Police frequencies

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OZ_Redneck

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G'Day everyone.

What's the deal with the Police going to digital? Has this happened in every state yet and what frequencies do they operate on?

Does anyone know of a "bargain" digital scanner? All the ones i've seen are at least $800.


Thanks
 

commscanaus

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Police Digital

G'day Oz Redneck!

As far as Police going digital- here in Melbourne- the Victoria Police are now fully APCO 25 digital trunked- and running full crypto on all talkgroups. Short answer is NO, you cannot listen to them regardless of the scanner you have.
I have visited Darwin twice in the last 2 years- same story there- full encryption, using the equipment sold to the NT government from the Sydney Olympics as I understand it.
Brisbane is now also APCO 25 digital and encrypted- at least in the metropolitan areas.
Tasmania Police have had EDACS with AEGIS encryption for a number of years now.
Perth are upgrading to an APCO 25 digital system, no doubt with encryption.
Adelaide and most of S.A. have upgraded to a trunked digital network- the police are fully encrypted there as well.
NSW Police have upgraded to digital as well in the Sydney and surrounding areas- with encryption either in use or planned for the future.

The bottom line is- even with a digital capable scanner- you WILL NOT hear much, if any, police activity just about anywhere. Of course there will be exeptions- some areas are still using analogue, but for the major cities at least- listening to police will be a thing of the past. Some will say "about time", whilst others will be very concerned about Police being able to operate without scrutiny and media monitoring.

The best way to obtain a bargain digital scanner is to watch Ebay or your local classifieds for listings where some unlucky person has bought a digital scanner only to be dissapointed when they can only hear garbled nonsense instead of VKC etc...
I managed to get a Uniden UBC396T for much less than retail this way.
If your intentions are to buy a digital scanner for Police listening only- you really are potentially wasting your money, as encryption will most certainly be put into use at some stage, if not from the word go- as was the case here in Melbourne.

Good Luck- Commscanaus
 

OZ_Redneck

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Thanks a lot for your reply Commscanaus, I was big into scanners and other radio about 8-10 years ago and im only just getting back into it now. Back then I could listen to mobile phones and all the police bands, now it seems that neither are possible to listen to.

Excuse my ignorance but what is the advantage of going to a digital scanner, what can I expect to hear that I cant hear with analogue?
 

Air490

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That will depend where you are Oz_Redneck.

The NSW GRN is moving to full digital in the next few years. MMR in Melbourne already is digital. I think in the next decade you will see many government agencies migrate to digital radio systems.
 

richardc63

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Air490 said:
That will depend where you are Oz_Redneck.

The NSW GRN is moving to full digital in the next few years. MMR in Melbourne already is digital. I think in the next decade you will see many government agencies migrate to digital radio systems.
Hi,

I think you will see more agencies move to P25 conventional as well... even the simplex channels. Base, mobile & portable equipment is now becoming readily available so the days of analogue PMR for large systems may be coming to an end. From the tests I've done it is definitely better than analogue- and that is what will drive the change over.

Cheers,


Richard
 

commscanaus

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Digital is coming- like it or not!!

Richard has hit the nail on the head-

There has definetly been an increase in the amount of digital traffic across the UHF spectrum here in Melbourne. Several P25 conventional repeaters are in use, albeit encrypted, and even an M/A Comm Provoice repeater has commenced operation. Certainly the equipment for digital is getting cheaper as production increases.

Motorola (as far as I understand it) will drop it's support of analogue MPT1327 products in the next few years, so Tait has become the supplier of newer equipment for this mode.
Also- Motorola type II analogue trunking at 800Mhz will eventually be replaced by TETRA digital.
There is a trial network on 800Mhz here marketed by the brand name ZEON- and even if encryption is not used- no receiver is available and by TETRA's vast standards, it is in itself a very secure network.

I believe there will always be a market for analogue gear, not all businesses and individuals will require digital- but whether it is worth listening to is debatable.
One thing I cannot stand to listen to is couriers and taxi's!
Ships and planes are far more interesting!

Commscanaus
 

Truetiger

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So its true you can no longer pick up the pigs on the scanner :( in Victoria. Thats no fun at all. Any ideas how to upgrade and change that and get there new frequencies.
 

richardc63

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Truetiger said:
So its true you can no longer pick up the pigs on the scanner :( in Victoria. Thats no fun at all. Any ideas how to upgrade and change that and get there new frequencies.
Get used to it... and if TETRA use spreads for law enforcement use you will not be hearing a thing.

Having the frequencies will not help you, and besides they are already available on the ACMA database, you simply will have to find something else to listen to.


Richard
 

MitreBin

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My prob is Leichhardt now have an analogue going on 468.1250MHz! I have a double Yagi pointed west here in the Illawarra, and had been getting Goulburn, Yass, Gundagai etc. clear as a bell on that same freq out of Bowral, until about 6 months ago when the Leichhardt one lit up. Now I get mufflled Goulburn reception whenever it lights up - Bugger - MitreBin
 

grant

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I think you have the wrong Channel.
Leichhardt is on Foxtrot which is digital.

The channel you are hearing is a temporary patch to Echo Digital (Burwood/Flemington) for the sole reason of country cars in the city with analogue radios having a channel to communicate with the local dispatcher. At the moment there are no analog liaison channels set up except for Ch 12. However 468.1250 is going to be switched off in the near future, once the new analog liaison channels on 467.925 and 468.850 are commisioned.


Grant
 

MitreBin

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Thanks Grant, yes I have heard "Flemington" conversations, and got my area wrong from that! Good news it won't be around much longer - MitreBin
 

grant

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The Ch 12 analog patch to Echo was switched off November 17 2006 or thereabouts, along with Ch 19 Far South Coast link (which had been booming into Sydney for a month or so prior)
Newcastle analog patch to Mike Digital on Ch 7, 35 and 37 was switched off on November 20.
On November 27 the new Sydney-Newcastle analog liaison channels - for non-police users and VHF only NSW country police users - were made operational, linking Ch 4 (Eastern Sydney) and 41 (Western Sydney) with Ch 35 (Central Coast/Newcastle) eg Volunteer rescue services, medical heliocopters etc


Grant
 

grant

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Tetra

richardc63 said:
Get used to it... and if TETRA use spreads for law enforcement use you will not be hearing a thing.

Having the frequencies will not help you, and besides they are already available on the ACMA database, you simply will have to find something else to listen to.


Richard

It is highly unlikely that TETRA will ever get a foothold in Australia for law enforcement (though commercial trunking obviously YES) - there is far too much government money tied up in APCO25 equipment and the various state and federal bodies have travelled too far down the APCO25 path to make a U-turn. Somebody once explained to me that the various costs that have to be factored in commissioning just one quantar site, beyond buying the repeater, making it an expensive proposition.

For your information TETRA has now spread beyond Sydney to the NSW Central Coast & Newcastle on 800Mhz in the last 2-3 months, though not to the Illawarra yet (frequencies are licensed but nothing on the tranmission side yet).



Grant
 
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SKEYGEN

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Word on the grapevine is a few (or all) of the Sydney channels are going Ø within a week or so.

In any case, Motorola is set to drop ALL of their analogue-only products within a few years. Even Icom manufacture digital gear for P25, and ETSI have ratified a digital PMR standard for commercial and private use, equipment for which is close to this end of Motorola's pipeline. Over the next decade, expect to hear a lot more secure digital systems as the equipment becomes common and dirt cheap.

You can buy a receiver to listen to TETRA - an Aeroflex IFR-3900 service monitor. Starts at $40,000 though, and it's useless if TEA encryption is enabled (and every modern TETRA terminal supports at least TEA1.)
 
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commscanaus

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The company I work for have been told by their chosen communications supplier that Motorola will drop type II Smartnet in the near future. It is almost certain that it will be replaced with a Tetra system. When this happens is not entirely certain- I guess that when the radio's we use currently are no longer supported (Jedi and Waris analogue gear).
Given that it is a TDMA standard- there will be many more talkgroups per available radio frequencies- which is a major advantage.
I am not going to sell off my Trunktrackers just yet!

Doubt whether there will be a Tetra scanner produced- but the Aeroflex Service monitor would be nice! No wait- so would a VE Calais V8!

Commscanaus
 

SKEYGEN

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They said they were going to drop Type II around 1998, and replace it with iDEN. Their customers laughed.

At any rate, their Sydney TETRA system SUCKS compared to the Type II systems on 800. They've got a lot of work to do before they can call TETRA a replacement.

Some of Motorola's TETRA radios are pretty sexy though. If I were on that system, I'd want an MTP750.
 

Raccon

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commscanaus said:
Given that it is a TDMA standard- there will be many more talkgroups per available radio frequencies- which is a major advantage.
TETRA has 4 channels per carrier, with one carrier having a bandwidth of 25kHz, i.e. 6.25kHz per channel. Some analogue systems may offer that, too, but they of course require one carrier for each channel. Thus you not only need more frequencies but also more equipment and it results in a higher power consumption (assuming everything else is somewhat the same).

SKEYGEN said:
At any rate, their Sydney TETRA system SUCKS compared to the Type II systems on 800. They've got a lot of work to do before they can call TETRA a replacement.
Would you mind to elaborate? Is it a coverage issue or problem with the system itself?
 

SKEYGEN

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Coverage issue - a serious one at that. Other than that, it works reasonably well.
 

Raccon

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SKEYGEN said:
Coverage issue - a serious one at that. Other than that, it works reasonably well.
Not enough sites then, or poor antenna system design?
 

grant

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Anybody who lives in Sydney is familiar with the undulating nature of the place .... lots of hills, ridges and gullies and lower spots. Antenna location selection is important, especially if you are trying to cover the Sydney basin. I suspect Motorola will get around the problem of TETRA coverage by installing a lot more base sites, given that they make and own the equipment. If they don't get on top of it then I can see a lot of folk defecting back to VHF and UHF MPT1327 trunking networks (given that Motorola Type 2 will be withdrawn from 800Mhz).


Grant
 
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