Scanners for SAFE-T

andylitch10

Newbie
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
1
Sorry if I missed this somewhere in the thread, and furthermore if this not the right thread for this discussion, but I'm looking into my amatuer technician license (so new to all of this) and wanting to get a scanner to start picking up radio traffic and learning.

I would like to be able to listen to local police and fire, among other frequencies. I am not familiar enough with the Indiana SAFE-T system at this point, so I'm looking for some answers and recommendations.

My main question is, is the SAFE-T system encrypted to where my scanner search is over before it really started? And if it is not encrypted, is that something that is going to be happening anytime in the near future to where it might not be worth investing in a scanner? Also if encryption is not an issue, should I then be looking for a digital or analog scanner?

I am in the NE part of the state and my family regularly travels to southern Indiana via I-69/-I465/I-65, so I'd like to have something that is portable, or small enough to be portable and ran thru the vehicle's AC or DC power, and can pick up SAFE-T traffic along the way.

I obviously don't want to be able to transmit on the SAFE-T frequencies, but are there any transceivers that can kill two birds with one stone and be used to transmit on the amatuer frequencies and act as a scanner for the SAFE-T frequencies?

Any guidance you for the newby is appreciated! Thank you.
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,494
Location
Central Indiana
We prefer to keep the thread where you originally posted focused on SAFE-T system changes and issues.

Some talkgroups on SAFE-T are encrypted, but not all of them. As you look through the RadioReference database entry for SAFE-T, check the "Mode" column. If there's an upper case "E", the talkgroup is encrypted all the time. If it's a lower case "e", the talkgroup is encrypted part of the time.

As for what happens in the future, that's up to the agencies that use the system.

You will absolutely need a scanner that's capable of decoding P25. In the Uniden line, that would be something like the BCD436HP, BCD325P2, or SDS100 (all handheld scanners).

There are radios that can receive the 700/800 MHz P25 signals from the SAFE-T and have the capability of transmitting on amateur radio 144 MHz and 440 MHz frequencies, but they are very expensive and programming them will be a challenge for a beginner. It would be more realistic to get an amateur radio dual-band transceiver and a separate P25 scanner.
 

west-pac

Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2004
Messages
244
Location
Hartford City, IN
Some counties in the state don't use SAFE-T. For example, in NE Indiana, Allen county uses their own system, and it's 99% fulltime encrypted. Blackford county uses a DMR system. Many county fire depts in northeast Indiana don't use SAFE-T either. They still use VHF.
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
13,710
Location
Indianapolis, IN
As well as some Counties use NXDN, Marion, Hamilton, and Madison Counties are on the IDPS family of TRS's. And Tippecanoe has its own P25 system too, as well as Knox etc...
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
13,710
Location
Indianapolis, IN
If you have an official letterhead from ISP stating you may have one or are an ham its fine. Otherwise it is indeed illegal to use a scanner mobile.
 
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