Scanning in a region where no references exist!

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Tetra01

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Jan 9, 2020
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Pretty much the title says it all , how would one go about scanning when there’s no scanning community that shares findings?
Ill walk you through the spectrum and my setup here and if you can chime in on how people managed before RR database existed i would be grateful.
Aside from the scattered unsafe use of analog in construction, everything is on trunked digital.
Official Communication is on tetra networks (Civil defense , EMS , police , etc).
Other unofficial establishments use DMR , Cap+ , NXDN.
My setup is a Uniden SDS100 with paid DMR & NXDN upgrades , 2 SDRs , DSDplus (fast track) & a Sirio sd 2000 antenna.

Im not gonna go into the whole tetra debate as i understand its not quite appealing to the majority of the scanning audience (I would like to thank the Wraith and the russian author of the demodulator though, their work is stellar and im happy to contribute anyway i can) .

For the rest of the digital networks i cannot tie them together no matter how many hours i spend just listening and writing down my findings.

A bunch of control channels, resting channels and a bunch of voice channels , i cannot for the life of me arrange them in systems , sites and talk groups without any data on who they belong to.

Would i be able to map out an entire system just from the control channel on DSDplus ? (Im not lazy its just the only way i’d be sure they fall under one system)

Am i taking it way too seriously , should i just give up?
I only aim to be aware of what’s happening im my vicinity , nothing more.

feel free to tell me that i should just chill :)
 

Ubbe

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Sep 8, 2006
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Stockholm, Sweden
That's how all we other scanner users have to do that are outside of the US/Canada RR database coverage.

Do searches of frequency ranges where you think there will be communication and set the scanner to record and the searches to do all modes, both analog and digital. Listen to the recordings each day and document all data that the scanner displayes. Enter it in excel or equel easy to sort document. Lock out frequencies, in Sentinels profile setting for search/closecall, in the avoided table, for those that you have figured out so that they do not stop the searches. You can set the delay for the searches to -10sec so it will record for just 10 sec and then continue the search.

DSD+ will display and save all TGs that get active and will show all frequencies that gets used on that site. It will also show what other sites there are in a system. It is sufficient to do that on a control channel and not needed to trunk track and follow conversations. If you only plan to monitor one site you only have to decode that control channel and will be able to map out the TG's but not the whole systems site configuration, if you feel that you have to do that. Then you have to decode every sites control channel to get the frequencies of all sites.

When you have puzzled together a site you can enter that in the scanner and try to figure out what the different TG's categories of use are.
If you use the scanners LCN finder for DMR systems and enter all frequencies, that you think belongs to the same system, all in the same site it will help you find the correct LCNs to make trunktracking work in a Uniden scanner.

P25 only use the control channel and doesn't need to map out the sites frequencies. NXDN are of different flavours but usually have a fixed bandplan it follows and there's a channel calculator on RR you can search for that helps in finding the correct LCNs if it is trunked system.

/Ubbe
 

Tetra01

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Jan 9, 2020
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Thank you Ubbe , for some reason i actually did not think of setting up everything to record while im working , effectively covering more hours of transmission.
Will get right on it.
 

slicerwizard

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Sep 19, 2002
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Location
Toronto, Ontario
Trunking systems have control/rest channels for each site, so sites are easy to find. When a control/rest channel indicates that a voice call is active, you just use your second SDR to move around the spectrum and find a transmission that's carrying the same call (same talkgroup)

In DSD+ FL, you can enable an audible alert for call grants, then your ears will tell you when you should be looking for a new carrier popping up on the second SDR's spectrum display. It's not difficult...
 
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