SDR for analog scanning

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wqhz937

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Let me start off by saying that I am completely new to the SDR world, so I am very unfamiliar, but do come from a technical background.

The fire service in my area is still mainly using conventional analog and likely will for the foreseeable future. I run a feed that uses two BCT15X scanners to monitor a handful (less than 10) frequencies each. I would like to start consolidating my setup and was wondering if I can emulate this current operation using SDR. In doing several searches I have found a lot of information, but some specific questions I have are:
- it seems like the SDR software allows you to lock on to one frequency at a time. Is there anything that lets you create a list of channels to consistently scan?
- a lot of the tutorials out there are heavily focused on digital trunking (and I understand why). Does anyone have a guide for setting up SDR for a conventional system?

I appreciate any help you can provide.
 

fire42man

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Sep 21, 2011
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I'm working on an SDR program that's solely intended to work like a scanner. It's designed to run on a Raspberry Pi, but it will work just fine on any Debian or Ubuntu-based system. You can check it out here:

Do note that the readme is very stale, the program is still in alpha so I haven't taken the time to rewrite it. Message me directly if you'd like to use it and I can walk you through the setup.

One of the big features I've added is the ability to control and monitor remotely, e.g. from another computer, or (eventually) a smartphone. Other than a few caveats it works well as an analog scanner and I plan to integrate trunking in the future.
 

wqhz937

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I’ll check this out. My setup is all Windows but maybe I can get it working in a VM.

Let me ask this, if I have SDR#, and I leave it locked on one channel, is there a plug-in that can filter based on PL/DPL?
 

dan-dekalb

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Feed Provider
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Mar 22, 2010
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Location
DeKalb, IL
I have been looking at SDR options since our county is moving to P25 Phase 2, but I still want to provide the analog feeds as well. I can use GQRX to pick up the analog NFM audio. I'm wondering if we could do a hybrid system where OP25 could scan and drop each audio scan into a directory using one RTL-SDR. PiScan could do the same thing every time it picks up a signal above the squelch level (is it worth it to implement PL scanning?) and then a streamer process could pick up the files, stream to RadioReference.

I know the README.md on PiScan says it can do 15 channels a second. Have you thought about using multiple receivers where one receiver is the "scanner receiver" that detects signal above squelch, and then additional SDR receivers would actually record the audio?

Just some thoughts and ideas. I will try to work with PiScan this weekend.
 

JimD56

KO9JAD/Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
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Nov 18, 2004
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572
Location
Davie, FL (Miami/Fort Lauderdale Metro)
I host a UHF Analog feed on Broadcastify as well. I also have 2 SDR Dongles, both running SDRSharp with the scanner plugin. It doesn't work well for the feed at all. I also didn't want to tie up a trunking/digital scanner for 16 UHF analog channels. I use one SDR for ADSB flight tracking and one for Air and Mil freqs in the SCAN mode, which for this purpose works fine.
My solution for the UHF analog feed was a Baofeng, receives great, scans just fine. I run it through ProScan's Radio Feed on an older PC with Windows 7, with just the feed, nothing else on the PC it sits in a closet. It doesn't have the alpha tagging I would like for my feed but works just the same.
I am on the lookout for cheap older BCT15, BC346T, or BR330T, just so I can get alpha tags on my feed.

 

jonohudson

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Oct 14, 2014
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117
Location
Bedford, UK
Let me start off by saying that I am completely new to the SDR world, so I am very unfamiliar, but do come from a technical background.

The fire service in my area is still mainly using conventional analog and likely will for the foreseeable future. I run a feed that uses two BCT15X scanners to monitor a handful (less than 10) frequencies each. I would like to start consolidating my setup and was wondering if I can emulate this current operation using SDR. In doing several searches I have found a lot of information, but some specific questions I have are:
- it seems like the SDR software allows you to lock on to one frequency at a time. Is there anything that lets you create a list of channels to consistently scan?
- a lot of the tutorials out there are heavily focused on digital trunking (and I understand why). Does anyone have a guide for setting up SDR for a conventional system?

I appreciate any help you can provide.
SDRuno has an integrated scanning feature for the RSP1A. See
 

EMT1301

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Aug 11, 2005
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Somerset, PA
I’ll check this out. My setup is all Windows but maybe I can get it working in a VM.

Let me ask this, if I have SDR#, and I leave it locked on one channel, is there a plug-in that can filter based on PL/DPL?
Yes, SDR# has a PL/DPL plugin.
 

questnz

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Joined
Nov 18, 2009
Messages
668
Hi, I also have mixed results from RTL SDR v3 dongle as a scanner.
My test is Diamond D130 and Omni-X feed RTL SDR and Uniden UBC126AT via splitter. So signal to be equal.
Uniden beat SDR dongle v3 anytime, I also have SRDRPlay RSP1A and will test it soon.
Using with Diamonds RH77CA on both units RTL SDR was totally deaf. So my idea of RTL SDR travel setup went out of the windows! Back to the handheld scanner. I have good scanning results with SDRPlay on Air in my area but didn't compare yet with Uniden directly. The airport is some 14-15 miles from me in a straight line.
 

jkford

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Jun 28, 2020
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1
using sdr#, i used auxillary vfo's going to windows mapper...left, right, or both...as long as the different frequencies fell within the 2.4mhz range...it could play at least the 3 at the same time that were set. when it would hop out of range i would set those the same way...
what i really wanna know though...is can i just record the whole spectrum, and instead of listening to them, have them all write out as mp3's simultaniously and then combine the mp3's together to create a buffered version
 
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