Originally Posted by cbennett71
Hello all, I am interested in getting back in to scanners as i find it very entertaining. I currently live in Boise and as I understand it, most LE and fire are encrypted. My question is, and please forgive me if this subject is frowned upon, is there a particular scanner(s) that can be used in conjunction with a 3rd party software to receive these encrypted signals?
No, you're thinking of DMR which is a type of digital radio signal. ICAWIN uses P25 which is the "original" digital radio standard but it uses a completely different protocol. (In other words, they're both digital signals but speak different languages.)
DMR is very popular as it's pushed by Motorola (as MotoTRBO) and is all over Boise. You can buy a $25 RTLSDR USB dongle and using free software, decode these DMR signals on your computer. Uniden and Whistler have just launched scanners that can hear DMR signals -- but they cost quite a bit more and programming can be complicated if you've never done it before.
I know the city buses are using DMR as well as other local businesses. DMR can use encryption as well (but only if programmed to do so.) A lot of businesses have [assumed incorrectly] that because it's digital -- that means it's encrypted -- and that's not true of course.
Generally, the only places I've seen encrypted DMR is in security (or LE) and in hospitals. Otherwise, most DMR is free to listen to...