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Federal Monitoring Forum The place to discuss monitoring federal government communications and related topics

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Old 03-29-2012, 1:38 AM
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Default why listen to federal scanner frequencies

I really don't understand the popularity of scanning federal frequencies when 95% of trnsmissions are encrypted.Are there any federal frequencies that you can listen to in the clear?
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Old 03-29-2012, 2:39 AM
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Yes. But they are few and in between. i have them programmed for emergencies. When 9/11 hit those regular frequencies lit up and were very busy.
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Old 03-29-2012, 5:55 AM
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One of my scanners is usually 'dedicated' to monitoring my collection of Federal frequencies. There are frequent operations going on; sometimes more than one. The degree of encryption will vary in that not all of the participants in an operation will be encrypted.

Once, while parked in a mall lot waiting for my wife, I was listening to a rolling surveillance which found its way into the mall area and took up station a few hundred yards away.

You never know.
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Old 03-29-2012, 6:22 AM
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In a large scale event, many of the freqs. thought to be encrypted may not be simply because of the large caches of radios needed may not be available. so a lot of improvised radios will be used instead.

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Old 03-29-2012, 7:32 AM
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What I find interesting is that most FED frequencies around me are typically silent. But then I'll start picking up a lot of traffic, or traffic from a specific agency, even if encrypted, it tells me something is going to go down.
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Old 03-29-2012, 7:43 AM
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Just last week I listened to a rolling surveillance in the clear. Just never know. I understand that sometimes when different agencies are working together, they'll go in the clear due to each having different encryption keys.
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Old 03-29-2012, 7:46 AM
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Regarding encryption: http://www.crypto.com/p25/
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:41 AM
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Where I live you can hear them in the open all the time, including P25, and conventional
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:14 PM
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Default why listen to Federal scanner frequencies?

Thank you to everyone that " weighed in" with their expertise. Are there any examples of Federal scanner frequencies that can be heard with regularity?
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:05 AM
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Hear in San Antonio most agencies switch between repeater and simplex ops some in the open some in P25 and some encrypted. It really varies where you are..If you are near the border with mexico or a major city you will be able to hear any federal that is not encrypted on a pretty regular basis but from my monitoring of fed freqs it is always a gamble on what they are going to use. The Border Patrol will use simplex in the open a lot for ops here in the SA area so you have to be close to hear anything anyways but at the same time I have heard ICE in the open and encrypted at different times. I heard encrypted traffic on an IRS CID repeater and an FBI freq also encrypted for about an hour, then on the news later that night saw they hit a house that was laundering money for cartels. So even encryption can let ya know something big is going on.
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Old 03-30-2012, 6:31 AM
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the 95% number varies depending on who you want to listen to, and Where from.

I've traveled to various cities and find the ENC option varies greatly.

And some areas are still Analog

Don't give up, and always revisit an agencies freq's that were 100% ENC
from time-to-time, you might be suprised who has given up and gone CLR

Also, even tho ENC the Notes collected even during ENC events can help lead to
identification of channels used on your region vs having thousands of channels never used

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I really don't understand the popularity of scanning federal frequencies when 95% of trnsmissions are encrypted.Are there any federal frequencies that you can listen to in the clear?
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Old 03-30-2012, 6:34 AM
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As I posted to on another thread, many Federal Frequencies use is never report or under-reported.

Take some time [weeks, months] and make plenty of notes and search
138-144, 148-150.8, 162-174, 380-400, 400-420 mhz bands

You will be suprised

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Thank you to everyone that " weighed in" with their expertise. Are there any examples of Federal scanner frequencies that can be heard with regularity?
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Old 03-30-2012, 7:50 AM
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How far from Elkton? There is a federal facility there that uses the radio frequently.
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Old 03-30-2012, 9:30 AM
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.973 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

Federal Protective Service communications are, often, in the clear. Granted, their stuff is fairly routine, but they do get some excitement, when there are unruly people on federal property.
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Old 04-01-2012, 2:35 PM
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For me the fact that aside from one local active system with regular traffic, the rest is such a challenge to find something in the clear, that it's where the scanning comes alive to what it used to be before the downloading database days, where you were actually hunting for new traffic trying to find something interesting, there are days when that's half or more of the fun.
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Old 04-01-2012, 7:08 PM
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When I first arrived in the Seattle area I could hear coast guard working traffic. BATF and DEA . Now I am "stuck" with routine traffic from the coast guard, all their working comms are encrypted.

BATF and DEA must have moved to to the JIWN . I have heard a lot of FPS traffic and some postal inspector traffic. But it's nothing nearly as fun as when the coast guard was in the clear and DEA and ATF were on their old frequencies. Hey at least I still live in a state that is scanner friendly compared to some.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:41 AM
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Default why listen to federal scanner frequencies?

Thank you to the people who have answered my query.I feel now that I am ready for the challenge and it will be full speed ahead-damn the torpedoes.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:21 AM
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Well for what it's worth I regularly monitor the US Forest Service as there is a National Forest in close vicinity of where I'm at. While it's not really exciting radio traffic it does give me a chance to hear them talking about controlled burns, or responding to forest fires etc. And, so far, it has always been in the clear, no encryption and I have a feeling that it may never be.

I also have other Fed. Freqs. programmed and I once caught, although very briefly, two FBI mobile units talking to each other as they drove down a nearby Interstate. Again wasn't all that interesting but still a good catch. So you just never know what it'll be...
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:54 AM
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Default why listen to federal government frequencies?

Nice to hear from you trace 1 I was ready to quit trying to listen to federal government frequencies but now nothing ventured- nothing gained
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Old 04-05-2012, 7:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trace1 View Post
Well for what it's worth I regularly monitor the US Forest Service as there is a National Forest in close vicinity of where I'm at. While it's not really exciting radio traffic it does give me a chance to hear them talking about controlled burns, or responding to forest fires etc. And, so far, it has always been in the clear, no encryption and I have a feeling that it may never be.

I also have other Fed. Freqs. programmed and I once caught, although very briefly, two FBI mobile units talking to each other as they drove down a nearby Interstate. Again wasn't all that interesting but still a good catch. So you just never know what it'll be...
Having been in the land and natural resource management business I would rather listen to those and fire departments more than anything else. I like listening to National Parks and Forests as well as the BLM. If you live in the rural west listening to these agencies is essential as fires and other events handled by them can affect you or someone you know.
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