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) is a digital Project 25 (P25 or APCO-25) Phase 2 trunked radio network managed by the NSW Government, operating primarily between 403-430MHz and 450-470MHz. Prior to 2023, the network was known as the NSW Government Radio Network (GRN).

The NSW PSN is built to public safety use standards and is the primary 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 NSW emergency services, state government departments/agencies, and limited private users who require wide-area communications within the coverage area.

Currently the NSW Police Force and State Transit Authority operate their own extensive conventional non-trunked radio networks for normal day-to-day radio operations and only use the NSW PSN for special operations.

What area does the NSW PSN cover?

The NSW PSN covers over half of New South Wales (NSW) and the majority of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), totalling a coverage area of around 400,000 square kilometres. The network is in the process of being expanded to cover around 85% of NSW, totalling around 680,000 square kilometres.

The NSW PSN covers the following NSW regions:

The NSW PSN is in the process of expanding to the following NSW regions:

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).

TGID's on NSW 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 on the scanner. If a NSW PSN radio monitoring a TGID is not connected to the NSW 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 Metro Sydney East area, and will likely be heard on most major Sydney NSW PSN sites as fire appliance radios with TGID 10101 selected will be connected to these sites. However it would be unlikely this TGID would be heard on Bathurst/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.

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 DSD+ and 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.

What is 'P25 Phase 2' and why does it affect me?

As of 2023, the NSW PSN commenced operating primarily as a P25 Phase 2 trunked radio network. This caused confusion to some scanner users who found they could no longer receive talkgroups on their older scanning receivers.

In brief:

P25 Phase 2 is more efficient than P25 Phase 1 as it allows for the effective doubling of channels available on each site, and is an obvious step forward for network administrators who face limited radio spectrum. 

Many older scanning receivers are not capable of decoding TDMA (ie a frequency that is split into two or more slots). The result is that these scanning receivers will no longer receive transmissions on a P25 Phase 2 network, including the NSW PSN.

The only solution is to purchase a scanning receiver that is capable of receiving P25 Phase 2. A list of suitable scanning receivers can be found in the How do I scan the NSW PSN? section below.

How do I scan the NSW PSN?

The easiest method of scanning the NSW PSN is with a trunking scanning receiver capable of decoding P25 Phase 2 transmissions. There are a number of 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 P25 Phase 1 (not Phase 2) transmissions. 

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

Due to the large selection of scanners now available that are capable of monitoring P25 Phase 2 transmissions, we no longer provide specific programming instructions for individual models.

Uniden Australia provide free Sentinel software to program the USDS and the UBCDx36PT range, which can be downloaded from the Uniden Australia website. The UBCD325P2 (aka BCD325P2-AU) can be programmed using the freeware program FreeSCAN by Sixspot Software.

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

Is scanning the NSW PSN legal?

Yes. Listening, decoding or otherwise monitoring radio communications on a scanning receiver is entirely legal in Australia . This includes all frequencies and talkgroups used by the NSW PSN.

Restrictions on listening to communications carried over the public telephone network (ie cordless and mobile telephones) do not prohibit you from listening, decoding or otherwise monitoring communications on the NSW PSN.

Further, there is no offence in Australia around discussing what you legally hear or decode on a radio frequency. However, discretion around disclosing and/or re-broadcasting what you hear while scanning is strongly advised. Unnecessary disclosure and/or rebroadcasting of radio transmissions over the internet inevitably leads to radio users switching on encryption, which ruins our hobby. This discretion should encompass broadcasting live streams and pre-recorded transmissions over the internet, both of which are strongly discouraged.

Can I listen to encrypted transmissions on the NSW PSN?

No. Although it is not illegal to monitor encrypted transmissions in Australia, it is not technically possible to decode or listen to encrypted transmissions on the NSW PSN.