NSW PSN Information

Frequently asked questions about the NSW  PSN (previously NSW GRN)

What is the NSW Public Safety Network (PSN)

The NSW Public Safety Network (PSN) - previously the NSW Government Radio Network (GRN) - 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.

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 PSN?

The NSW PSN 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 both operate their own extensive conventional non-trunked radio networks for their normal day-to-day radio operations and use the NSW PSN for special operations only.

What area does the NSW PSN cover?

The NSW PSN covers approximately half of NSW, as well as the majority of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

The following NSW regions are covered:

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

The NSW PSN is in the process of expanding to the following NSW region/s:

What is a Talkgroup ID (TG or TGID)?

A Talkgroup ID (TGID or TG) is a unique number that is programmed into a users radio as a selectable channel. When a user selects a channel assigned to a TGID, individual radios that have that TGID selected can communicate over the network with other radios monitoring the same TGID.

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

Specific TGID's on PSN 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 PSN radio monitoring a TGID is not connected to the PSN 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 PSN 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,  also referred to as a Unit ID (UID), is a unique number assigned to individual radios used on the network. RID's on the NSW PSN are generally 7-digits in length, with the notable exception being the NSW Police Force.

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

NSW PSN 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 PSN?

The easiest method of scanning the NSW PSN is with a scanning receiver capable of decoding P25 (or APCO-25) Phase 2 transmissions. There are a number of current model scanning receivers produced by Uniden Australia that are capable of monitoring the NSW PSN. These scanners include:

Uniden Australia previously offered the UBCD396XT (handheld), the UBCD396T (handheld) and the UBCD996T (mobile/base) scanners, which are only 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 PSN.

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 part of the 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.

The NSW PSN can also be monitored using software defined radio (SDR) dongles and trunking decoding software.

Is scanning the NSW PSN legal?

Yes, receiving and monitoring radio frequencies and talkgroups (including frequencies and talkgroups used by the NSW PSN) on a scanner is entirely legal.

There are some restrictions on what can be listened to on a scanner, the most noteworthy being restrictions on listening to communications carried over the public telephone network (ie cordless and mobile telephones). However these restrictions do not prohibit you from listening, decoding or otherwise monitoring communications on the NSW PSN.

Importantly, using discretion on disclosing and/or re-broadcasting what you hear while scanning is strongly advised. Unnecessary disclosure and/or rebroadcasting of radio transmissions inevitably leads to radio users switching on encryption, which ruins our hobby. This discretion should encompass broadcasting live streams and 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 PSN. Please do not contact us asking if or how this can be achieved.