$20 P25 Trunking Scanner (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago at the Dayton Hamvention I bought a fancy Whistler TRX2 scanner that can receive the new P25 digital trunking system that’s been rolled-out statewide here in Ohio. Unfortunately, after a lot of attempts, I still can’t get it to reliably receive the talkgroups I’m most interested in.

Out of frustration (and boredom) I decided to research the couple of projects I’d heard about to implement P25 decoding, and after a few hours work (and some great help from a mailing list) I now have it running very nicely on my laptop. The coolest part is that the only hardware needed for this is a USB dongle SDR (software defined radio). I’m using one from RTL-SDR.com that cost $20. (You can order them from TAPR.)

Here’s a Youtube video showing about 5 minutes of traffic I recorded on a Friday evening.

In part 2, I’ll walk through the software installation and configuration process.

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