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Radio Traffic Recording

Jl942264

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All,
I really have no experience with this type particular area of radio, I'm looking for some type of a recorder to hook up to a mobile radio in the accessory port to record all traffic that comes over the assigned channel. Not sure if this is actually a thing or not, I believe I've at least heard of them. If anyone has any information on them/where I'd appreciate it!
 

mmckenna

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Digital recorders that will record multiple channels are a big thing in dispatch centers.

Are you looking for something like that, or something for mobile use that just records one channel?
 

a417

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...and this is yet another thing that can be done with a $20 SDR and a computer with free software! ;)
 

mmckenna

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...and this is yet another thing that can be done with a $20 SDR and a computer with free software! ;)
Yeah, sort of depends on the specific application. Our digital recorder is tied in to our GPS clocks along with the 911 console, radio console and the CAD system. Having accurate time tags on everything is usually a good idea.
If this is for hobby use, then a simple recorder, either hardware or software, is the way to go.
 

Jl942264

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Digital recorders that will record multiple channels are a big thing in dispatch centers.

Are you looking for something like that, or something for mobile use that just records one channel?
One channel for mobile use!
 

Jl942264

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...and this is yet another thing that can be done with a $20 SDR and a computer with free software! ;)
I’ve tried to get into SDR, never been able to get it working 100%
 

mmckenna

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One channel for mobile use!
Couple of options, depending on your budget:


Some newer high end mobiles have recording capability built in. The Kenwood NX-5000 line has an SD card slot and can record traffic.

Or, you can get a cheap little digital recorder off Amazon that has VOX in the $30-40 range. On some mobile radios you can tap flat audio off the rear port and feed that directly in with some careful massaging of the audio levels.
 

Jl942264

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Understood, this would be a non public safety application so anything that can record times, and transmissions would work. Any suggestions on which to go with.
 

mmckenna

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Understood, this would be a non public safety application so anything that can record times, and transmissions would work. Any suggestions on which to go with.
Take a look at the various Amazon digital recorders. Some will time stamp the recordings. Make sure it has a mic input, not just headphones out.
 

K2NEC

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When I record audio I use my portable and a 3.5mm in port on my computer. I use audacity. You could probably dedicate a raspberry pi to it and call it a day.
 

n1das

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I have been using GoldWave digital audio editing software for many years. The fully functional evaluation version is free. It is nagware as it periodically reminds you to register and pay $45 to make the nagging go away permanently. You are allowed 150 commands in GoldWave between naggings in a popup window.

GoldWave has level-activated (VOX) capability. The level activation threshold and hang time are adjustable. Recorded audio is buffered so there is no loss of audio that triggered a recording. With WAV format files, it can automatically drop a cue point where recording started automatically after being paused due to no activity. The default name of a cue point contains the PC's system date and time so they are useful as timestamps.

I've used GoldWave a few times to monitor a ham repeater as part of documenting and helping track down a jammer in the area. I used two scanners and made a stereo recording of audio from both scanners. One scanner monitored the repeater output and the other scanner monitored the input. The stereo recording captured output on one channel and the input on the other channel. The stereo recording provided a way to match up what I was hearing on the input with what was on the output whenever the jammer was close enough for me to hear it on the input. The cue points in the WAV file provided timestamps of events.

www.GoldWave.com
 
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RFI-EMI-GUY

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If you connect to a mobile radio at the speaker, be careful to use a transformer to couple the balanced audio from the radio to the unbalanced input of the recorder or you will damage the radio, the recorder or both. Also you may need a resistor pad to attenuate the audio so the recorder is not overloaded.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Looks like it thank you very much!
That vendor has a lot of interesting products. One is an transformer isolator for connecting a radio with BTL audio amp (uniden BCD536H and most mobiles and scanners) to sound card and a ton of other neat software tools.
 

iMONITOR

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ProScan's Record feature is hard to beat as it's incorporated with all the other features of ProScan such as detailed logging! For mobile use you could keep a small old notebook/laptop PC under the seat, even put a small 7" remote monitor in the instrument panel or console somewhere.
 
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