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General Scanning Discussion For general questions not specific to a model of scanner or general discussion of use of a scanner. Location specific posts should be directed to the regional forums listed below.

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Old 06-13-2012, 5:16 PM
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Default Is our hobby dying?

I guess radio frequency monitoring will never die,but for scanner enthusiasts, I think it's a real possability. It's getting to where more and more multi agaency systems are going to encrypted or non-monitorable systems, like Pro-Voice and many others. Even with that I know there are other services to monitor, railroad, mil/air, aircraft. But the heart and soul of scanning has been and will always be public safety. And more and more public safety organizations are going to these excotic systems every day. The administrator for the system in the county where I live just recently announced that their system will be going to Pro-Voice as of Dec 2014. My scanner will be deaf as a rock. An outside antenna may help me pull in some signals from close adjacent counties,but nothing else from home. It's hard for me to imagine a hobby I've enjoyed since the early 70's starting with a crystal controlled radio shack scanner will soon be dead, or severly limited/crippled. And don't even start with "what if's" regarding encryption and proprietary systems, they're here to stay. Our hobby will be all but gone in our lifetime.


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Old 06-13-2012, 5:25 PM
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There IS a way to hear pro-voice, if you really want to try?

Digital Voice Conversion Method - The RadioReference Wiki


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Old 06-13-2012, 6:04 PM
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Well hell, is that all it takes? I'll just run out to my money tree out back and pull about $4,000 off of it and I'll be set. You obviously have missed the point of this post all together, not to mention the questionable legality of even listening to a system intended not to be heard. But I am am glad you have unlimited funds to persue your hobby. The average listener does NOT.

Last edited by Tramagod; 06-13-2012 at 6:06 PM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 6:44 PM
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Is our hobby dying.You bet it is ,slow but sure. SW is to.Look at the diffrent ttypes of modes used and changes made over the years to the 1934 communications act.Cost of the latest scanners and look at how many companys are gone that made radios/scanners and look at number of broadcasters no longer on the air (SW) or using english.Things change so much has gone now.Sprman
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tramagod View Post
Well hell, is that all it takes? I'll just run out to my money tree out back and pull about $4,000 off of it and I'll be set.

It doesn't take $4000 to listen to unencrypted ProVoice.

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index...tware_package)

Last edited by JoeyC; 06-13-2012 at 7:05 PM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:22 PM
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The $4,000 figure I quoted is based on the price of several used Icom R9000's sold at universal radio over the past several months at over $3,900. Most closer to $4,000 than $3,900, plus $150 for the Novasource RF generator. So I think I'm pretty close on that figure. And once again, point totally missed.
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:35 PM
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As more agencies move to digital methods that aren't pre-packaged for decoding in your typical scanner, the more it will become a software dependent hobby. I'm sure that will drive more people away when they can't just flip a radio on and listen to what's happening in town.

I also think you'll see bigger advances in SDR. It's pretty amazing what can be done right now with these devices, but it's without question in my mind becoming a software driven game now with some supporting hardware.
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:38 PM
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I would say it's evolving, not necessarily dying. Those who evolve with it will continue to have fun, even if it's not what it used to be. For those who don't evolve with it, the hobby will indeed die for them. As systems become more copmplex and difficult to monitor, it will be less of a passive hobby for appliance operators, and more of a technical challenge for those up to it.

Adapt or die.
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:41 PM
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Wonder if this could be why first responders want to go encrypted. Read the 12th post down.
And this is not the only city in Metro Detroit doing this for the same reason:

When is Livonia going to be switched over?
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:43 PM
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Actually, it's ProVoice that is dying.
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Old 06-13-2012, 7:59 PM
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"Evolving" or "dying", it is losing a large number of former enthusiasts.
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Old 06-13-2012, 8:06 PM
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Amen Bill, now you're getting the point I was originally trying to make.
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Old 06-13-2012, 8:10 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B206 Safari/7534.48.3)

It was a good hobby 40 yrs ago and has changed little by little every year since in varying was. Let's hope it last much longer, but I agree with others it's slowly going away. Some areas quicker than others.
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Old 06-13-2012, 8:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tramagod View Post
Well hell, is that all it takes? I'll just run out to my money tree out back and pull about $4,000 off of it and I'll be set. You obviously have missed the point of this post all together, not to mention the questionable legality of even listening to a system intended not to be heard. But I am am glad you have unlimited funds to persue your hobby. The average listener does NOT.
I understand the point you were making.
I was merely stating that there was a possiblity of listening to pro-voice.
It's usually taken that most in this hobby have the funds needed to support it, sorry to step on your toes.

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Old 06-13-2012, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gewecke View Post
I understand the point you were making.
I was merely stating that there was a possiblity of listening to pro-voice.
It's usually taken that most in this hobby have the funds needed to support it, sorry to step on your toes.

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Taken by whom? I can support my hobby, but I choose not to spend $4,000 to do it. And no, I really don't believe you're sorry, even your feigned attempt at a half a@# apology sounds condescending.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:03 PM
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Trunking was the end of the hobby. And P25 was the end of the hobby. And the conversion from crystals to programables was really the end of the hobby.

Maybe someone can make some suggestions about how to end the "end" of the hobby.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:05 PM
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TG - your general argument is reasonable and well founded. However, ProVoice is a poor example. It can be monitored - if sent in the clear. Using the link JoeyC gave you, you can likely monitor PV calls using equipment you own now. Total cost is under $1000 - including a laptop or desktop computer.

If you change your argument to encrypted ProVoice then everyone is in agreement.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:08 PM
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I guess it could be said that if your hobby is listening to police communications, your hobby is dying. If your hobby is playing with radios and listening to whatever there is to listen to, it's evolving. This is where I have to say 'adapt or die'. There will always be things to listen to on a scanner. It just won't always include law enforcement.

You saw one reason posted above. Another is the perception that law enforcement has these days that the criminal element they deal with is becoming quite sophisticated... street gangs, drug cartels, and terrorism are in the forefront of all planning these days, and law enforcement is going to take advantage of everything they think will give them an edge, including encryption.

That's the way it goes, folks. You want to keep playing with radios? There's plenty of stuff to listen to, and there always will be. You want to listen to cops? Enjoy it while you can.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:29 PM
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Yeah, there is plenty of stuff to listen to besides LE. The problem is that most of it is almost as much fun as watching paint dry. I have tried to find other stuff to listen to but wildland fire fighting and the marine channels are the only things remotely interesting. Unfortunately they both go dormant during the winter months.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tramagod View Post
Taken by whom? I can support my hobby, but I choose not to spend $4,000 to do it. And no, I really don't believe you're sorry, even your feigned attempt at a half a@# apology sounds condescending.
Woah now. All he told you is that Provoice CAN be monitored. Why you would attack someone who's giving you helpful information on how to monitor a system your upset about is beyond me...
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