NSW RFS PMR (non GRN): P25 phase 1 or 2?

bitmorechoke

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Deniliquin NSW
Hi, RFS member here, I'm not having much luck finding this info and hoping someone here can help.

As I understand it my local zone (mid murray) is not yet on the GRN. I'm sure we use APCO P25, but I don't know if it's phase 1 or 2.

I'm playing around with SDR and not having much luck even finding a signal, let alone decoding it. But I'll persist if there's a reasonable chance we're running phase 1.

Obviously if it's phase 2 then I'm stuffed anyway and I won't throw any more time or energy at the homebrew stuff.

I'm also curious to know whether it will change when the GRN finally rolls out here?
 

hhca

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The GRN is already rolling out and where I am its just trunked p25 phase 1. Look up acma datbase for 10K1F9W emission registered to NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY at one site you will find a bunch of these registrations in the 400mhz band. Now if its actually there and online is another thing depending on stage of rollout. But if its on, one of them will be a control channel that is always transmitting that you connect with for example sdr-trunk.
Your pre-grn rfs pmr will just be p25 phase 1 operating only on a per transmission basis on a single tx freq but also tunable by sdrtrunk.
 
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bitmorechoke

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Deniliquin NSW
Thanks hhca, I'll keep plugging away at the computer then. Any tips?

I'm using SDR# with the frequency scanner and DSDplus plugins. Gain is up. I've received local commercial FM radio and a test transmission from UHF CB. I'm turning up very little between 400-430MHz, there are several weak spikes that are constant and seem to contain silence, but nothing that looks like voice activity.

It may just be that there's nothing going on around here today, but I'm more inclined to think I've got something configured wrong. I'm using NFM with 12,500khz bandwidth and 12,500kz step. I've just got an old elevated feed bullbar UHF CB antenna on the roof of the house, I know it's not perfect for the range I'm hunting but it should give me something right? I don't want to spend much on this setup, if I'm going to lay out cash I'd rather buy a decent digital scanner.
 

hhca

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So you likely are in the same situation where i am, they are still planning/building the grn, and some tower are on but not being used and some havent even been built. so if you cant see any constant transmissions in that range, id say you dont have a control running, and are still on the older p25 single channel pmr, that only is tx when someone talking. (we have both, an online, but not used grn control, and the single channel pmr) I did a test with my handheld and a uhf cb antenna, and i can hear the (digital noise) control channel with it similar to the default whip. so even though that antenna may not be the best thing to pick it up with, it should still work enough. so what id do is look through the registrations that match the criteria i mentioned near you, and look for the oldest registrations, not registered in the past year or 2, and put them into a scan list and scanner addon for sdr# that tracks the channel activity over time, that way you can look back at it later and see if any are active. or just wait for a fire and it should be easier to visually spot it, or maybe a scan frequency range. bandwidth and step arent too important, but what you said is fine, the registrations will generally say what bw. an example about the dates is that an online but not active grn control reg was auth in 2020 but my pmr repeater was auth in 2012.
 
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bitmorechoke

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Thanks hhca. I left it scanning all day and all night, with audacity recording anything that broke squelch. The only signals it recorded (aside from occasional brief spikes) were a handful of transmissions that just sounded mostly like static, occasionally becoming an electronic buzzing. They didn't really sound like any of the P25 audio samples on sigidwiki Project 25 (P25) - Signal Identification Wiki, and I had dsdplus running on auto detect which should have decoded anything it can.

I'm about 10k from the nearest transmitter (flat open terrain) is it possible I'm just out of range here?
 

hhca

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nah, at the power they transmit at it should be good for hundreds of km if theirs no land obstructions. likely its just not active. so im RFS too, your brigade has PMR im assuming ?? the bright yellow motorola handheld ? like i said the easiest way to find it is when something is happening.
 

bitmorechoke

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Deniliquin NSW
Yeah, definitely PMR, we were using XTS5000s until just recently, we've now got the fancy new ones. Apparently the truck units were upgraded at the same time, so there may have been a frequency or encoding switch too?

Apparently the captain can still listen in on his own 396 (don't know if its a T or XT). He's going to send me the frequency later but I doubt that'll help much as I'm just not picking anything up. I suppose it would confirm if the squawks I heard were firecom.

I'm really surprised I'm not getting anything else though, it's only a small town but the council and forestry have depots there I would have thought somebody would be saying something!

I've got a better antenna and cable incoming, in the meantime I'll borrow one of the handhelds and bring it home for testing.
 

hhca

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Yeah I was going to suggest getting near a known transmission source, im not sure the unit will display the freq, but you can atleast know when its tx or rx. Council and forestry will still be on different systems, not p25 and def not trunked at this stage, and their frequency's here council and forestry is down in the 70MHz! but you will see what things are from the site registrations. They wont have changed the freq or encoding, it will be standard across the state, whats happening here will be same there , well they didnt here, they will have just been putting in units that can handle trunked p25 rather than just duplex p25
 

Australia4001

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Keep in mind all units and base consoles will be switched to Phase 2 within the next 12 to 24 months , to continually be able to listen in your scanning devices need to be future proofed, as in buy a phase 2 scanner
 

Australia4001

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Yeah I was going to suggest getting near a known transmission source, im not sure the unit will display the freq, but you can atleast know when its tx or rx. Council and forestry will still be on different systems, not p25 and def not trunked at this stage, and their frequency's here council and forestry is down in the 70MHz! but you will see what things are from the site registrations. They wont have changed the freq or encoding, it will be standard across the state, whats happening here will be same there , well they didnt here, they will have just been putting in units that can handle trunked p25 rather than just duplex p25
Old workhorse xts5000 radios are still in use and are very capable of trunking , that being phase 1 only .
 

Australia4001

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Thanks hhca, I'll keep plugging away at the computer then. Any tips?

I'm using SDR# with the frequency scanner and DSDplus plugins. Gain is up. I've received local commercial FM radio and a test transmission from UHF CB. I'm turning up very little between 400-430MHz, there are several weak spikes that are constant and seem to contain silence, but nothing that looks like voice activity.

It may just be that there's nothing going on around here today, but I'm more inclined to think I've got something configured wrong. I'm using NFM with 12,500khz bandwidth and 12,500kz step. I've just got an old elevated feed bullbar UHF CB antenna on the roof of the house, I know it's not perfect for the range I'm hunting but it should give me something right? I don't want to spend much on this setup, if I'm going to lay out cash I'd rather buy a decent digital scanner.
Low cost sdr dongles and such have got bad sensitivity, unless you have good external antenna with plenty of signal strength you may struggle
 

Australia4001

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If your area is running pmr in p25 or analog , and grn is coming , they will most likely run a patch so both systems are running same time side by side until they are happy then they will shutoff the pmr
 

Australia4001

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Check out this excellent list , shows grn roll out ect ect

 

bitmorechoke

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Deniliquin NSW
Keep in mind all units and base consoles will be switched to Phase 2 within the next 12 to 24 months , to continually be able to listen in your scanning devices need to be future proofed, as in buy a phase 2 scanner
Yeah that's on the cards, but it looks like I'm up for at least $550 for a 325, and nearly $900 if I decide I want the SDS100. Are you saying we'll get phase 2 before GRN? My nearest GRN tower is about 650km away according to that map and I reckon it'll still be a while yet, I was assuming they'd roll out both together.

The yagi and coax hasn't cost that much, if I can get the SDR up and running on phase 1 for now I can take my time choosing a scanner. Or put it off altogether until they actually pull the plug on phase 1 which could be years away.
 

hhca

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Thank you @Australia4001 you clearly know your stuff, id just guessed about the reason for the hardware change figuring it would be for some big change in the system, so i guessed trunking, not knowing they were going phase 2. Im guessing that map came from the radio reference database ? Maybe combined with acma database. @bitmorechoke is your interest in a trunk hand held for portability or ?? compared with just using a computer ? Ive been thinking some time about making a portable p25 trunk decoder using raspberry pi and likely sdr.
 

hhca

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had no idea what the difference was, and happened to find this, basically sounds like dmr :)
 

VK3RX

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Hayden, his data sources are the ACMA, state authorites and private party input.
 
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