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What You Should Know About Radio Scanners

Radio scanners enable radios to automatically check channels and in turn to check if there is any activity is going on. If there is an activity, the radio locks on that channel then sends the audio to the speaker so that the listener can hear it. Capturing a channel is when a radio locks onto a channel during the scanning process. You can use scanning to talk and listen. There are also several ways of programming the scanning capabilities.

You can program a radio to allow the user to press the Push-To-Talk (PTT) then talk on the captured channel or configure it to return the user to a default channel for transmissions. You can also configure a radio to scan important channels more frequently to capture important traffic ahead of time.

Scanners allow users to monitor other channels for activity while talking on one.

What are the main types of radio scanners?

  • Plain frequency scanners – They monitor frequency within their given frequency ranges or memory locations that have stored frequencies. Plain frequency scanners are suitable for non-trunked systems, rail, airport, and business monitoring.
  • Trunk tracking scanners - They are different from plain frequency scanners. They track "trunked" radio systems. People from fire/police/EMS to utility companies with fleet vehicles use them in metropolitan areas.

Why do you need a radio scanner?

You need a radio scanner when you want to hear what is happening around you. You may want to hear your local police or fire department or just what is happening in your neighborhood. You may also have professional needs if you are a police officer of a firefighter who wants to hear your agency when off duty and neighboring agencies on the job and so on.

What is a handheld radio scanner?

Handheld scanners are also known as portable police scanners. You can use them at home, walk around in town, or in the car. You can charge them or program them from a PC as well. Handheld scanners generally receive just as well as base models.

What is the use of a radio scanner?

A police scanner or radio scanner is a radio receiver that automatically tunes or scans two or more discrete frequencies. It stops when it finds a signal on one of them, then continues to scan other frequencies when the initial transmission ceases.

What are some radio scanners to buy?

  • Uniden BC75XLT Public. It offers a 300-channel memory divided evenly among 10 dedicated banks
  • Uniden BCD996P2 Digital TT
  • Whistler WS 1095
  • Uniden BCD536HP
  • Uniden Home Patrol BCD436HP
  • Whistler WS 1080 Handheld Digital Trunking
  • Uniden bear Tracker BCT15X

What are the features of some of the current scanner models?

Below are some current models you can choose from and their features.

  • Pro-106 - It can receive both digital trunking and analog trunking. It is similar to the handheld version of Pro 197 and Psr-600.
  • Pro-162 - It can be reprogrammed for 800 MHz rebranding. It is suitable for race car scanning. It as an alpha display as well.
  • Pro-97 - It comes with PC data transfer, has an alpha display, a signal stalker 11 feature and UHF 800/900 trunking.
  • Pro-96 - It is capable of receiving both 3600 and 9600 baud analog, digital trunking, and conventional scanning. It can store up to 5,500 frequencies in 11 "V-scanner" folders.