Universal Encryption??

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cory6503

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Hope this isnt posted in the wrogn place.

Hello all. Im pretty new to the scanner scene, although Ive owned my scanner for a couple of years now (pro-91). Recently Ive been looking to upgrade to a new scanner. In doing so Ive come across quite a few new terms and technologies. After researching and a whole lot of reading (yea, Im one of those guys who like to read the tech manuals) I feel pretty comfortable with my choice (BCD396T). Just a couple of quick question though.

1. Do you think that encryption will, in the next 10 to 15 years, or ever for that matter, become accepted and used universally by all public safety to limit the general publics access? Why and or why not?

2. Has anyone heard anything about the FCC’s re-banding schedule and do you think they will use a modified version of an existing scheme or something totally new.

The only reason for my asking is deciding wether or not to wait a while to purchase my scanner. 500 bucks is still 500 bucks! Thanks in advance for any and all info.
Cory6503
 

WayneH

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1] No, because of cost and the time required to manage it.

2] Rebanding has already started. If you are worried about it do not buy any current Uniden scanner as there is no confirmation whether there will be updates or not. Purchase a RadioShack PRO-96/2096, GRE500/600 or wait to see what Uniden introduces later on.

With technology these days you have to pay to play. If the radios cost too much watch the For Sale forums on here and you'll score a deal eventually.
 

cory6503

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Thanks!
The upgrade issue is mainly what stopped me from purchasing one this past week. Thanks again
cory6503
 

RKG

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1] No, because of cost and the time required to manage it.
.
A qualification; the given statement is certainly true of hardware encryption. However, for systems that have already made the leap to P25 digital voice, software encryption is cheap and easy, which, in my judgment, is the primary reason for its apparent proliferation. If there is to be a brake on this trend in the future, it will be (in my judgment) as people realize the barriers that encryption erects to true interoperability.
 

JnglMassiv

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1. Do you think that encryption will, in the next 10 to 15 years, or ever for that matter, become accepted and used universally by all public safety to limit the general publics access? Why and or why not?
Extrapolating based on the current trends and with the assumption that a system, once encrypted, will never be in the clear again, I feel confident projecting that there will be a day that 99% of public safety communications will be encrypted or otherwise obscured. This will be for terror/criminal reasons for police and privacy reasons for fire/EMS. It will be built into the infrastructure of the radio system. See Tetra radio system specifications for all the examples you like. I'm not happy about it but the writing is on the wall. Luckily, I don't imagine this will be complete in 5-10 years but it has already begun and will incrementally head in that direction.

2. Has anyone heard anything about the FCC’s re-banding schedule and do you think they will use a modified version of an existing scheme or something totally new.
When it comes radio system rollout schedules, believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see. The dates and schedules (and budgets) are totally unreliable.

The only reason for my asking is deciding wether or not to wait a while to purchase my scanner. 500 bucks is still 500 bucks! Thanks in advance for any and all info.
The advice I give anyone asking about what scanner they may need is to buy the minimum radio required for what is functioning and in place NOW. The only exception that comes to mind is if a system launch is imminent. Top of the line scanners from the big 3 always seem to be around $500. When you buy prematurely, you pay the same but wind up with an older, less feature-rich radio. There's speculation that Uniden is preparing to introduce some new models pretty soon. Buy a 396 that you don't need now and miss out on the new features of a brand new radio model. And guess what happens to the resale value of a former flagship radio when the new ones come out.
 

kb2vxa

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1. Do you think that encryption will, in the next 10 to 15 years, or ever for that matter, become accepted and used universally by all public safety to limit the general public's access?

If the DHS has it's way eventually all will be encrypted. They're using scare tactics backed by federal grant monies to ram "security" including secure radio systems down our throats. No tin foil hat here, that would shield me from following current trends.

2. Has anyone heard anything about the FCC’s re-banding schedule and do you think they will use a modified version of an existing scheme or something totally new.

I never second guess the capriciousness of the FCC or anything with the word feral in it. (No typo, intentional sarcasm.)
 

WayneH

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A qualification; the given statement is certainly true of hardware encryption. However, for systems that have already made the leap to P25 digital voice, software encryption is cheap and easy, which, in my judgment, is the primary reason for its apparent proliferation.
The nice thing is that Motorola sales people focus on selling the more costly equipment (that being hardware based) and less on software based "ADP".
 

RayAir

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Encryption

My view on the future of scanning is that most public safety systems will migrate to digital. The digital wave is like wildfire now. Most systems will be APCO P25, but other technologies such as Open Sky and EDACS Pro Voice will expand. These systems cannot be scanned (except P25). There is relatively new technology in the commercial sector too like Motorola TRBO (TDMA radio). Kenwood also has a proprietary digital format now as well as ICOM. These technologies also cannot be scanned. Many business users will remain conventional analog, EDACS or LTR.

My view on encryption is any agency on a P25 network will have easy access to DES or AES encryption. Public safety users on EDACS systems have a choice of digital voice (Pro Voice) or VGE, DES or AES encryption. I believe the newer Motorola digital radios can be flashed for DES or AES making it an easy upgrade . Public safety and the commercial sector on conventional or analog TRS systems tend to use little or no encryption. One reason for the lack of encryption is COST. For example , even if a user chose an analog version of scrambling such as rolling code it could run over $700 per radio with installation. That is not including OTAR modems which can run a few thousand dollars!

As far as rebanding, it will happen. But I believe it will be a slow process. My advice is to get a scanner capable off 700mhz or if you don't need one right now wait for a possible improved digital scanner to come out in the future. I would like to see a digital scanner that can do LTR Multi-Net/Passport, EDACS Pro Voice and Open Sky. Wi-fi would be cool too. Well I guess I can dream.
 
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