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Old 05-17-2017, 11:16 AM
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Default Uniden scanners and encryption

Yes the new ATT&T LTE cellular system being built out for Public Safety and Encryption is killing the scanner hobby and the desire to buy scanners at this point. There is no way of gaining speed again with sells of these radios. This is why you see Amazon and other retailers dropping their prices. When product does not sale then prices have to drop. So the direction of this hobby is not looking good. DMR and NXDN is really not going to keep this hobby together and turn this the sale of these radios in the right direction again.

Uniden made that big push a couple of years ago and had wind in their sails with the BCD436HP and the BCD536HP models and it took somewhat of a flop with the hardware related issues from the beginning and the siren app that is pretty much a waste of time and has never really worked that great. Plus Uniden has run reports off of RR.com and they see the encryption trend and the drop of sales. This is no mystery to them.

Honestly in my opinion the scanner market will not recover at this point. There is too much encryption being implemented at a high alarming rate nationwide. I have already heard and seen a slight amount of the fire service starting to encrypt and this is a horrible sign of the times.

There will never be a radio that will be-able to tune in LTE and Encryption for Public Safety. It's a lost cause at this point. Technology is not our friend in this community anymore

Last edited by allend; 05-17-2017 at 11:24 AM..
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:50 AM
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I disagree. Many public safety agencies have discovered that encryption and interoperability don't play well together, and have backed away from encrypting everything. Washington, DC is a good example--encryption caused major problems during the response to a Metro fire and there was a fatality as a result. After that, the DC fire department quit encrypting everything and now only encrypts certain tactical channels.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:03 PM
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I disagree. Many public safety agencies have discovered that encryption and interoperability don't play well together, and have backed away from encrypting everything. Washington, DC is a good example--encryption caused major problems during the response to a Metro fire and there was a fatality as a result. After that, the DC fire department quit encrypting everything and now only encrypts certain tactical channels.
Obviously you are missing the point. We are not talking about encrypting everything. We are discussing public safety as a whole. More and more departments like Law Enforcement nationwide are encrypting at alarming rates. There are a slight amount of fire departments rolling around in the idea and are starting to encrypt "some" of their comms.

This will impact the sales of scanners in general as a whole. People are not going to spend 400-600 bucks and above to receive channels that are not stimulating. DMR and NXDN is not going to cut the mustard long term.
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Old 05-17-2017, 4:41 PM
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Obviously you are missing the point. We are not talking about encrypting everything. We are discussing public safety as a whole.
Obviously, I'm NOT missing the point. I cited an example of public safety agencies that learned the hard way that too much encryption is a bad thing, and went back to mostly unencrypted comms as a result. Reality eventually trumps paranoia, especially when multi-million-dollar lawsuits are involved.
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Old 05-17-2017, 6:47 PM
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Obviously, I'm NOT missing the point. I cited an example of public safety agencies that learned the hard way that too much encryption is a bad thing, and went back to mostly unencrypted comms as a result. Reality eventually trumps paranoia, especially when multi-million-dollar lawsuits are involved.
You have 1 agency Washington DC Fire that turn back the clock a little bit. The rest of the country is moving forward no matter if there are multi million dollar lawsuits. These lawsuits will not hold up in court when it comes to officer safety. Do I agree with it, NOT. But this is the reality and this what these agencies are saying nationwide when they get sold the bill of goods when they encryption comes standard with new radios.

The hobby of this industry is dying as we all speak and there is nothing we can stand a leg on at this point. These cities and counties are going to move forward with encryption and LTE technology no matter if we like it or not. Sorry to spring the bad news but we all knew it was coming 5 to 10 yrs ago and it here. More and more of these older TRS are coming to their shelve life and the switch is being flipped when new systems are installed. It keeps bad people and the media out so they don't have to deal with bad behavior.

Scanner manufacturers have nothing up their sleeve when it comes to this technology. Yeah they can offer DMR and NXDN but this is not going to gather new listeners down the road. People want stimulation law enforcement and fire channels. This is what scanners were made for so people can know what is going on in their local towns. People on a whole do not buy 600 dollar scanner radios to listen to small business and taxi cab and concrete mixer drivers.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:33 PM
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You have 1 agency Washington DC Fire that turn back the clock a little bit. The rest of the country is moving forward no matter if there are multi million dollar lawsuits. These lawsuits will not hold up in court when it comes to officer safety.
There was in fact a settlement paid to the family of the victim that died. There's no way you can argue encryption enhanced officer safety in a situation where it prevented responders from communicating with each other in an emergency situation. It was an obvious problem, and the leaders in DC were smart enough to realize it and made the decision to turn it off except for certain SWAT/tactical situations.
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Old 05-18-2017, 2:12 PM
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I think you should be the messenger to the rest of the agencies nationwide that are using encryption and present them with the lawsuit paid out to the family in D.C. and turn back the clock since you are so passionate about moving to secured comms except for SWAT/tactical situations
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Old 05-18-2017, 8:32 PM
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Not much encryption supported here. And certainly not wanting the risk of something bad because of
Many conventional vhf pd and fd systems are still in operation too
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Old 05-18-2017, 8:53 PM
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Plenty of stuff here not far from the National Capital Region (just outside DC) that is not encrypted. In fact, we just had a state agency "undo" the encryption they put in place when they switched over to the statewide system.

Some stuff does need to be encrypted... I hear too many things on the radio that I should not in these days of identify theft, Other stuff should be encrypted because of the operational sensitivity. However, certainly not everything should be encrypted... on the other hand, we have little to no control over it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by allend View Post
Yes the new ATT&T LTE cellular system being built out for Public Safety and Encryption is killing the scanner hobby and the desire to buy scanners at this point. There is no way of gaining speed again with sells of these radios. This is why you see Amazon and other retailers dropping their prices. When product does not sale then prices have to drop. So the direction of this hobby is not looking good. DMR and NXDN is really not going to keep this hobby together and turn this the sale of these radios in the right direction again.

I don't think you are fully understanding what the FirstNet system will be.

1. It hasn't been built, so it isn't "killing" anything yet.
2. It's intended primarily for data communications. While there is talk of PTT over LTE, FirstNet isn't intended to necessarily replace two way radios. PTT over LTE is still a ways off.
3. FirstNet is intended for public safety users. There -may- be some use by "critical infrastructure" users, but that isn't a done deal yet. There are still a lot of non-public safety users of two way radio systems.
4. FirstNet will not be free, so there is no guarantee that any agency will start using it for voice communications "when" it becomes available. Handsets will not be free either, so the cost of those will need to be weighed against the cost of a two way radio -if- voice over FirstNet becomes available.

Officers are already using cell phones for sensitive traffic. This is nothing new.

Most smaller agencies will stick with their existing radio systems for many years to come. There's too much money invested and they make a lot of sense for many agencies. Since PTT over LTE isn't here yet, and there are still some obstacles, agencies are still investing heavily in two way radio systems. I have not heard of any agencies or read of any agencies in the trade magazines that are ready to dump their radios. In fact, there are still large P25 systems being built out.

Not everyone has or will go encrypted. Analog is still very popular in many parts of the country. The CalFire systems are all VHF analog, you can easily listen in with a scanner from the 1980's if you wanted to. No plans for them to go P25 and no plans to go encrypted. In my county, -every- public safety agency is VHF analog. None of the agencies have the budgets to go to P25 or anything else. Still a lot of investment going on here building out the existing VHF analog systems, and no plans to change.

Non-public safety users will not qualify for FirstNet. The are still going to be using the same gear for decades to come.



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Uniden made that big push a couple of years ago and had wind in their sails with the BCD436HP and the BCD536HP models and it took somewhat of a flop with the hardware related issues from the beginning and the siren app that is pretty much a waste of time and has never really worked that great. Plus Uniden has run reports off of RR.com and they see the encryption trend and the drop of sales. This is no mystery to them.
You may very well be on to something there. Maybe. You could just be frustrated with local agencies switching to systems that you cannot listen in on. I suspect Uniden/Whistler will be around for a while. Like I said above, FirstNet is primarily data and not everyone is going to be using it.
Also, hobbyists tend to impulse buy. When a new radio comes out people with disposable income run out and buy them without waiting for reviews. The desire to be "first" or get the latest toy is what drives sales. The rest wait, save up cash, look at reviews and buy a bit slower. But after a while sales start to drop off. The people that want them buy them. It's not a disposable commodity where they need to be replaced every few months. Uniden knows this. They try to keep money flowing in by lowering the prices and getting more buyers. Maybe people waiting for the prices to drop, who knows.

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Honestly in my opinion the scanner market will not recover at this point. There is too much encryption being implemented at a high alarming rate nationwide. I have already heard and seen a slight amount of the fire service starting to encrypt and this is a horrible sign of the times.
Well, opinion. Yes. A lot of agencies are going to encrypted for many different reasons. I don't think hobbyists should be patting themselves on the back for causing the migration to encryption. Hobby/casual listeners are not what encryption is about.
It's important to realize that technology marches on and doesn't wait for hobbyists to catch up. Hobby users tend to lag behind in technology. P16 trunked system were out for quite some time before capable scanners showed up on the market. Many were talking the same gloom and doom that I see on this website. Took a while, but the hobby industry caught up. Then it was P25, gloom and doom all over again. P25 phase 2, gloom and doom again, but the industry caught up.
True, you probably are not ever going to be able to eavesdrop on FirstNet systems, at least not with consumer gear. But since it's for data use, what would you expect to find on there anyway? I'm a firm believer that some things need to remain private. Patient info, financial info, personal identity information, all good reasons for a secure data system for public safety.

No public safety agency that knows what it is doing is going to sink all their communications into a single system, especially one managed and maintained by a consumer cellular company. I'm 100% sure some agencies will. I remember agencies jumping into NexTel for their radio needs. That didn't last too long.
But still, P25, encryption, yeah, there's going to be more and more stuff you cannot listen to. That's just technology. Encryption/scrambling is nothing new, it's been around in one way, shape or form for a very long time. It's just becoming more popular. This isn't the fault of the scanner manufacturers, they have no control over it. It's caused by a change in attitudes. Encryption isn't something that should be used in every case, but there are plenty of cases where it should be.


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There will never be a radio that will be-able to tune in LTE and Encryption for Public Safety. It's a lost cause at this point. Technology is not our friend in this community anymore
Of course there won't. That's why there are laws against decrypting traffic that is not intended for your use. Thats also a reason why encryption technology keeps advancing, and encryption keys are frequently changed by agencies that understand the risks. If consumer radios could decrypt traffic, agencies would just go to a different encryption scheme, or change their keys more frequently.
As for LTE, yes, encryption is part of it, always will be. Its not intended for public consumption. If you think it is, then think about your own cellular phone use, and how you would feel if everyone within a few miles could easily listen in on all your phone calls, all your web surfing, read all your e-mails, read all your text messages and rummage through the personal photos on your phone.
Expecting public safety agencies to open up all their internal and private communications to hobby listeners is like expecting your neighbors to let you break into their house whenever you want and rummage through all their belongings, just because you might find something interesting.

Technology changes and hobby users get left behind. That's always been the case. Always will be.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:15 PM
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Just for kicks I searched on "End of the hobby" using the search tool above. 7,520 hits. First hit I looked at was from 2004.

So the "end of the hobby" thing has been going on for 13 years now. Still hasn't ended.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:47 PM
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The same "gloom and doom" scenario has been out there since the 70's. The implementation of the UHF-T bands, 800 Mhz., Trunking systems, UHF Trunking, VHF Trunking, P25.....and so on and so on...somehow the scanner manufacturers catch up when the demand is out there. I never thought I'd see the day when $500 scanners were going to be purchased...well I was surprised when I bought 1...no 2....no 3...um.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:51 PM
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I attended an informational meeting about FirstNet a few years back. Here at least it will be pretty much just data. IN didn't spend all the money they did to upgrade the statewide TSYS only to see it superseded. And by taking control i.e. getting a plan in place before the deadline, where the Feds will come in and formulate the plan for us, IN was able to keep it minimalist and keep agencies here from becoming dependent on what we now know will be AT&T for PS communications.

There is a little encryption in my area, very little compared to the big picture. The vast majority of it is wide open. And people seem cognizant of the need to be aware that there are scanners around; I frequently hear officers asking each other if they're available for a "signal 6," or call on the cellular, or asking each other if they got a text message on their MDT. I've done it myself, the cellular thing anyway, when there was something I needed to communicate that didn't belong in the public domain. And I think that so long as this awareness persists, there will be only limited, if any, expansion of encryption here. I know others aren't as lucky as me...but I am expecting my scanners and my hobby with them to last for several years to come.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allend View Post
Yes the new ATT&T LTE cellular system being built out for Public Safety and Encryption is killing the scanner hobby and the desire to buy scanners at this point. There is no way of gaining speed again with sells of these radios. This is why you see Amazon and other retailers dropping their prices. When product does not sale then prices have to drop. So the direction of this hobby is not looking good. DMR and NXDN is really not going to keep this hobby together and turn this the sale of these radios in the right direction again.

Uniden made that big push a couple of years ago and had wind in their sails with the BCD436HP and the BCD536HP models and it took somewhat of a flop with the hardware related issues from the beginning and the siren app that is pretty much a waste of time and has never really worked that great. Plus Uniden has run reports off of RR.com and they see the encryption trend and the drop of sales. This is no mystery to them.

Honestly in my opinion the scanner market will not recover at this point. There is too much encryption being implemented at a high alarming rate nationwide. I have already heard and seen a slight amount of the fire service starting to encrypt and this is a horrible sign of the times.

There will never be a radio that will be-able to tune in LTE and Encryption for Public Safety. It's a lost cause at this point. Technology is not our friend in this community anymore
Ok where do i start, enc is not going to slow uniden down, lte is not going to be as popular as you think! If you think about why public safety use ht radios and vhf and uhf instead of just using smartphones or any cell tower lte or otherwise is one word...INTEROPERABILITY Encryption isnt that popular for the same reason, and the fact cities would pay significantly more for enc capability, because you have to pay for license fees for each radio. And the scanner market is more active now than ever before i do believe. More online retailers are carrying them and the pricing wars are why they go up and down.
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Old 05-19-2017, 1:51 AM
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2. It's intended primarily for data communications. While there is talk of PTT over LTE, FirstNet isn't intended to necessarily replace two way radios. PTT over LTE is still a ways off.

While FirstNet was not originally intended to replace PTT, look out. Motorola bought Kodiak for a specific reason, to be able to develop their PTT product specifically for Firstnet. Who is AT&T's partner for Firstnet for its software and applications? Yep, Motorola.

And insofar as implementation, AT&T will offer the QOS and Priority interruption, a big part of the Firstnet system, to agencies as soon as their Governor signs on to the system, it could be as early as the end of the year that agencies can start using it. They will migrate from the AT&T LTE system to the Firstnet LTE system as it becomes available.

One wonders why we could not have done that in the first place, but I digress.
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Old 05-19-2017, 4:53 AM
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first responders and law enforcement agencies are going to do what they want, irregardless of what makes sense when it comes to encryption. there are some locals that are very anti scanner. ask me how I know. people streaming this stuff isn't helping the cause either, but that subject has been beaten to death already....
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Old 05-19-2017, 6:01 AM
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INTEROP / mutual aid comms must be available on split second demand and happen without fail for all law enforcement / public safety!
Comm system Compatibility will factor into interoperability
The ball is dropped every time there is an issue with interop. Where non-compatible / non-matching types of communication systems were used between the various PD's, FD's, agencies involved!

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Old 05-19-2017, 7:50 AM
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I'm really getting sick and tired of the baseless "opinion" only type postings. No facts...just complete BS. Doomsday garbage without merit. Like they actually WANT the scanner industry to stop producing scanners.

Is that it? You actually want Uniden and Whistler to throw in the towel? You're actually making the argument that they should just quit?

What is the point of such a thread like this? Talk about self-defeating! Makes absolutely no sense.

Maybe you are ready to give up scanning, but the rest of us are still very much interested in having scanning radios...and WANT the scanner manufacturers to stay in business. You can cry all you want about encryption and FirstNet and WAVE Relay Manet, but with so much still out there to hear, suggesting they stop making scanners is self-defeating. Makes no sense!

Phil

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Old 05-19-2017, 10:09 AM
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While FirstNet was not originally intended to replace PTT, look out. Motorola bought Kodiak for a specific reason, to be able to develop their PTT product specifically for Firstnet. Who is AT&T's partner for Firstnet for its software and applications? Yep, Motorola.

And insofar as implementation, AT&T will offer the QOS and Priority interruption, a big part of the Firstnet system, to agencies as soon as their Governor signs on to the system, it could be as early as the end of the year that agencies can start using it. They will migrate from the AT&T LTE system to the Firstnet LTE system as it becomes available.

One wonders why we could not have done that in the first place, but I digress.
Yeah, Kenwood bought a chunk of Sonim for the same reason. They had a few of the handsets at IWCE.

PTT over LTE is coming, we know that, but it's not necessarily intended as a replacement for all two way radio systems. No one should be throwing away their scanner or giving up on the hobby just because of FirstNet.
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:18 AM
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The same "gloom and doom" scenario has been out there since the 70's. The implementation of the UHF-T bands, 800 Mhz., Trunking systems, UHF Trunking, VHF Trunking, P25.....and so on and so on...somehow the scanner manufacturers catch up when the demand is out there. I never thought I'd see the day when $500 scanners were going to be purchased...well I was surprised when I bought 1...no 2....no 3...um.

Gloom and Doom yes has been there since the 70's which I agree but scanner manufacturers can't make scanners to de-crypt encrypted comms. It's impossible and its a federal law and a federal crime.

Do I agree with absolutely NO but its the way it is. Yeah trunking came out and the scanner makers figured it out. Yes EDACS came out with trunking and scanner makers figured it out. And so on.

But when it comes to finding a way thru encryption its the end of the road. Not sure why people are missing the point. Departments go this route to keep scanner listeners out. It's crappy because we are not the problem. It's illegal immigration with bad hombres doing bad crimes.

Encryption of public safety has pretty much been around for roughly 15 to 20 years give or take. Have scanner manufacturers figured it out or made a scanner to de-crypt????????????????????????

NOPE and never will. So my point being is that this is the road block and will always be
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