How To Listen To Trunked Police Radio And Why Im Done

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well this kind of sucks project is now

officially dead and not because anything

bad happened because the one thing

happened that I have no control over and

I didn't anticipate at least not that I

thought would happen for a while I'm

sure this is complete coincidence

because I cannot possibly imagine any

government entity acting this fast but

fact remains that here we are less than

a week after I started the project

putting up videos the county switch

systems completely went from an open

analog trunk system and I'll explain

what that means and show you my setup

and everything in a second here they

switched from that which is easily

listenable by virtually everybody for

very low cost to a digital system which

in and of itself is still not a big deal

but they turned on encryption which

means not only is it digital but it is

locked and the public cannot legally

decrypt it even if I had access to a

decryption key which would be illegal I

couldn't put it up on YouTube so

essentially they've completely closed

off their communications to the public

so now I can't do the project anymore

but to answer everyone's questions about

what scanner am I using I'm not using a

scanner I'm using software-defined radio

it's not possible to do what I was doing

with a handheld scanner they just don't

do it you would have to have equipment

from the county to be able to do that if

you're talking about hardware well let

me show you my software setup there is a

little bit of hardware in it but it's

extremely inexpensive and I'll show you

how I was doing it so if anybody you

know hey if you can do it in your area

if you can do it legally and if they're

still using an unencrypted signal you

can do it if you really want to if you

want to just do it for pleasure or if

you want to put it up on YouTube here's

what I was doing and I'll show you why

it doesn't work anymore

so I told you I was on the bike got it

Bluetooth into my helmet and also

recording to the GoPro audio and here is

my setup everything fits in the trunk

here in the back so it's watertight

that's very important it's all based

around a laptop it doesn't really take

anything special this is a low-power AMD

sorry it's hard to open here with one

hand AMD quad-core and I know the thing

was pumping along at 25 percent CPU

utilization in a second but hardware

wise I've got a bluetooth dongle your

laptop may have Bluetooth built in mine

didn't but this is a generic bluetooth

dongle so this is what's connecting

audio to my helmet which I'm running a

Cena 20s so it's receiving the signal so

I can hear it

okay then I'm running a hardwire in the

headphone output jack which goes to the

GoPro USB adapter and one of my GoPros

just sits in here and records this audio

track right so I got the two GoPros

there's one that's on the front of my


those have Wi-Fi turned on and they're

synced using the GoPro remote so this is

controlling I don't I think it controls

up to eight GoPros at once but I'm just

using two here for now so soon as I

press record both of them record you

drag both of those into your editing

software boom you know there's no

syncing required it's super easy now by


windows and I believe OSX and I believe

Linux cannot distribute audio signals so

if you plug in your bluetooth dongle and

set your Bluetooth output like to the

helmet then it's going to turn this one

off and likewise if you plug this one in

this becomes the audio output in order

to get two outputs or more than two you

need to use some special software and I

chose software called voice meter I

think it was like 20 bucks on like that

15 20 bucks really inexpensive but

what's really cool is it allows you to

split or multiply your audio outputs and

it can even go to virtually as a big

moth flying around oh let's hit me head

you can split your output so that way I

can get it's not on that's why it's

blinking if I turned on my helmet I

would see that you can have multiple

outputs so that software just sits there

runs in the background you just minimize

it doesn't do anything other than

splitting these okay really easy now the

software I used past tense to actually

tune in the audio is Yoona trunk er if

you are tuning into an analog trunk

system I'll explain trunk in a second

this is all you need it's one program it

will do everything and pipe the output

that it's real simple and it just sits

there and runs you don't have to do

anything with it

so all I would do is fire up the laptop

fire voice meter just so it's giving me

the two outputs fire unit rocker close

the lid

it goes in you make sure that when you

set it to close the lid it doesn't do

anything other than turn off the display

and the computer just sits there just

battery lasts like three hours you know

it doesn't take that much CPU juice to

run this so you get tons of time more

time than you want to be out recording

more time than a couple cards will take

anyway so let me go inside because I've

got the stuff running on my desktop and

it's a little easier to film and I'll

show you the programs show you how you

can do it under certain circumstances

and why I can't now

so what you see here is called a USB

receiver dongle these are all over the

place on Amazon or Ebay or whatever if

you just research SDR software-defined

radio these are frequently what are used

and I got a couple that are pre modified

by a guy for better use I'll go into the

details of that it's nothing special but

you can look it up the research it


for doing the county radio place and

stuff like that you need two of them and

this is to utilize what's called a

trumped system if you're just listening

to radio all you need is one and this is

an antenna wire there are various

different antenna choices I'm running a

couple of these here basically rabbit

ears they also have some that come up

short little plastic antennas quite a

bit shorter than these I don't recommend

those these consistently get better

reviews they're about the same price

when you buy them so if you want to get

into it at all get one of these is what

I would suggest but anyway you need to

for doing what I was doing so here's a

program called

STR sharp if you're going to get into

software-defined radio this is one of

the very popular free choices and

basically it's a radio but it's

completely in software so that's the

frequency I'm tuned into which happens

to be right in a range used by my county

services my pls Fire EMS and all that

kind of good stuff

now a trumped system is a way that they

can use a very small selection of

available channels or frequencies to

serve hundreds or thousands of physical

radios think about if you had a thousand

radios out there and the county by the

way is all on the same system so you've

got you know everything from utility

workers to Police Fire EMS garbage men I

mean you know lawn guys everybody that

works for the county is on the county

radio system you can't have everyone

using their own channel there aren't

enough slots these are all governed by

the FCC and each frequency has to be

separated by a certain amount and

there's just so much space on the


so they're allotted a certain number of

slots to use in this area and they were

using an 8 channel analog system what

they do is they use one channel and this

is the one right here this is called a

waterfall down here it's kind of like a

spectrum analyzer for the signals coming

in and you see this line is solid if I

turn up the volume here so you can hear

it just sound like garbage right well

it's a digital signal and the analog

system but they were using just a couple

days ago was very much the same thing

you just heard that kind of noise but

computers or the radios themselves could

understand it what this is doing is

monitoring everybody's communications

that are coming in so say a cop a wood

key up this mic immediately that radio

would talk back to this controller the

controller would talk back to the radio

and say ok channel 3 is clear so the

radio would start talking here it lit

off the mic and the next guy would get

this channel here and the next guy the

keys up would get that channel there you

can see all these popping up these are

their allotted channels this is the

control and these are their allotted

channels that way you don't have a pile

up you don't have somebody trying to

talk over somebody else so it just

rotates through what's available that's

all the trunk system is but you need two

receivers because receiver one has to

always be tuned in to the control

channel it just sits there monitoring it

right and the software unit trucker will

then read that signal and act as the

controller and then receiver 2 is free

to go ahead and jump around and as

somebody talks listen to it ok so what

it was analog that analog meaning just a

regular old radio so you know just like

somebody talking over the air you can

hear their voice that's analog and when

that was working you would hear their

voice and that's what was then outputted

- my GoPro and output

put it to bluetooth no problem well now

the system is digital the the trunk

system is working the same way and I

knew something was up because they've

completely shifted where these slots are

so I turned everything on and I had dead

air because I was tuned in to the old

slot which was about here and there was

nothing there anymore so I fired SDR

sharp up so I could see what's going on

and lo and behold I had a completely

different layout so I confirmed tonight

that not only is it digital which just

requires one other program called DSD

plus to decode it and turn it back into

voice that you can understand but it's

encrypted and there is no software out

there that will decrypt the digital

signal and then turn it back into a

voice so I literally hear nothing I can

listen to these I'll let you hear these

digital signals they don't look they

don't sound like much so I'll tune in to

this frequency right here turn up the


that is the actual digital signal but

like I said it's encrypted

just like you encrypt a password so you

need the decryption key to make any

sense of it and that's illegal

so that's it I'm done

well it was fun and like I said if

anybody else wants to do this if it's

legal in your area this is really all

you need it is quite complicated to set

everything up there are a ton of

settings I mean it depends on your

system what operating system you have

what specific hardware you have there

are a lot of steps that I skipped over

just to get this working it's not just

plug this in turn this on and it works

there is a ton of crap there are tons of

YouTube tutorials out there for each

different step there is absolutely

nothing out there that's complete from

beginning to end that works for

everybody there's a lot of work that you

have to do to figure out your specific

situation and as far as figuring out

where in the heck you need to tune in

well one resource is a website called

radio reference comm now here's a big

grain of salt it's not correct it's not

always correct it was basically right

now this is my County it's showing it's

still showing number one the completely

wrong system it's showing the analog

frequencies that it used to use

obviously that's wrong however even when

it was analog these numbers were

incorrect it's listing this particular

channel here as the control channel that

digital one or the the control channel

that you need to tune into and this is

the alternate those were incorrect so

what you need to do is use this website

radio reference com to go to your areas

listings and then use SDR sharp just go

to one of these on STR sharp and

visually look and see what's going on

don't take these whatever it's showing

as gospel they may be correct but they

may not be so just use this as a

guideline tune into this general area

look for yourself to find your specific

frequencies that's it well it's been fun

guys I will probably have some stuff up

on this channel just about ham radio as

I like I say I'm not doing reviews or

anything like that but who knows what

will happen in the future

I just can't guarantee any kind of

regular schedule at least at this point

that's it