Newbie Help with Trunk Tracking in Chicago

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attack7

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Chicago, IL
Hey --- I posted this on CARMA's yahoo group, but thought I might ask here as well:

I've been playing with a Radio Shack PRO-107 iScan to get my feet wet with a
scanner. I can get the conventional channels just fine -- mostly listening to
the Police districts and Citywide channels.

I've also added in the Public Safety trunked channels that came with the (now
updated) RadioReference.com database, however I've yet to hear anything on them.

I wondered if someone could explain why?
* Signal not good enough? Need a better antenna?
* There isn't much traffic on them?
* Misconfigration?
* They've gone digital?


Thanks for any hints!
Matt
 
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The Illinois State Police and many other agencies have switched to the statewide StarCom21 digital trunked radio system. The system operates on the 700 and 800 MHz. bands and can be monitored with several models of digital police scanners

In the Chicago area, the Cook County Sheriff uses an encrypted digital Motorola Type II trunked radio system although some operations are unencrypted. Chicago Police use an analog UHF repeater system that can be monitored on a basic police scanner. The Chicago Fire Department uses several analog VHF and UHF channels that can be monitored with a basic police scanner but will transition to a digital UHF radio system that would require a digital police scanner.

Suburban counties use a variety of radio system types. Will County and Lake County use EDACS trunking systems, DuPage County uses non-trunked 800 MHz. channels, and DeKalb, Kane and McHenry Counties use analog VHF channels. McHenry County will transition to a StarCom21 system soon however so a digital police scanner will be needed.

In the suburbs most agencies use UHF or VHF analog systems. Some 800 MHz. analog and digital systems are in use in the far Northwest suburbs (Arlington Hts., Schaumburg, Palatine etc.)

Downstate some areas use StarCom21, including McLean, St. Clair and Madison Counties. Champaign County uses a digital trunked radio system that uses some encryption. Each of these require a digital police scanner. Other locations use mostly VHF channels and some UHF channels that can be heard on a basic police scanner.
Important Notes about Cook County:
A basic police scanner will work for most police, fire and ambulance operations in Cook County, Illinois, including: Evanston, Oak Park, Orland Park, Cicero, Skokie, Des Plaines, Oak Lawn, Berwyn, Tinley Park, Glenview, Calumet City, Park Ridge, Wheeling, Northbrook, Chicago Heights, Niles, Harvey, Lansing, Oak Forest, Burbank, Wilmette, Winnetka and Maywood.

The best police scanner for some agencies using Northwest Central Dispatch, including Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove, Prospect Heights and Palatine is a digital trunking police scanner.

The best police scanner for some agencies that use analog trunked systems, including Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates and Streamwood is a trunktracking police scanner.

Chicago Police, Fire and Ambulance services can be heard with basic scanners.

The Cook County Sheriff uses a digital trunked system that is partially encrypted, the best police scanner is a digital trunktracking scanner.

To monitor the Illinois State Police and other state agencies a digital trunking scanner radio is needed as they operate on the StarCom21 APCO25 digital trunked system.
 

attack7

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May 27, 2010
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Chicago, IL
Thanks

Thanks Oslo and Ron --

So if I'm reading your response correctly, then I shouldn't care about all these trunked systems labeled for Narc / Gangs, etc -- they're just not relevant in the city of Chicago?

Thanks again,
Matt
 

RoninJoliet

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The Chicago undercover trunk system is very limited on traffic since so many people told what they were hearing on web boards....The mayor security and the Marine Units still use the system when there are bodies in the lake...The 9 year old boy that just drown in the last week in the Chicago river had alot of Marine traffic daily...As boating season kicks in Marine will get more active.....All the drug, or-crime stuf is gone....
 

TrenchFeeder

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TrenchFeeder
One of my friends which is a police officer for a local municipality, informed me that the age of scanning is coming to an end.

As more departments, get the money, and the equipment becomes cheaper more squad cars are getting their own dispatch computers. These computers basicly make each officer his own 911 dispatch center. You can really notice the difference in towns like Bolingbrook, certain times of the day, you WILL hear normal traffic, but ussually at night, units begin running their own plates and calls, and you never hear a peep from the radios, except for emergencies, and status checks..

Long and short, unless we find some LEGEAL way to monitor the CAD program they use, we would be golden, but as it looks, scanners are going to be something reserved for good ole' country boys spyin on the local sherrif.
 

werinshades

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Chicago , IL
One of my friends which is a police officer for a local municipality, informed me that the age of scanning is coming to an end.

As more departments, get the money, and the equipment becomes cheaper more squad cars are getting their own dispatch computers. These computers basicly make each officer his own 911 dispatch center. You can really notice the difference in towns like Bolingbrook, certain times of the day, you WILL hear normal traffic, but ussually at night, units begin running their own plates and calls, and you never hear a peep from the radios, except for emergencies, and status checks..

Long and short, unless we find some LEGEAL way to monitor the CAD program they use, we would be golden, but as it looks, scanners are going to be something reserved for good ole' country boys spyin on the local sherrif.
Departments have been using PDT's, and MDT's for many years now. Your average traffic will be limited, but in Chicago they still dispatch via MDC's (Fire) and PDT's (Police) and use the radios daily. As far as the age of scanning coming to an end, we are our own worst enemies at times. sometimes too much information can be a bad thing. We need to just play it smart.
 

RoninJoliet

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Most of Joliets squads run there own "28s", a few calls are sent over the computers, the Wescom FD seems to even have "were on the seen buttons" and "we are responding" buttons as i hear the dispatcher verify people going to and arriving at without any modulation....=progress....We have overcome "trunking, digital, and recently the new Motorola Shuffle system using new "bandplans" in our scanners but its gonna get tougher.....
 
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