I am newly licensed (Technician) and bought a UV-5RA as a cheap way to check out what's going on in my area and see if I'm finding it interesting enough to get a better UHF/VHF HT.
The other day I was listening to a conversation happening on a local repeater and when one of the guys gave their call I looked it up for the heck of it and it turned out he was near me. That made me curious to see if I could receive him directly, so I switched the radio from "channel" mode to "free-tune" mode and tuned to the repeater's receive frequency.
Turned out I could hear him. However, I could not hear a CTCSS tone on his transmission. The repeater in question uses one (I checked in the local listings and on RepeaterBook) so the person talking through the repeater had to be transmitting one. And according to various references, the tones run (approximately) from 67Hz to 250Hz.
Those frequencies are well within the human range of hearing (for example, the fundamental frequency for adult male speech is generally in the 85-180Hz range), so why didn't I hear them when listening to the repeater receiver frequency?
Similarly, when doing some UV-5R receive testing by transmitting to it from an old Motorola GMRS Talkabout (I know not to transmit back to it) I did not hear any tones, even though the Talkabout has PL turned on.
Is it as simple as the CTCSS tone is simply transmitted at a such low intensity level that it is hard to hear? Or is something else going on?