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 part of the NSW Public Safety Network (PSN) and is a digital P25 (Project 25 or APCO-25) trunked radio network managed by the NSW Government, operating primarily between 403MHz and 425MHz. The network is a P25 Phase 2 modulated system that is currently operating as a P25 Phase 1 network only.

The network is built to public safety use standards and as such it is the main radio network used by emergency services, utility 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 their normal day-to-day radio 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).

The following NSW regions are covered:

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

  • Newcastle and parts of the Hunter

  • North West

  • Central 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 in the process of 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 that is programmed into a users radio as a selectable channel. When a channel with a specific TGID is selected, individual radios that have that TGID selected can communicate over the network with other radios monitoring the same TGID.

TGID's on the NSW GRN are generally 5-digits in length (eg 10101).

Specific TGID's on GRN sites can be listened to on a scanner when a users radio programmed with that TGID is within range of a site being monitored. If a GRN radio monitoring a TGID is not connected to the GRN site you are scanning you will not hear that TGID.

As an example of how the network operates, Fire & Rescue NSW TGID '10101' is used for the 'Sydney East' area and will likely be heard on most major Sydney GRN sites as there would be fire appliance radios connected to these sites with TGID '10101' selected via a channel in their radio. However it would be unlikely this TGID would be heard on Bathurst or Central West sites, unless a fire appliance radio using that site is currently monitoring TGID '10101'.

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 TGID which is used as a selected radio channel for part of the Sydney region.

What is a Radio ID (RID)?

The Radio ID (RID) number, commonly referred to as a Unit ID (UID), is a unique number assigned to individual radios used on the network. RID's on the NSW GRN are generally 7-digits in length, with the notable exception being the NSW Police Force.

RID's are useful for monitoring sites when using PC trunking software (such as Unitrunker). RID 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 aka BCD325P2-AU (handheld)

  • UBCD536PT (mobile/base)

Uniden Australia previously offered 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 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, receiving and monitoring radio frequencies ( including frequencies used by the NSW GRN) on a scanner is entirely legal. There are some restrictions on what can be listened to, the most noteworthy being restrictions on listening to communications carried over the public telephone network (ie cordless and mobile telephones). None of these restrictions prevent you from listening, decoding or otherwise monitoring the NSW GRN.

However, discretion on announcing and broadcasting what you receive while scanning is strongly advised, as unnecessary disclosure of radio broadcasts inevitably leads to radio users switching on encryption, which ruins our hobby. This discretion should encompass broadcasting live streams or recorded transmissions over the internet, both of which are strongly discouraged.

Can I listen to encrypted transmissions?

No. While it is not illegal to monitor encrypted transmissions in Australia, it is simply not possible to decode and listen to these transmissions on the NSW GRN. Please do not contact us asking if or how this can be achieved.