CPD talks merge with SWRCN

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wa8pyr

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Cleveland proposes merger of public safety radio systems with Middleburg Heights and other cities | cleveland.com

If this would ever work out our hopes of listening to CPD will never happen. With most LEO on SWRCN going dark I would bet CPD would also go that route.
From that story, what it appears is that Cleveland is proposing that SWRCN connect to the new Cleveland master site for their eventual migration to P25, which means that SWRCN would become, in essence, a networked site of the Cleveland system.

In either case, your chances of listening to Cleveland PD after they go P25 are probably slim no matter whose system they end up connecting to; they'll almost certainly encrypt their traffic, at least the vast majority of it. It's still an agency decision, not a system decision, but given Cleveland's past attitudes regarding people listening to the current system, you're likely out of luck no matter what.
 
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a388sig2

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Cleveland's involvement

I guess I'm a little confused...

This article reads that Cleveland wants SWRCN to join their system...

Now is the Cleveland P25 system separate of the 700Mhz MARCS system?
Is the state behind the 700Mhz MARCS system or is it Cuyahoga County or City of Cleveland?
 

kf8yk

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I guess I'm a little confused...

This article reads that Cleveland wants SWRCN to join their system...

Now is the Cleveland P25 system separate of the 700Mhz MARCS system?
Is the state behind the 700Mhz MARCS system or is it Cuyahoga County or City of Cleveland?
The Cleveland P25 system does not exist yet. SWRCN and Cleveland are parterning to save costs on a P25 core. By sharing one they will each save about half a million.

The 700 MHz system is owned by MARCS and while Cleveland was invited to participate they are doing their own thing.

There's the possibility of linking the Cleveland/SWRCN core with the MARCS/Lake County core to permit roaming.
 

budevans

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I guess I'm a little confused...

This article reads that Cleveland wants SWRCN to join their system...

Now is the Cleveland P25 system separate of the 700Mhz MARCS system?

Is the state behind the 700Mhz MARCS system or is it Cuyahoga County or City of Cleveland?
The new Cleveland system will use it's existing 800 Mhz frequencies.

The P25 700Mhz systems is Cuyahoga County's. It is being built and administered by the State (MARCS). Cuyahoga County is paying for it. The original request for MARCS help in building the system goes back to 2006.

See the following was taken from a 2010 letter from Paul Meyer, Chairman of the Regional Planning Committee, Region 33 to the FCC regarding the frequency request for the Cuyahoga County P25 700 Mhz system.

"The Cuyahoga County Commissioners have asked the State (i.e. MARCS) to construct a Motorola 7.X 700 MHz simulcast trunked radio system platform to be available for any and all public safety agencies. This system with directly interconnect with the Lake County 7.X controller and the MARCS 7.X controller, which will allow for totally seamless statewide roaming by the Cuyahoga County users. In the future, perhaps an interface with the new Lucas County and Butler County 7.X systerms will become a reality as well."
 
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a388sig2

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Cleveland System

Thanks all for the info.

So the MARCS 700Mhz system is the one that all the suburbs are joining?

Anyone have a list of who's joining the MARCS Cuyahoga County system?
 

budevans

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Thanks all for the info.

So the MARCS 700Mhz system is the one that all the suburbs are joining?

Anyone have a list of who's joining the MARCS Cuyahoga County system?
To the first question: Probably not.

To the second: So far the Cleveland Metro Parks and the Eastside communities with mutual aid packs with Lake and Geauga Counties. That's it, for now.
 

wa8pyr

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The Cleveland P25 system does not exist yet. SWRCN and Cleveland are parterning to save costs on a P25 core. By sharing one they will each save about half a million.
Actually, at this time a partnership to this end is only a proposal; the chickens haven't hatched yet.

However, it wouldn't be a major surprise for it to happen.
 

dcleistner

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let me ask a dumb question about encryption. Is the reason current scanners are incapable of monitoring the frequencies because it is not popular enough for the scanner manufacturers to build a work around or is it going to be a permanent problem and unsolvable for consumer scanner sales? Thanks
 

wa8pyr

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let me ask a dumb question about encryption. Is the reason current scanners are incapable of monitoring the frequencies because it is not popular enough for the scanner manufacturers to build a work around or is it going to be a permanent problem and unsolvable for consumer scanner sales? Thanks
First, monitoring encrypted signals when you're not a party to the conversation is prohibited by Federal law. That alone means you'll never see any commercially available means to do so.

That being said, there is a difference between clear P25 digital transmissions and encrypted P25 digital transmissions. Clear P25 digital transmissions are unencrypted, can be monitored, and there are scanners available which are capable of doing so; however, other transmissions are encrypted (meaning the digital bits are all mixed up) for the simple reason that the user doesn't want unauthorized listening.

Not only is unauthorized decryption of encrypted signals illegal, but a conversation can be encrypted using any one of millions of possible encryption keys (the digital code which allows a radio to decrypt an encrypted transmission). On top of that, most radios are capable of using multiple encryption keys and allowing the user to select which key to use. As such, figuring out the encryption key even if doing so weren't illegal would be extremely difficult, at best.
 

wa8pyr

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Thank you, I am guessing eventually all departments will go this way.
Some will, some won't. It still costs several hundred $$ extra per radio for encryption capability, and some agencies prefer to maximize their dollar by not purchasing such add-ons.

Even when they do, many agencies are more enlightened and prefer to encrypt only the sensitive stuff and leave dispatch in the clear. This is primarily so that neighboring agencies can monitor the regular day-to-day activity for interoperability purposes, but it helps neighborhood watch groups as well.

Time will tell as to what ultimately happens in your area.
 
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