Will my BC785D scan the current APCO P25 setup in Calhoun County?

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KI4FKW

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I have a BC785D that does have an APCO P25 card in it. Years ago (like, 2004 or so), it worked and I heard everything. Sometime along the line I did a factory reset on it. I know the system in the county has changed some since that time. Will it scan the system the way it is now?

If so, programming help? I have the manual, but I can't quite understand when it is speaking of the APCO system and when it isn't. It mixes together the instructions so much.
 
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Also, note that if the is an "E" in the mode column, it's Encrypted full time

If there is an "e", it means part time encryption

85359
 

hiegtx

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I have a BC785D that does have an APCO P25 card in it. Years ago (like, 2004 or so), it worked and I heard everything. Sometime along the line I did a factory reset on it. I know the system in the county has changed some since that time. Will it scan the system the way it is now?

If so, programming help? I have the manual, but I can't quite understand when it is speaking of the APCO system and when it isn't. It mixes together the instructions so much.
While the system is labeled as "Phase II", all of the listed talkgroups are P25 Phase I (as shown by the D in the mode column).

However, even though the 785D can receive digital (presuming you have the card installed and it is working), that scanner cannot track a true P25 system, regardless of card. It cannot handle the control channel used in a P25 system. (I have the handheld equivalent scanner, the 250D, with a card, which can't handle all the new P25 systems being set up in my area.)

As Doc also noted, many of the law enforcement talkgroups are using encryption, either part, or full time. Even a newer scanner, which can track Phase I or Phase II systems, would not receive anything encrypted.
 

ka3jjz

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If you are satisfied with hearing the unencrypted traffic on that system, you would be wise to eventually get a Phase 2 scanner. At some point I'm sure that system will go all p2; a quick check of that system's plans would be in order....Mike
 

KI4FKW

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I am familiar with the system to a degree. I work for one of the agencies listed. I honestly don't care to listen to any of the traffic. I was just curious if this radio was still able to be used with Phase II or if it had been left in the dust with Phase I.

As for conventional, it is virtually dead here. We keep a VHF repeater up and have a UHF repeater that is not powered on, but the license is valid. I believe most of the agencies around do similar, but pretty much all are on 800.

In regards to encrypted, I guess that just refers to whether or not the individual radio selector is on encrypted or not. I turn it on on every radio I touch, but the users generally don't pay attention to it. I had a friend check an old scanner the other day. Some was garbled, some was not.

So, in short - am I hearing that the radio may hear some of the traffic, but perhaps not all? And that if the system evolves completely to Phase II, it won't be capable of any?
 

GTR8000

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As noted above, the BC785D is not capable of trunk tracking any P25 system. Not Phase I, and certainly not Phase II.

The best you could do would be to conventionally scan the voice channels, which of course would not allow you to properly follow conversations.

The BC785D is effectively useless on that or any other P25 system. Sorry.
 

KI4FKW

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As noted above, the BC785D is not capable of trunk tracking any P25 system. Not Phase I, and certainly not Phase II.

The best you could do would be to conventionally scan the voice channels, which of course would not allow you to properly follow conversations.

The BC785D is effectively useless on that or any other P25 system. Sorry.
Not arguing - just trying to understand. I've had this radio since about 2004. It used to scan all sorts of trunked stuff in this county. It has an APCO P-25 card installed, and the manual says "APCO P-25 Digital Capable," along with an entire section of programming the card's use.
 

GTR8000

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Not arguing - just trying to understand. I've had this radio since about 2004. It used to scan all sorts of trunked stuff in this county. It has an APCO P-25 card installed, and the manual says "APCO P-25 Digital Capable," along with an entire section of programming the card's use.
The scanner with the APCO P-25 Digital card installed means that it is capable of decoding APCO Project 25 (P25) voice, aka the P25 CAI (Common Air Interface).

That means that it can decode voice transmissions of conventional (non-trunked) P25 channels, or if you're trunk tracking a Motorola Type II system (aka 3600 baud, SmartNet, SmartZone, etc.) it can decode the voice transmissions of digital talkgroups that use the P25 CAI.

What the scanner cannot do is trunk track "true" P25 systems, which use a 9600 baud control channel. The scanner is not capable of decoding the P25 9600 control channel, therefore whether the P25 card can decode the digital voice is irrelevant.
 

KI4FKW

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The scanner with the APCO P-25 Digital card installed means that it is capable of decoding APCO Project 25 (P25) voice, aka the P25 CAI (Common Air Interface).

That means that it can decode voice transmissions of conventional (non-trunked) P25 channels, or if you're trunk tracking a Motorola Type II system (aka 3600 baud, SmartNet, SmartZone, etc.) it can decode the voice transmissions of digital talkgroups that use the P25 CAI.

What the scanner cannot do is trunk track "true" P25 systems, which use a 9600 baud control channel. The scanner is not capable of decoding the P25 9600 control channel, therefore whether the P25 card can decode the digital voice is irrelevant.

Interesting, thank you. Perhaps that is how the radio was always being used before. So essentially, I can program in all the talk groups and it can find an unencrypted transmission on a frequency, but when the transmission ceases, it will not necessarily find the reply, because it will likely be on a different frequency, right? Kind of scanning all the talk groups I enter as random transmissions.

I've been toying with it as I read, and this is the result I have been having. I've been listening to my agency on my handheld and catching bits of it on the scanner.
 

GTR8000

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Interesting, thank you. Perhaps that is how the radio was always being used before. So essentially, I can program in all the talk groups and it can find an unencrypted transmission on a frequency, but when the transmission ceases, it will not necessarily find the reply, because it will likely be on a different frequency, right? Kind of scanning all the talk groups I enter as random transmissions.

I've been toying with it as I read, and this is the result I have been having. I've been listening to my agency on my handheld and catching bits of it on the scanner.
Calhoun County was previously on a Motorola Type II SmartZone system which featured a number of digital talkgroups that used the P25 CAI. That trunked system had a 3600 baud control channel, which your BC785D is capable of decoding. That is how you were previously able to properly track the system and decode the P25 transmissions. Here is a link to that old system, which was replaced by the new P25 system.


Your scanner is no longer capable of properly tracking the new P25 system. You won't be able to program the P25 talkgroups, however you could program the system frequencies as individual P25 conventional channels and can scan those. Yes, scanning that way will allow the scanner to decode clear (non-encrypted) transmissions, however there won't be any logic to it as it won't have the ability to know what frequency the next transmission for that talkgroup was assigned to.
 

KI4FKW

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Calhoun County was previously on a Motorola Type II SmartZone system which featured a number of digital talkgroups that used the P25 CAI. That trunked system had a 3600 baud control channel, which your BC785D is capable of decoding. That is how you were previously able to properly track the system and decode the P25 transmissions. Here is a link to that old system, which was replaced by the new P25 system.


Your scanner is no longer capable of properly tracking the new P25 system. You won't be able to program the P25 talkgroups, however you could program the system frequencies as individual P25 conventional channels and can scan those. Yes, scanning that way will allow the scanner to decode clear (non-encrypted) transmissions, however there won't be any logic to it as it won't have the ability to know what frequency the next transmission for that talkgroup was assigned to.
That makes sense. I really have no interest, anyway. There was a time before my career when I wanted to listen. That is how I ended up with the scanner. I have a radio with everything in it, so the scanner is just a novelty, now.

I just happened to dig it out of storage the other day to hear a military operation near my house and was curious if it still worked like it used to. I'll keep it around for listening to the random military stuff around.

I appreciate the info.
 
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