Scanners Going away?

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yaesumofo

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According to this article LA's first responder radio networks will eventually be forced vacate the 470-512mhz frequencies in favor of LA-RICS VO-LTE network (which has not been built yet I don't think).

Will I be able to monitor LTE transmissions? I doubt it. Is this going on everywhere? Right now the LAPD operate a large APCO 25 NON trunked system smack in the middle of that 470-512 band. Where will they go? LA county Sheriff and many local departments same thing.

They say they don't have enough spectrum but here in LA there are swaths of RF spectrum which really have NOTHING going on. What are they waiting for? The process is very slow thank goodness.
I know little about the in's and out's of the Los Angeles first responder/radio situation except that to me it looks like it is going to change dramatically over the next 5-10 years. As a result
scanning, as I know it anyway, is going to change, in a big way. If it even survives as a hobby.

Call me crazy but I think the departments involved should offer a special streaming internet feed to members of the public and media who want to listen. This allows them to be in control, which makes them feel better, we get to listen.
That sure beats the alternative, a system that completely prevents citizens from monitoring Public agencies/police/fire/emergency/activities.

That is a bleak future.

LA-RICS - Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System |*LA-RICS

VoLTE is essential for Los Angeles public-safety network - FierceWirelessTech
 

cherubim

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LTE and other mobile multiplexing protocols cannot be monitored although GSM can if using the right (re:expensive) equipment.
 

ko6jw_2

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Don't give up yet.

The LA county system has had a lot of bumps in the road to even getting started. They had to re-start their bidding process once.

It seems there are two themes in public safety radio right now - post 9/11. One is interoperability. This was triggered by communications problems is NY on 9/11. No one mentions that a lot of the problems were caused by the loss of the repeaters on top of the WTC. The new LA county system will fix all of these issues. If you believe that - we have swamp land in FL that you might like.

The other issue is security. We have to encrypt to keep the bad guys from listening.

The flaws in this logic are pretty clear. Consider a major brush fire. Right now there are designated mutual aid frequencies that most fire equipment can operate on. But, in the future, what fire equipment from a neighboring county can talk on your new digital encrypted system? If you have to leave LA County for Ventura or Santa Barbara you'll need a separate radio because they can't hear you and you're out of range of your system.

From an economic point of view, where will the money come from to buy new radios for each and every unit in LA County? Not local money that's for sure. Federal money is possible. I can see the radio manufacture's drooling over this. After all, they've done a fine job on convincing people all over the country that going narrow band requires digital. Not true, of course, and many systems are regretting the switch.

The problem with all of this is that the public has no input. It's mainly driven by sales people and bureaucrats, neither of whom are very technically savvy. They do, however, love to spend/make money.

Finally, the other point is that interoperability should not mean than anyone can talk to anyone on an ad hoc basis. In a tactical situation this would lead to chaos. Some type of coordination is needed and that can be done without direct communication in all but the most critical situations.
 

pinballwiz86

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It's a police state in this country. Things aren't going to get better. Only worse for the hobby, and transparency in our police. Make your voice head. Talk to your local politicians before it's too late and you're only listening to the local 2 meter Geritol net.
 

RobKB1FJR

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I think in Massachusetts the current Massachusetts State Police trunked system and the formation of regional dispatch centers will take over in the Boston area and in most of eastern massachusetts which is heavily dependant on 470/480 MHz area.
 

AA6IO

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Yaesumofo,
I don't think you are crazy. I think there is a good chance that we will see LA Sheriff and LA Police eventually be encrypted for the most part. Look what they did in Orange County. All law enforcement is encrypted. My friends at HRO Anaheim say the scanner business took a big hit when OC Law Enforcement was encrypted. All we need is wide-spread encryption in a few large metropolitan areas like LA, NY, Chicago, and the scanner market will plummet. I'm sure the larger players like Uniden, and perhaps, Whistler, are wondering what their long-term scanner market will look like. I don't think the signs are too rosy.
I know a lot of sheriffs, police, fire personnel, and paramedics from my work. I am a retired physician, who spent quite a bit of time working emergency rooms, in addition, to other things.
I still am involved in giving lectures about drug abuse to kids in programs together with law enforcement officials, and I am a medical director of a battered womens shelter, where we have plenty of contact with law enforcement.
Most of these public safety officials know that I am an amateur radio operator and also listen to scanners. By and large, the firemen and paramedics just say great, but most of the sheriffs and some pf the Long Beach police officers I know kind of cringe when they hear "scanner." Several have told me they wish things were "encrypted." This seems to be the mindset of most law enforcement, and frankly, when you hear some of the stories I have heard, or scenes I have witnessed in ERs, I can understand their viewpoint.
That said, I hope it does not happen, because I like scanning as much as the next person, but I think the writing is on the wall. All of these new digital systems are not being developed for their great audio quality. But they are certainly easier to encrypt that analog, and I truly believe that is where things are headed on a wider scale. Not next week, month, or year, but don't get your kids or grandkids too interested in scanning.
Before 9/11, I think we (as scanners) would have had some clout and influence among higher-ranked safety officers and local, statewide, and national policy makers. Now after 9/11, I think you will find much less support for our hobby.
Hope I am wrong. But yes Yaesumofo, if it comes to that, I am all for your idea of a streaming internet site for those that want to monitor. But who knows.

Steve AA6IO
 

Utah_Viper

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Scanners are never going away.

Listening to many Public Safety, and Government transmissions might become more difficult, and less wide spread though.

There are THOUSANDS of other things though a scanner can be used to do, and to listen to.
 

ko6jw_2

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It is ironic that, as governments seek to invade the privacy of citizens, they simultaneously attempt to make their own activities less and less transparent. I have started collecting news articles related to scanning and encryption and several common themes have emerged.

1. Public safety requires encryption of all transmissions.
2. The public has no right to listen to these transmissions.
3. Scanner users are a lunatic fringe of busybodies.

These points ignore the legitimate need of outsiders to get information first hand. The news media is obvious. There are others with good reasons to listen including disaster service providers like the Red Cross and amateur radio groups who provide communication support in times of need. Of course, citizens who are in the vicinity of a disaster need to know what's going on too. In short people have reasons to use scanners that go way beyond idle curiosity. With few exceptions the news reports ignore or trivialize these concerns and naturally public officials do too.

When asked, most honest police officials will admit that the use of scanners by criminals is rare. Yes, it happens, but not to the extent that it is a serious problem. Also, most public safety radio traffic is not confidential. Rather, it's routine and boring and does not need to be encrypted.

The problem is that the issue is not one that most people care much about, have the technical expertise to understand or will be asked to approve anyway. The decision to encrypt transmissions won't be put to a vote or even debated in public. Your elected representatives will give little thought to it either. After all, who could be against more safety and security. The Nazis used the same arguments in the 1930's. Want to get people to give up freedom and privacy, tell them it will make them more secure.

What to do? Keep tabs on local changes to radio systems if they are made public. Try to educate public officials about the value of transparent systems. Get the support of the media. Don't let yourself be marginalized as a crazy.

AB6JK
 

danblashkc81

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This has also crossed my mind. I believe railroads will soon be going digital, amature radio opperators now have the ability to go digital, with modes like dstar and fusion, that as of now, can't be monitored by a scanner. Many small businesses are now also going digital with dmr and nexedge. Landscapers, taxis, towing, plumbers, stuff I thought that in the passed was rather ho-humb. It's going away little, by little, by little, one service after another. Once that happens, what's left to listen to? Maybe a few hold outs on the aviation band, and am and fm broadcast? The way I see things, not much within the next 5-10 years if you're in a large to mid-sized city. It may hold out a little longer in the small towns, but even those communities in many areas of the country are joining the big state-wide systems. Interesting food for thought.
 

buddrousa

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It's a police state in this country. Things aren't going to get better. Only worse for the hobby, and transparency in our police. Make your voice head. Talk to your local politicians before it's too late and you're only listening to the local 2 meter Geritol net.
You might want to get a bottle for your self and talk to us on 2 meter.
 

Hatchett

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This has also crossed my mind. I believe railroads will soon be going digital, amature radio opperators now have the ability to go digital, with modes like dstar and fusion, that as of now, can't be monitored by a scanner. Many small businesses are now also going digital with dmr and nexedge. Landscapers, taxis, towing, plumbers, stuff I thought that in the passed was rather ho-humb. It's going away little, by little, by little, one service after another. Once that happens, what's left to listen to? Maybe a few hold outs on the aviation band, and am and fm broadcast? The way I see things, not much within the next 5-10 years if you're in a large to mid-sized city. It may hold out a little longer in the small towns, but even those communities in many areas of the country are joining the big state-wide systems. Interesting food for thought.

I don't think they will be hanging around on DMR or Nexedge for long. When LTE PTT becomes standardized, they will be a great exodus of all LMR users (even DMR and Nexedge users) over to commercial LTE PTT systems.

Nextel was decimating the LMR user base until they was bought out and the nextel systems shut down.

The demise of Nextel gave the LMR industry a short reprieve from the onslaught. But when the next generation of cellular provided enterprise class PTT hits the market, the carnage to the LMR industry will be on a scale never witnessed before.
 
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buddrousa

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We the Public Safety Agencies need to stay on things we control and not the public communication network that will crash in a true emergency like it did 9-11-01. The public cellphone network will leave you with no communication when it is needed the most. Take a look at the small area I live in the local sheriff buys builds repeater or trunking system the small towns buy 1 mobile $500.00 1 portable $500.00 and 1 spare battery and think they are being taken to the cleaners and demand the sheriff fix the radio system when they can not talk.
 
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fleef

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It is ironic that, as governments seek to invade the privacy of citizens, they simultaneously attempt to make their own activities less and less transparent. I have started collecting news articles related to scanning and encryption and several common themes have emerged.

1. Public safety requires encryption of all transmissions.
2. The public has no right to listen to these transmissions.
3. Scanner users are a lunatic fringe of busybodies.

These points ignore the legitimate need of outsiders to get information first hand. The news media is obvious. There are others with good reasons to listen including disaster service providers like the Red Cross and amateur radio groups who provide communication support in times of need. Of course, citizens who are in the vicinity of a disaster need to know what's going on too. In short people have reasons to use scanners that go way beyond idle curiosity. With few exceptions the news reports ignore or trivialize these concerns and naturally public officials do too.

When asked, most honest police officials will admit that the use of scanners by criminals is rare. Yes, it happens, but not to the extent that it is a serious problem. Also, most public safety radio traffic is not confidential. Rather, it's routine and boring and does not need to be encrypted.

The problem is that the issue is not one that most people care much about, have the technical expertise to understand or will be asked to approve anyway. The decision to encrypt transmissions won't be put to a vote or even debated in public. Your elected representatives will give little thought to it either. After all, who could be against more safety and security. The Nazis used the same arguments in the 1930's. Want to get people to give up freedom and privacy, tell them it will make them more secure.

What to do? Keep tabs on local changes to radio systems if they are made public. Try to educate public officials about the value of transparent systems. Get the support of the media. Don't let yourself be marginalized as a crazy.

AB6JK
Metro Makers at the Door | The Voice of Grant County Oregon
"is that the cross-jurisdictional conspiracy begins with the move to have the police and sheriffs sign an agreement for a regional Enhanced 911 system. The next step is to regionalize planning and zoning. Once that agreement is in place, the grant money starts flowing into the community....what they are really doing is installing the technology infrastructure for The Technocratic Tyranny – the smart grid and related control technologies for your critical infrastructure. Of course, once they control your critical infrastructure through technology and the smart grid, your city and your county are captured."
This is interesting reading re: Enhanced 9-1-1 and this "are scanners going away?" I do think so- it will all be more secret. There are links on that article that go into detail
 

WX4JCW

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We the Public Safety Agencies need to stay on things we control and not the public communication network that will crash in a true emergency like it did 9-11-01. The public cellphone network will leave you with no communication when it is needed the most. Take a look at the small area I live in the local sheriff buys builds repeater or trunking system the small towns buy 1 mobile $500.00 1 portable $500.00 and 1 spare battery and think they are being taken to the cleaners and demand the sheriff fix the radio system when they can not talk.
however one flaw in that logic, the LTE systems we are talking about will be self contained and separate from say Verizon and AT&T they are totally self contained but probably at least 5 years off
 

DJ11DLN

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We the Public Safety Agencies need to stay on things we control and not the public communication network that will crash in a true emergency like it did 9-11-01. The public cellphone network will leave you with no communication when it is needed the most. Take a look at the small area I live in the local sheriff buys builds repeater or trunking system the small towns buy 1 mobile $500.00 1 portable $500.00 and 1 spare battery and think they are being taken to the cleaners and demand the sheriff fix the radio system when they can not talk.
Spot on, as usual. Unfortunately, it will probably take another catastrophe to expose the weakness of these newer systems. The KISS principle seems to be unknown to many PS agencies today.
 

swatpup102

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I'm surprised the model Hamilton County in Ohio uses isn't used for many other metro areas. They are on a trunked P-25 system that has an "Area Wide" talk group with many general channels, and also for search and rescue, red cross, cost guard, traffic controls, etc. I've heard them used many times for larger LE and Fire events, investigations, sporting events, and anything where multiple agencies are involved. Even have an "interop" channel for other counties units to be involved off the state wide MARCS system.

They do have a few encrypted channels for things like SWAT tactical, but they really seem to only use those for on site person to person comms. I'm not sure why this type of setup couldn't be duplicated for other metro areas.
 
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I'm surprised the model Hamilton County in Ohio uses isn't used for many other metro areas. They are on a trunked P-25 system that has an "Area Wide" talk group with many general channels, and also for search and rescue, red cross, cost guard, traffic controls, etc. I've heard them used many times for larger LE and Fire events, investigations, sporting events, and anything where multiple agencies are involved. Even have an "interop" channel for other counties units to be involved off the state wide MARCS system.

They do have a few encrypted channels for things like SWAT tactical, but they really seem to only use those for on site person to person comms. I'm not sure why this type of setup couldn't be duplicated for other metro areas.
I live in the Cincinnati area. I love listening to Hamilton County when I go through it. Now that I love in Clermont, not so much. The way Hamilton County is set up, it helps and it makes sense. Yes? But there are a few things that can change. Not getting into that. I'm seeing the future can go many ways right now. Things can become more open (for sakes of interoperability) or can become dark (for sakes of first responder "safety"). I agree that a lot of the comms should be open but I do see where lawmakers want to make sure that their First Responders are safe. I have a feeling that the technology will Beyond thinkable in the next few years or so. But so well the scanner technology. I love listening to my scanner especially when there is an event or I'm trying to figure out which way is best to go home if there are problems lol. For the sake of me and the rest of the scanner hobby community I hope scanner don't disappear
 

danblashkc81

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I'm just trying to listen to all I can right now, and really make the most of it. There was a time when I thought, "Our local transit buses, who would want to listen to that?" I do now, if for nothing more than to hear the chatter. I've known it for close to 20 years now. I hope for our hobby's sake it doesn't go away, but there may come a time in the not to distant future, when there isn't much left to listen to but the local neighborhood kids on their bubble pack radios that mom and dad baught them for Christmas :).
 

radiation8

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Why wouldn't Uniden or Whistler make a Scanner that can decode encrypted transmissions?

If it currently sits that the Analog or "Trunking" transmissions aren't illegal to listen to, why would the same thing "only encrypted" not be?
 
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