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How to identify APCO 25 Systems?

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user786

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Jun 17, 2006
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Hi all, I am on a small Caribbean island and have been scanning with a Uniden Bearcat BC246T and have found lots of activity in the VHF High area. There are also 2 or 3 services I am getting in the UHF 470 Mhz area and I have found only one trunked system in the 865 Mhz area. It is a motorola system and I have logged about 25 talkgroups on it with about 10 of those being very busy and the others very occasional users.
One the the talkgroups was the local law enforcement and they also operated on another conventional UHF frequency in the 469Mhz area.
All of a sudden, I am no longer hearing the local law enforcement. At the exact same time, I have noticed a new data channel in the 952Mhz area. I have tried inputting this as control channel only motorola mode with no luck.
My suspicion is that they have gone digital. That could be my only guess because they have disappeared totally for the last 3 - 4 weeks.
So I went out and bought a Pro-96 and it should be arriving in a week.

My questions are:
1. How can I tell if a business or agancy has switched to digital?
2. Could they still be on the 800mhz motorola system I initially found them on but not accessible to my non-APCO25 BC246T scanner?
3. Will a non APCO scanner have any way of picking up any garbled sign of the transmissions or will the scanner simply be totally unaware and deaf that there are even any transmissions going on?
4. It is quite possible that the "new system" I am getting a very strong reception on at 952Mhz may not be a control channel and could just be a continuous data stream of some sort. How can I tell if it is ACTUALLY an APCO digital system or not using my BC246T before my Pro-96 arrives?
5. I have seen the local law enforcement still talking on radios in the streets and cars etc so I know they are still using the airwaves but my Uniden BC246T is defintely NOT able to receive them. I have searched and scanned pretty much everywhere without a single tansmission received in almost a month.

I am completely NEW to digital scanners and digital scanning and this Pro-96 radio will be my first digital unit. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 

user786

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9
OK I have attached 2 sound clips of the data streams. They are both in the attached zip file so they could be uploaded to this forum. The forums didnt allow me to upload the raw files with the wav format.

The first one is the motorola control channel for the 866 mhz system which I am able to trunk properly. The local law enforcement was definitely very actively using a talkgroup on this system until about 4 weeks ago when it just abruptly stopped one day. I am still able to get at least 20 - 25 talkgroups for various other services on this system. Just not the law enforcement.


The second sound clip is the "new" data channel that has come on the air at 952 mhz at the same time the cops disappeared from conventional UHF 469Mhz and also disappeared from the 866Mhz motorola system. Is this a digital control channel? or is it just another data stream of some sorts?
 
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