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Nighthawk
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Very disappointed that I was going to see about getting scanner frequencies for Cherry Point this weekend and did a Google search, only to find a thread on RR where you had the link showing it would not be allowed.

Pwnt, stay home.

5/1/2012 2:57:37 PM

KE4ZNR
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^ Yep. Seems some folks are paranoid of even the casual radio geek. Sad thing is that I know of a lot of folks
that would go in a heartbeat if scanners were allowed. Other airshows across the US allow scanners/receivers.
Heck Monitoring Times devotes a whole magazine issue each year just to airshow monitoring.

5/1/2012 5:12:48 PM

Nighthawk
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Yea I really enjoy going to Langley because I usually sit near a real radio geek who has a portable setup in his Radio Flyer wagon. When I'm near him I get to listen to all of the air ops channels, so it makes the experience so much cooler. Wanted to try and do it for myself once (not sure how much my little Pro-90 would get) but no such luck this weekend.

5/2/2012 7:06:47 AM

KE4ZNR
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Been busy at work so I have not had a chance to update this thread as I should have.

Just finished up rewiring this install in a DPD "Motor" Squad Car..when I first got it several of the devices were haphazardly installed in the vehicle..now it is more organized and more safe for the driver:



On top is the Radar unit.
Then the Durham Motorola XTL 5000 with W7 Control Head.
Then the Code 3 Siren/Light Control Box.
Below and to the left of the Code 3 box is the Radar remote control.
There is now wire ties around the wiring behind/under the code 3 box and it is organzied and another plate covering up the area behind the code box to keep the wiring safe.

[Edited on June 29, 2012 at 2:00 PM. Reason : clarity]

6/29/2012 1:59:34 PM

MisterGreen
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^

6/29/2012 2:02:20 PM

KE4ZNR
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One last pic:



Uniden HomePatrol HP-1, City issued Motorola XTS 5000 with FD Yellow Housing, and Uniden BCD396XT.

Gotta have all of the toys at work with me

6/29/2012 3:42:47 PM

KE4ZNR
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From this morning outside of the radio shop...Caprice, Crown Vic, and Dodge Charger.

We had some folks from a neighboring LE agency that wanted to see the Caprice and
Charger up close.

7/5/2012 2:25:54 PM

Str8BacardiL
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I thought Caprice was /production.

7/5/2012 10:41:55 PM

KE4ZNR
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^Durham has been testing both the Caprice and Charger to figure out
which to go with:
http://durhamnc.gov/ich/op/DPD/Documents/Police%20Car%20Possbilities.pdf
Hence the "T-1" and "T-2" on the 2 squad cars pictured above for "Test 1" and "Test 2".

[Edited on July 11, 2012 at 2:57 PM. Reason : Clarity]

7/11/2012 2:56:02 PM

KE4ZNR
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Keepin' this old thread alive here is a pic of where our Telecom Techs work
every day here in the radio shop:

http://i.imgur.com/0DCDw.jpg

Due to the panoramic nature of the pic I am just linking to the image rather than
embedding it.
3 dark gray monitors on the left side of the pic show us microwave connectivity...
Monitor in middle with blue background shows us entire system connectivity through
our master site location...beside that the monitor with the "green tic-tac-toe" display is
our Zone Watch screen which shows current system activity...to the right of that couple
of more screens that show current system activity and lists of specific call activity such
as radio->radio private calls, radios not allowed on the system, etc.
3 screens in the bottom right of the pic belong to our "Wizard of Oz" SysAdmin Homer...he also has a mirror display of what Durham 911 has dispatch wise in the far bottom right...
Using all of the above we can keep updated on all aspects of the radio system.

7/25/2012 1:01:38 PM

KE4ZNR
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21 XTS 5000's programmed and ready with spare batteries for Durham PD BLET recruits:



$4 grand is the cost of each radio plus the batteries are about $100 bucks each
Quite a communications investment

And to make sure no one messed with any of the above

8/2/2012 3:18:21 PM

evan
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okay. stupid question.

you mentioned before that decoding the alpha pager traffic is illegal... i thought that was only for commercial paging networks.

don't the wake county alpha pagers just use what used to be TAC 2? i don't see what's illegal about decoding FLEX traffic over a public VHF frequency...

8/21/2012 2:27:08 PM

evan
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also, if anyone here is as much of a nerd i am:

here's an open-source P25/IMBE decoder:
http://op25.osmocom.org/

and a smartnet trunk decoder:
https://github.com/bistromath/gr-smartnet

that work with gnu radio. gnu radio works, of course, with a (super expensive) USRP, but... it also works with a cheap-ass $20 DVB-T receiver, thanks to the people behind osmocom:
http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr

also:
http://www.reddit.com/r/RTLSDR/comments/us3yo/rtlsdr_smartnet/
http://rachelbythebay.com/w/2012/05/17/slowboat/
http://scanner.rachelbythebay.com/tech

tl;dr: you can get a P25-capable trunk tracking scanner for around $20 (and a lot of your time) that can theoretically track and record every TG simultaneously

[Edited on August 21, 2012 at 3:06 PM. Reason : ]

8/21/2012 2:56:38 PM

evan
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also also, followup on the paging thing:

18 USC § 2511(g)(ii)(2) seems to apply here
Quote :
"(g) It shall not be unlawful under this chapter or chapter 121 of this title for any person -
(ii) to intercept any radio communication that is transmitted -
2. by any governmental, law enforcement, civil defense, private land mobile, or public safety communications system, including police and fire, readily accessible to the general public;"

8/21/2012 3:25:12 PM

KE4ZNR
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Quote :
"okay. stupid question.

you mentioned before that decoding the alpha pager traffic is illegal... i thought that was only for commercial paging networks."


Decoding any "common carrier" pager traffic is (according to the letter of the ECPA law) illegal ...that part is correct.

Quote :
"don't the wake county alpha pagers just use what used to be TAC 2? i don't see what's illegal about decoding FLEX traffic over a public VHF frequency..."


That is where the grey area lies...no one has gone to court to force a decision of whether or not Public Safety paging falls under "common carrier" rules...most folks are of the opinion that if you decide to decode public safety paging keep it to yourself and don't make yourself be the "example case" for public safety to sue for intercepting their pages...just don't be stupid and don't rub what you are doing in their faces and you probably won't have too many issues.

Wake County Locution uses the Old Wake Sheriff Ch 2 VHF Frequency of 155.520Mhz due to the fact
this frequency was already designed for county wide coverage.

Of course the question can be asked "Why does Wake County not encrypt the alpha pages over the air?" The answer is simple: there are too many volunteer and small agency FD/EMS users that use older alphanumeric pagers. Not worth the headache to make the change.

As far as decoding pagers a lot of folks have had success with PDW:
http://www.qsl.net/zl3tmb/pocsag/software.html






[Edited on August 21, 2012 at 3:30 PM. Reason : grr]

8/21/2012 3:30:09 PM

KE4ZNR
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Quote :
"tl;dr: you can get a P25-capable trunk tracking scanner for around $20 (and a lot of your time) that can theoretically track and record every TG simultaneously"


Cmon now Evan...it ain't that easy

You are stuck tethered to a laptop in your linked approach. Hardly a "mobile" solution.
And as you say yourself above this approach takes a lot of setup time...
From the page you link:
Quote :
"The reality is software-defined radio isn't yet as simple as the plug-and-play of hardware radios. You will need a lot of patience and a fair amount of software skills to get working. "

So not really a "P25-capable trunk tracking scanner". More like a computer tethered to a receiver that monitors control channel data.
I will keep my small compact Uniden BCD396XT and my Motorola XTS5K:

Both of which I
can wear on my hip with no computer tethering necessary.

But I do appreciate all of the hard work folks are putting into SDRs.
We at RR.com have a forum devoted just to this topic:
http://forums.radioreference.com/digital-voice-formats/
And an open source software package called "DSD" that can decode formats
such as EDACS Provoice (Which Johnston County uses heavily):
http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/DSD



[Edited on August 21, 2012 at 3:42 PM. Reason : grr]

8/21/2012 3:41:38 PM

evan
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Quote :
"You are stuck tethered to a laptop in your linked approach. Hardly a "mobile" solution. "

Quote :
"More like a computer tethered to a receiver that monitors control channel data"

exactly.

i don't want to have to carry around *anything* extra with me (at least, when i'm not on duty... stupid damn XTS5000 and alpha pager...) is what i'm going for.

this + an SDR + some gnuradio coding == a system which records every transmission on every TG
then write a web service that provides this audio/the metadata from the control channel
then write an app/web frontend to access this information and "play" it in close-to-realtime
like this: http://scanner.rachelbythebay.com/main

it's also really sad that decoding paging protocols on public safety frequencies is still a grey area. it seems pretty clear to me that such a system is most definitely not a "common carrier" defined by 47 USC § 153(11) [which the ECPA specifically refers to for its definition]:
Quote :
"(11) Common carrier
The term “common carrier” or “carrier” means any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or interstate or foreign radio transmission of energy, except where reference is made to common carriers not subject to this chapter; but a person engaged in radio broadcasting shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be deemed a common carrier."

... but i'm definitely not a lawyer.

i'd really like to set up a service that forwards alpha pages to people via SMS filtered according to their specifications and/or capcode.

[Edited on August 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM. Reason : also, i didn't know DSD did EDACS. that's cool.]

8/21/2012 4:01:53 PM

evan
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525 F.2d 640 and 533 F.2d 601 actually clarify the definition of "common carrier" as executed in common law.

http://books.google.com/books?id=FKnhFoQykdgC&lpg=SA4-PA8&ots=T6DPpdWaL_&pg=SA4-PA5#v=onepage&q&f=false

8/21/2012 4:42:02 PM

KE4ZNR
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So as I am sitting here in my office I am monitoring several radios:
1) My City Issued Motorola XTS5000 that has a scan list of the following
Durham Talkgroups/Channels: Our Radio Shop TG, Gov Comm, Durham Police A & B, City & County Fire
Dispatch, Fleet TG, City Hall TG, NCSHP TG.
2) Spare Motorola XTS 5000 monitoring the Statewide Event Talkgroups on VIPER. This is especially
handy today as talkgroups Bravo 1&2 are being used by the various LE agencies in Raleigh in
advance of the Ryan visit.
3) Motorola MTX 800 monitoring the Durham PD "Police 1-Police 5" Unit to unit TGs.
4) Motorola MTS 2000 monitoring City & County FD Dispatch plus Durham Mutual Aid 6D-10D.
5) Uniden BCD396XT scanner off for the moment but can be used in a pinch.
And of course I can program any other spare radio in our shop in a couple mins time.

8/22/2012 11:36:54 AM

jtw208
 
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i'd love to have an SDR capable of tracking a trunked system

maybe once the guys nerdier than me have figured it out I will give it a try

8/22/2012 2:44:28 PM

evan
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Quote :
"i'd love to have an SDR capable of tracking a trunked system"

everything's in place to make that happen

you just have to have a thorough understanding of how gnuradio works

i'll see if i can write up something once my hardware comes in

8/22/2012 6:44:15 PM

jtw208
 
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if i do get one, I want it to have an antenna that doesn't suck

is the antenna connector on those USB dongles usually RP? I'd really like to be able to just hook up a VHF/UHF ham antenna to it with a BNC all quick like and have it work properly. also an 800mhz w/ BNC for those trunked systems

8/22/2012 8:09:41 PM

jtw208
 
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that sounds confusing. what I meant was that I hope it isn't RP. it probably isn't since RP is only for wifi where antennas are supposed to be 0 gain

anyway, I'm definitely picking one of these up. apparently they work well for AM aircraft, wx, and ham bands: http://www.amateurradio.com/rtl-sdr-adventures/

and tracking trunked systems is just icing on the cake

8/23/2012 9:20:05 AM

jtw208
 
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repost from chit chat Curiosity thread:
Quote :
"In order to keep track of distance traveled and provide a reference in the tracks left by Curiosity, the engineers at the JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) added morse code to the tread pattern in the wheels:

"

8/29/2012 7:21:13 PM

KE4ZNR
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^ Very Cool..thanks for sharing!

-.- . ....- --.. -. .-.

8/30/2012 12:55:17 PM

KE4ZNR
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Pretty big news from Radioreference.com...will be interesting to see how this plays out:

http://forums.radioreference.com/community-announcements-news/248711-coming-soon-broadcastify-com.html

Quote :
"I'm pleased to announce that on October 15th, 2012, we will be spinning off the live audio feeds on RadioReference.com to a new entity called Broadcastify.com. This will allow us to better focus RadioReference.com on it's core service, to be a reference source. Broadcastify will provide a stand alone entity to focus on the live audio feeds. You can see what the site will look like via the attached screenshot."




Quote :
"Again, the launch of this new site is scheduled for October 15th, 2012.

In addition to spinning off the live audio platform to a stand alone entity, we will be releasing new features and functionality to the broadcastify live audio platform. The below bullet points outline some of those updates and changes from what we have existing on RadioReference.com:

* 180 days of archives for all regular feeds
* 365 days of archives for official feeds
* Official feeds will have access to audio trimming capabilities
* Notable incidents section for storage of interesting audio archives
* Revamped feed alert system

Premium Features ($6.95/month)

* Access to feed archives
* customized player page for managing favorite feeds
* Email and SMS alerting for listener counts, feed alerts, and other user defined criteria
* No advertisements
* Unlimited listening times on the Web players

== Transition ==

Existing premium subscribers on RadioReference.com will have their subscriptions extended to Broadcastify for the term that they paid for on RadioReference.com. Meaning, if you paid for 180 days of a premium subscription on RadioReference.com and you have 120 days left, you will be automatically granted a 120 subscription on Broadcastify. New premium subscribers and renewals will be billed at a monthly rate of $6.95/month. Feed providers will ALWAYS receive a free premium subscription on Broadcastify.com, however they will no longer receive a free premium subscription on RadioReference.com. We will provide a complimentary 90 day RadioReference.com subscription to every active feed provider after the transition is complete on 10/15.

Also note that we will not have a "premium feed broadcaster" offering, rather we will incorporate most of those previously announced features into the regular broadcasting platform on broadcastify for all providers, free of charge.

When the transition occurs, broadcasters will not have to change anything on their end - everything will automatically transition over to the new Broadcastify servers. Mobile apps, remote Web players, relays, etc will also not have to be immediately changed and will continue to function normally when the changeover is complete.

Exciting times are ahead for Broadcastify and Radioreference and I'm thrilled to be making these announcements to the community today!

Warm regards,

Lindsay"

9/10/2012 6:03:37 PM

KE4ZNR
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Durham PD Polaris ATV. 2nd of 3 ordered. Have to help install lights & siren on this later today.

WTVD Video about why the city purchased these ATVs:

http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8799246

9/12/2012 8:29:47 AM

KE4ZNR
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NCSHP pursuit ("10-43") speeds in excess of 159mph of a motorcycle in Johnston County (SHP C6) on 9-13-2012 at around 10pm:

http://qsl.net/ke4znr/SHP1080/2012-09-13_22-12-57.wav

I captured this on my Uniden HomePatrol HP-1 and used AddaWav to join
the individual Wav files together.

9/16/2012 12:46:18 PM

llama
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I bought a used Jeep Cherokee recently and it came with a cheapo Cobra 19 Ultra III CB radio. I've never used a CB radio before, but I thought it might be neat to play around with it since it's already there. We can't get any signal on it, and my Ham friend says the tip of the antenna is broken off from the base. It's one of those small ones with a coil under the tip and has a magnetic base. Suggestions on a small, cheap replacement CB antenna? If it's going to cost too much to get it working then I'll probably just tear it out since I won't use it much.

9/16/2012 1:20:16 PM

KE4ZNR
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^ llama--Radio Shack used to carry CB antennas but a quick look on their website does not show any there these days...next time you are near a store you might wanna stop in and see if they have any
in stock. It does not hurt to have a CB installed on trips as you can hear some interesting stuff from time to time.

9/17/2012 7:50:13 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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the K40 is sort of the standard basic little mag base CB antenna. it would do what you want to do.

9/17/2012 7:55:33 AM

KE4ZNR
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^NRR is correct. I was just trying to provide a local place to pick up an antenna at a decent price. NRR: You know of
any local places other than Radio Shack to grab a K40 or other type CB antenna? I have not participated in 11 meters for years so out of the loop when it comes to CB stuff. Whichever antenna you get make sure you check the SWR as if it is off then you could end up frying your radio.

Here was one of the many projects that kept me busy today...laptop stand in a DPD investigator vehicle:


Not responsible for seat fabric being torn...that was there when the car was dropped off this AM

Also had to swap out a dead Durham FD mobile radio for one that worked, had to realign 2 other DPD mobile radios
and deal with a few DFD/DPD handheld radio issues. Issues pile up over the weekend and everyone comes in at once
on Monday AM

Long day

[Edited on September 17, 2012 at 5:28 PM. Reason : clarity]

9/17/2012 5:27:06 PM

NeuseRvrRat
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Quote :
"NRR: You know of
any local places other than Radio Shack to grab a K40 or other type CB antenna?"


no idea in wake county. just buy one online.

9/17/2012 9:46:11 PM

mdozer73
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Maybe the Wilco Hess at 40/42? Since it is a truck stop, they always have a decent selection of CB stuff. There is also a place next to my office called RF Integrity (near Wake Tech main campus). He does radio systems for cab companies, etc.

9/18/2012 8:36:53 AM

KE4ZNR
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^ I forgot about RF Integrity...they are the folks behind this LTR system used by
cabs/taxis and various trucking businesses in Wake County:
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=6487

9/18/2012 12:20:49 PM

KE4ZNR
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Finally updated my Raleigh PD Monitoring Guide to reflect their
new use of "Split District Dispatching"...this is a 1st draft so please
let me know of any errors you come across. Thanks!

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Raleigh_NC_Police_Monitoring_Guide#Raleigh_Police_Department_Monitoring_Guide

9/18/2012 1:54:40 PM

KE4ZNR
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So I took my General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) test yesterday. Overall I feel pretty decent about how I did. Will have results in 10 days or less. Waiting game till then. Hopefully soon I will have another FCC License to hang on the wall. Just glad to have the test behind me. Back at the shop today fixing Durham PD/FD/EMS radios.

10/4/2012 3:44:45 PM

KE4ZNR
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For those with scanners the following analog statewide Event talkgroups will
be used for this years NC State Fair:

Statewide Events Alpha 1 (TG 784) = Entry/Exit Points and Patrol
Statewide Events Alpha 2 (TG 816) = Event Channel
Statewide Events Alpha 3 (TG 848) = Dorton Arena
Statewide Events Alpha 4 (TG 880) = Fire/EMS/Red Cross
Statewide Events Bravo 1 (TG 912) = LE Traffic Ops

And a map of the traffic "post" locations from years past that should still be accurate:
http://qsl.net/ke4znr/NCFair/NCSHPStateFairPost.pdf

All you should need is an analog trunking scanner to be able to monitor the above.
I hope to also have an online feed of the above (like last year) soon.

10/11/2012 2:37:45 PM

KE4ZNR
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So I picked up the above yesterday. No it does not do digital voice, no it does not do trunking,
no it does not even have CTCSS/DCS but what it does do is Aviation/Mil-Air like none other.
Many years ago I had a Pro 2006 just like this one above and I have always regretted selling it.
So when I saw this one on Craigslist I could not resist. The Pro 2006 is regarded as one of the
best scanners ever produced due to its sensitivity/selectivity, wide frequency coverage, and
the fact it is easy to mod/customize. I am glad to give the above a good home

10/19/2012 9:31:06 AM

underPSI
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bought it for aviation but i see it's locked on raleigh fire!! lol

10/19/2012 7:31:48 PM

KE4ZNR
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So I got some pretty big news today....It seems that I passed my General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL) exam with a 92 on the 1st "Element" and an 85 on Element 3. This is a big relief as I studied my ass off over the last few months in anticipation of this exam. This was also something that my employer wanted me to have in my background and since I have passed it I can now move from Probation status to full time city employee. I can now take a deep breath and concentrate on helping make the Durham radio system the best radio system in the Central NC Area.

10/25/2012 3:47:17 PM

KE4ZNR
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For those that might be free Monday Night (19th): at the Tarheel Scanner/Shortwave Radio group meeting I will be giving a presentation on some of the responsibilities that a "Radio System Engineer" like myself goes through on a day to day basis along with a general public safety/scanner monitoring question and answer session. This will take place at the Red, Hot and Blue BBQ Restaurant in Northeast Raleigh off Falls of Neuse Rd. Dinner at 6:30pm and meeting at 7:30pm. Feel free to stop by and say hello!

http://www.redhotandblue.com/north_carolina/raleigh.htm

11/18/2012 3:06:43 PM

BIGcementpon
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^^Congrats on passing the exam. Just saw that post.

11/18/2012 6:20:51 PM

Brandon1
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Alright, so Franklin Co just switched to VHF instead of the 155.430hz channel I have been listening to.

I want to still be able to listen, what would be some ways I can tune into the new VHF channel? I heard you need a really expensive scanner, but I'm not 100% positive.

11/18/2012 7:19:49 PM

KE4ZNR
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^^Thanks Just glad to have it behind me.

11/19/2012 8:15:09 AM

KE4ZNR
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^^Brandon1: Franklin County has gone to an all digital P25 VHF trunked system:
http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=7279

You would need a new(er) scanner that can handle both digital voice decoding and VHF Trunking...
We have a good thread going in the NC forum about the challenges of monitoring Franklin Counties new radio system:
http://forums.radioreference.com/north-carolina-radio-discussion-forum/187720-franklin-county.html

After you read the above let me know if you have any questions that have not yet been answered...

11/19/2012 8:24:01 AM

Brandon1
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So it wouldnt be as simple as plugging in the simulcast frequencies in my VX-150?

Allot of what I am hearing from my Franklin officer buddies is they hate the new system.

11/19/2012 8:28:36 AM

KE4ZNR
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^Nope. You need a receiver that is capable of receiving and following a digital voice (P25) trunked system...a receiver/scanner like one of the ones on this list:
http://goo.gl/NjIOA

The VX-150 is an analog only VHF transceiver.
And Franklin County is still making adjustments to the system....so complaints are expected
as they are still in the beginning stages of using this system.

[Edited on November 19, 2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason : fix link]

11/19/2012 10:35:43 AM

KE4ZNR
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Been a long while but thought I would bump this thread a little with a
quick video showing what happens when someone hits their emergency button
on a radio system like the one I help manage:
http://youtu.be/JTLcdxKt2As
A little background: This was a demonstration I recorded for a FD representative
that was unclear on how the EMERG button feature worked. When pressed the
activated radio gets set up on a separate from dispatch agency EMERG TG/Channel (Police Emergency, FD Emergency, EMS Emerg, etc). The dispatcher gets the visual and audible indicator that an emergency button has been activated and is supposed to check on the person that caused the activation before clearing the Emergency status. Once cleared the radio returns to its normal agency dispatch Channel. In my video above my radio was moved from our regular "Radio Shop" channel to a Radio Shop Emergency Testing channel.
What I describe above can vary a little depending on how the System admin has the Emergency Feature configured on their system.

1/24/2013 12:54:45 PM

KeB
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6 RPD cars headed down Jones Franklin towards the Beltline. Anybody up with a scanner or a link?

1/28/2013 12:05:48 AM

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