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Old 07-16-2004, 9:33 AM
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Default Listening to San Antonio - the FAQ

We seem to be rehashing this issue a 1000 times on these forums, so I figured I'd put together a sticky post to rehash again information regarding the San Antonio EDACS system.

Please read carefully each of the following items:

1. The San Antonio EDACS ProVoice system is a new trunked system deployed at the beginning of 2004 to support all public safety and city services communications for the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. All Police, Fire, EMS, SO, etc operate on this system.

2. The system uses ProVoice Digital modulation for most public safety operations. This means that your scanner WILL NOT monitor the digital talkgroups on this system. There is no way possible to monitor any ProVoice digital communications with any scanner today. All of SAPD and SA Fire operations are in ProVoice digital mode. Most of BCSO is ProVoice digital. Trunktracker scanners will ignore any ProVoice talkgroups and not even display them, regardless of whether or not you can track the system or not.

3. This system supports a feature called EDACS System Key (ESK), which, when enabled on the system, will cause your trunktracker scanner to not be able to track the system. Currently, the ESK feature is NOT enabled on the system, which means your trunktracker is able to monitor any analog transmissions on the system.

4. When ESK is off on the system, your trunktracker can monitor analog transmissions on the system like a normal EDACS system. Let be reiterate that regardless of the status of the ESK feature, you CANNOT monitor ProVoice digital talkgroups, the scanner will ignore them.

5. The BLUE site hosts ALL SAPD operations. Remember that ALL SAPD operations are in digital, which means you cannot monitor those talkgroups with a scanner. The SA Park police does operate in analog mode on the BLUE site, so if ESK is disabled you can program the BLUE site in your EDACS trunktracker and monitor SA Park Police only. If ESK is enabled, you cannot monitor anything.

6. The GOLD site hosts all other operations on the system, including SA Fire, BCSO, public works, the Airport, everything else except SAPD. If ESK is disabled on the system, you can monitor all analog operations on this site, which includes most public works, some BCSO open channels, and some alerting operations for BCSO and the Airport. If ESK is enabled, you cannot track or monitor anything with your scanner.

7. The remote sites on the system support ALL operations across the entire system, and are used to fill in coverage gaps from the Blue and Gold sites. All talkgroups across the system are supported on those sites. Same rules apply from the Blue and Gold sites.

This should hopefully answer any questions that you might have....

Lindsay
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Old 07-20-2004, 9:55 AM
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All bases are now covered...........Good info.............


Thanks LB
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Old 01-27-2005, 12:41 PM
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Lindsey,

How long do you think it will be before someone with a software-defined radio changes the game?

Scott[/code]
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Old 01-27-2005, 1:20 PM
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Hopefully sooner than later!
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Old 01-27-2005, 6:52 PM
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Amen on that!
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Old 03-06-2005, 5:19 AM
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Software-defined radio? Is this a term used for the 296d or the pro 96? Or is this like the Icom IC-1000 or one of the win radio's ? I'm not sure its a broad term.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poltergeisty
Software-defined radio? Is this a term used for the 296d or the pro 96? Or is this like the Icom IC-1000 or one of the win radio's ? I'm not sure its a broad term.
A software defined radio is a transceiver that can transmit on most if not all frequency bands. It can trunk track MOT, EDACS and LTR. Along with P25. They would use it for interoperability.
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Old 03-07-2005, 3:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanfan03
A software defined radio is a transceiver that can transmit on most if not all frequency bands. It can trunk track MOT, EDACS and LTR. Along with P25. They would use it for interoperability.
So what was meant by Royall saying "How long do you think it will be before someone with a software-defined radio changes the game?" Does he mean a hack? Clone radio or something else, I can't figure it out.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poltergeisty
So what was meant by Royall saying "How long do you think it will be before someone with a software-defined radio changes the game?" Does he mean a hack? Clone radio or something else, I can't figure it out.
Right now we have hardware defined scanners (with a little bit of software definability (You can upgrade a Pro-96, BC 246T)). With a hardware defined radio, you can only have it set to recognize only the types of radio systems we have right now. With a software defined radio it is easy to track any type of new system that comes out in the future and any system we currently have. If a software defined scanner came out, someone could easily program it to monitor EDACs Pro-Voice.

I hope this explains it a little bit and just doesn't make you more confused.
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Old 03-08-2005, 7:09 AM
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This makes sense now. Thanks. What I wasn't sure of what was meant exactly as a software defined radio, knowing allot of scanners are software programmable and a Motorola radio is programed with sofware as well.

So we are hoping for a software defined scanner in the future. But could this be really a possibility? I think the scanner makers would object to making one because they would not make much money any more. Do you think so?
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Old 03-08-2005, 8:31 AM
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They could make even more money by SELLING software upgrades.

Tom
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poltergeisty
This makes sense now. Thanks. What I wasn't sure of what was meant exactly as a software defined radio, knowing allot of scanners are software programmable and a Motorola radio is programed with sofware as well.

So we are hoping for a software defined scanner in the future. But could this be really a possibility? I think the scanner makers would object to making one because they would not make much money any more. Do you think so?
Well if they made them with todays technology they would cost an arm and a leg, so they would get the initial sell, and then the software upgrades could be sold like what someone on here already said.

We actually already have a "software defined radio". It goes inside helicoptors and can talk on any frequency from like 40 MHz to 900 MHz and it does EDACs, MOT regular and P25. I think it cost like $25000 though, or something outrageous like that. We have talked about this radio before on these boards, so you might want to do a search in RR for this radio, I forgot what it is called.
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Old 03-10-2005, 12:19 PM
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does this pick up SAPD:

http://www.scannermaster.com/store/0...v_pc=t25268665
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Old 03-10-2005, 1:07 PM
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No scanner made does EDACS Provoice, therefore NO scanner will hear San Antonio Public Safety. Untill iether someone creates an Software Defined Scanner legally, or by some act of God Provoice is made an available standard for scanner manufacturers... If an EDACS TRS, or conventional system uses Provoice digital,... You will never ever ever hear em again.
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Old 03-10-2005, 1:47 PM
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[quote="propilot5000"]does this pick up SAPD:/quote]

Looks like it was a waste of time for LB to create this, as either people can't read or don't understand NO.
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Old 06-24-2005, 8:52 AM
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Default What is Analog? and what else to hear in San Antonio

I have a friend in San Antonio that is interested in hearing what he can with a Pro-95. Should he just use the blue and gold towers. What talkgroups are analog right now. He said he can hear some dispatches but it's the base only and no mobile units. Also what other freqs are good to monitor in San Antonio such as 123.025 for helos; media, Transguide?? He goes to St. Mary's U near 410/Babcock.
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Old 07-20-2005, 1:59 AM
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this totally sucks. i just took a job down in san antonio, comming out of dfw where i have all of the local cities programmed into my pro95. i was willing to go out and buy a digital scanner, but i see it wont do me much good.

from what you guys are saying, the scanner manufactures need to pick up the "provence" protocol. for those of you who are familiar with this, is this something that any of them have looked into or discussed or is it simply too expensive, or just not used enough for mainstream manufacturing?

i do not feel safe living in a city where i cannot hear what my police and fire are doing around me. i will be sure to write a comment too the city council to let them know i will rethink a move to their city.

thanks for the info guys and/or gals.
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Old 07-30-2005, 10:31 PM
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Write to the city council?? Yeah, that will do the trick!!!
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Old 07-31-2005, 8:07 PM
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You see, Provoice is a proprietary system type by MA-COM and won't be licensed out anytime soon. If it is, then we could expect a possible flash update to all of our digital scanners.

If you write to city council. Instead of telling them about not wanting to move to San Antonio, write about the benefits a scanner can provide a person in an emergency or a national incident and should be outlined as a homeland defense strategy.Boo!-Poltergeisty :-0
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Old 08-31-2005, 4:30 AM
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Default EDACS, ESK, Security

Edacs has several components that make it difficult if not impossible to scan currently.
Edacs radios run 2 channels durring normal opperation. The first channel is the control channel that sends and recieves information between the handset and the tower. This channel controls what frequency the radio transmits it audio/data on. The second channel is the actual data channel, now this is not set up like a standard analog channel, keep in mind this is a trunking system, while the control channel keeps hte same frequency the data channel may or may not be the same freq. each time you key up. to people with scanners that creates the first problem.... no frequency to lock onto, it rotates. Supposing you got hte control frequency and locked into it it's still a proprietarty digital encoding algorythm being used on it. While i'm not sure on the legality of attempting ot decode this encoding it's obviously frowned upon by PD, FD, and Ericson. asuming you locked into and decoded the control channel you would have to get the handheld AND Tower control signals to manage ot tune to hte data channel while it was still open. Not to mention decode the audio/data on the data channel. Ok so that sounds easy enough.... 2 scanners linked with a computer and cracked encoding algorythms.....Enter ESK. ESK is basically encryption.... SA has it off most of the time... but likely would turn it on should a terrorist or other significan't security event take place. EDACS was built to be secure, not only from evesroping but just as if not more importantly from interference from over the counter transmitters. All edacs radios have to be added to the system database before they will work, so they can't just be cloned from blueprints and used ot interupt communications. BCFA has an analog to enhanced 800MHz patch they can use as needed. In case of crisis tuning to 154.2500 MHz will get you the most info or tuning to a broadcast TV station in the area. All technologies listed in this message are CAPABILITIES of the EDACS system but not ALL are necesarly in use at all times.
-john
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