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Comment Re:cobbled (Score 1) 82

Your heart is in the right place, but my experience with those $10-20 dongles is that they are good for strong signal reception, such as my local public safety trunked system, but they just can't cut it in the real world as an all-around receiver. Software can only do so much with crap hardware.

I tried to set up one on a linux laptop that I was running at my parent's house to receive the local baseball games broadcast on an FM station about 15 miles away. It wasn't happening. Not sensitive enough and getting overload from the many other FM transmitters nearby. No big deal, but if I were serious about that project I would have to upgrade the SDR hardware to something over $100 to do something useful and at that point I might as well scrounge up an old AM/FM radio pulled from a car like a broadcast engineer I know did.

I'd love to find or build a small but powerful SDR to perfect a modern scanner. Uniden locks you into their design choices. SDR# is still a bit too geeky for general use. If it had a good UI with user selectable operating parameters instead of being stuck with a limiting set that would be a win. Usability is key to general acceptance. That's what this DMR portable offers I suspect.

Comment Re:Why is Police band unencrypted? (Score 1) 82

Heh. Like common criminals would
a) Have the awareness to buy/steal a scanner
2) program it correctly
c) use it correctly
d) Listen to it often enough to decode the jargon

Even if in the unlikely event all the above conditions are met, what EXACTLY would a criminal do with what he heard? Most businesses and many homes have security cameras, alarm systems, barking dogs, etc. Cops are mostly documenters. They spent most of their time writing reports or testifying on the content of those reports in court. People who think they are out Keeping America Safe have been watching too much prime time.

This argument is often trotted out by police departments, but frankly we sometimes have as much to fear from those in authority as we do from common criminals. If the cops have nothing to hide, then what are they hiding? Usually it's their own ineptitude, more than anything, that they don't want us to hear.

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