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XTS 5000 programming for Harvard University/Boston College Police

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Scanner-geek

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I was hoping someone could give me a tip on programming my new motorola XTS 5000. I have the frequency, and NAC, but am only receiving some mobile transmissions, but seemingly not hearing the base.

The transmissions are P25 w/ ? encoding vs. encryption. I was previously under the impression that these transmissions were encrypted, but have been told by a seemingly very knowledgeable source that they can be received (base and mobile) in the clear with an XTS radio if programmed correctly.

I am new to commercial radio, but longtime scanner user and eager to learn. Can someone explain how these parameters should be programmed? (I know mechanically how to enter these, just not what the appropriate settings are):

Using the example 465.000 nac 365 (actual frquency/NAC/Agency removed for discretion can send by pm if necessary) how would I appropriately enter the following parameters?

transmit fx (?)
receive fx (484.0875?)
transmit NAC (495?)
receive NAC (495?)
transmit mode (digitial?)
receive mode (mixed?)
(PL/DPL are CSQ I assume)

Are there other coding parameters that I am missing that would be necessary for my radio to receive these transmissions? I have read references to "MDC" and "DCS" but am not familiar with these parameters. I have inferred that the correct programming of the DCS is critical. What are MDC and DCS? How do I porgram them in? How do I find the data for MDC/DCS as it pertains to these channels? Do I need RSS to program it? I do understand the legal ramifications of posessing RSS software. Thanks very much for any advice. Much appreciated by a newbie to commercial radio.

I'm pretty psyched this is a very cool radio.

Scannergeek
 
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Scanner-geek

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I have tried to edit this post to remove specifics the agencies in question of the post as I realize this is inappropriate, but I am currently unable to edit the title With my apologies I have submiited a request to the forum moderator to omit this information from the title of the post asap. Thank you.

Scannergeek
 

Skypilot007

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If the transmissions are encrypted you're not going to hear anything with a scanner or an XTS5000. If it is not encrypted you can use a scanner or an XTS to monitor. It's as simple as that. Also you need to be authorized to operate on this channel before programming for tx or set up the conventional personality for rx only!

To elaborate more, your seemingly very knowledgeable source is partially correct as if the transmissions were encrypted you would need to know the type of encryption used and the keys used, none of which is public information ever. Then a XTS could be programmed with this information and you would receive transmission. Not going to happen for the common listener. This seemingly very knowledgeable source should have told you this.

You need motorola CPS to program this radio. It is obtainable from motorola the legal way. If you have programmed scanners with software you should be able to figure out motorola CPS but be warrned it much more complicated with many more options. You'll also need the correct cable to program the radio. Many sources for cables. Buy a good OEM cable to avoid turning your XTS onto a doorstop.

As for programming your faviorte channel above: Its all in the zone channel assignment area and assignment to a conventional personality. All parameters you mentioned get entered there. No MDC or PL/DPL for digital channels, those are for analog channels. Just need the correct NAC for digital channels.
 

zerg901

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Both Boston College Police and Harvard University Police use encryption. Once in a while a field unit or two from Harvard University Police will transmit in the clear.
 

Scanner-geek

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I do understand that encryption is not monitorable by any method unless you have the encryption key. In this case, this particular source claims to be able to monitor BC and Harvard police in the clear, all transmissions, without the use of an encrytpion key. His contention was that they were not monitorable with a scanner due to Motorola P25 encoding, but insisted that they do not use encryption. He was insistent that with correct programming of an XTS radio he was able to monitor both agencies, in the clear, without an encryption key.

I was hoping he was correct. Seemed to be a very knowledgeable Ham who said "I am listening to them right now" and that he would demonstrate in person at a radio club meeting at my request. He was quite convincing. So much so that I bought a radio. Perhaps I wanted to believe it. I have made the investment in an XTS 5000 and I hope I have not wasted my money.

I have not heard any traffic I can't get with my scanner as of yet, so I was hoping it was a programming issue as he had suggested.

Bummer.
 
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JoeyC

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There aren't any programming tricks as your expert friend suggests. You'll need the key and the agencies blessing if they are in fact encrypted.
 

zerg901

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Maybe I can be a little clearer. Based on my monitoring with a Pro 106 scanner, both Harvard University Police and Boston College Police usually use fulltime P25 and fulltime encryption. Sometimes some of the Harvard University Police mobiles or portables transmit in P25 mode without encryption.

Scanner-geek, it seems that you are in the same boat as me. Sometimes I can hear (understand) the messages - usually it is just jibberish noise. (ie - the Pro 106 will decode P25 if it is not encrypted). Once in a blue moon the Harvard University Police dispatcher will transmit in the clear - like the day there was a fire call in the same building as the dispatchers office, and the dispatcher had to relocate to the backup dispatch office.
 

RKG

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I do understand that encryption is not monitorable by any method unless you have the encryption key. In this case, this particular source claims to be able to monitor BC and Harvard police in the clear, all transmissions, without the use of an encrytpion key. His contention was that they were not monitorable with a scanner due to Motorola P25 encoding, but insisted that they do not use encryption. He was insistent that with correct programming of an XTS radio he was able to monitor both agencies, in the clear, without an encryption key. . . .
Your "source" is quite incorrect.

Decoding encrypted audio on a CAI system cannot be done by any consumer-grade scanner.

Decoding encrypted audio on a CAI system using CAI-capable two-way radios requires configuration with the correct encryption algorithm and encryption key. In addition, assuming one somehow acquired this information and acquired and programmed appropriate equipment, absent authorization of the system licensee, decryption would be a criminal offense.
 

bezking

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Your "source" is quite incorrect.

Decoding encrypted audio on a CAI system cannot be done by any consumer-grade scanner.

Decoding encrypted audio on a CAI system using CAI-capable two-way radios requires configuration with the correct encryption algorithm and encryption key. In addition, assuming one somehow acquired this information and acquired and programmed appropriate equipment, absent authorization of the system licensee, decryption would be a criminal offense.
+1, what's that guy asking for the Brooklyn Bridge? You need those keys, pure and simple. :cool:
 
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