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I just got this new 2m/70cm hand-held, my first ham rig. I neglected to order the computer connection cable with the radio (it's on the way, and I've already installed the Chirp software on my Linux desktop computer). Meantime, in case I need to transmit or there's a delivery delay for the cable, how do I set up the "tone" for the local repeaters?

As I understand it, this is to ensure the squelch stays off while the repeater (or the HT) is transmitting, to prevent break-ups at the receiving end. Various repeaters have different tone figures listed in repeaterbook.com -- for instance, 107.2 -- but the radio and its manual don't have clear instructions on what to do with that tone. I see the menu entries related, not now how to set the correct value or ensure it gets sent or correctly processed when received.

This may become clear or easy to set up when I can connect Chirp to the radio, but at present it's not very clear.

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See Appendix B of the User Manual. BaoFeng calls these "CTCSS" tones, more recently referred to as "PL" tones. Page 67 of the manual describes Menu 13, which allows you to set the value of the sub-audible tone according to table C.2 on page 78.

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