Digital upgrade for BC246T?

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1586

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Curious if there is a way to upgrade my 246 to digital. I'd rather not spend the money for a digital scanner but will if necessary.

I love the scanner but it will not pick-up my county Police/Fire/EMS since they are on a digital system.

Thanks
 

LEH

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I seriously doubt you'll see an upgrade to the 246 to support digital. The 396, at nearly the same size, is the digital brother to the 246. This is like the PSR 400 and 500 or the RS 97 to 96.

Even if there were an upgrade, you'd have to pay for it and it could easily push cost up to that for a new digital radio.
 

torontokris

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I doubt it.. Its not like the BC250 that was digital ready..

Even if it could be added on the 246T .. the cost would be about $$200-$300 or more (estimate)
See the P25 licensing thread for info on why

Id suggest purchasing a 396, or simular.. and selling the 246T you may get a good amount for it.
 

ScanTheFreqs

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keep in mind the p25 licensing thread doesnt provide an ounce of proof on how much the actual license fee is
 

DonS

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keep in mind the p25 licensing thread doesnt provide an ounce of proof on how much the actual license fee is
Likely because the scanner manufacturers haven't released (of course) that information.

However, we can get information about DVSI's license fees for other, publicly-traded companies. Those publicly-traded licensees would have to disclose such facts in their SEC filings. For example, as of 14 Aug 1995:
1. For DVSI's IMBE vocoder, E.F. Johnson was to pay DVSI a graduated amount per unit sold ("embodiment") per calendar quarter:
a. $5 per unit for the first 100,000 units
b. $4 per unit for units 100,001 through 1,000,000
c. $3 per unit for all units in excess of 1,000,000
2. E.F. Johnson was to pay DVSI a minimum of $135,000 in the first 3 years, regardless of units sold

(Subsequent SEC filings have addendums to this agreement that have E.F. Johnson making other, non-unit-based payments.)

If DVSI's agreements with other companies (including scanner manufacturers) were similar, we might be able to make some conclusions about the "license fee per scanner". For example, if Uniden had a similar arrangement with DVSI for the BCD396T and the total market for that product was 20,000 units (and all 20,000 were sold in the first 3 years), then we might be able to conclude that the "per unit DVSI license fee for a BCD396T is $6.75" (minimum $135,000 in three years across 20,000 units). However, since we don't actually know about Uniden's arrangement with DVSI, we can't make such presumptions.
 

loumaag

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keep in mind the p25 licensing thread doesnt provide an ounce of proof on how much the actual license fee is
In addition to Don's comments above, consider that the BCi25D card (before it became unavailable) was selling for about $240. Now when it first came out it was much more expensive and when Uniden no longer had any radios for sale they dumped the last ones in stock for $99 or so. Do you imagine the license fee trivial in regard to the selling price, much less the dump price.

However, in regard to the OP's request for information, the 296T will never have a digital upgrade since it doesn't have the electronics to use a vocoder.
 

cpuerror

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I'm actually surprised no one has made a program yet to decode p25 through the sound card. It is perfectly legal to do so in many countries.
 

loumaag

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I'm actually surprised no one has made a program yet to decode p25 through the sound card. It is perfectly legal to do so in many countries.
I'm sorry, are you of the opinion that world-wide patent and copyrights are unenforceable somewhere? Can you name a country?
 

AZScanner

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I'm actually surprised no one has made a program yet to decode p25 through the sound card. It is perfectly legal to do so in many countries.
No it's not. You could recover the data bits themselves legally, but turning them back into voice infringes on DVSI's patents and will get you sued faster than selling nude pictures of Angelina Jolie to the National Enquirer. The only way one could release such a thing would be anonymously. I agree - it'd be great if someone would. But I'm not holding my breath. It would be a monumental undertaking.

-AZ
 

UPMan

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It would be a monumental undertaking.
And that is an understatement. Scanner manufacturers spend $millions in development (in addition to DVSI licensing) to decode P25.
 

torontokris

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I agree 100%.. there is no way the cost is $6 per unit for digital.
My guess would be currently $150 to $200


In addition to Don's comments above, consider that the BCi25D card (before it became unavailable) was selling for about $240. Now when it first came out it was much more expensive and when Uniden no longer had any radios for sale they dumped the last ones in stock for $99 or so. Do you imagine the license fee trivial in regard to the selling price, much less the dump price.
 

DonS

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there is no way the cost is $6 per unit for digital.
Why not? That's about what it was for E.F. Johnson (Transcrypt International) in 1995, if our discussion of "cost per unit for digital" is limited to licensing fees paid to DVSI.
 

LEH

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I'm sorry, are you of the opinion that world-wide patent and copyrights are unenforceable somewhere? Can you name a country?
While probably true, there are countries that are a lot more lax in enforcing patents and copyrights (especially from other countries). The PRC (Peoples Republic of China) comes to mind almost immediately.
 

cpuerror

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I'm sorry, are you of the opinion that world-wide patent and copyrights are unenforceable somewhere? Can you name a country?
I'm sure there are some countries esp in the middle east where IP of foreign corporations is not considerd a top priority, or which it is not even recognized (for example Iran). So in that case, it would be legal.
 

jon_k

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I'm sorry, are you of the opinion that world-wide patent and copyrights are unenforceable somewhere? Can you name a country?
No it's not. You could recover the data bits themselves legally, but turning them back into voice infringes on DVSI's patents and will get you sued faster than selling nude pictures of Angelina Jolie to the National Enquirer.
Lawsuits kinda like those against the 95 year old grandma, and the 6 month year old baby made by the RIAA and other music industries?

I welcome lawsuits against those who may be listening to the police department with illegal decoding software. Likewise, good luck to DVSI for tracking/isolating/finding the hobbyist using such illegal software in his radio shack to decode the local plumbing agency's digital system.

I don't see an issue with someone releasing some source code for FREE and anonymously and leaving it up to other people to compile and release software for it. Of course whoever makes the software will have to be careful with the code they use. Perhaps they could include the source and simply have end-users compile it?
 
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DonS

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good luck to DVSI for tracking/isolating/finding the hobbyist using such illegal software in his radio shack to decode the local plumbing agency's digital system.

I don't see an issue with someone releasing some source code for FREE and anonymously and leaving it up to other people to compile and release software for it. Of course whoever makes the software will have to be careful with the code they use. Perhaps they could include the source and simply have end-users compile it?
If such software implements someone's patented invention (e.g. DVSI's IMBE vocoder) EDIT: without the permission of the inventor/assignee, then it violates the letter and the spirit of our (United States) patent laws. Those laws exists to a) encourage innovation by giving inventors a "monopoly" on their invention for a limited time and b) adding such inventions to the wealth of public knowledge.

If it was "OK" for anyone to go ahead and implement their own version of patented inventions (likely based on the information disclosed in the patents), then the inventors have no incentive to make the disclosures. Many inventors would have a decreased incentive to "invent" in the first place (like DVSI, since it appears their whole reason for existence is to license their patented IP).
 

AZScanner

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I welcome lawsuits against those who may be listening to the police department with illegal decoding software. Likewise, good luck to DVSI for tracking/isolating/finding the hobbyist using such illegal software in his radio shack to decode the local plumbing agency's digital system.
That's not who they'll go after. They'll go after the guy who released it if they can find him. If not then they'll bully whoever runs the website it's on to yank the post or whatever.

Say for example someone posted that source code here as a forum posting. You can bet that within hours of the post Lindsay would receive a strongly worded email from some legal eagle over at DVSI to remove the post immediately or else. They could also subpoena server logs to try and find out who it was. And considering the highly technical nature of DVSI's products, I don't doubt for a second that they would have someone capable of tracking down the owner of a particular IP address. Sure there's anonymous proxies and such but still... scary.

Would love to see it done though, but don't look at me for it. I have no idea how to write code like that and even if I did... well I'm a big fat chicken. :D

-AZ
 
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