Privacy Codes and Sub-Channels

Privacy Codes & Sub-channels

 By Kenton Andersen

When evaluating FRS and/or GMRS radios, you will see options for names like “Privacy Codes”, “Squelch Codes”, “Tone Codes”, “Interference Eliminator Codes”, “Sub-channels”, “CTCSS”, or “DCS”. These are all names for the same feature – silencing your speaker until someone transmits with the code you are receiving.

These codes are useful in fixed locations when independent groups are sharing the same FRS-GMRS channel. For example, WCMC autocrosses always use channel 7 with the 1st CTCSS code, often called sub-channel 7.1.

During tours, we have found that these codes are not needed, because tours move away from other radio users pretty quickly.

So, if buying a radio for autocross, be sure it offers CTCSS code 1, also known as 67.0Hz. If you want to take the same radio on a tour, be sure you know how to turn CTCSS OFF and DCS OFF (some radios call this code “0”).

Disclaimer: The views expressed here belong to the author and not the Windy City Miata Club, Inc. or its officers. The Windy City Miata Club, Inc., assumes no liability for possible damages.