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Are the Charlotte (Mainly CMPD) frequencies unencrypted?

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thelemur

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I was thinking about getting back into this hobby but I didn't want to order a scanner only to find out that I can't listen to CMPD. I mainly want to listen to my local CMPD division, Fire, & city/county government. I had heard that most larger cities were not just on trunked systems now but that they are also encrypted and that we can't hear them. Is that true?

If if that's not true I'd be excited and would probably order a scanner today, and I'd love recommendations on handhelds. Edit: something user friendly. I had a pro-96 once and got overwhelmed.

P.s. sorry for not posting in the Charlotte megathread but tracking replies in there must be confusing.

Thanks!
 
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thelemur

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That's great, do you know what type of equipment I'd need? I read something about it being a digital system, and I'm not familiar with that.
 

khvfdff

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They're all computer programmable now. But the best are the BCD396XT or the BCD996XT, or anything from radio shack that supports digital, like the PSR800 or you can wait and get the BCD436HP or the BCD536HP when it comes out.
 

thelemur

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Is the BCD396XT pretty common on this forum? I'd like to get something that everyone else has so if I run into trouble there's already someone else who's had the same issue.

Does anyone know if I can listen to a specific CMPD division? I specifically need to hear Eastway division.
 

W8RMH

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The BCD396XT is probably the most popular scanner at this time. If your click on the link below that is your system. That is what you would download to your computer then upload to the scanner. Your division is about half way down the page. Any channel with a "E" in the mode column would be encrypted. Most people load the whole system then assign Quick Keys to easily turn groups on and off. Or you could load just what you want to hear. It's nice to have everything available in case something big happens.

Charlotte / Mecklenburg County (Project 25) Trunking System, Charlotte, North Carolina - Scanner Frequencies
 
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thelemur

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The BCD396XT is probably the most popular scanner at this time. If your click on the link below that is your system. That is what you would download to your computer then upload to the scanner. Your division is about half way down the page. Any channel with a "E" in the mode column would be encrypted. Most people load the whole system then assign Quick Keys to easily turn groups on and off. Or you could load just what you want to hear. It's nice to have everything available in case something big happens.

Charlotte / Mecklenburg County (Project 25) Trunking System, Charlotte, North Carolina - Scanner Frequencies
Wow this is awesome, I guess there is no need to buy that book at Radio Shack anymore! I'm going to order that scanner now, there's a used one for $340 and it comes with the software. :)
 

kg4pbd

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Is the BCD396XT pretty common on this forum? I'd like to get something that everyone else has so if I run into trouble there's already someone else who's had the same issue.

Does anyone know if I can listen to a specific CMPD division? I specifically need to hear Eastway division.
Eastway Division is normally patched with North Tryon Division. That means you will hear dispatches for both divisions on the same talkgroup. If one division gets busy they can split the talkgroup. You will need to listen to both talkgroups as they may be patched on either the Eastway Division side or on the North Tryon Division side.

Each division has a dispatch, conference, tactical, and street crimes talkgroup. Tactical is always encrypted.

I use both a 396 and an HP1 to monitor this system, and both work very well. Keep in mind, depending on where you are located you may have issues monitoring this system. This is a simulcast system and distortion is a problem with scanners. For example where I live I have to use a directional antenna to consistently get a good decode. Other areas of town may be fine with just a duck antenna on the radio. From what I've seen the closer in you are the better results you will have.

Fire is currently on both the P25 system and the older analog system, so you can monitor it either way. I think CMPD's Central division is still on both systems too.
 
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REVREID

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i sure wish one of you good charlotte citizens would set up a scanner on broadcastify. i lived in that area for 20 years-used to love to hear charlotte police-especially north tryon and west side. i personally would reccomend the home patrol 1. i get great service in the triad. thanks
 

thelemur

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Eastway Division is normally patched with North Tryon Division. That means you will hear dispatches for both divisions on the same talkgroup. If one division gets busy they can split the talkgroup. You will need to listen to both talkgroups as they may be patched on either the Eastway Division side or on the North Tryon Division side.

Each division has a dispatch, conference, tactical, and street crimes talkgroup. Tactical is always encrypted.

I use both a 396 and an HP1 to monitor this system, and both work very well. Keep in mind, depending on where you are located you may have issues monitoring this system. This is a simulcast system and distortion is a problem with scanners. For example where I live I have to use a directional antenna to consistently get a good decode. Other areas of town may be fine with just a duck antenna on the radio. From what I've seen the closer in you are the better results you will have.

Fire is currently on both the P25 system and the older analog system, so you can monitor it either way. I think CMPD's Central division is still on both systems too.
Wow great info, I'm sure I never would have otherwise figured that out! I can't wait for my scanner to come in..
 

thelemur

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Got my scanner today, the cable that came with it looks like its from 1995. Has anyone had success converting this for use on a macbook?

Edit: I ordered a uniden usb cable on ebay for $25... should have come with the scanner for this price.. I'm assuming I'm going to have to use windows to run the uniden software.
 
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thelemur

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Wow, I think I need to return this. I have never encountered something less user friendly than this scanner. I feel like I need to hire a consultant to train me in its use. I feel I've made a big mistake here.
 

kg4pbd

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Wow, I think I need to return this. I have never encountered something less user friendly than this scanner. I feel like I need to hire a consultant to train me in its use. I feel I've made a big mistake here.
It's not an easy radio initially, but you will get the hang of it. I believe you will need a PC rather than a Mac for programming, though I can't say that for certain. I've only used a PC for programming.

You can start out simply by creating a new system manually on the radio for the CharMeck P25 system. Once you've done that add the talkgroups for Eastway Division and North Tryon Division. If you need help along the way there are many of us here on RR to help you out.
 

thelemur

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It's not an easy radio initially, but you will get the hang of it. I believe you will need a PC rather than a Mac for programming, though I can't say that for certain. I've only used a PC for programming.

You can start out simply by creating a new system manually on the radio for the CharMeck P25 system. Once you've done that add the talkgroups for Eastway Division and North Tryon Division. If you need help along the way there are many of us here on RR to help you out.
It's beyond not easy. I'm a pretty tech savvy person and I am struggling to even program one trunking system. The last scanner I had was probably a conventional 1000 channel scanner where you just selected which bank (of maybe 10) you wanted to scan. This is like going from kindergarden straight to calculus. I don't even know where to begin. I am trying to program a CMPD system but I am just beyond lost.

I can install windows on my mac to use the software, and I probably should since I just spent $25 more on a usb cable, but i'm debating if I should even bother at this point. My head hurts.
 

thelemur

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Would someone mind explaining what the hierarchy is for a System, site, and a group?
 

thelemur

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Wow its 2am, but after 5 hours of fussing around I think I have the hang of it. Well.. at least I think I can do basic operations. Whew..
 

Drafin

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LOL 5 hours is nothing for some users. I know people that have switch from the old conventional way of scanning to object oriented scanning that took weeks to figure it out.

Just keep tinkering. Things get much easier the more you play around with it.

One thing that may help is if someone can send you a working file of the area you want to scan so you can at least look at it to see how it's supposed to look. I would send you my Charlotte file but I'm afraid it would do you no good as it's all GRE PSR500 stuff. I know this is the way I figured out a lot of how to set up my scanner.

Draf
 

thelemur

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LOL 5 hours is nothing for some users. I know people that have switch from the old conventional way of scanning to object oriented scanning that took weeks to figure it out.

Just keep tinkering. Things get much easier the more you play around with it.

One thing that may help is if someone can send you a working file of the area you want to scan so you can at least look at it to see how it's supposed to look. I would send you my Charlotte file but I'm afraid it would do you no good as it's all GRE PSR500 stuff. I know this is the way I figured out a lot of how to set up my scanner.

Draf
Now that I've spent so much time programming my systems I'm afraid if I try the software I'll erase it all! I think I've got the hang of everything, and I've definitely learned that I'm wasting my money on alkaline batteries... it completely drained 3 AA's in 2 hours.
 

thelemur

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Eastway Division is normally patched with North Tryon Division. That means you will hear dispatches for both divisions on the same talkgroup. If one division gets busy they can split the talkgroup. You will need to listen to both talkgroups as they may be patched on either the Eastway Division side or on the North Tryon Division side.
Are there any other divisions that are together? While I mainly want to hear Eastway, I am also close to Central, Metro, and Providence.
 
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