2019 - Kansas City Metro Area MARRS P25 Trunked Radio System

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Papagei

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Hello all!

I monitor MARRS using a Realtek SDR, my PC, and the OP25 software as modified by boatbod here on the forums.

One thing that OP25 reports is a "source ID" for each transmission. This is not the talkgroup, which it also reports. I think the source ID identifies the particular radio that is talking at the time. I have noticed some patterns in the source IDs, which might be interesting to other people that monitor MARRS.

As far as I can tell, the source ID identifies a particular radio, NOT a particular human! I can think of at least a couple of reasons for this:

* A firefighter is riding in Engine 3 to a call. On the way, he uses the radio in the cab of the truck, and uses the "Engine 3" call sign on the radio. On scene, he gets out and operates the pump controls on the side of the truck, and switches to his hand-held radio. He still uses the "Engine 3" call sign, but the source ID will be different.

* If a police agency doesn't have assigned cars for all of its officers, the same officer will end up with different source IDs on different days, depending on which car he or she has that day. Also, officer 123 on first shift may have a certain source ID, and then officer 234 on second shift may have that same source ID, because 123 and 234 ended up driving the same car that day.

Even with assigned cars, one officer might use both their car radio and their hand-held radio during a shift, so you'd hear the same person with two different source IDs.

The main way it's been useful for me is when a source ID that I haven't seen before talks, I can guess at which agency they are probably with, even if they don't announce it. Sometimes this is handy on "interagency" talkgroups like Regional Common 3, everybody's favorite car-chase channel.

The source ID gets reported even on encrypted talkgroups, so it may be useful to figure out what agency is using a particular talkgroup.

I don't know if other software or hardware scanners report source IDs, so I don't know how widely this will be of interest.

I don't think these are already listed here at RadioReference, but if they are, I'd be happy to submit updates to the list.

I only monitor two of the base stations on the east side of town (851.325 and 856.7375), so most of my observations are for agencies that use those two towers. I am light on information for the Kansas side.

OP25 reports the source ID as a 7-digit number. It doesn't break it up in any way with dashes, spaces, etc. From monitoring for 3+ months, though, there seems to be a pattern: the first four digits seem to identify a particular city, agency, or function, and the last three digits are individual radios in that group. (I did get an 8-digit number on exactly *one* transmission so far, but I'm willing to write that off as a glitch.)

Here's what I've seen:

Code:
Group    Function
0    Independence.  Includes Power&Light, Fire, Public Works.
1    Independence Police
2    Independence.  Includes snow plow and Power&Light.
3    Independence.  Includes sewer, Power&Light, snow plow, Fire, and possibly Police.
4    Independence Police and Fire.
13    Central Jackson County Fire.  May also include Lake City Ammo fire/EMT.
16    Blue Springs.  Includes Police, Public Works, and snow plows.
1000    Missouri Highway Patrol
1004    Missouri Highway Patrol
1005    Missouri Highway Patrol
1061    Central Jackson County Fire.
1067    Ambulances, probably Sni Valley.
3000    Various: National Weather Service Pleasant Hill, Life Flight helicopters.
3002    Unknown officers, possibly Independence Police.
3003    Unknown officers, possibly Inddependence Police.
3019    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas Highway Patrol.
3032    Various ambulances and emergency rooms: Central Jackson County, Lee's Summit, Kansas City Missouri, American Medical Response, Life Flight, possibly Kansas City, Kansas.  Centerpoint ER, St. Mary's ER, Truman ER, Truman Lakewood ER.
3034    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas Highway Patrol.
3036    Unknown officers.
3039    Unknown officers.
3040    Kansas City, Kansas ambulances.
3499    Unknown, possibly a dispatcher.
4000    Dispatch for various agencies, including KCMO Police and Fire, CJC Fire, KCI airport, MKC airport, Independence Fire, Blue Springs Police, Jackson County Sheriff, Clay County Sheriff, possibly KCK Police, possibly VA Police.  I have also heard a couple of KCPD officers (not dispatchers) in this group.
4001    Kansas City Police
4002    Kansas City Fire
4004    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City police.
4005    Kansas City Police
4006    Kansas City Police
4007    Kansas City Fire
4008    Kansas City Fire
4010    Unknown, possibly Kansas City public works.
4012    KCI and MKC Airport Police, Fire, and maintenance.
4014    Kansas City building code inspectors.  May also include Animal Control.
4015    Kansas City Police
4020    KCI Airport Police
4022    Kansas City jail
4023    Kansas CIty Fire
4024    Unknown officers, possibly Platte County.
4025    Unknown officers, possibly Weston.
4028    Unknown officers
4029    Liberty Police, plus unknown officers, possibly Clay County Sheriff or Claycomo.
4030    Liberty Fire
4032    Unknown officers, possibly Claycomo.
4033    Unknown officers
4034    Unknown officers, possibly Garden City.
4035    Unknown officers
4038    Kansas City Fire
4039    Kansas City Fire
4040    Grain Valley Police
4041    Grain Valley and Oak Grove Police.  Also Grain Valley building codes.
4042    Grain Valley Police
4044    Jackson County Sheriff and park rangers.
4054    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police or Federal.
4055    VA Hospital
4103    Kansas City Police
4104    Kansas City Police
4105    Kansas City Police
4107    Kansas City police
4114    Kansas City radio technicians
4480    Missouri DOT Motorist Assist
4490    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police.
4496    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police.
4950    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police.
 

mgolden2

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Kansas City area
That's correct. Every radio has a 7-digit ID that the system uses to know which radio has access to the system and which radio is communicating. For example, my radio is 4012071.


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KCoax

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KCMO PD handhelds are assigned by badge (i.e. serial) numbers.
 

Papagei

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If the radio ID is 4105413, that Officers department serial number is 5413.
Would that officer also announce themselves verbally as "413" on the radio, or are the radio calls different from serial numbers?

Thanks!
 

AC0RV

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Park Hills, MO
Yes, The"413" will be either his Badge # or a number assigned by his department and will be different to the radio's Serial # is using when transmitting on the system.
 

bondsquad

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Forgive me if this is discernible in the 2018 thread. I think some folks referred to parts of my question, but I didn't follow the answers if they're woven in there somewhere...

I'm having trouble with a Unification G5 while using it in JoCo. The unit searches for the nearest MARRS system site when you turn it on, and most of the time it locks onto RFSS 3 / Site 1, which makes sense if I understand the RR table specifying that as a JoCo, KS site. Occasionally, though, it locks onto RFSS 4 / Site 1, which I understand to be a KC, MO site. When that happens, my device stops picking up all of the JoCo talkgroups.

So my question is (informed by comments from others on FB) do these (or all) MARRS sites sift out most TGs of local agencies based geographically in the territory of other sites?

If that's so, do interop TGs simulcast on every site? Are there other TGs that do? (KHP?)

*** edited to add: I just came across the following post from Jay911 (thank you!!) that explained what may be at least part of my answer -

Put another way: Let's say a system has three sites, 1, 2, and 3, and a talkgroup 1000. The professional radios that are on the system send a message to the system controller saying "I'm on site x and I am listening to talkgroup y". If a radio tunes to talkgroup 1000 on site 1, and another radio tunes to talkgroup 1000 on site 3, but no radio on site 2 is listening to talkgroup 1000, site 2 won't carry that talkgroup. (post #2: https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/which-site-to-select-when-choosing-tgs.383188/#post-3067985)
 
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hkrharry

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bondsquad You are mostly correct.

The TGs for certain agencies is set to affiliate with their home sites.

Example: Joco will lock onto the JoCo site first and most will stay there.
They could however on certain TGs roam to the other sites.

KCMO agencies will lock on to their home site and they too will stay there.

KCKS will lock on the WyCo sites.

Hospital/EMS comms are generally carried on all sites with the hospitals, the ER radio is set to lock on to the site that is closest to them but the traffic is carried on all sites because you don't know where the EMS unit is coming from.

Regional TGs will be carried on all sites, they will lock on to whatever they hear as the strongest signal.
RegComm3 is carried on all sites, as stated above, starting with their home system.

Also, a lot depends on how the radio is set up to search for sites too.
But the System Master Controller has the ultimate say on where what radio roams to where when it reaches the end of the RF string.

Your G5 radio the smarts is in the G5, if you set multiple CCs on several sites it will roam till it finds a strong signal and stay there whether you have a TG on that site or not, so you could "roam" to a site and have no traffic because your G5 is only a receiver.

Your best bet is to program JoCo as Joco only CCs with appropriate TGs for JOCO, KCMO with appropriate TGs for KCMOcc

With the Regional/Hospital/EMS TG with CCs from each site or the just sites your in mostly and have an alternate CC incase you travel to the other side of the metro.

Does this make any sense?

HH
 

bondsquad

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Thank you SO much HH!

It does, particularly in the context of follow ups I've received on a Unication FB group post. I'm pretty sure the best suggestion I received is functionally the same or similar to what you're suggesting.

*** Note: I don't know that it's of any interest to you HH, but I wrote a whole bunch below explaining what I think I figured out, mainly for the benefit of any other G5 users who come looking for the same advice that I did***

With the G5, you can create multiple "zones", each of which corresponds to a full set of 8 "channels", represented on the device by an 8 position knob. In other words, the 8 positions are programmable, and you can create up to 64 lists ("zones") of 8 and switch among them to change what the knobs receive. For each of those 8 knob positions meanwhile, you can select up to 64 talk-groups to scan. Put another way, on the device itself you can switch from zone to zone (though it's menu-based and a bit cumbersome) and within each zone, the 8 positions on your knob correspond to 8 different TG lists of your own creation for each zone. In the G5 software, their naming convention would be something like Zone 1-Knob 1 and then Zone 1-Knob 2, etc. (If you don't want to scan TGs but sit on one, for example, you just put a single TG into one of the knob positions.)

I don't have my own lists of zones and buckets handy, but the image below is what you'd get in the G5 software if you were to create six zones (top to bottom) and then create distinct groups of TGs for each of eight knob positions per zone (across), except for zone six, which in this illustration has nothing listed for the Zone 6, Knob 8 square:

full zones.JPG

What I didn't realize is that, for each knob-position group (i.e. each one of the squares above), you can select a different P25 system. i.e. if I were to have 5 regional P25s that I wanted to follow, I could program all five into my device, then, for each distinct knob-group of TGs, I could select a completely different system. I should have noticed that but didn't. I say so because when you use the G5's software to create zones and underlying knob groups, each specific knob group you create has a pulldown menu allowing you to select which system you want. Here's the interface used for entering each knob group box as in those above:

system choice.JPG

As you can see, under "Knob - Trunking System Setting" and after the bullet point "P25 Trunking System:" label, there's a drop down with system names (Trk Sys 1 in the image above). Once you enter multiple systems (earlier in the setup process), you can select whichever system you want when setting each and every knob/box combination. (My incorrect assumption was that for every system I wanted to track I would have a completely unique set of zones and knob groups, and that to follow another system I would have to create an entirely separate collection of zones.)

That's all prelude to say that the parallel advice I received was to create separate, identical systems (each covering MARRS), but instead of including all 9 of MARRS' sites in each of my systems, leave in only the JoCo (#3) site in one system (which I think is analagous to leaving in the CCs for JoCo only) and the KCMO (#4) site in the other. (When you set up each system, you load in the system's site information, including all of the CCs and all of its Talk Groups that you want to use, i.e. I uploaded all of it from Radio Reference in two separate CSV files.) Then, when I go to program each of the zone/knob boxes, I can select the "MARRS/site 3 system" that I fashioned for all JoCo TGs, and the "MARRS/site 4 system" for all the KCMO TGs, etc.

Phew.
 

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bondsquad

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Papagei - is there anywhere you could direct me to learn more about using Realtek SDRs and OP25? (I patched together an RTL-SDR with unitrunker and DSD+ but it doesn't work very well.)
 

Papagei

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Papagei - is there anywhere you could direct me to learn more about using Realtek SDRs and OP25?
To get OP25 running in fall 2018, I followed the directions from this blog post: OP25 For Dummies – Or how to build a police scanner for $30 (Part 1) | John’s Tech Blog . I already knew how to drive Linux; I just needed the directions on what else I needed to install to get OP25 to run.

You need to be running some flavor of Linux. I use OP25 on Debian. Ubuntu would probably also work well, but I haven't personally tried it. You could probably make it work on a Red Hat-derived system (Fedora, CentOS), but if you've never used Linux before, I would advise you to stick with Debian or Ubuntu - that way, the directions in that blog post have a much better chance of working.

It should be possible to run Linux in a virtual machine (using VirtualBox, VMware, or QEMU) under Windows, and tell Windows to connect the USB SDR to the virtual machine. I've never tried running it like this, though. There is quite a long thread in the OP25 forum here about doing exactly that, but I don't know what the state of the whole project is. Thread here: https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/virtualbox-project-run-op25-on-windows-7.301459/

You can also get a Raspberry Pi (a small, ARM-based single-board computer) and dedicate that to running the SDR - your main desktop/laptop PC can be totally out of the picture, if you want. Thread in the OP25 forum here: https://forums.radioreference.com/threads/rpi-3-rtl-sdr-op25.354875/ Basically, you get the Pi itself (about $30-$35 either online or at Micro Center), a micro SD card for storage, a power supply, and maybe a couple of cables. You plug the micro SD card into your desktop or laptop, put the OS image on the card, unplug the card from your desktop or laptop, and plug the card into the Pi. The Pi then boots and runs from the micro SD card. You plug your USB SDR into the Pi, and either listen to the audio output on the Pi, or tell the Pi to ship the audio across the network to another PC so you can listen to it there. If you do this, get at least a Raspberry Pi 3; a Pi Zero is tempting at $5 (!) but it's not fast enough to run OP25, as I have personally found out.

If you have an old PC or laptop that's not doing anything, you could also install Linux on that and run the SDR there. This is more or less the same idea as running it on the Raspberry Pi, but you might already own an old PC, or can find one at the curb for free on trash day. :) I have run OP25 successfully under Linux on a circa-2008 PC (3.2 GHz, dual-core, 2 GB RAM), and I suspect you could get away with less (maybe 2 to 2.5 GHz single-core and 0.5 GB RAM). If Surplus Exchange was still open (or if they open back up), they would sell you old Dell desktops for $20 that will meet this spec easily - you'd just need to add a hard drive. The hard drive can be older and smaller; I just got done setting up a Linux system (for something else) with a 160 GB drive, and 80 GB would also have worked. This will use more power than a Pi, which might be important if you are planning to run it 24/7, but it will also (IMHO) be a little easier to set up.

I hope this helps!
 

bondsquad

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Another novice question... When various PDs (Overland Park, Olathe, etc.) put out single tones ahead of certain calls (evidently those of an urgent nature), are they simply to call attention so that officers will know to listen, or are those tones actually used to active devices?

Either way - does anyone know what the parameters are for deciding what calls get toned?
 

nd5y

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Another novice question... When various PDs (Overland Park, Olathe, etc.) put out single tones ahead of certain calls (evidently those of an urgent nature), are they simply to call attention so that officers will know to listen, or are those tones actually used to active devices?

Either way - does anyone know what the parameters are for deciding what calls get toned?
It's probably just a 1 kHz alert tone (sound effect) that doesn't activate anything except the listeners' ears.
Some departments like to do that and others don't.
When I lived in St. Joe many years ago they sent 1, 2 , 3 or no tones depending on the call priority.
Some departments use different single tone, repeating tone, high-low tone or siren sound effects for different priority calls.
There is probably some internal SOP for prioritizing calls, maybe their CAD system does it.
 

bondsquad

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It's probably just a 1 kHz alert tone (sound effect) that doesn't activate anything except the listeners' ears.
Some departments like to do that and others don't.
When I lived in St. Joe many years ago they sent 1, 2 , 3 or no tones depending on the call priority.
Some departments use different single tone, repeating tone, high-low tone or siren sound effects for different priority calls.
There is probably some internal SOP for prioritizing calls, maybe their CAD system does it.
Much appreciated!
 

bctrainers

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@bondsquad - Many of the agencies on MARRS utilize a tone/beeper before a dispatch call (varies per agency).

KCFD dispatch will tend to do two beeps with a quick cut in the middle of it, KCPD will tone for important call like shots fired / sound of shots. JoCoECC will do a quick quick-5-beep for a building fire.

And with just about every PD agency on the system, when an officer is in duress/ATO, a warble/HiLo is used before the audio - it'll catch your attention. The warble is also sometimes used with various agencies fire grounds tac channels to evac a structure.

From time to time, Overland Park PD will tell a unit to clear for a "Priority 1" call, followed by a tone out.

All in all, The tone-out is vastly an attention getter on MARRS.
 

mgolden2

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It's probably just a 1 kHz alert tone (sound effect) that doesn't activate anything except the listeners' ears.
Some departments like to do that and others don't.
When I lived in St. Joe many years ago they sent 1, 2 , 3 or no tones depending on the call priority.
Some departments use different single tone, repeating tone, high-low tone or siren sound effects for different priority calls.
There is probably some internal SOP for prioritizing calls, maybe their CAD system does it.
I'm a dispatcher and you are right. The tones are just to get the Officers attention due to the higher priority nature of the call.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

Papagei

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Updated source ID list

This is an update to my post back in February. I think I've identified a few more radio source ID groups. I figure a quarterly update is about right. :)

The basics are the same:

I only monitor two of the base stations on the east side of town (851.325 and 856.7375), so most of my observations are for agencies that use those two towers. I am light on information for the Kansas side.

OP25 reports the source ID as a 7-digit number. It doesn't break it up in any way with dashes, spaces, etc. The pattern I have noticed is that the first four digits seem to identify a particular city, agency, or function, and the last three digits are individual radios in that group. (I did get an 8-digit number on exactly *one* transmission so far, but I'm willing to write that off as a glitch.)

Here's what I've seen:

Code:
Group    Function
0    Independence.  Includes Fire, Power&Light, Public Works.
1    Independence Police
2    Independence.  Includes snow plow and Power&Light.
3    Independence.  Includes Fire, sewer, Power&Light, snow plow, and possibly Police.
4    Independence Police and Fire
5    Independence snow plows
8    Independence Fire and snow plows
13    Central Jackson County Fire and Lake City Ammo Fire and EMT.
15    Lake City Ammo officers
16    Blue Springs.  Includes Police, Public Works, and snow plows.
131    Unknown, possibly a fire department.
1000    Missouri Highway Patrol
1004    Missouri Highway Patrol
1005    Missouri Highway Patrol
1030    Missouri DOT Motorist Assist
1061    Central Jackson County Fire
1067    Ambulances, probably Sni Valley.
3000    Various: National Weather Service Pleasant Hill, Life Flight helicopters.
3002    Unknown officers, possibly Independence Police.
3003    Unknown officers, possibly Independence Police.
3012    Unknown officers.
3016    Olathe Police
3019    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas Highway Patrol.
3032    Various ambulances and emergency rooms: Central Jackson County, Lee's Summit, Kansas City Missouri, American Medical Response, Life Flight, possibly Kansas City, Kansas.  Centerpoint ER, St. Mary's ER, Truman ER, Truman Lakewood ER.
3034    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas Highway Patrol.
3035    Unknown officers, possibly on the Kansas side.
3036    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas Highway Patrol.
3039    Unknown officers.
3040    Kansas City, Kansas ambulances
3051    Leavenworth Police
3499    Unknown, possibly a dispatcher.
4000    Dispatch for various agencies, including KCMO Police and Fire, CJC Fire, KCI airport, MKC airport, Independence Fire, Blue Springs Police, Jackson County Sheriff, Clay County Sheriff, possibly KCK Police, possibly VA Police.  I have also heard a couple of KCPD officers (not dispatchers) in this group.
4001    Kansas City Police
4002    Kansas City Fire
4004    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City police.
4005    Kansas City Police
4006    Kansas City Police
4007    Kansas City Fire
4008    Kansas City Fire
4010    Unknown, possibly Kansas City public works.
4012    KCI and MKC Airport Police, Fire, and maintenance.
4014    Kansas City building code inspectors.  May also include Animal Control.
4015    Kansas City Police
4020    KCI Airport Police
4021    Unknown officers, possibly KCI Airport Police.
4022    Kansas City jail
4023    Kansas City Fire
4024    Platte County Sheriff
4025    Unknown officers, possibly Weston.
4028    Used in training exercises for unknown fire department.
4029    Liberty Police, plus unknown officers, possibly Clay County Sheriff or Claycomo.
4030    Liberty Fire
4032    Unknown officers, possibly Claycomo.
4033    Possibly training exercises for unknown fire department.
4034    Unknown officers, possibly Garden City.
4035    Unknown officers, possibly Cass County.
4038    Kansas City Fire
4039    Kansas City Fire
4040    Grain Valley Police
4041    Grain Valley and Oak Grove Police.  Also Grain Valley building codes.
4042    Grain Valley Police and Inter-City Fire
4044    Jackson County Sheriff and park rangers
4054    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police or Federal.
4055    VA Hospital
4101    Kansas City Police
4103    Kansas City Police
4104    Kansas City Police
4105    Kansas City Police
4107    Kansas City police
4114    Kansas City radio technicians
4117    Kansas City Police
4429    Pleasant Valley and Claycomo police
4480    Missouri DOT Motorist Assist
4490    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police.
4496    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police.
4950    Unknown officers, possibly Kansas City Police.
4999    Unknown, possibly Sugar Creek.
 
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