44. Public Safety Scanning

For over twenty years amateurs within Ohio District 3 have been unable to monitor the digital transmissions of the Springfield, Ohio trunking system.  Springfield uses EDACS ProVoice, an Ericsson, and later MA/Com, system that no scanner or ham radio could successfully interpret.  In order to hear it, listeners had to purchase and program a multi-thousand dollar transceiver designed for ProVoice use.  A few actually did just that.

But recently scanner manufacturer Uniden announced a software upgrade for their top end BCD436HP and BCD536HP Home Patrol scanners that would allow users to add ProVoice transmissions to their existing capabilities.  This reasonably priced upgrade is now available to owners of these two models only who register their scanners at http://my.uniden.com/ .

This upgrade allows users of these two scanner models to listen to almost every system in west-central Ohio that is not deliberately encrypted.  Motorola Mototrbo and some federal transmissions are among the few exceptions.

If you have no interest in monitoring Springfield, don’t spend money on the software upgrade.  However, note that when the Ohio MARCS system eventually goes to P25 Phase Two to double its capacity, these top end scanners should still properly decode the transmissions, and thus may still be scanners for you to consider.