Gilbert(Chandler) Arizona USA : encrypted?

Brandoaz

Newbie
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
3
Coming from having used a BC200XLT handheld (which i actually still have)in the mid eighties in the Midwest listening to police and cordless phone conversations( we clipped a resistor on a board that allowed that as i recall)
I'm not sure if it is good for anything at all but i digress.

I now live in Gilbert Arizona , Maricopa county USA
I began to get curious about listening to local police fire and rescue and started doing a bit of looking around for equipment that would allow me to do so.
I suspect that they are encrypted: When i navigate through the Databases/Frequency database Gilbert i see this listed:

TOPAZ Regional Wireless Cooperative (TRWC)
Project 25 Phase I
and for our neighboring city of Chandler:

Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC)
Project 25 Phase II
After clicking and navigating to those subsequent pages i dont really see anything that clarifies anything it references "talkgroups"
So ultimately is there a way to listen to my local police fire and EMS and at what cost for equipment?

Thank you for your time today:
 

mule1075

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Feed Provider
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Messages
3,866
Location
Washington Pennsylvania
Coming from having used a BC200XLT handheld (which i actually still have)in the mid eighties in the Midwest listening to police and cordless phone conversations( we clipped a resistor on a board that allowed that as i recall)
I'm not sure if it is good for anything at all but i digress.

I now live in Gilbert Arizona , Maricopa county USA
I began to get curious about listening to local police fire and rescue and started doing a bit of looking around for equipment that would allow me to do so.
I suspect that they are encrypted: When i navigate through the Databases/Frequency database Gilbert i see this listed:

TOPAZ Regional Wireless Cooperative (TRWC)
Project 25 Phase I
and for our neighboring city of Chandler:

Regional Wireless Cooperative (RWC)
Project 25 Phase II
After clicking and navigating to those subsequent pages i dont really see anything that clarifies anything it references "talkgroups"
So ultimately is there a way to listen to my local police fire and EMS and at what cost for equipment?

Thank you for your time today:
Anything Talkgroups marked D are not encrypted. Any marked De are partially encrypted. Any marked DE are encrypted full-time.
 

Enjoi19

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Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
125
Location
Ontario, Canada
Looks like police and fire are on the TOPAZ system. You can listen to dispatch for the police, but the tac channels are encrypted (except one that uses some encryption). See the post above mine about what the "Mode" column denotes in terms of understanding what is encrypted and what is not. But if you see a large E on a group, you won't be listening to anything.

Fire is listed as in the clear. So there's definitely something to listen to overall here.

To understand the "Talkgroups", you'll want to understand how Trunked Radio Systems work. That link works as well as this relatively helpful document: https://wiki.radioreference.com/images/c/c7/Trunking_description.pdf. Give that a read - it should get you on the right track to making sense of "Why can't I just plug in a frequency and listen".

The area you're in contains a site on the trunked system that utilizes what's known as a simulcast site. You may want to read a little bit about simulcast and the ever growing issue for many people of simulcast distortion. There's also solutions to getting around this issue - namely, buying a Uniden SDS100 or 200 scanner. However, local users and listeners may have less issues with simulcast and chime in, and let you know if you can spend a bit less on a scanner.

Tl;dr version: Fire is not encrypted, police is partially encrypted but dispatch is open, you'll need a digital scanner, and you'll want to do some reading on programming trunked radio systems.
 

GlobalNorth

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May 2, 2020
Messages
254
You are facing two issues here:

One - much of government public safety in Maricopa County is P25 based. Some if Phase 1 and some is Phase 2. Eventually, it will all be Phase 2.

Two - Simulcasting is the standard here for Regional Wireless and TOPAZ. Include MCSO and AZWins as well.

For these systems, you need a simulcast capable receiver and that means Uniden SDS-100/SDS-200 scanner or a Unication pager. Aside from dispatch, many other channels are encrypted and nothing short of state-level COMSEC computers will crack it.
 

marlin39a

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
63
Location
Paulden, AZ.
Wow, a bc200xlt! I live up in Yavapai County, and mine still does the job. It won’t run off the battery pack, but still receives all my analog.
 

Brandoaz

Newbie
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
3
Thank you all very much for the substantive responses, Ive got some reading to do , but i have a direction, sounds like fairly significant investment for what at this point would be just casual listening.
Ill take a look around this regional forum and see what i can learn as well.
Safe days
 

Brandoaz

Newbie
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
3
Wow, a bc200xlt! I live up in Yavapai County, and mine still does the job. It won’t run off the battery pack, but still receives all my analog.
LOL. i just plugged mine in to charge we shall see if it still holds a charge and for how long !( i wonder if the battery pack can be rebuilt)
 

AzTac

Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
61
Location
Scottsdale, AZ - Beat 17
So ultimately is there a way to listen to my local police fire and EMS and at what cost for equipment?
Yes. Most Phoenix metro agencies, including Chandler and Gilbert, main dispatch frequencies are not encrypted - yet. Given the sophistication and vagaries of the various simulcast systems you will need either the Uniden SDS100 or SDS200 or the Unication G series to effectively monitor these agencies. The cost: SDS100=$649, SD200=$699, and Unication G4=$541.

You may hear of other people using less expensive scanners, but they are notoriously susceptible to reception problems in the Phoenix metro area and dependent upon your location, precise antenna placement, proximity to interfering cell towers, etc., etc., etc. Uniden SDS and Unication are the only receivers you will hear people talk of receiving consistent, reliable reception.
 
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