• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

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Interesting federal comms?

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Portable14

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Has anyone ever heard anything interesting on federal frequencies (Like drug bust, search warrants or something like that)? I figured that most of that stuff wouldn't just be P25, But encrypted as well. And if not, Why?

What makes the feds decide what level of radio security to use? I've always wondered this since I had a federal frequency in my scanner years ago, I only heard them say 3 or 4 words on it and that's it.
 

Gilligan

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I live in OKC, OK and I've heard surveillance by DEA, FBI, and Customs. I've also listened to raids by US Marshals. There is plenty to hear depending on where you live and what kind of activity goes on in your area. OKC is home to lots of drugs and gangs which puts us right in the middle of the action. Where I'm originally from, on the east coast, I only heard occasional DEA surveillance along a major highway nearby. My hometown wasn't large enough to warrant much federal coverage.
 

brandon

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US Customs in San Diego some of the best monitoring I've ever had. When you hear the agent come up on the radio saying "Subjects are uncooperative...I have them at gunpoint" and "vessel is loaded with narco" it really gets your attention.
Last year there was a Border Patrol foot chase that went OIS and caught some of it on the scanner. They like to run encryption a lot but a few agents were in the clear, including the one involved in the main incident.
Fed monitoring is very exciting if you are able to put up with the low power simplex and occasional encryption. Never let people tell you there is nothing worth monitoring on the fed bands because you will be surprised what can be picked up.
 

Portable14

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Where I live, There probably isn't anything interesting to hear, Small town in CT=Nothing interesting to hear, Except of course CSP and the locals.
 

brandon

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Yeah it does help to be located near a large city, or better yet, the Mexican border. From what I hear south Florida has it good too :)
 

Portable14

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brandon said:
Yeah it does help to be located near a large city, or better yet, the Mexican border. From what I hear south Florida has it good too :)
I'd love to live near the Mexican border, I'd probably laugh at all the fence jumpers I'd be hearing about on the radio.
 

hoser147

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You guys get all the cool crap, were lucky if we hear the locals do helo's over the corn fields once a year looking for the whacky tabbacky. With gas prices they will probably go to helium balloons............H:lol:ser
 

mtindor

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hoser147 said:
You guys get all the cool crap, were lucky if we hear the locals do helo's over the corn fields once a year looking for the whacky tabbacky. With gas prices they will probably go to helium balloons............H:lol:ser
Aint that the truth.

M
 

Gilligan

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Portable14 said:
Where I live, There probably isn't anything interesting to hear, Small town in CT=Nothing interesting to hear, Except of course CSP and the locals.
Okay, here's a few tricks for some action, even if it's just locals.

1) Look in the FCC database for ALL licensed freqs for your local police department. They may only use a few occasionally for surveillance, chatter, etc.

2) Look in the FCC database for ALL state-licensed mobile-only frequencies. Sometimes they are used for surveillance, and they may even be higher-power mobile-to-mobile chatter channels, etc.

3) Start searching the police bands for freqs you aren't sure about their use. Many police departments use unlisted or even unlicensed channels very close to their normal freqs.

4) Look at the antennas on your PD vehicles. If they have a VHF antenna but use UHF frequencies, maybe they have a private car-to-car channel on VHF or something. Many police departments use CB for chatter as well.

5) Put common federal frequencies in a separate scanner and let it run 24/7.

6) Become familiar w/ the fed bands and common PL tones -- it will help identify what you hear.

7) Use Signal Stalker or Close Call when driving around. I've picked up US Marshals on Close Call and even found a hidden police chatter channel with it. You just never know who is around you.

Some of the best stuff I hear happens on the car/car and simplex channels. Don't think that they aren't worth listening to because often times the cops don't think anyone can hear them.
 

SkipSanders

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The current status of Federal Communications in any given area comes down to funding.

Officially, they're ALL supposed to be converted to P25/Encrypted (at least capable) by now, narrowband.

In fact, not all areas are, yet.

San Diego County feds converted to all-encrypted back when the Olympics came to San Diego, resulting in a huge swatch of funding to upgrade their systems at that time. Los Angeles, right next door, did not get the funding, and is (supposedly) still rarely encrypted.

Some parts of some agencies resist the trends. US Customs Aircraft tend to stay in the clear, it seems that high-speed movement is hard on digital syncronization or somesuch. This can result in you hearing a 'chase' where the helicopter doing most of the calling of suspect location is 'in the clear', while those talking to him are encrypted.

There are often things out there most would never think of, which are usually quiet, but might, some day, be spectacular...

If you're in range of a US Naval anchorage where many ships are in port, try plugging in 328.2 AM. Listen around sunrise and sunset (official). If you hear a countdown to colors, congratulations, you're listening to the Fleet Warning channel. Most of the time, it's quiet, routine check ins, etc. Ah, but SOMEtimes....

You see, this is the ONLY radio net Ships in port at anchor monitor externally, other than their own internal work group radios. It's the way the local command notifies them of incoming messages. If the USA changes DEFCON, it will be communicated immediately to the ships, here. If someone has reported swimmers in the water with suspicious packages, suspected terrorists, it will come out here, immediately. One quiet little channel, rarely listened to, or known, to most scanner types... but if you have it in, and something happens... You'll know as fast at the Navy does.
 

ecps92

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Best bet is to SEARCH and Share. There is plenty of Federal stuff going on.

Start with the Common channels, but SEARCH. Best bet is the AM and PM [Begining and End of Shift] many folks Sign-On/Sign-Off via Radio.

Search 162-174 Mhz and 406-420 Mhz for starters. Spend 20 Min's a day for 1 Week [all seven days] and write down / post what you caught, even if you don't know the agency.

Search 138-144 & 148-150.800 Mhz for the 2nd Week. 20 min's a Day.

What town ? Bet, there is something we can point you to hear.

Gilligan said:
Okay, here's a few tricks for some action, even if it's just locals.



5) Put common federal frequencies in a separate scanner and let it run 24/7.

6) Become familiar w/ the fed bands and common PL tones -- it will help identify what you hear.

7) Use Signal Stalker or Close Call when driving around. I've picked up US Marshals on Close Call and even found a hidden police chatter channel with it. You just never know who is around you.

Some of the best stuff I hear happens on the car/car and simplex channels. Don't think that they aren't worth listening to because often times the cops don't think anyone can hear them.
 

kc9kfj

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The most intresting thing I heard was the DEA following someone 2 blocks away from my house. I also heard a DEA helo follow a car the next city over. The Federal bands can be hard to monitor,but they have the most intresting communications.
 

al95

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Living near the mexican border

Where I live I do hear alot of CBP and ICE agents communicating in the clear. There are some chanels that are P-25 . I live in Brownsville,Texas next to Matamores, Tamps. MX
 

Rover

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A great use of old scanners or even Ham Rigs (with wide band recieve) is too have them search the different ranges or monitor older known frequencies looking for interesting stuff... just my 2 cents..

73 Rover
 

800crazy1

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i heard a early morning round up of people who were involved in spat of shootings and the local pd here kept saying ... who has a fed radio with them , so i did a search of the 162.-174 and sure enough found the FBI operating in the clear which really surprised me. later that day on the news , they identified the 19 or so people rounded up and said it was a co-operative effort between the local state and fbi . and the local pd kept calling the agents as .... S/A so and so ...so i take it the S/A stood for special agent.
 

AZScanner

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Every once in a while I'll catch customs chasing coyotes thru the desert - and I'm not talking the 4 legged kind. Once there were shots fired, talk about some good listening!

Also check the fed VHF band when the President is in town. Usually most of it will be encrypted but every now and then you'll catch something in the clear. I heard a SS agent relay an order for some hot tea for Mrs Bush once. That was pretty cool, to me at least. My wife just did one of these :roll: LOL... :D

-AZ
 

Big_Ears

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Just a quick reminder to let you know that it is felony to tell anybody regarding what you heard on the radio. This apply's to any information, conversations, details, locations, regarding any investigation, surveillance, stakeout or similar matter. You could be arrested and charged with interfering with an investigation like the person who informed the main target that they were being watched.
 

rafale01010

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anybody on here live in or around perry georgia? i dont hear much but some pd and fd. when i get the scantenna up, i will start listening in on these bands because it can pick up much further than a stock duckie(which i hate with a passion bc of where i live, in the middle of nowhere).
 

ecps92

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And the boys in the Black Helo's are listening to my thoughts while I sleep.
Relax a little.

Big_Ears said:
Just a quick reminder to let you know that it is felony to tell anybody regarding what you heard on the radio. This apply's to any information, conversations, details, locations, regarding any investigation, surveillance, stakeout or similar matter. You could be arrested and charged with interfering with an investigation like the person who informed the main target that they were being watched.
 

Spleen

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It's a crime to illegally decrypt transmissions and reveal their contents, to include cellular phones. It's a crime to reveal conversations intercepted from cordless phones, too.

It's a crime to use any transmissions to aid or abet the commission of a crime or to inferfere with an investigation; warning someone they are under investigation or surveillance would qualify in most states.

It is NOT a crime to reveal the contents of any open, unencrypted, legally intercepted (scanner, HT, whatever) conversation, as long as the above conditions do not apply.
 
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