Are Rural Metro (Knoxville) Tac frequencies encrypted?

Gsquared

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My kid just graduated from the fire academy and I'd like to monitor his station calls. I used to own the Uniden bcd396xt but have since sold it. There are no active scanner channels on my Scanner app and whoever had Rural Metro running, has since taken it down. Before I go out and buy the most affordable scanner to monitor Project 25 Phase II, I wanted to know if their freqs are encrypted. When I used to monitor them a few years ago, I typically only heard dispatch and rarely (if ever) heard them talking on their tac channels. I didn't know if it was my antenna limitations or that they just didn't key in much. I'm on Rural Metro's Twitter which does send out alerts but it's for all the stations and I'm not sure they send tweets out for every call. Thanks for any replies.
 
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Thanks for any replies.
Did you check the database?


The MODE column shows whether they are encrypted.

A E means full-time encryption.
a e means part time

A Uniden 325P2 will monitor the system. It's similar to the 396XT
The 996P2 is the base model.

Good luck!
 
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Floridarailfanning

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Rural Metro Fire currently uses VHF and Medical uses UHF. They have talkgroups on TACN for their eventual transition to P25.
A Uniden 325P2 will monitor the system. It's similar to the 396XT
The 996P2 is the base model.
While the TACN state sites are multicast, Knox county's sites are 800MHz LSM, so an LSM capable radio would likely be needed.
 

Gsquared

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I listen to R/M all the time. Their vhf channels are in the clear (not encrypted). As was mentioned fire is vhf and medical is uhf (which is also in the clear).
Good to know. My kid runs shifts with both R/M and AMR. I found a 396XT on Facebook (what I used to own) but I see R/M is Project 25 Phase II which the 396XT doesn't do. I see that only West Karns Tac channel is p25 and the rest are FMN so does that mean I would be able to monitor all the other channels for now and, how quickly can the rest of the channels switch over to P25 and render the 396XT useless? Sorry, I can operate the scanner with no problem but my brains turn to mush when I try and comprehend the nerd stuff.
 

davewhall29

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Karnes Fire is mainly on TACN. That tac channel is rarely used in digital, as far as I know. You should be good for now as R/M still uses their vhf and AMR is still using uhf. There are talkgroups on the TACN system for both, but they are not currently used.
 

Gsquared

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Rural Metro Fire currently uses VHF and Medical uses UHF. They have talkgroups on TACN for their eventual transition to P25.

While the TACN state sites are multicast, Knox county's sites are 800MHz LSM, so an LSM capable radio would likely be needed.
So could I really just get away with a non-trunk radio until those freq move over?
 

zachgallop

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I was told it will be awhile before Rural Metro and AMR changes to TACN, if ever. They had talkgroups on the old smart net trunking system as well and they never changed to it for primary communications. Their talkgroups are all set to Priority Level 8 for the most part. Seymour VFD also uses TACN some on the “KX-RM SVFD 2” talkgroup. That talkgroup is used on a pretty regular basis and set to priority level of 4. But it is really just used as a talk around channel. Occasionally one of the Knox County Rescue Chiefs will get out on Karns TACN channel, but not that often. AMR 9XX ambulances also uses TACN at large events in Knoxville City Limits like UT Football to communicate with KFD. You should be good with a non trunked radio for primary stuff, unless you want to hear KFD and Karns Fire. If you do get a trunked radio and only want to listen to Knox county traffic only, I would just program in Knox simulcast only. For the most part Knox county radios are locked to only Simulcast for most talkgroups with the exception being Karns that affiliates with Windrock. Pellissippi State Community College Police is on TACN, if you have any interest of monitoring them.
 
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Floridarailfanning

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I've had PSCC PD in my G4 ever since they got their APX radios. . . Not a whole to listen to from them. Just routine building checks and parking lot rounds. I think they only came to TACN for interoperability with KCSO, KPD, and BCSO in the event of a major incident. The existing UHF system which is now just for the contract security was definitely sufficient for their LE needs.
 

zachgallop

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I've had PSCC PD in my G4 ever since they got their APX radios. . . Not a whole to listen to from them. Just routine building checks and parking lot rounds. I think they only came to TACN for interoperability with KCSO, KPD, and BCSO in the event of a major incident. The existing UHF system which is now just for the contract security was definitely sufficient for their LE needs.
That was a big reason. Another reason is that the Police Officers at the other four campuses had no way to contact PSPD Dispatch at Hardin Valley Campus via radio. I was told they have KPD channels in their radios from someone at KPD. They probably have others like KFD, BCSO, Karns Fire, and KCSO. As far as I know, Knox county radios do not have their talkgroups. I would say they may add them in the future sometime. I guess they can use the mutual aid talkgroups if need be for now. Those are already heavily used in this area anyway.
And PSCC PD are as far as I know the ONLY NON Encrypted LEA in Knox County, so there is that lol. THP and TWRA etc do not count as they are State Agencies...
THP is really the only state LE agency, other than PSPD. TWRA mainly uses Dispatch 2 for LE now. I rarely hear TWRA R4 Dispatch 1 anymore. The only other state law enforcement agency that has primary jurisdiction in Knox is Roane State Community College (RSCC) Department of Public Safety. They have POST Certified LEOs, but they are not at that campus on a regular basis. They are adding LEOs slowly to most of their locations. Right now only their in house security officers have a presence there with Baofeng UHF radios. They do have a TACN talkgroups through Roane County but that is for use at the Roane County campus. I have been trying to locate what talkgroup they use with no luck. That is the only campus I see their Officers carrying radios really and they use APX there. If RSCC PD got an APX8000 for all their officers, they could have access to every county communications system they have a campus in. You can sometimes catch Law Enforcement traffic from UTPD, KCSO, and BCSO on UT Knoxville Campus during special events. KPD just stays on their encrypted channels for most stuff.



 

Floridarailfanning

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Another reason is that the Police Officers at the other four campuses had no way to contact PSPD Dispatch at Hardin Valley Campus via radio.
That makes sense then. It fixes a communications impediment and offers interoperability.
I guess they can use the mutual aid talkgroups if need be for now. Those are already heavily used in this area anyway.
They seriously need to give the marshals and fugitive task force a dedicated talkgroup for ops with Knox county. It still amazes me that ALL of the dispatch talkgroups are fully encrypted, yet detailed information about undercover operations and stakeouts are constantly happening on Mutual Aid 4 (LE 4) in the clear.
Right now only their in house security officers have a presence there with Baofeng UHF radios.
What a joke. If they choose to give the security guards CCR's I can't imagine them buying APX radios for their officers.
 
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