DMR and normal versus enhanced encryption

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piper9285

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I made a discovery this morning. Security at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga (San Bernardino county) is using enhanced encryption, rather than normal encryption. Having read various threads on this subject in the past, it prompted me to wonder why scanners aren't equipped with a feature that selects between normal, and enhanced encryption. I say this because it would seem that the system was recently switched from normal, to enhanced encryption, and fortunately for me, my btech dmr-6x2 does that. So, is it a violation of FCC regs to switch my radio to enhanced, from normal encryption, or is it fine, since the radio is designed to do that, and wasn't modified to read enhanced encryption? I think it's important to know where I stand, to avoid getting sideways of the law.
 

KevinC

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It's illegal to decrypt any encrypted traffic in this country that you aren't authorized to decrypt. So as far as I know no scanner has that capability (either basic or enhanced).
 

piper9285

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It's illegal to decrypt any encrypted traffic in this country that you aren't authorized to decrypt. So as far as I know no scanner has that capability (either basic or enhanced).
Thanks for responding, but what about two-way radios that have the ability? When I began hearing a garbled mess, I switched over to enhanced encryption, from normal encryption, and everything was understandable again.
 

piper9285

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So, how did you get the key? Something doesn't sound right here.
There's no key. Just a selection in settings. BTW, it's not a trunked system. It's your basic repeater system, using a 5 MHz split frequency pair. I obtained the necessary information from the frequency database, and input it into the walkie, and VOILA it works. In settings mode, I can toggle between normal, and enhanced encryption. It's not sophisticated at all.
 

a417

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something not right about this? you had me at btech...

there is hilariously little information in that manual about that, and only this little blurb in the wonderfully official programming pdf ...
6x2.png
I needed a good laugh today. :ROFLMAO:
 

piper9285

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something not right about this? you had me at btech...

there is hilariously little information in that manual about that, and only this little blurb in the wonderfully official programming pdf ...
View attachment 75185
I needed a good laugh today. :ROFLMAO:
Actually, yeah, this is pretty funny. But okay, thanks. You pretty much answered my question. I shouldn't use that feature.
 

ladn

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What it sounds like is piper9285 has the same (or very similar) radio as Victoria Gardens. Whomever programmed the Victoria Gardens radios activated encryption, but kept the default keys, thus making it possible for piper 9285 to listen in.
 

nd5y

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What it sounds like is piper9285 has the same (or very similar) radio as Victoria Gardens. Whomever programmed the Victoria Gardens radios activated encryption, but kept the default keys, thus making it possible for piper 9285 to listen in.
I agree. A year so so ago I played with AnyTone's (manufacturer of BTECH's DMR radio) programming software (I don't have any of their radios) and I remember it having something like 16 encryption keys that were already loaded. I think you can select different keys for each channel/TG. I don't remember if different models/software have the same default keys.
 

bharvey2

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This radio looks very much like the Anytone UV868 so it piqued my interest. I downloaded the CPS for it and sure enough, they're very similar. There is a populated list of 32 encryption keys. They appear to be in hex. As I've never used encryption with a digital mode, I have no idea if this is S.O.P. Within the channel window is an option to select encryption (4 digit hex) (or enhanced encryption- 30 digit hex) and one of those 32 keys (one could also change the key in the encryption menu too). If it is typical to have the encryption keys pre-populated, I suppose it's possible that radio manufacturers use some form of common key to start. Granted, that seems odd. In any case, I don't doubt piper9285's word that it worked, It seems like a one in a million chance unless the common keys between manufacturers is a thing.

BTW, One thing I didn't check is whether the BTech radio is Part 90 approved. If not, that would explain why the manual states not to use encryption in the U.S. as it'd be for ham use only.
 
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