Moto P25 radio as a scanner

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AZScanner

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Ages ago I spoke with someone on here about getting a Motorola P25 radio and setting it up to conventional scan our local P25 simulcast system. Those posts are long since buried and like I said, it was ages ago.

Has anyone here ever successfully done this recently? Just to clarify, I do not want to have transmit capability, don't want to affiliate with the system, don't want to decrypt encrypted talkgroups or anything like that. I simply want to be able to listen to a handful of local talkgroups that I would have programmed into the radio and that's IT.

I'm looking for a reliable source for the radio, what it cost to set it up, who I could take it to for programming, and how well it worked.

Thanks,
-AZ
 

Boatanchor

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It may work in your situation, but is it really worth it??

Motorola radios do trunking very well, but since you are not affiliating with a trunk network the radio's capabilities are severely limited. As a scanner XTS and XTL's really suck!

(Been there, done that..)

In the end, I predict that you would get very frustrated with your expensive paperweight.

Scanners may have some difficulties on some simulcast systems, but in most other respects
they do what they do very well!
 

DickH

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Ages ago I spoke with someone on here about getting a Motorola P25 radio and setting it up to conventional scan our local P25 simulcast system. Those posts are long since buried and like I said, it was ages ago.

Has anyone here ever successfully done this recently? Just to clarify, I do not want to have transmit capability, don't want to affiliate with the system, don't want to decrypt encrypted talkgroups or anything like that. I simply want to be able to listen to a handful of local talkgroups that I would have programmed into the radio and that's IT.

I'm looking for a reliable source for the radio, what it cost to set it up, who I could take it to for programming, and how well it worked.

Thanks,
-AZ
I believe the only way you can hear talk groups is to be affiliated with the system. You could probably just put in the freqs. in conventional mode, but then you wouldn't be able to follow conversations.
Unless there are difficult reception areas around your city a scanner should work OK.
 

KD6RRR

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Hello! In your post you ask about setting up to 'conventional scan'. By that do you mean you want to monitor a conventional P25 system? As in single frequency using P25 protocol vs. a trunked system? If yes, it is very possible! I use Motorola XTS3000 heldhelds, one VHF and one UHF, to receive-only monitor my local P25 and FM conventional law enforcement and fire communications, as well as for amateur radio use on both P25 and FM. The radio itself is a brick in size and weight for sure, but they have outstanding audio that's loud enough to hear in noisy environments, and they are tough enough to take abuse.

PM me if you need more info on getting yourself setup with one!

Oops, and now that I'm fully awake I see clearly that you are looking to monitor a trunked system. Hopefully the video posted above will help!
 
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AZScanner

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Good news- despite what everyone else has said in this thread, It's definitely possible! Here's a good tutorial video explaining the process of setting up the radio. Good luck, OP.

Scanning a trunking network with a ASTRO25 Radio V2 - YouTube
Thank you sir, that's exactly what I was looking for.Now I just need a source for the radio, cable and software (and the money of course, that will take a while but I wanted to do my homework on this first)

I know that Moto radios in general make lousy scanners (let's face it, that's not what they were designed for) but I'm just fed up with trying to monitor in this simulcast hell with equipment that just can't handle the job. If I've gotta drop 5 bills on a scanner that will STILL have problems monitoring this system, I might as well spend a few more and get the real deal and be done with it. The system I want to monitor has a ton of talkgroups but I'm only interested in a few of them so I think an ASTRO will fit the bill nicely. I know it can be done because I've talked to someone here who did it, just lost track of the thread and I no longer have the PM I received from the person.

Thanks for the info!
-AZ
 

KE4ZNR

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http://forums.radioreference.com/mo...ou-want-monitor-trunked-system-moto-read.html

And the software and cable can be purchased from Motorola.

I use my city provided Moto XTS5K to monitor specific TGs but
as others have said Moto's make terrible scanning receivers as
you are greatly limited by the number of TGs that can be scanned along
with other frustrating limitations.
This is why I keep my XTS5K and my Uniden BCD396XT with me as both
have their pluses and minuses.

Marshall KE4ZNR
 

JASII

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Moto P25 Radio As A Scanner

Before retiring at the end of 2010, I was a deputy sheriff in a county served by an 800 mHz P25 trunked system. I was issued a Motorola XTS5000 and I had no dedicated mobile in my unmarked car. I simply had the XTS5000 in a Converta Com (if they are still called that). Anyway, since I was in and out of various cities in the county, I wanted to be able to monitor the city commons, the fire talkgroups, etc., so I, too, used a Uniden Bearcat 396XT in the car. It worked very well, but since retiring and moving to a new law enforcement job, I will be trying a Uniden Home Patrol very soon.
 

AZScanner

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Oh boy, after reading that thread I guess I should count myself as fortunate that this one didn't degenerate into another long drawn out mess.

I wish I still had the PM from the guy I talked to. He had the radio programmed for RX only and to conventional scan the voice channels but only stop on certain talkgroups. This kept it from affiliating with the system, made it impossible for it to interfere with comm's and solved the very REAL issue of simulcast multipathing which makes our P25 simulcast system damn near unscannable by even the latest and greatest scanners. Best of all, he had only spent a couple hundred bucks more on his radio than these new scanners which are by contrast, poorly made, fragile and do a half-*** job in filtering out the multipath noise.

I think I've got my answer that I needed now, so thanks everyone for your input.
-AZ
 

DickH

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I think I've got my answer that I needed now, so thanks everyone for your input.
-AZ
Very interesting. I had no idea it was possible to monitor a trunked system without affiliating to it. Here in Portland, OR, we have a 4-site simulcast system, but there is no problem such as you have. The problem with scanners is the &%@* phone towers around the city. When we are a block or two from one scanners are dead, but my Motorola doesn't miss a beat. Good luck with your project.
 

N2ICV

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Very interesting. I had no idea it was possible to monitor a trunked system without affiliating to it. Here in Portland, OR, we have a 4-site simulcast system, but there is no problem such as you have. The problem with scanners is the " &%@* phone towers" around the city. When we are a block or two from one scanners are dead, but my Motorola doesn't miss a beat. Good luck with your project.
iDEN™ ?
 
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PJH

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I didn't click on the links above, but I will add in this tidbit being on both sides of the business since 1996.... and this applies to using the conventional scan method for true P25 systems (9600cc) using Motorola equipment.

When using the conventional method, you will still run the risk of missing conversations due to scan rate of the radio, and other factors. The reason why (in a proper setup) the radio needs to affliate to the system to receive the talkgroups is due to that fact that its written into the P25 specifications. Its that simple.

By using the conventional talkgroup scan method, you are rolling the dice that the radio will stop on the proper channel in use with the talkgroup(s) in use and that the system you want to monitor is small enoug at the site to hear what you want (without missing traffic). In addition, if its a larger system your going to need to setup several "systems" in the radio to mirror other sites.

I am not sure what you are referring to as "simulcast hell" as in a true simucast system you'd have a better chance of hearing a transmission (without getting overly technical).

Scanners these days are more flexable and will do a better job tracking talkgroups than a trunking radio setup as a conventional scanner. The hidden costs in the Motorola radios is the high cost of ownership (batteries, antenna's, software, programming kits, etc) vs a one time cost of a base or even portable scanner (which usually still works via a AC plug whereas a two way battery when dead, is dead and wont pass power thru to the radio from a charger).

If you don't want to scan a talkgroup on a scanner, block it out and/or dont program it in.

I have a full suite of ASTRO, ASTRO25 and APX radios for personal and professional uses, and I still own a HP-1 as it works so much better.

Don't talk yourself into something you think you want without knowning all the facts and hidden annoyances. If you have the cash to burn, burn it, but I personally wouldn't. If you want to drop $500 on a radio, I have a nice 800MHz ASTRO Saber in my collection :)
 
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