio can also be set to go to a specific channel when emergency is triggered. I find it quite useful to put this special emergency channel in the Channel Pool - that way the user can't select it by mistake. The channel can be selected from the 5 Tone Emergency Revert Channel drop-down.

If 5-Tone Emergency Alarm Type is set to Silent with Voice, the radio will PTT a number of times. The number of times - and for how long each time - the radio transmits, is set by means of 5 Tone Emergency Cycles;  5 Tone Emergency TX Cycle Time and 5 Tone Emergency RX Cycle Time. 

5 Tone Emergency Encoder Telegram tells the radio which Select-5 Telegram to send when emergency is triggered.


  1. Wayne,

    How can we overcome getting the reminder & alerts when the radio is muted? We are finding that the radios are activating the lone worker emergency feature because the volume is all the way down and the user is not hearing any alerts or reminders.

    1. One way would be to set Min Speaker Volume Level (dB) to anything other than Muted and set Volume Offset (dB) to something higher than 3. You'd have to experiment to see what works best in this case.

      If the users want to have the radio quiet while they are in a meeting, another way would be to add a channel/personality called "do not disturb" and set this to only unmute the radio if called by the dispatcher (or even not have the radio unmute to calls at all) - this way they can still keep the volume at a descent level but not have to listen to radio chatter.


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