DFW area scanning and encryption

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oldno7

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Does anyone monitor Lewisville or Coppell PD ? Are the PDs encrypted ? What about the Northeast Tarrant County system (Grapevine, Bedford, Euless, etc) ? Are any of the agencies on that system using encryption ? I have a Home Patrol that is updated with the 2.01 version firmware.
 

Alliance01TX

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Dfw

Howdy

I monitor NE Tarrant (recently re-banded) and as far a I know no local PD/Fire use encrypton except Federal and some DFW Airport ops. I too use the Home Patrol and no issues, just the recent rebanding in and near Tarrant County made for a few interesting days several weeks ago....I can get Denton County Systems some days without going to external antenna as well...most are on Trunked Systems, except City of DallasPD/Fire. DPS and Parker are APCO-25 mostly as I recall.

If you are hearing "data" (might sound like encryption) you might have a "Control Channel" loaded improperly on NE Tarrant System.

You should be able to hear a good amount of radio traffic via NETarrant Trunked Systems most days into late evening with just the stock antenna if you arein the area.

Thx

Bill
 

hiegtx

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Does anyone monitor Lewisville or Coppell PD ? Are the PDs encrypted ? What about the Northeast Tarrant County system (Grapevine, Bedford, Euless, etc) ? Are any of the agencies on that system using encryption ? I have a Home Patrol that is updated with the 2.01 version firmware.
Depending on exactly where you are in Richardson, signal strength might be a problem, especially if you are not on a hill, and are using the stock antenna. The NE Tarrant system (Grapevine, Bedford, etc.) is a good 20 miles from you, and Lewisville's closest tower is probably around 15. As Bill has already said, neither system uses encryption extensively. Besides the federal agencies and DFW Airport, the only other major user with full time encryption is McKinney. A few systems use it sparingly in certain tactical or investigative situations, but not on normal patrol and operations talkgroups or channels (for the ones that are not trunked).

If you,ve recently acquired the Home Patrol, make sure the database is updated in the scanner, so that you have the rebanded data for NE Tarrant. You might also consider a different antenna, one better suited for 800Mhz, such as this one from Radio Shack. That's what I'm using on my HP-1. I also bought an SMA to BNC adapter, as well as a 90 degree BNC elbow adapter so that the antenna is vertical. Makes a big difference on the more distant trunked systems.
 

oldno7

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I think my problem is I didn't get the latest version of the database downloaded although I did manage to get the 2.01 version of the firmware downloaded.My computer is a MAC so I have to borrow time on a friend's PC to get the software and firmware updated. I'm computer and scanner challenged so I guess I goofed up. I'm trying to get back in to the hobby after a long hiatus. I really appreciate the replies. I thought I may have violated some rules of the forum and I was afraid my question wasn't going to get posted. Works good. Thanks to RR and everyone.
 

hiegtx

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I think my problem is I didn't get the latest version of the database downloaded although I did manage to get the 2.01 version of the firmware downloaded.My computer is a MAC so I have to borrow time on a friend's PC to get the software and firmware updated. I'm computer and scanner challenged so I guess I goofed up. I'm trying to get back in to the hobby after a long hiatus. I really appreciate the replies. I thought I may have violated some rules of the forum and I was afraid my question wasn't going to get posted. Works good. Thanks to RR and everyone.
You did not likely "violate" any forum rules (other than you accidentally posted the same question twice, because your first one did not appear when you expected it). New members posts are moderated, held for approval for the first few times to try and weed out spammers. Once you get a few obviously legitimate posts (such as this( under your belt (usually 6 to ten, the exact number is not specified), your posts will appear without being held.

If your HP was like mine, the database loaded when you bought it was likely out of date. I bought mine in mid-August, and the database load was from October 2010. That was before NE Tarrant rebanded, & I think, near the time Lewisville did. So, when you get some "pc time", make sure you get the updates. Also, as I"m sure you're aware, on most all of the newer Macs, you can run Windows from within Apple's OS. There are several ways to do it. I'm not the expert on this, as I don't own a MAC, but there are a number of posts from other members who are doing just that. As you get back into the hobby, as well as get more comfortable with the pc, you may be more comfortable doing that in the future.
 

hiegtx

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In regards to the post in your other thread, concerning a problem reciving McKinney....

McKinney PD is full time encrypted. The HP-1, like most Uniden scanners, skips encrypted transmissions. Generally, the scanner, might stop briefly, but then display "ENC" (for encrypted, or scrambled), and then resume scanning. Take a look at the McKinney system on it's database page. The "E" in the Mode column for all of the McKinney PD talkgroups tells you they are encrypted, and not monitorable.
 

KC5EIB

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The database is updated every Saturday. Might me time to get another update as there have been a number of changes over the last few months.
 

oldno7

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Richardson, Texas
I did finally manage to get the database updated today. I already got the 2.01 version firmware downloaded and now I think I'm in good shape, for 2 reasons, 1) When I was on my way back from Sherman today (Sat, Sept the 24th) I received some McKinney PD traffic in the clear on a talk group called Special Ops 1 or something like that. That was pretty cool and 2) Richardson P25 got downloaded and it was not there before. Richardson is still on their old system but since I didn't have Richardson P25 before I know the database on the HP should be current now. I'm anxious to take a ride a little west of here and see if I can pick up Lewisville, Coppell, NE Tarrant, etc. I am also going to take a little trip to Louisiana and it will be interesting to see if I can pick up the new Longview and Kilgore trunked systems. Thanks to all who replied. It's nice to see the support from the scanner community. I have only known a couple of other people who have owned scanners and they didn't know about them as much as I did and I have a lot to learn. Thanks again. Everyone has been very helpful.
 
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