Added a scanner to the mix, and I think it paid for itself on my first drive. (1 Viewer)

wirelessandy

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something tells me it's not that straightforward or dorks like us would have done so a LONG time ago.

I'd be happy if I can somehow find the room for a Uniden SDS 100 or 200. Darn cramped car cabins!
 

DrHow

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I got my SDS100 and GPS puck and it works great....As I roadtrip it auto locates agencies as I drive...(Police / HWY Patrol) - Love it - small and very easy to hookup quickly.
Thanks for the validation! Makes a big difference pushing me over the edge to buy the package.
 

Got Jeep

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" OSP put their GPS locators for their cars on an open data channel, if you had a computer running it would show you where they all were. "
"holy grail countermeasure. "

- I'm sure all that kind of info is Encrypted now. You can put the boners away. :awesome:
Obviously still worth looking into though. One can dream.
 

dchemist

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I'm sure all that kind of info is Encrypted now. You can put the boners away. :awesome:
Much like the real one, it was let down in disappointment. Oh well, dream we shall.
 

Deacon

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@wirelessandy if you're talking about simply adding GPS-based location awareness to a scanner, thus allowing it to automatically switch what frequencies/systems it’s scanning based on where you happen to be in the moment, that’s been available for a long time. My old BCD396XT and even more ancient BCT15X both have it. It’s a somewhat clumsy external add-on, but it works well enough. I’m looking forward to getting a BCD436HP and having @SquirrelMaster do a custom internal GPS mod for it. In the meantime I have this:

 

astronuts

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If I remember correctly the data was on the input side, and you had to be within a close enough distance to receive it on simplex. So, depending on your antenna setup 10-20 miles?! It wasn't passed through on the repeater. I do not know if this is still the case since they have gone to the MARCS IP based system.
 

robbyb413

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Yep! SDS100 scanner, Uniden BC-GPSK gives you the GPS receiver, and Uniden BC-UTGC adapts the GPS to the scanner AND powers it.
Thanks for the validation! Makes a big difference pushing me over the edge to buy the package.
The BCD436HP connects to GPS and adapts it's scanning based on location as you drive, too. Same receiver as the SDS100 if you want to go the Uniden brand plug and play route. I'm hardwiring it into my truck this weekend. It doesn't seem that useful to me day to day, but I'm going to use that on longer trips because manually inputting the zip codes would be a hassle.

Lots of options outside of that GPS unit though it you look around.

My Garmin GPSMAP 62s for hiking has a USB port that can output NMEA data. I ordered a USB cable that terminates with the Uniden's odd little 4-pin connector on one and, and I'll stick a mini USB adapter on the other end then connect the two devices. I've seen videos of the Uniden getting input from other hand held GPS units, so I want to see if I can get them to talk to eachother. I'm going to take a peek at the device manuals before attempting this, but if all goes well that would give me a fully portable and battery powered option.
 

rvacs

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Not trying to downplay the BCD436HP - cause its great.
But spend the extra $$ if you can on the SDS100 which does GREAT with Simulcast P25 systems. Much better...Major cities like Austin / Texas / Dallas area...etc...now on P25 simulcast and reception is much better on a SDS100.
 

wirelessandy

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Cursing the fact that I have no room in my car for yet another gizmo.

Decades ago I took a Radio Shack (rebranded Uniden, probably) scanner and did a DIY remote head display control. I'm betting the SDS200 is too dense for that.
 

robbyb413

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Not trying to downplay the BCD436HP - cause its great.
But spend the extra $$ if you can on the SDS100 which does GREAT with Simulcast P25 systems. Much better...Major cities like Austin / Texas / Dallas area...etc...now on P25 simulcast and reception is much better on a SDS100.
The thread in this very forum asking if upgrading from the 436 to the 100 is worth it would seem to disagree with your assessment of it being worth it to upgrade to the 100. I wonder if adding this input to that thread might be a good move to keep that discussion going?
 

astronuts

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The thread in this very forum asking if upgrading from the 436 to the 100 is worth it would seem to disagree with your assessment of it being worth it to upgrade to the 100. I wonder if adding this input to that thread might be a good move to keep that discussion going?
I can't comment on the other scanners they are referring to, but I did make the transition from a Whistler WS 1080 that worked fine on our county's legacy P25 simulcast system. Once they transitioned to P25 Phase I IP simulcast it became all but useless. The ONLY scanner capable of handling simulcast distortion is the SDS100 and SDS200. Unication Pager is an option but is more difficult to program. There seems to be an issue with the control channel for most scanners when trying to decode while receiving the simulcast distortion. Once it did pick up activity and locked on to the conversation it was ok, but you missed 90% up to that point. I have an APX 7000 for work on the same system, and I can tell you the SDS100 sounds just as good.
 

sdrawkcaB

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That is like... a holy grail countermeasure. Highly interested in this info
GPS for providing region info to scanner database so it knows what to scan for? That makes sense.

But I want to know about this broadcast location info. Some agencies also xmit GPS location? Would be a great car-puter project.
" OSP put their GPS locators for their cars on an open data channel, if you had a computer running it would show you where they all were. "
"holy grail countermeasure. "
I did some quick research and it looks like there is a device called the Trimble Placer GPS module. It's a GPS receiver with serial communication, and can be linked to a radio (HAM or CB) for transmitting information over the air. I don't know if it contains the modem itself or still requires a separate modem, but apparently this is something LEOs have used for 20+ years for this very purpose. This would be something interesting to continue to look into. I suspect that most metropolitan police wouldn't be needing them now a days -- law enforcement connect to consumer cellular towers getting priority for association to the tower due to the flag they send in connection negotiation priorities. There is the possibility that rural sheriffs, state police, and highway patrol still use and employ these devices as they are the most likely to travel through areas where cellular coverage is poor to non existent. I would bet that they do still hold some value and are likely still used in such situations.
 
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Squeamish

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Wow, thank you all for the useful info and perspectives!! Forgive me for stating the obvious but in a nutshell my goal would be to have a device that warns reliably of practically all LEOs from all departments before it's too late. This is exactly what the BluEye does in Europe but I recall a logic as to why US frequencies and uses are too diverse for them to roll out a BluEye for the US. Logically those same reasons should apply to your amateur setups as well and make them only partially effective...unless there's more to the story?

The scanner link robbyb413 posted gave wattage and detectable distance for Close Call. 100 feet for the lowest-powered unit which is very insufficient but if all rural LEOs were carrying base stations then it would be plenty sufficient. Any idea where they fall in the mix? Does the individual LEO in close proximity need to personally transmit something or do all LEO radios auto-transmit something every time they receive a transmission from elsewhere? If the former, there can't be enough warning for those of us traveling at rural highway speeds.
 

dchemist

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Wow, thank you all for the useful info and perspectives!! Forgive me for stating the obvious but in a nutshell my goal would be to have a device that warns reliably of practically all LEOs from all departments before it's too late. This is exactly what the BluEye does in Europe but I recall a logic as to why US frequencies and uses are too diverse for them to roll out a BluEye for the US. Logically those same reasons should apply to your amateur setups as well and make them only partially effective...unless there's more to the story?

The scanner link robbyb413 posted gave wattage and detectable distance for Close Call. 100 feet for the lowest-powered unit which is very insufficient but if all rural LEOs were carrying base stations then it would be plenty sufficient. Any idea where they fall in the mix? Does the individual LEO in close proximity need to personally transmit something or do all LEO radios auto-transmit something every time they receive a transmission from elsewhere? If the former, there can't be enough warning for those of us traveling at rural highway speeds.
Close call feature isn't a reliable CM. You'll only get an alert when an LEO keys up his mic.
 

robbyb413

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This morning, I encountered a MSP marked vehicle and I think my observations illustrates how Close Call could be viewed as something which adds a useful layer of awareness to an existing mixe of countermeasures.

The blue circle on this map indicates where the trooper was hidden out of sight. The red X's indicate where CC went off. Approach was from the highway so that X was approximately the first contact, which I dismissed because I wasn't speeding but was listening to something else, and then X to the north on Crosby was second contact approximately where the trooper keyed again:

122776


I hit "avoid" at the point because it was a nuisance and I didn't need the data because I wasn't speeding, however had I thought about it I would have just dismissed it and checked to see if it came back again to try to learn more about the range of CC.

Here's a shot of the area where the cruiser was sitting, to illustrate how tucked in it was, looking back towards where CC went off for the first time:

122777


And here's looking up towards where it went off for the second time from where the trooper had stashed them self, as best I can do because Street View isn't letting me look from where they actually sat:

122778


And the reverse, towards the cruiser from approximately where CC went off the second time:

122779


The trooper wasn't running CO and had not targeted a driver, so there was no alert from my V1.
The trooper wasn't marked on a crowsourced alert.
The trooper was hidden, very difficult to see.

It's clear I wasn't seeing a speed trap nor was I even in a lane likely being observed by the Trooper today, but this road does have speed traps on it on a regular basis so it makes for a useful case study. Looking at the road and range of the CC alert, if there were a LEO stationed there looking for a customer and said LEO keyed his mic, CC would provide sufficient alert distance to enable a driver to make a decision about slowing down as a precautionary measure.

That chance of picking up the transmission adds a layer to the overall strategy that is, at least in my book, preferable to no chance at all. YMMV of course. :)
 

Squeamish

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Thanks for the info. I can't justify the cost and setup of a scanner if Close Call only alerts a small fraction of the time...and at short distance when my need is for primarily long-distance rural stretches.

Sorry for the noob question but is there a simple answer to whether the other setups in this thread (SDS100 + GPS + adapter) are simply providing Close Call for departments all over the region, or is there another feature (GPS-related?) that senses the close transmission/reception?

Sounds like it's not the holy grail solution that would be too good to be true but was hoping to get some closure so I can be content that I'm doing fairly well with my R7 + Waze. A jammer is out of budget for the foreseeable future but possibly a long-term objective. We'll see. Right now I'm looking to save up for a Di Blasi folding motor scooter so I can drive to other cities, pull the scooter out of my backseat, and enjoy scooting around fun neighborhoods when the weather's nice without having to pack everything onto a motorcycle and hope for dry weather. Fun in the open air without the logistical hassle of using the motorcycle for transport!
 

astronuts

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Close Call will not work for you in this manner. I wouldn't even consider it a remote possibility. I just checked Radio Reference and Massachusetts uses a statewide system, with other agencies and users. More so in Ohio, the statewide MARCS is massive. Close Call tells you there is something transmitting near you; this could be a repeater control channel, a mobile/portable in the area checking in, or someone actively talking. The radios do occasionally check in to register on the talkgroup that it is there listening. So, the Close Call functionality even on the state's system could be anyone and is a waste of time. However, using the scanner to monitor specific talkgroups and agencies could be very beneficial to the user assuming both you know the area, and the lingo/terminology they are using to help in identifying their location in relation to yours.
 

sdrawkcaB

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Maybe Close Call wouldn't be able to be used in that manner, but unencrypted data transmissions made with a data modem sending over the air waves could be.
 

robbyb413

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Thanks for the info. I can't justify the cost and setup of a scanner if Close Call only alerts a small fraction of the time...and at short distance when my need is for primarily long-distance rural stretches.
I'm still learning as I go, but I've been reading the manual, experimenting with my scanner, and reading threads on other forums so I can give you some thoughts here.

First off - yes, lots of things have to fall into place for it to alert so it is only a fraction of the time. I wouldn't think of relying on CC as something magical that's going to be the perfect countermeasure. Like any countermeasure, it's about having a layered strategy to create redundancy. It CC hits at the right time and helps, great, but it can't be your only method. The reality is someone has to key their mic when the scanner is looking for close signals (which is not all the time) and it the signal must also be a 15-18db spike on the channel. So we're not talking foolproof here by any means. But, like any tool, if you understand how to use it you can get some value from it.

If you turn it on out of the box, it's going to go off all the time - for radio stations, people chattering away on CBs, HAM, and GMRS, so on and so forth. However you quiet it down and increase effectiveness by only monitoring certain frequencies. The "Broadcast Screen" setting also comes into play here which tells the scanner to avoid lots of activity that wouldn't be related to enforcement. So if you're only looking for certain types of communication you can target the frequencies and types of signal to a degree. This would in turn enhance the effectiveness as a countermeasure.

If you turn it on with stock antenna, it's going to be able to receive as well as a scanner with a stock antenna. The manual notes that changing the antenna will increase effectiveness. If someone was looking slightly for longer alert distances they could look into longer antennas tunes for that frequency, based on the manual. I have not experimented much with this, I never ran the scanner with the stock rubber ducky antenna. My first power-on was with a Comet SMA-24. It's clearly giving me plenty of distance so not sure I'll bother with it much. Still according to the manual this enhances the effectiveness of the system, thus something to consider in terms of enhancing it's value as a countermeasure.

It also has 3 modes - CC Only, CC Priority, and CC Do Not Disturb. Obviously your results are going to be different between those modes. If you are listening to chatter, and you have CC DND set, the manual says you're not getting an alert because in that mode it only alerts when it doesn't have any other signals. On the flip side, for maximum effectiveness at detecting close calls one might want to run it in CC Only, as then it's constantly looking for close signals, but then again that has risks because that means you're not hearing anything except for when CC is triggered. This might not be a net win if you're missing important information from dispatch or officers who are not close enough to achieve the right jump in signal strength needed to trigger CC. So the compromise is CC Priority where it checks for close signals every 2 seconds while doing normal scans, even when listening to other chatter, and alerts any time it has a hit. This setting requires some serious thought to be able to determine which setting makes it best, for you, as a countermeasure.

There are more settings here that you can take a look at to see how it can be tuned to look for whatever it is you're looking to find, and how to increase it's effectiveness as a countermeasure:

So lots of options to make it more effective as a tool. Maybe not what you're after in the end, but still there are options for those that are interested :thumbsup:

Sorry for the noob question but is there a simple answer to whether the other setups in this thread (SDS100 + GPS + adapter) are simply providing Close Call for departments all over the region, or is there another feature (GPS-related?) that senses the close transmission/reception?
Based on the manual, it does not appear that your favorites list or scanning database have an impact on close call alerting in the Uniden scanners (BCDX36HP, SDSX00, or others). GPS is not a factor in close call either. It appears it will alert on anything that meets the requirements to trigger. I could be wrong though. Again I'm still playing with it and reading the manual. Based on the best of my knowledge right now, the best you could do as I said is set the scanner and close call to ignore certain frequencies as I mentioned above. Perhaps someone else knows for sure though.

Here are some good resources if you want to dig into it and look for yourself though:

Also, you could call Uniden and ask. They pick up the phone when you call support. :thumbup:
 

astronuts

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I'm still learning as I go, but I've been reading the manual, experimenting with my scanner, and reading threads on other forums so I can give you some thoughts here.

First off - yes, lots of things have to fall into place for it to alert so it is only a fraction of the time. I wouldn't think of relying on CC as something magical that's going to be the perfect countermeasure. Like any countermeasure, it's about having a layered strategy to create redundancy. It CC hits at the right time and helps, great, but it can't be your only method. The reality is someone has to key their mic when the scanner is looking for close signals (which is not all the time) and it the signal must also be a 15-18db spike on the channel. So we're not talking foolproof here by any means. But, like any tool, if you understand how to use it you can get some value from it.

If you turn it on out of the box, it's going to go off all the time - for radio stations, people chattering away on CBs, HAM, and GMRS, so on and so forth. However you quiet it down and increase effectiveness by only monitoring certain frequencies. The "Broadcast Screen" setting also comes into play here which tells the scanner to avoid lots of activity that wouldn't be related to enforcement. So if you're only looking for certain types of communication you can target the frequencies and types of signal to a degree. This would in turn enhance the effectiveness as a countermeasure.

If you turn it on with stock antenna, it's going to be able to receive as well as a scanner with a stock antenna. The manual notes that changing the antenna will increase effectiveness. If someone was looking slightly for longer alert distances they could look into longer antennas tunes for that frequency, based on the manual. I have not experimented much with this, I never ran the scanner with the stock rubber ducky antenna. My first power-on was with a Comet SMA-24. It's clearly giving me plenty of distance so not sure I'll bother with it much. Still according to the manual this enhances the effectiveness of the system, thus something to consider in terms of enhancing it's value as a countermeasure.

It also has 3 modes - CC Only, CC Priority, and CC Do Not Disturb. Obviously your results are going to be different between those modes. If you are listening to chatter, and you have CC DND set, the manual says you're not getting an alert because in that mode it only alerts when it doesn't have any other signals. On the flip side, for maximum effectiveness at detecting close calls one might want to run it in CC Only, as then it's constantly looking for close signals, but then again that has risks because that means you're not hearing anything except for when CC is triggered. This might not be a net win if you're missing important information from dispatch or officers who are not close enough to achieve the right jump in signal strength needed to trigger CC. So the compromise is CC Priority where it checks for close signals every 2 seconds while doing normal scans, even when listening to other chatter, and alerts any time it has a hit. This setting requires some serious thought to be able to determine which setting makes it best, for you, as a countermeasure.

There are more settings here that you can take a look at to see how it can be tuned to look for whatever it is you're looking to find, and how to increase it's effectiveness as a countermeasure:

So lots of options to make it more effective as a tool. Maybe not what you're after in the end, but still there are options for those that are interested :thumbsup:



Based on the manual, it does not appear that your favorites list or scanning database have an impact on close call alerting in the Uniden scanners (BCDX36HP, SDSX00, or others). GPS is not a factor in close call either. It appears it will alert on anything that meets the requirements to trigger. I could be wrong though. Again I'm still playing with it and reading the manual. Based on the best of my knowledge right now, the best you could do as I said is set the scanner and close call to ignore certain frequencies as I mentioned above. Perhaps someone else knows for sure though.

Here are some good resources if you want to dig into it and look for yourself though:

Also, you could call Uniden and ask. They pick up the phone when you call support. :thumbup:
This method will be about as effective as following a Honda or Acura while using a $50 Cobra radar detector. Not to mention the fact of having to look at your scanner and taking your eyes off the road. How many different users of this LMR system are there? Many are non LE. What about locals? What are they using? Same system or their own? Pretty soon your scanner needs to scan everything from DC to daylight.
 

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