Trunking - Phase I & II - questions :)

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Hi!
I was raised in a home where my Dad always had police scanners, even with crystals etc.

I'm interested in getting a trunking scanner for the house. I'm not too familiar with them, nor the Phase type etc.

I can tell you what I'm looking for - I live in Ohio, near Cleveland in suburb. Is it possible to hear the Cleveland Police, Strongsville, Olmsted Twp.Falls Police?

If so, could someone steer me to the typeI would be interested in? I know brands like Uniden and Whistler from over the years - but not the new technology.

Thank you!

Cindy
 

w2lie

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Hi Cindy
Welcome back to the scanning hobby. Like you, I grew up with my dad's crystal scanners. My mom was from your area as well.

I took a quick look at Cuyahoga County, OH in the Radio Reference database. With what I quickly glanced over, you should be ok with a Phase 1 P25 scanner. A lot of the county seems to be conventional analog as well as Phase 1 Trunking.

To answer your questions about phases:

P25 is a trunking protocol. It is purely digital, which means there is no analog transmission on the system at all.
Phase 1 was the first generation of P25. It works the same way traditional trunking or voice communication works. A single group uses the frequency for the amount of time that the transmission happens. In other words - that frequency is yours and only yours while you are using it.

Phase 2 double the capacity of the system by splitting that voice channel in two by using TDMA or Time Division Multiple Access. It is a fancy way of saying User 1 uses the frequency, then user 2, then user 1 and user 2 and user 1 and user 2 and so on and so forth.
This alternating of who uses the frequency happens so fast that we cannot hear it, but the system knows users A from users B. This alternating use over time is how you split the frequency in use for two users.

The early P25 market was only phase 1, but newer scanners support phase 2 (for the most part).

If you don't need the top of the line scanners, you might be able to find a good used phase 1 scanner that someone is looking to part with. If you wanted to buy something new, a Uniden BCD996P2 would be a good start into the Phase 2 market for the lowest entry cost. (FWIW, it cost the same as Whistler's WS1065 which only does Phase 1).

If you have any other questions - you are in a good place. The amount of knowledge in the forums here at Radio Reference will help you back into the scanning hobby!

Phil
 

Ensnared

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Hi!
I was raised in a home where my Dad always had police scanners, even with crystals etc.

I'm interested in getting a trunking scanner for the house. I'm not too familiar with them, nor the Phase type etc.

I can tell you what I'm looking for - I live in Ohio, near Cleveland in suburb. Is it possible to hear the Cleveland Police, Strongsville, Olmsted Twp.Falls Police?

If so, could someone steer me to the typeI would be interested in? I know brands like Uniden and Whistler from over the years - but not the new technology.

Thank you!

Cindy
You can forget listening to Strongsville PD Dispatch since it is fully encrypted. Odd as it may seem, it shows that Strongsville PD has a tactical talk group (channel) in the clear without encryption.

If you are wanting to go from crystals to Phase I and II, you need to get caught up with what has become a fairly expensive hobby. Furthermore, you are dealing with a radio-saturated listening environment.

Reportedly, the optimal scanner to buy is the SDS 100 or SDS 200 (base unit) for that area. I would not recommend a Unication G5 because you can only monitor one system at a time.

I would not recommend any Whistler product due to the fact that they did not buy proprietary rights to the software needed to "track" a conversation on ProVoice, DMR, or NXDN. I don't see any EDACS ProVoice radio systems in your state. However, I do see NXDN & DMR radio systems. I did not review whether any of these were for law enforcement. Although Whistler radios can hear NXDN, P25 Phase I and II, and DMR, only a Uniden can successfully "track" a conversation.

If you don't want to spend that much money, you could buy the Uniden 436/536HP radios. However, these are prone to linear simulcast distortion. I am not in a dense scanning environment. When I am in the Houston area, I turn off all Fire and EMS due to the volume of competing municipalities. I own a GRE PSR 500 (similar in design to Whistler 1065), but it is horrible on linear simulcast distortion.

This hobby can get very complicated, quickly. But, that is why we have forums, to help you if possible.
 
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