Stupid question........

I have been re-reading Part 95, and a question occurred to me-

If someone is using CTCSS to chat with a buddy on any given channel and a MAYDAY call was issued on that particular channel ( for what ever reason ), but because the person was using CTCSS they didn’t hear it and didn’t vacate the channel, thus continued to chat - how much trouble would they be in for violating a legitimate order to vacate the channel ( because CTCSS didn’t let them hear the order )?

It seems to me that the use of CTCSS could cause allot of problems unless a radio watch was placed on the same channel without the use of CTCSS - but then who is going to do that?

( or am I just seeing problems where there are none? )

The rules put the responsibility for interference with the transmitting station. Proper practice (commercial radios are set up this way) is that when you pick up the mike, the CTCSS on your receiver shuts off, or there is a ‘monitor’ button to press to check the channel first.

I suspect that part of the problem is that the owners manual doesn’t go into the hows and whys of the various features like they should.

Still, the ability to push a button to monitor a channel for a few seconds, is not going to tell someone that a mayday has been declared 5 minutes earlier - as all they are going to hear is people talking without necessarily understanding the conversation.

I completely disagree. I have yet to see a commercial radio that automatically shuts off the tones and goes into monitor.

Also, the scenario described in the original post is so far fetched it’s not funny. Who the hell is going to call mayday on ANYTHING but a marine or maybe ham radio??? And in the case of marine no tones are typically used.

If you are having a conversation using tones and someone calls using open squelch that is NOT a problem for the ones using tones. About the only time this would apply is if you are beginning a conversation you should monitor in open sq for a few seconds, but NO ONE does this other than hams IMO, especially if using tones.


Is it?

To a long time user, it might appear so, but who ever expected MAYDAY’s to be used on a CB? Yet it has happened.

And given that GMRS appears to be going the way of the CB, with allot of unauthorized users, can we expect anything less to happen? - I feel that I must point out that I’m not saying we hope that it works out better than CB, as we obviously do not want it to turn out the way CB did, but we do need to be realistic about what might happen, unless the FCC sees fit to really deal with the problem of combination FRS/GMRS radios being sold to people who have no reason to be using the GMRS channels.

What about folks that shouldn’t be on GMRS to begin with ( let alone know anything about radio discipline )? It’s not like the radios come with adequate instructions on how to use them - for that matter few people actually read the manual beyond how to turn them on or change the channel.

While it may no longer be current practice, with Trunking systems, it USED to be that when a public safety unit unhooked their microphone from the dash clip, it automatically un-CTCSS’ed the radio’s receive function, for just this reason. That is, Motorola built a switch into the dash mike holder that handled this function.

Wasn’t built that way in hand helds, where you had to press a ‘monitor’ button to do that.

See: for a discussion of some of the mikes that did this.

Im going to get hell for reviving this old post, but most modern radios do remove PL/DPL once the mic is lifted. They do not open the squelch though… An example is Vertex mobiles, all of them have to have the mic hook grounded in order for the receive PL/DPL’s to work. when i used two vertex radios to build a repeater i had to add a jumper to the mic jack to simulate mic on hook. A quick google search for “microphone hanger must be grounded” shows quite a few radios that this is the case.