This is lame...but PLEASE HELP.

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MARINE21078

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Mar 15, 2008
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Location
Harford, MD
My city/county uses what is described, on this site, as a "trunked" system (Motorola TypeII Smartzone). However, I always hear from law enforcement and firefighters throughout the area that they are "digital" and I wouldn't be able to scan them. Are they the same thing? How would I be able to scan that? Whats the cheapest scanner that will get the job done? Anything that would point me in the right direction would be great. I'm just an amature =]
 

SkipSanders

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Dec 19, 2002
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1,058
They are (partially) wrong, according to the database here. While the system is digital, that only means you won't be able to monitor it on a CHEAP scanner. Some of the individual talk groups (looks like the police tactical (most) and detective type stuff) is encrypted, on top of being digital, and those, you won't be able to monitor. If the database here shows it as 'D', you can monitor it. 'E' is encrypted, and you can't.

The scanners that handle digital are the newest, and highest end, scanners, so they run around $500 new, and rarely go below $400 even used.
 

mciupa

DB Administrator
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Nov 5, 2002
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Hi MARINE21078 , welcome to RadioReference. :)

Expanding on what Skip said , take a look at this link for your home trunking system.

http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=2846

Most talkgroups can be monitored , except the Tactical.

If budget is an issue , look at Pro 96 or Pro 2096.
 

Airdorn

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Mar 9, 2008
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Conventional system (both sides use a fixed frequency) = any scanner works as long as it can tune the frequency and the audio isn't being scrambled in some weird way.

Trunked system (both sides pull from a pool of frequencies on demand) = need a "trunking" scanner that can logically follow that type of system, but it can still be monitored somewhat with a conventional scanner, though its sort of a crapshoot. Some types of trunked systems can't be followed logically by any scanner because no one has designed a scheme yet. LTR passport, OpenSky, etc.

Trunked digital system = need a more intricate, expensive scanner that can follow that type of trunking system and also decode the digital scheme. All audio has a weird grinding kind of sound when monitored with anything but a compatible digital radio.

Trunked encrypted digital system = Nothing can monitor it. The audio sounds all garbled, etc. The encryption is used specifically to combat eavesdropping. Proponents say its so that criminals won't get a heads-up on when the cops are coming. Opponents say encryption leads to a secretive police state where media and watchdogs can't keep tabs on the boys in blue. I say it just ruins my fun and so I hate it.
 
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