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Thread: iDEN Dispatch Radio Scanner?

  1. #1
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    iDEN Dispatch Radio Scanner?

    Hi,

    Is there a new scanner out there that can scan iDEN dispatch radio?
    On the other hand, I heard from the two-way radio community that some people were able to do it by modifying old Motorola radios. Is this possible?

    Hope I can modify my Pro-Scanner to do this to track ambulances, so that I can't get run over... Any ideas?

    -- NM

  2. #2
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    Not really, because iDEN is inherently designed to be secure. And because it's a proprietary standard, it's difficult for people or companies to create products which can track it. It's not like standard LTR or EDACS or P25, furthermore, the implementation of cellular-style coverage areas means that as soon as the user roams off into another cell, it's no longer able to be monitored (unless you follow the user).

    The trick of using commercial radios programmed onto system frequencies (not a good practice if you are not authorized on the system, by the way) only works with normal trunked radio systems, where transmissions are rebroadcast either on one powerful repeater or simultaneously on a linked network of repeaters.

    There are diagnostic tools which can test iDEN networks, but they do not open up voice channels for listening, only to determine radio traffic in a given area as well as relative signal strength, and other things that would be useful if you were implementing an iDEN network to assure quality of service.

    Finally, telephone interconnect and dispatch voice data traffic runs on the same system, so it would be hard to monitor ONLY your public safety system without raising privacy concerns - assuming you can.

    So the point is, no, no commercial scanner products have been released, and it is highly doubtful that a commercial product would be released to monitor such traffic. Motorola probably won't release the iDEN standard openly, and that's kind of why I like iDEN, because it's vertically integrated to a certain extent.

  3. #3
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    And it is also why Public Safety officials prefer to have this as a "secondary" radio system to relay mission critical / sensitive information that they don't want people with scanners hearing. I don't ever see Motorola releasing any information to make it possible to follow conversations or decode digital signals on iDEN, as that would surely defeat the purpose of the system.
    - Daniel
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