Audio recordings of radio traffic

  • Thread starter Stephen Tashi
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Audio Radio
In summary: The degradation is most likely due to digital communication and how discrete packets are transmitted.
  • #1
Stephen Tashi
Science Advisor
7,861
1,598
Audio recordings of radio traffic from famous incidents (e.g. 9/11, various shootings) are difficult to understand - at least those I find on YouTube are. Is there something about the way radio traffic is recorded that degrades it? Often the beginning of a sentence is cut off. Could this be a result of the delay in a recording device that tries to begin recording only after it detects sounds?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
  • #3
See "Squelch."
 
  • Like
Likes Klystron
  • #4
Stephen Tashi said:
Often the beginning of a sentence is cut off.
Many public service radio systems are "trunked", and that means that the transmitter and relay system need to agree on the TX/RX frequencies before information can be transferred. When you push the PTT button on a trunked radio, you need to wait for the "beep" (usually takes a second or two) to let you know that your connection is established. In the heat of the moment in an emergency, it's easy to forget to wait for the beep...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trunked_radio_system
 
  • Like
  • Informative
Likes Klystron, jedishrfu and Vanadium 50
  • #5
The reason that I think the sound quality is due to the recording system and not the original sound is that in most recordings of radio traffic the people speaking seem to have no problem understanding each other. For example 3:32 to 3:42 in
 
  • #6
First we should all listen to this recording every day for self evident reasons. That being said
Stephen Tashi said:
The reason that I think the sound quality is due to the recording system and not the original sound is that in most recordings of radio traffic the people speaking seem to have no problem understanding each other.
The means by which these folks are talking to each other is local whereas the recording is presumably done at dispatch some further distance away. That would account for some of the degradation (particularly regarding acquisition delay) for the dispatch recording because of less signal strength. .I'm just guessing.
 
  • #7
hutchphd said:
The means by which these folks are talking to each other is local whereas the recording is presumably done at dispatch some further distance away. That would account for some of the degradation (particularly regarding acquisition delay) for the dispatch recording because of less signal strength. .I'm just guessing.

I'll guess that your are correct. But what is it about signal strength that results in the type of degradation where only parts of the transmission are inaudible? - something to do with digital communication and how things are transmitted in discrete packets? (I suppose there are recordings of pre-digital radio traffic, but I haven't encountered any in my recent YouTube browsing.)
 

What are audio recordings of radio traffic?

Audio recordings of radio traffic are recordings of communication between radio operators, typically used for communication in emergency situations or by government agencies.

How are audio recordings of radio traffic used?

Audio recordings of radio traffic are used to document and analyze communication during critical events, such as emergencies or disasters. They can also be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

What types of information can be gathered from audio recordings of radio traffic?

Audio recordings of radio traffic can provide information on the timeline of events, the actions taken by operators, and the effectiveness of communication during an emergency or critical event.

How are audio recordings of radio traffic preserved?

Audio recordings of radio traffic are typically preserved in a secure digital format, such as MP3 or WAV, and stored on a secure server or cloud storage. They may also be backed up on physical media for long-term storage.

Can audio recordings of radio traffic be used for training purposes?

Yes, audio recordings of radio traffic can be used for training purposes to improve communication skills and response strategies in emergency situations. They can also be used to identify areas for improvement in communication protocols.

Similar threads

Replies
9
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
2K
Replies
10
Views
2K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
5
Views
756
Replies
67
Views
13K
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
Replies
1
Views
1K
Replies
14
Views
3K
Replies
152
Views
5K
Replies
33
Views
5K
Replies
10
Views
2K
Back
Top