A Low Cost P25 Police Scanner with RTL-SDR, Raspberry Pi 5 and SDRTrunk

Thank you to Mike for writing in and sharing with us his video detailing how he makes use of a Raspberry Pi 5, touch LCD Screen and RTL-SDR to create a portable and low cost P25 police scanner. Mike notes that the cost of his system is $250, which is a lot cheaper than a comparable $600 P25 scanner. 

Here is my latest weekend project; a Raspberry Pi 5 with an RTL-SDR dongle running SDRTrunk software. It is configured to listen to the local LAPD channels and runs great! The chip gets a bit hot so I think I need to add a fan.

Building a $600 P25 Police Scanner for $250!!! (SDR-Pi)

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John Ian

Save yourself the headache and just use a old desktop/laptop PC instead. You want a 6 core minimum PC with 8gb ram at least to run sdrtrunk. Pi is trash cpu and won’t be able to keep up on the cpu usage. Unless you live in the middle of no where and your PD/FD barely gets any calls.


If you were talking a Pi4, sure, but a Pi5 is capable of the task especially without the overhead of unnecessary OS components and drivers, etc.

joshua moxley

That looks like a counterfeit unit though lol. I’ll finish watching the whole video though.


Endcap screws are diagonal so it’s probably legit.



Here is a link on how hee set it all & links to hardware used.