Newbie to SDR Need much help

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Sarge47

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As u can tell from the title I am ask ing for help. I have a Amateur Radio General class license KE5YPB. I know a lot about radio except for SDR. I need to receive
!. I need to receive VHF FM with P25. I do not need or want to receive encrypted.Fire responses only.
2. Collin County trunked system for fire responses only.
I cannot afford a high dollar scanner to do this. So I need a sdr for dummies from you folks. List of cheap but best bang for the buck components and software.
Thanks in Advance,
Sarge
 

natedawg1604

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First and foremost, get yourself 2 $20 RTL SDR dongles available here. If you don't already have them, you also need 2 SMA jumper cables compatible with whatever antennas you wish to use.

Then download Unitrunker and DSD+. Check out this tutorial for a basic idea of how it will work. That is the short answer.
 

boatbod

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Sarge47 - does your PC run Windows our Linux? You can use the RTLSDR dongles with either o/s but the software is very different. On linux you should read up about OP25. On Windows it'll be unitrunker & dsd+ or similar.
 

br0adband

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And now because of a fix for choppy audio issues, it's possible to run OP25 inside VMware Player (free) on top of running Windows. It's workable, it offers outstanding performance, better LSM reception capability than any scanner on the market today (if needed in your area because of simulcast systems), outstanding audio quality, and is a solution if needed and it only requires one "cheap USB TV tuner" RTL-based USB stick.

When you consider what's possible with even the lowest cost RTL-based sticks for $8-10 and OP25, as long as you've got a computer you can have P25 Phase I and Phase II and LSM reception that's about as good as it gets for extremely low cost and it really does work great.
 
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