Pennsylvania Going OpenSky?

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Shane2016

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I was searching the internet for a compatible scanner for Dauphin County EMA and came across a warning stating, "Pennsylvania will soon convert to OpenSky." Could someone clarify or debunk this myth that the entire commonwealth is converting? I realize that York Co uses Harris and that Lebanon Co does as well. How are they able to scan these systems granted Harris OpenSky is unscannable.
 

Thunderknight

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The State Police (along with certain other agencies) system is OpenSky (for now).OpenSky is not scannable with any scanner. They starting using OpenSky over a decade ago, so "soon" might indicate a very old webpage or thread.

According to the RadioReference Database (RRDB), York is P25 Phase 2 with no encryption listed that I see. A P25 Phase 2 scanner should be fine. (actually all the talkgroups are listed as Phase 1, so they might not even be using Phase 2 at this time).
Dauphin is listed as P25 Phase 1, with a mix of encryption and non-encryption. However the EMA is listed as encrypted so you may be out of luck on that specific agency.

Harris makes P25 systems too, so don't get confused assuming Harris means OpenSky. (Harris P25 are monitorable as long as encryption is not present on the talk group you wish to listen to).
 
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xxdanielt3

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A statewide system P25 system is in the works, OpenSky is being phased out the last time I checked.
 

Adam-14

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Shane,

If you're mainly interested in Dauphin County, there are many scanners out there that will be able to receive the system. Just make sure it is a digital scanner that can receive a P25 Phase 1 system.

I mainly monitor Dauphin County from home (not mobile) so I have been using a Radio Shack Pro-197 since Dauphin County switched to their current system. Maybe eventually they'll switch to a 700Mhz Phase 2 system which will make my 197 no good for it since it is only good for Phase 1. I will worry about that when the day comes.

My opinion is..... if you're looking for something new, get one that has Phase 2 capability, that way you're covered for the future. They can be a bit pricey.

There is one other thing about monitoring this system. If you haven't read about it already, the southern part of the county includes a simulcast system within. This can sometimes cause problems receiving all transmissions clearly - all the time. A lot depends on your location and antenna configuration. There are a few "stand alone" sites but they don't always include the ability to receive every talk group.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Adam
 

WF3J

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Adam, I am in Dauphin County at the northern end, and am curious about this Simulcast system you mention. I have not heard anything about it and wanted to know what information you have on it.

Being a fire officer for a DC company gets me my own portable on the system, and for the most part I can hear anything fire wise throughout the county with the exception of Hbg City fire (not in my fleet map for my radio, we don't go there).
 

Steveradio

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Think whats going on is the State is selling off equipment to the counties as other areas upgrade to the new P25 system.

They need to re-coop some of the loss so why not offer sites to local counties that are clueless on the system.
 
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