Encrypted chatter? Will Co. EDACS

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TrenchFeeder

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I'm hearing strange traffic on the Will Co. EDACS system on talk group 1996.

You can hear that it's a person talking but it's all chopped up with what sounds like beeps covering it.

Is this a sign of more encryption on the EDACS?
 

Squad10

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Taking a stab here, but did you mean 'DOJ 25 Cities'?
Yes.

Chicago's three site voted multi-cast system.

Command P25 conventional repeater outputs:
170.8125 North
171.6875 Central
171.4375 South

Been a project for me to put Project in its proper place.
 

kruser

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That's how they are doing it here for the St.Louis city P25 system.
Entire talkgroups are not encrypted (yet) but they do use encryption on a per radio basis.
This really makes monitoring these systems a pain if using the GRE PSR500 or 600 as they are not smart enough to skip or even at least mute the encrypted signals when they show up. So you must listen to that noise or be prepared to hit the scan or resume button often unless the noise does not bother you.
The PSR 800 will at least mute the audio for you but it also hangs on the channel preventing further scanning until the signal drops.
Uniden uses some magic that simply tells the scanner to ignore encrypted traffic and continue scanning.
Much better way of doing it in my eyes. Now if only the Unidens would decode the simulcast P25 sites as well as the GRE's!
I'm not sure what the Uniden's do when they encounter some of the older encryption technologies used on analog systems like DES. I suspect they will also stop and open the audio as I think they depend on the encryption flag bit sent with the P25 data to know to ignore and keep scanning.

I wonder how many users still use DES on analog systems.
I still hear it occasionly on some of the federal channels but can't say I've run across any analog DES in regular use by any civilian agencies in a while. I do still hear voice inversion scrambling though and on local government systems!
A hospital here also uses voice inversion for the 3rd party cleaning company they contract with for housekeeping services. I guess they still pass patients names and what not so they attempt to scramble it.
 

gewecke

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Enter the encrypted talkgroups as objects into a list, then you can shut them off! Enter them and tag them as if they were something you wanted in your list. :)

73,
n9zas
 

kruser

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Enter the encrypted talkgroups as objects into a list, then you can shut them off! Enter them and tag them as if they were something you wanted in your list. :)

73,
n9zas
That does not work though as 99% of the talk on these talkgroups is in the clear. Doing that would block the entire talkgroup.
You would need to program in the radio ID's and then lock them out if that is even possible.
Then of course you would still miss them when they switch back to clear mode which they do.

Your idea only works when an entire talkgroup is encrypted.
This system may have say 300 users on the talkgroup. Out of the 300 users, only 10 may use encryption but as luck has it, those 10 users are also the users that talk a lot so one must listen to the encryption noise if using the original GRE scanners other than the 800.
 

RoninJoliet

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My Uniden 996XT did "NOT" skip over this encription maybe because its a"patch" on Will Co as it does on "enc" TG's on Starcom which makes it a pain to listen to....
 

abbadabbado

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citrus county florida on ocasion uses enc. on there motorola type 2 system at least thats what it sound like most i heard is on a private call they are still analog
 

gewecke

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That does not work though as 99% of the talk on these talkgroups is in the clear. Doing that would block the entire talkgroup.
You would need to program in the radio ID's and then lock them out if that is even possible.
Then of course you would still miss them when they switch back to clear mode which they do.

Your idea only works when an entire talkgroup is encrypted.
This system may have say 300 users on the talkgroup. Out of the 300 users, only 10 may use encryption but as luck has it, those 10 users are also the users that talk a lot so one must listen to the encryption noise if using the original GRE scanners other than the 800.
Ok I gotcha. I was thinking they were full time encrypted tg's.

73,
n9zas
 

kruser

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My Uniden 996XT did "NOT" skip over this encription maybe because its a"patch" on Will Co as it does on "enc" TG's on Starcom which makes it a pain to listen to....
I read something about this just the other day.
I think the 996 will not skip encrypted talk unless it is a true fully P25 Motorola system.
I think what you are referrring too is an Edacs site and as far as I know, the 996 does not know how to skip those comms.
I suspect the same to be true if one were to tune in an analog signal that is using DES encryption. Maybe that is the type of encryption you are hearing even but I think that DES sounds more like just plain white noise.
Turn that squelch as high as it will go and you still hear the static, at least what sounds like static!
 

Squad10

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I wonder how many users still use DES on analog systems.
I primarily monitor Chicago federal conventional frequencies and have never heard mixed mode used. It's either all Clear/Code analog or all Clear/Code P25, never a mix of the two on a frequency/system.

And... certain Chicago FBI frequencies/systems and DEA (original 6 channels) still use Clear/Code analog.


A hospital here also uses voice inversion for the 3rd party cleaning company they contract with for housekeeping services. I guess they still pass patients names and what not so they attempt to scramble it.
Good you say "I guess", otherwise you may incriminate yourself.
 
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Squad10

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My Uniden 996XT did "NOT" skip over this encription maybe because its a"patch" on Will Co as it does on "enc" TG's on Starcom which makes it a pain to listen to....
Compared to what I hear when my GRE receives encrypted Command traffic, the same encrypted Command traffic being rebroadcast on Will Co. sounds distorted. Can only speculate what the Will Co. setup is/accomplishes for them.
 

kruser

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I primarily monitor Chicago federal conventional frequencies and have never heard mixed mode used. It's either all Clear/Code analog or all Clear/Code P25, never a mix of the two on a frequency/system.

And... certain Chicago FBI frequencies/systems and DEA (original 6 channels) still use Clear/Code analog.
I've been hearing for over a year now that the St. Louis City P25 system is to go fully encrypted. About a year ago, I did start noticing encrypted radios but the dispatcher would come back in the clear. So I started taking notes of the encrypted radio ID's using a 996XT set manually on a talkgroup. I only did that for a couple months as it was boring. Now a year later, it seems the amount of encryption has not really changed or maybe I'm just not noticing it. I used to monitor that system with a PSR600 but the encryption sounds annoyed me so I settled on using the 996XT as it skipped over them. The drawback was that the GRE did a much better job at decoding the P25 data than the 996XT. I finally put up a 12 element Yagi and that helped the 996 a bunch. If there is more encryption on the system, I'm not noticing as I use the 996 now. The amount of clear traffic seems the same though so who knows. My guess was that they were slowly adding encryption a radio at a time while working towards total system wide encryption. I keep expecting to hear no traffic some day with an in the clear guy every now and then as they get down to the last few radios but it is still the other way around. Much more clear talk than encrypted. I should dig out my list and see if my list still matches what is heard today.
Maybe a budget cut cancelled the encryption plans or perhaps someone figured the benefit of the extra public ears and eyes outweighed the benefits of encryption. That does not really make sense though as most tac and undercover is also still in the clear. I'm thinking maybe the encrypted radios are the ones used by the shift supervisors perhaps. All just a guess really so I guess only time will tell.
Having a mixed system like this does play hell for those with the scanners that will not mute it out or skip over it (encryption that is).
I've heard a few live feeds that were broadcasting similar systems. Those I found very annoying as I could not reach up and hit a resume button! All you can do is mute your audio or stop listening to the feed. If I were into broadcasting live feeds, I don't think I could leave a feed like that up as I know how annoying it can be. I'd go out and get a Uniden or PSR800 instead so the listeners do not have to put up with it. I'm sure it does not bother some people and especially those that do not own or cannot afford a digital scanner. They are probably very happy even when the encrypted radios come on the air. You know what it sounds like, it sounds almost exactly like a Uniden does when getting a poor signal on a simulcast site! When I first heard it, I thought for sure something had failed with my antenna or worse yet, the PSR-600! Then I fired up the 996XT and parked it on one of the TG's that I'd heard the broken speech on and waited until I heard it again from the PSR600's speaker. Sure enough, the 996 display showed the letters ENC in its display. Then I just knew this was the beginning of the end but a year later, it's still about the same.
Go figure.


Good you say "I guess", otherwise you may incriminate yourself.
It was really an old high school buddy that did the "I guess"! He worked at the hospital and was speculating what this new company may have been saying or not saying over the radios. I myself have heard speech inversion use in the area but I do not have the means of decoding it. Back when you could purchase inversion decoders from the back of magazines, I checked and never ever heard any speech inversion in use in this area at all so I never wasted my money on any of them. I seem to recall that they were not very cheap back then. The old Police Call books even reported some of the local muni's as using it here but I guess I was out of their range as I never picked it up. So I did not waste my money on a decoder as there was nothing to decode. It's kinda funny though as now you have all this new technology and only recently did I start hearing yesterday's technology around here! None of it is a strong signal though except for what I assume is still my buddies hospital using it.
 
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