NSW GRN Questions

Frequently asked questions about the NSW GRN.

What is the NSW Government Radio Network (GRN)?

The NSW Government Radio Network (GRN) is a digital P25 (Project 25 or APCO-25) trunked radio network managed by the NSW State Government, operating primarily between 403MHz and 425MHz. The network is currently operated as a P25 Phase 1 modulated system, and is in the process of being upgraded to a P25 Phase 2 system.

The network is built to public safety use standards and as such it is the main radio network used by emergency services, utilities providers and state government departments within the coverage area.

Who uses the NSW GRN?

The NSW GRN is used by the majority of NSW emergency services and state government departments who require wide-area communications within the coverage area.

The most notable exceptions are the NSW Police Force and the State Transit Authority who operate their own extensive conventional non-trunked radio networks for normal day-to-day operations.

What area does the NSW GRN cover?

The NSW GRN covers approximately half of NSW, as well as the majority of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), including the following NSW regions:

  • Sydney and Surrounds (Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Illawarra)

  • Newcastle and parts of the Hunter

  • Central West

  • North West

  • South East and Tablelands

Most road and rail tunnels and many shopping centres in the coverage areas have complete coverage.

The NSW GRN is currently being expanding to the following NSW regions:

  • North Coast

  • Riverina

What is a Talkgroup ID (TG or TGID)?

A Talkgroup ID (TG or TGID) is a unique number which allows each individual radio that is programmed with that talkgroup to communicate with other radios programmed with the same talkgroup over the network.

TGID's on the NSW GRN are generally 5-digits in length.

TGID's will be heard on GRN sites when a radio programmed with a TGID that is in use is within range of that site. If a GRN radio programmed with a TGID is not using the GRN site you are scanning you will not hear that talkgroup.

NSW GRN TGID's are allocated to users in blocks, for example talkgroups in the 101## range are allocated to Fire & Rescue NSW, with TG 10101 being a group (channel) which is used for part of the Sydney region.

As a further example of how the network operates, the above Fire & Rescue NSW talkgroup will likely be heard on most Sydney GRN sites as there would be radios in use with this talkgroup using those sites. However it would be unlikely this talkgroup to be heard on Bathurst sites, unless a radio using that site is currently switched to that talkgroup.

What is a Radio ID (RID)?

The Radio ID (RID) number is a unique number assigned to each individual radio attached to the network.

RID's on the NSW GRN are generally 7-digits in length, with a notable exception being the NSW Police Force.

RID's are useful for monitoring sites when using PC trunking software (such as UniTrunker). This information is also displayed on later model scanners.

NSW GRN RID's are allocated to users in blocks, for example RID's in the 200#### range are allocated to Fire & Rescue NSW.

How do I scan the NSW GRN?

To scan the NSW GRN you require a scanning receiver capable of decoding P25 (or APCO-25) Phase 1 and Phase 2 transmissions. There are a number of current model scanning receivers produced by Uniden Australia that are capable of monitoring the NSW GRN. These scanners include:

  • USDS100 (handheld)

  • UBCD436PT (handheld)

  • UBCD325P2 (handheld)

  • UBCD536PT (mobile/base)

Uniden Australia previously sold the UBCD396XT (handheld), the UBCD396T (handheld) and the UBCD996T (mobile/base) scanners, which are capable of monitoring APCO P25 Phase 1 (not Phase 2) transmissions.

Uniden America, Uniden Europe and Whister (previously GRE) also produce digital scanners capable of monitoring the NSW GRN.

Due to the large selection of scanners now available that are capable of monitoring P25 digital transmissions, we no longer provide specific programming instructions for current models.

Uniden Australia provide free 'Sentinel' software to program the USDS and UBCD-PT range, which can be downloaded from the Uniden Australia website.

For all other Uniden models, the freeware program 'FreeSCAN' by Sixspot Software is one of the simplest programs available.

Is scanning the NSW GRN legal?

Yes. Scanning the NSW GRN is legal. Radio scanners and 'scanning' are permitted throughout Australia.

Discretion on announcing and broadcasting what you receive is advised, as unnecessary disclosure of information inevitably leads to users switching on encryption.

Can I listen to encrypted transmissions?

No. It is not possible to monitor encrypted transmissions on the NSW GRN. Please do no email us asking how this can be achieved.