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  • Monitoring my radios from home

    I can watch the cameras in my hotel from my home over the internet. Is there any way I can monitor the walkie talkies from home? (I know some fire & police department radio transmissions can be monitored this way how complicated & expensive would it be to do it with my walkie talkies?)
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

  • #2
    Move closer and use your scanner Can use increase the range with a repeater system at work?
    Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
    Groucho Marx

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    • #3
      The only way I know how (besides the scanner) is if the Hotel has the base station tied into the network. Since they have the ability to view the cameras it may be fairly easy. If the camera system has an audio input that will also transmit over the web, you can take an audio signal from the radio system and plug it in.

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      • #4
        You can buy repeater and tower service from a 2-way service company, but that gets pricy when you don't need it. If it will work, Rooney's idea is probably the only inexpensive way.
        sigpic
        Rocket Science
        Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


        http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
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        The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

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        • #5
          One option would be to create a streaming audio feed from your two-way radio system to the internet. This would be similar to the feeds that allow you to receive radio stations and police/fire scanners on-line. All that would be required at work is a network-connected PC that had a microphone input jack and some type of streaming software. Edcast, Icecast and TeamSpeak are a few popular versions.

          You would take an audio output from your radio, connect it to the mic input, start-up the software, and you would be on-line. If you didn't want to fool with your radio system, you could install an inexpensive scanner somewhere near the PC and take the audio from this. To listen at home (or anywhere else), you would simply connect to the work computer by entering the correct IP address in your browser, and you could listen to your two-way radio using Windows media player or something similar.

          This arrangement may or not be advisable from a security/privacy perspective, but it certainly can be done from technical standpoint.
          Michael A. Silva
          Silva Consultants

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
            One option would be to create a streaming audio feed from your two-way radio system to the internet. This would be similar to the feeds that allow you to receive radio stations and police/fire scanners on-line. All that would be required at work is a network-connected PC that had a microphone input jack and some type of streaming software. Edcast, Icecast and TeamSpeak are a few popular versions.

            You would take an audio output from your radio, connect it to the mic input, start-up the software, and you would be on-line. If you didn't want to fool with your radio system, you could install an inexpensive scanner somewhere near the PC and take the audio from this. To listen at home (or anywhere else), you would simply connect to the work computer by entering the correct IP address in your browser, and you could listen to your two-way radio using Windows media player or something similar.

            This arrangement may or not be advisable from a security/privacy perspective, but it certainly can be done from technical standpoint.
            Thanks. This is exactly what I was looking for.
            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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            • #7
              There's a jillion ways to skin this cat. Certainly, a streaming server is dicey with respect to security as mentioned, but if you can satisfy yourself on that issue it would work. Here's an interesting remote video/audio surveillance streaming product for $40: http://www.webcamsoft.com/en/ezcast.html - if you try it let us know how it works for you.

              What makes the product above "interesting" is that it seems to provide not only Internet connection but also the most secure method of connection, i.e. dial-up connections via 56K modem with user authentication. (Direct modem-to-modem landline connections are relatively immune to eavesdropping and would require some inside knowledge to hack.) This would presumably put the streaming service beyond the normal reach of IP port-sniffing types of hackers. If you read the user manual and FAQ on the site above you can learn more about this. Put a speakerphone voice modem on your home side computer. You can pick these modems up real cheap. I've always had the best luck with US Robotics. Note that modem commands (AT commands) can be configured for dialing extensions by inserting "wait states" between commands, provided the PBX gives callers a selection menu and isn't answered by a human operator. The "wait states" let you tailor a dial-up script for the length of the PBX "welcome message", etc. and would then input the extension number when the menu is expecting to receive it. Commas are placed between commands to create these "wait states" - if I remember correctly, each comma represents 2 seconds of wait time.

              There are also dedicated dial-in room monitoring devices that require a PIN code or some specific procedure in order to be activated. These devices basically turn a telephone into a room mike. This would allow you to listen to a radio that was placed near the phone - especially if it's miked through an external speaker for better audio (put a mike near the radio and line-in through your computer sound card to the speakers). There are a number of such devices on the market (although some would probably qualify as "bugs" even though they're not designed to be concealed). I don't think this device would fall into the category of a "bug": http://www.surveillance-spy-cameras....om-monitor.htm - with this device you have to follow a very specific procedure to activate it. Use a speakerphone to dial in and you won't have to be holding a phone up to your ear.

              Some phones (e.g., Uniden) also have a room monitoring mode, incidentally. You'd place one of these on a jack in your office and configure it for monitoring.

              Via the Internet, you could use a VOIP telephone service with a "soft phone" application installed on the office computer that is set to auto-answer calls from your home phone exclusively. Other calls go to voice mail.

              Or, you could use free LogMeIn on each end, establish a remote control session and then use either VOIP or even something like Skype on each end. You would "answer" your own VOIP phone call via the LogMeIn remote session. I've used LogMeIn (free and Pro - see below) and have no security qualms, the VOIP call would be quite secure, and you'd have to look into Skype. It's a peer network, but dynamic routing it uses should be secure enough.

              Or, you could use LogMeIn Pro ($40 per year at each end), which permits remote audio to be heard at the local end. You would just log in to the remote computer and then use any of a bunch of audio applications to open the remote computer's mike and would get the audio through the speakers on the computer at your end. Again, even this Internet-based method, like VOIP, would be more secure than a streaming server.

              WebEx's PCNow is a bit more expensive at $14.95/month for 2 computers and they say they can handle remote audio but I haven't tried them. And I'm not sure you couldn't also use remote-control software like PCAnywhere, configured to automatically accept secure remote sessions when you leave the office, but I'd have to fool around with it to see.

              The bottom line is that if you can hear the radio when you're sitting in your office, you can listen to it remotely as well by any number of means but all of them - including a streaming server - assume you've got a fairly quiet room with a radio close to the phone or miked through an external speaker (e.g., line-in to sound card, output through computer's speakers) for audio clarity. If your radios provide "audio out" to "line in" connections, even better. A little experimentation would no doubt be necessary.

              The real problem is that electronic audio surveillance (and that's what all of these methods, including the streaming method, are from a legal standpoint when you are listening to other people, as opposed to broadcasting yourself...subtle, but important) is usually much more regulated than video surveillance, at least in the U.S., and I'm not sure you can do this in Canada either. You might not be not violating "eavesdropping" (privacy) laws by listening in on your own radios (I know it doesn't make any logical sense) but it's easy to run afoul of electronic audio surveillance laws in a technical sense, so I'd check up on the legalities. Again, a streaming server or other form of transmission or recording is NOT "surveillance" when you are transmitting your own conversation, but it COULD BE interpreted as "surveillance" when you are re-broadcasting or recording the conversations of others. You cannot violate your own privacy, in other words, but you can violate the privacy of others. Whether this would pertain to their own radio transmissions or not, I'm not sure.
              Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-03-2009, 07:09 AM.
              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

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              • #8
                Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                I can watch the cameras in my hotel from my home over the internet. Is there any way I can monitor the walkie talkies from home? (I know some fire & police department radio transmissions can be monitored this way how complicated & expensive would it be to do it with my walkie talkies?)
                That's working smarter, not harder. I assume you'll have to take a cut for
                not working harder

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                • #9
                  Would it be possible to listen using an HAM radio?
                  Security Officer Forum
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sec-guy View Post
                    That's working smarter, not harder. I assume you'll have to take a cut for
                    not working harder
                    I finish work at 23h but am on call until 05h to supervise the overnight Officer. I can see what is happening via the cameras but it would be good to be able to hear what is going on too.
                    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gossmansecurity View Post
                      Would it be possible to listen using an HAM radio?
                      1) They are commercial radios, not on the Ham frequencies

                      2) They are not repeatered
                      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gossmansecurity View Post
                        Would it be possible to listen using an HAM radio?
                        Is that kind of like using a potato to make electicity?

                        But no, HAM or shortwave is a whole different frequency than you would be using for site radios. Besides, teh whole point is that his work radios don't have the range.
                        sigpic
                        Rocket Science
                        Making everything else look simple, since 1958.


                        http://my.opera.com/integrator/blog/
                        One Man's Opinion

                        The Future. It isn't what it used to be.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gossmansecurity View Post
                          Would it be possible to listen using an HAM radio?
                          It is not legal to use ham (amateur radio) frequencies for any type of business related use. While it would be technically possible to connect a business radio to a ham radio and rebroadcast the signal through the ham repeater network, this would be strictly illegal. You would be quickly caught, most likely by a group of eager ham operators who would relish the challenge of tracking down such an egregious offender.

                          Interestingly, ham radio has a service called Echolink that provides exactly the type of service that HotelSecurity is looking for, but unfortunately, is only for the ham frequencies. It is possible for licensed ham operators to both talk and listen using ham repeaters all over the world using Echolink software on your home computer.

                          These days, getting a ham license is fairly easy (they no longer require Morse code), so I would encourage anyone who has an interest in this type of thing to get licensed. But remember, no business use.....
                          Michael A. Silva
                          Silva Consultants

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HotelSecurity View Post
                            I finish work at 23h but am on call until 05h to supervise the overnight Officer. I can see what is happening via the cameras but it would be good to be able to hear what is going on too.
                            To hear snoring
                            Be Professional, Be Alert, Be Ever-Ready and for God's sake Don't be a Dumbass

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Silva Consultants View Post
                              It is not legal to use ham (amateur radio) frequencies for any type of business related use. While it would be technically possible to connect a business radio to a ham radio and rebroadcast the signal through the ham repeater network, this would be strictly illegal. You would be quickly caught, most likely by a group of eager ham operators who would relish the challenge of tracking down such an egregious offender.

                              Interestingly, ham radio has a service called Echolink that provides exactly the type of service that HotelSecurity is looking for, but unfortunately, is only for the ham frequencies. It is possible for licensed ham operators to both talk and listen using ham repeaters all over the world using Echolink software on your home computer.

                              These days, getting a ham license is fairly easy (they no longer require Morse code), so I would encourage anyone who has an interest in this type of thing to get licensed. But remember, no business use.....
                              My close friend VE2 LSQ uses Echolink all the time. I'm too stupid to get my Ham license even without the Morse Code. (73's)
                              I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                              Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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