Future of scanning in SC?

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ChuckinSC

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I'm about to upgrade my scanning with the purchase of a GRE PSR-500. That's a lot of money, and before I make the plunge, I'd like to ask some of the more knowledgeable on this forum if the scanning "landcape" will remain pretty much the same for the forseeable future. Thanks.
 
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brian

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I'd say the most likely changes in the next 5 years will be more and more agencies joining the Palmetto 800 system, and the Palmetto 800 system transitioning to a P25 system. Throw rebanding into that mix.

I'd argue that the PSR-500 is the most advanced and modern consumer-grade scanners to accomplish your goals, so you're future-proofing yourself in this hobby as much as possible my making that purchase. I don't think it is a waste of money by any means. If you can do it, do it.
 

ChuckinSC

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Brian,
That's good to hear. I realize I was/am particularly concerned about encryption becoming more of a factor. Being in Lexington County and having the SO encrypted already hampers keeping informed about our area and community. Thanks.
 
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brian

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Encryption certainly is a possibility for more and more agencies. Some doomsdayers on this and other internet scanning sites will tell you that publishing scanning information and talking about things we hear will ultimately encourage more and more encryption. Perhaps so, but I haven't seen any evidence of that. I belileve most public safety agencies welcome interest and participation from the public in their operations. Unfortunately you live somewhere where the elected officials don't feel that way.

I'd say more likely is the adoption of radio technologies that can't be monitored - Opensky, Provoice, MotoTBRO, Tetra, etc. These aren't encrypted systems, but ones whose manufacturers refuse to license the information that allows the creation and manufacture of radio monitors. Fortunately, in SC, the state has adopted an open-standard system (APCO 25) for Palmetto 800, and these unmonitorable systems don't have much of a foothold hear, yet. Fortunately, it's much easier for agencies to afford to join Palmetto 800 than to create their own closed system.

Other possible scenarios for reducing interesting monitoring opportunities are the increased use of private, commercial radio services (Nextel, Southern Linc, etc) and data systems (modern MDTs). But again, I think most public safety dispatch in SC will remain monitorable for the foreseeable future. Certainly within the expected useful life of a PSR-500, if you treat radios like I do.

Brian
 

SCPD

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I'd say more likely is the adoption of radio technologies that can't be monitored - Opensky, Provoice, MotoTBRO, Tetra, etc. These aren't encrypted systems, but ones whose manufacturers refuse to license the information that allows the creation and manufacture of radio monitors. Fortunately, in SC, the state has adopted an open-standard system (APCO 25) for Palmetto 800, and these unmonitorable systems don't have much of a foothold hear, yet. Fortunately, it's much easier for agencies to afford to join Palmetto 800 than to create their own closed system.
Brian
I'd have to disagree with you on this. APCO was put in place to create a standard for all public safety agencies so that they could communicate across agency lines. While I believe there will be new technology added in the next 5-7 years, most agencies will move to an APCO format so that they can obtain grants which are beginning to require "interoperability". Expect to see features added to APCO25 which will probably enhance communication and privacy without the need for encryption. These features will probably be similar to what users have available on nextels today. MotoTRBO doesn't stand a chance in SC nor most respectable public safety agencies.
 

brian

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I guess I didn't make myself clear. My point was to contrast agencies intentionally using encryption versus agencies adopting un-monitorable radio technologies. Either case would be cause for a particular agency to not be able to be monitored, which is an answer to the original question.

I don't think either scenario is at all likely. I agree that most agencies will choose to switch to Palmetto 800 if they haven't already. And I think most agencies will not choose to encrypt, for what ever reason. So I think the OP is quite safe in making a relatively expensive purchase of a new digital scanner without too much risk of not being able to monitor his agencies of choice.
 

SCPD

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And I think most agencies will not choose to encrypt, for what ever reason.
Probably because PAL800 charges and extra fee per radio per month to utilize encryption.... a rip off if you ask me.

So I think the OP is quite safe in making a relatively expensive purchase of a new digital scanner without too much risk of not being able to monitor his agencies of choice.
Agreed.... Buy one and don't look back!
 

rescue161

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Probably because PAL800 charges and extra fee per radio per month to utilize encryption.... a rip off if you ask me.
Maybe the owner of PAL800 is a scanner listener as well and is thinking that if he charges more money, most agencies will opt for clear vs. encrypted? Let's hope so! Heck, I'd be happy if PAL800 charged double if they chose to encrypt.
 

Raccon

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I'd say more likely is the adoption of radio technologies that can't be monitored - Opensky, Provoice, MotoTBRO, Tetra, etc. These aren't encrypted systems, but ones whose manufacturers refuse to license the information that allows the creation and manufacture of radio monitors.
With TETRA being an open standard you can probably find most of the information at ETSI but many if not most TETRA public safety networks are encrypted (it's optional) so that building a scanner would be of no use even if you have all the information.

Actually there is at least one radio monitor for TETRA in form of an air-analyzer, it can even work in encrypted networks but obviously it can't listen in unless the network operator/owner wants it to, i.e. the key of the analyzer must be programmed into the system. It's big and expensive equipment as you might expect.
 
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