• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

I don't get this at all, I guess

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nvanw27

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I posted a topic asking about decoding a NXDN frequency after reading about some scanners that have this capability. I asked about a way to do it if I didn't have one of those scanners, and the topic was promptly locked because the practice of decoding encrypted frequencies is illegal.

If that's the case, then why do they make scanners with this capability? I read a whole list of scanners that can de-code NXDN, MOTOTRBO, and DMR frequencies, and those aren't illegal. What am I missing here? Did I not word something correctly? Or am I just really dumb?

Confused,

NVanW27
 

belvdr

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You said it was encrypted, hence the lock. Is it not encrypted and just a standard NXDN system?
 

KevinC

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I posted a topic asking about decoding a NXDN frequency after reading about some scanners that have this capability. I asked about a way to do it if I didn't have one of those scanners, and the topic was promptly locked because the practice of decoding encrypted frequencies is illegal.

If that's the case, then why do they make scanners with this capability? I read a whole list of scanners that can de-code NXDN, MOTOTRBO, and DMR frequencies, and those aren't illegal. What am I missing here? Did I not word something correctly? Or am I just really dumb?

Confused,

NVanW27
Scanners don't decode encrypted transmissions. Some models my decode DMR and NXDN, but NOT encrypted DMR or NXDN.
 

mmckenna

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NVanW27,

I run a Kenwood NexEdge system that includes encryption on many talk groups.
I think you are confused.
NXDN/NexEdge on it's own is not encrypted. It's a digital emission that takes an analog signal, converts it to digital for the RF layer, and then back to analog at the receiver.

As stated, there are a couple of consumer scanners that are capable of listening to NXDN/NexEdge systems.

Encryption is an entirely different thing. When the audio signal gets converted to a digital data stream, the encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping. Decryption of signals not intended for you is illegal.

So, I think your post was worded incorrectly. No, you can't decode encryption the way you asked.

You -could- take a non-encrypted NXDN/NexEdge signal and decode the digital data stream into an audio signal. Some SDR radio softwares will do this. You'd want to do a discriminator tap off your radio and feed that to the computer. Or just use one of the many NXDN capable scanners on the market.

So, you might want to clarify what you are asking. If it really is an encrypted signal, then no, you can't. And, it's illegal in the US to do it anyway. Yes, it could probably be done with the right stuff, but the legal issues regarding discussing it requires that topics be shut down.

If it's just a plain old non-encrypted NXDN system, then that's a different thing…. Lots of topics on how to do that.
 

u2brent

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I posted a topic asking about decoding a NXDN frequency after reading about some scanners that have this capability. I asked about a way to do it if I didn't have one of those scanners, and the topic was promptly locked because the practice of decoding encrypted frequencies is illegal.

If that's the case, then why do they make scanners with this capability? I read a whole list of scanners that can de-code NXDN, MOTOTRBO, and DMR frequencies, and those aren't illegal. What am I missing here? Did I not word something correctly? Or am I just really dumb?

Confused,

NVanW27
You may wanna take a gander through these areas..

specifically this one..

And here..
 

nvanw27

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Thanks for clearing this up for me, I guess I do understand it a bit better now.

However, it doesn't really sound like an 'encrypted' system.
Here is audio of what an encrypted system sounds like: Encrypted Audio (W2SJW)
Which doesn't sound like our system at all. Our system sounds more like This: Skip to 1:08 in this audio. W2SJW

Would that be a plain ol' trunked system, or am I hearing an encrypted system? Again, I know nothing about this yet, and i'll appreciate any information I can get on this.

NVanW27

Edit: This is our sound. NEXEDGE. W2SJW
 

simpilo

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Thanks for clearing this up for me, I guess I do understand it a bit better now.

However, it doesn't really sound like an 'encrypted' system.
Here is audio of what an encrypted system sounds like: Encrypted Audio (W2SJW)
Which doesn't sound like our system at all. Our system sounds more like This: Skip to 1:08 in this audio. W2SJW

Would that be a plain ol' trunked system, or am I hearing an encrypted system? Again, I know nothing about this yet, and i'll appreciate any information I can get on this.

NVanW27

Edit: This is our sound. NEXEDGE. W2SJW
Go hear https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=100
That's the APCO P25 Phase I system your city uses. WACN 92493 Site 32 (20) It's Statewide shared with Ohio. Look in the Mode column. D means digital voice DE means encrypted. Your City is in APCO P25 Phase I digital voice and not encrypted.

Think of digital voice as a very horrible voice changer that only very horrible ears can decode.
Think of encryption as scrambled very horrible voice changer that needs a key to change it back to the very horrible voice changer so only specific very horrible ears can hear. Two different things.
 

nvanw27

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Go hear https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=100
That's the APCO P25 Phase I system your city uses. WACN 92493 Site 32 (20) It's Statewide shared with Ohio. Look in the Mode column. D means digital voice DE means encrypted. Your City is in APCO P25 Phase I digital voice and not encrypted.

Think of digital voice as a very horrible voice changer that only very horrible ears can decode.
Think of encryption as scrambled very horrible voice changer that needs a key to change it back to the very horrible voice changer so only specific very horrible ears can hear. Two different things.
This system is on 464.675 MHz and is used by a school bus company.
 

SteveSimpkin

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Thanks for clearing this up for me, I guess I do understand it a bit better now.

However, it doesn't really sound like an 'encrypted' system.
Here is audio of what an encrypted system sounds like: Encrypted Audio (W2SJW)
Which doesn't sound like our system at all. Our system sounds more like This: Skip to 1:08 in this audio. W2SJW

Would that be a plain ol' trunked system, or am I hearing an encrypted system? Again, I know nothing about this yet, and i'll appreciate any information I can get on this.

NVanW27

Edit: This is our sound. NEXEDGE. W2SJW
If it is truly encrypted then you will *never* be able to listen to their audio. If you are not sure if it is encrypted or not, the "easiest" way to find out is to borrow a scanner capable of receiving NXDN and see if it will decode it. This can also be done using an inexpensive USB stick SDR radio and free software but it is reasonably complicated to do. You can not tell if it is encrypted or not by listening to the digital audio "noise" on an analog scanner. It will sound the same to your ear whether it is encrypted or not.
 

nvanw27

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If it is truly encrypted then you will *never* be able to listen to their audio. If you are not sure if it is encrypted or not, the "easiest" way to find out is to borrow a scanner capable of receiving NXDN and see if it will decode it. This can also be done using an inexpensive USB stick SDR radio and free software but it is reasonably complicated to do. You can not tell if it is encrypted or not by listening to the digital audio "noise" on an analog scanner. It will sound the same to your ear whether it is encrypted or not.
Okay. I think I know what I need to do now. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

bill4long

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However, it doesn't really sound like an 'encrypted' system.
For a given digital system, if you listen to a digital transmission on an analog receiver, encrypted digital doesn't sound any different than non-encrypted digital. It is encrypting bytes, and there's no way your ears can tell the difference.
 

ofd8001

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DMR/NXDN is the same principle: There are several different ways of "formatting" or digitizing a radio transmission. DMR, NXDN, etc., are all ways of digitizing the signal, some of which are proprietary or copy write protected by the creator. APCO 25 on the other hand, is an open architecture standard, or one that is available to use by all digital radio manufacturers.

Since APCO 25 is that open standard, scanner manufacturers are free to incorporate that into their devices. Those other formats, because they are property of someone else, have to be licensed by a scanner manufacturer in order for the scanner manufacturer can use that in their devices.

Where the wheels came off of this topic, and the firestorm began, was due to a misunderstanding and reading more into somethat that wasn't there. DMR/NXDN/APCO 25 is not natively encrypted. Rather there is hardware/software that could take those DMR/NXDN/APCO 25 formats one step farther and encrypt them for security purposes. (Before digital, there also were means, sort of, to "scramble" analog transmissions.)

It's perfectly fine/legal and okay to listen to unencrypted any kind of signals. The problems begin when someone tries to defeat that encryption and listen to communications that are intended to be private and secure.
 

Firekite

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The frequency in question is... not encrypted?
Probably not encrypted. Probably just a digital mode your equipment can’t decode. You need a different/upgraded scanner or compatible radio to receive it properly.
 

u2brent

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i doubt there would be an upgrade for any of my scanners. I’d have to get a much nicer one than my daily carry radio unless there’s software I can run
Stop saying the E word. It's all just Digital...
 
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nvanw27

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This is what I’ve been hoping I could do. After reading all of the information about it, I can run the program and, theoretically, plug my PRO-2020 into the audio in slot on my computer and it (should) work.
 

nvanw27

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Okay, i'm dumb. I didn't really understand what i needed and after reading through everything again i realised i'd either need to operate on my equipment or purchase something different.
 

N8IAA

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I’m confused again. The frequency in question is... not encrypted? I’m lost.

DMR is a different digital mode than P-25 and NXDN. You would need a scanner that is capable of receiving DMR.

Or, using a SDR radio/USB device hooked to your PC running software to decode the mode.

You're probably more confused now. Read the forum dedicated to SDR, further down the forums page. No clue how it works. I just have a scanner that decodes DMR.
 
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