P25 Decoding: OP25 + RTL-SDR vs a Uniden BCD996T

APCO P25 is a digital voice signal and is commonly used like public safety departments such as police and fire. With an RTL-SDR and the open source Linux based OP25 decoder these signals can be decoded, assuming they are unencrypted. Software like DSD+ can also be used, but OP25 can supposedly decode more systems. Before the RTL-SDR, hardware scanners like the $~360 USD Uniden BCD996T digital scanner radio were typically used. 

Over on YouTube user Rob Fissel has uploaded a video showing a comparison between an RTL-SDR using the OP25 decoder and a Uniden BCD996T. Both radios are used to decode a weak P25 Phase 1 LSM signal. He uses a Scantenna antenna with an antenna splitter to run both radios at the same time. His results show that even though the constellation is poor, OP25 does a good job at decoding the signal and producing voice, whereas the BCD996T doesn’t even manage to hear the control channel.

OP25 VS BCD996T – Weak Signal P25

2 comments

  1. Unitrunker

    The BCD996T was first produced in 2006. The op25 project did not get off the ground until 2007 (and did not do trunking at that time). A more relevant comparison would be Uniden’s BCD996P2.

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