Using a two-way radio as a scanner

One of the more common question we get here at the opulent ScannerMaster Palace is how do I program this (Brand X) radio to my local systems. Usually it is one of those off-shore $40 two-way radio with unpronounceable names that are flooding the market on eBay and in stores.

The basic answer is that you don’t. These radios are intended as Ham radios and are basically toys. Some can be made to receive on VHF and UHF conventional analog channels and even talk on them.  This is not a good thing. First off the build quality on these things is poor. They are designed not for performance but for cheapness. If the radio breaks it usually cannot be repaired.

If your area still uses VHF or UHF analog channels then these might be able to be used to receive your local channels but they cannot do any type of digital or trunked system.

These cheap radios are not ideal for most monitoring anyway. They lack the features scanner buyers have come to expect such as banks, scanlists or quick-keys. They also usually do not support other typical scanner features like CloseCall, Fire tone out, easy field programming etc. They often do not work on aircraft, either civilian or military.

For not much more than you will pay for one of these cheap toys you can get a decent basic scanner like the BC125AT or WS1010 that will run rings around  them with the feature sets.  Our basic scanners start out at under $100 and have way more features than these junk toys.

Questions? We have answers!

Here are a few of the common questions we get here at ScannerMaster’s World Headquarters as well as the answers we provide. If your question isn’t listed please call us and ask.

Q: Do you have scanners that will allow me to hear Encrypted/Scrambled communications?

A: Nope! There are 2 reasons why we don’t sell scanners that work on encrypted channels. First of all it is illegal. Our people like sleeping in their own beds at night and not on cots at the county jail. Second, even if it were legal the technology just isn’t there to break modern encryption, especially on a device sold to the public.

Q: Do you sell scanners that can hear cell phones?

A: Nope, sorry, for the same reasons we do not sell encryption capable scanners, it is illegal and impractical. Years ago one could clip a diode and open certain scanners for the old analog cell phones but those days are long past.

Q: Can you tell me the frequency for my hometown police department?

A: Sure we can. You can also find the freqs at www.radioreference.com

Q: Are you guys the same guys at RadioReference? Broadcastify? Uniden? Whistler?

A: No, we are ScannerMaster. We are friends with these other companies and do business with them but we are all separate companies. We sell products from Uniden, Whistler and others but if you need support beyond what we are authorized to do we will refer you to the right place. We can often answer a quick question here and there about these places but we have no access to their files.

Q: Can you fix my scanner?

A: We do offer a programming service and programmed replacement SD Cards for ZIP Code scanners but we do not do repairs or sell internal parts. Newer scanners should be sent to Uniden or Whistler for authorized repairs, One great source for older scanners repairs and parts is G&G Communications, they can be reached at 585-768-8151 or http://www.gcomradio.com

Q: Can my scanner be upgraded to DMR/ProVoice/NXDN?

A: Well, that depends on the scanner you have. Here is a list of the scanners that can be upgraded for these modes. Some of these can change in the future so be sure to check back! If you have an older scanner then it cannot be upgraded for these modes.

Maker            Model             DMR               ProVoice        NXDN            Notes

Uniden            BCD996P2     Paid                 Paid                 No

Uniden            BCD325P2     Paid                 Paid                 No

Uniden            BCD536HP    Paid                 Paid                 No

Uniden            BCD436HP    Paid                 Paid                 No

Whistler          TRX-1            Free                 No                   Free     Via Firmware Update

Whistler          TRX-2            Free                 No                   Free     Via Firmware Update

Whistler          WS1095          Free                 No                   No       Via Firmware Update

Whistler          WS1098          Free                 No                   No       Via Firmware Update

Whistler          WS1080          Free                 No                   No       Via Firmware Update

Whistler          WS1088          Free                 No                   No       Via Firmware Update

GRE                PSR800           Paid                 No                   No       Only thru Whistler

RS                   PRO668          Paid                 No                   No       Only thru Whistler

RS                   PRO18            Paid                 No                   No       Only thru Whistler

All those weird ports on the back of the scanner

Modern scanners have a plethora of various ports, jacks and sockets on them. Here is a look at some of them.

Taking a look at the rear panel of the BCD536HP scanner there are 6 different ports on it. From left to right they are:

  • BNC antenna jack
  • External Speaker Jack
  • USB Port (used for WiFi unit only on the 536)
  • GPS Serial Port
  • 3-pin power port
  • Coaxial power port

Other common ports on scanners include:

  • USB programming port
  • Record jack
  • Headphone jack
  • Various serial ports.

Let’s look at each port and what it is used for: (*Bonus! See below for an explanation of the weird hole smack in the middle…)

Antenna Jack:  Of course this is used to connect an antenna to the radio. Most scanners these days use BNC, the little push and turn job you see in the picture. Some handled scanners use the smaller SMA connector. Some older scanners had Motorola or even SO139 connectors and some had both an external connector and an internal threaded connector with a hole in the case to insert it.

External Speaker:  These are used to plug in an external speaker and are different than headphone jacks. Speaker Jacks do not limit the volume like a headphone jack will. When you plug in a speaker into the external speaker jack the inside speaker is disconnected.

Headphone Jack:  The Headphone jack has a limiting circuit to protect from overly loud sound that can damage your hearing. Otherwise it works much like the external speaker jack. Headphone jacks are usually in the front panel of desktop scanners while speaker jacks are usually on the rear. Handheld scanners usually just have a headphone jack on the top.

Record Jack:  The Record Jack allows one to pull audio from the scanner at a constant level that is not affected by the volume control. This is important when the radio is used as a source for recording or streaming. Some older RadioShack scanners and some current Uniden scanners have record jacks.

GPS Serial Port:  Unique to Uniden scanners, the DB-9 Serial port (male) is used mostly to connect a GPS receiver to allow location based scanning. It can also be used to program or control the scanner with the properly constructed cables. Do not confuse this with the female DB-9 port used for programming on older scanners like the BC780XLT or the BC898T

USB Programming port:  Most scanners these days use a USB-Mini port on the front or side to program and control the scanner. On many handheld scanners these ports are also used to charge the batteries and power the radio. On the BCD325P2 a special cable is used to connect a GPS to this port.

Other serial ports:  Some older scanners use different type serial ports. Older Unidens (like the “XT” series) use a unique 4-pin square connector for programming and connection of the RH-96 remote head. HP-1 and HP-2 scanners use that same port style for connecting to a GPS. Older design RadioShack/GRE/Whistler scanners use a jack that is just like a headphone jack for serial port connections.

Coaxial Power Port:  Most desktop/mobile scanners have a coaxial power port to provide 12 VDC to the scanner. There are 2 different jacks in common use. The majority of Uniden mobile and desktop scanners use a “Type M” male jack while most recent RadioShack, GRE and Whistler mobiles use a “Type T” female jack. Both use center-pin positive. Some older handheld scanners use smaller coaxial power ports but newer portable scanners usually use the USB port for charging and external power.

3-pin power port:  This is another unique to Uniden port, similar to the power port used on some of their CB products. On Uniden scanners there are the regular black and red wires for power and a third orange wire used to control the brightness of the display when connected to the lighting circuits of the car.

Discriminator Jack:  This is probably the most popular jack that doesn’t come on scanners. Discriminator audio is used to provide an unfiltered audio source mostly for data decoding. This type of decoding usually does not work from the record or speaker jacks due to the filtering circuitry in the radio. Scanners usually do not come with jacks for this but it is often added on by advanced scanner hobbyists to allow data decoding.

 

Bonus Round

See that threaded hole smack in the middle of the back panel in the picture at the top of the page? Most Uniden base/mobile scanners have that. It is used to allow a rear bracket to stabilize the radio under the dashboard. It is not mentioned in the owner’s manuals but is shown in the diagrams.

FRS/GMRS/MURS/CB: The Personal Radio Services

Anyone can use one of several types of two-way radios, most of which do not require a license. From something the kids can play with to serious business uses there are a bunch of different types of varying quality and usefulness. These are called CB, FRS, MURS and GMRS. Only GMRS requires a license, the others do not. Each of the four services have different intended functions.

  • FRS: Family Radio Service (low power, short range, intended for families and individuals)
  • GMRS: General Mobile Radio Service (high power, longer range, intended for families)
  • MURS: Multiple Use Radio Service (mid-power, medium range, intended for business)
  • CB: Citizen’s Band Radio Service (low power mobile)

You ever go into Wal-Mart or Best Buy and see those cheap little two-way radios encased in one of the most devious inventions of man-kind (Bubble Packs)? They boast wild range figures (“35 mile Range!”) and are made by many different companies like Motorola, Midland and Cobra. These are called “FRS Radios” (Family Radio Service). FRS radios are restricted to ½ watt, non-removable antennas and are intended for short-range person-to-person communications. While titled as the Family Radio Service they are commonly used by businesses and government organizations. In my neighborhood I hear construction crews, hunters, the local school and the golf course maintainers on FRS channels. Just about everything but families… There are few restrictions on what you can use it for so business and personal communications are allowed.

FRS is actually pretty interesting to listen to in many cases. While a lot of the traffic is inane nonsense, like kids wearing out the noisemaking alert beep button, occasionally there is some interesting stuff to listen to. I live in a fairly isolated area 20 miles from the nearest town. There is construction going on and the crews use several FRS channels to coordinate activities. There is a school in the area that uses FRS radios too. The golf course guys use FRS when performing maintenance or to corral loose duffers. Local landscapers use FRS as well.

Listening to FRS channels at the mall or around amusement parks etc. can also be fun. The stores and shops often use FRS radios for clerks and stockers, customers use them to keep in touch with their family.

A lot of the FRS channels are shared with GMRS, so listening to one set of frequencies you may hear both services.

GMRS is a little different than FRS. Since a license is required and power levels are higher they tend to be used in a more formal matter. FRS also allows repeaters so you may hear traffic from all over the area. GMRS is often used by REACT and other volunteers as well as family businesses and often for just idle chit-chat and radio clubs. Sometimes it sounds a lot like ham radio.

MURS can be very interesting. It is on VHF and allows higher power than FRS but in many other aspects it is very similar. Like FRS there are few restrictions on what you can use it for. Since the radios tend to be a little more expensive MURS channels tend to be more business oriented.

CB these days is mostly a wasteland of unintelligible noise. It is still popular with the highway crowd but between high-power illegal amplifiers, over-driven power echo-mics and other noisemakers it is no longer a viable communications tool. It can be interesting to listen to however!

If you put these frequencies in your scanner you may find some interesting communications. You might also be bored silly but you won’t know until you try it.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

  • Freq (MHz)              Remarks                  
  • 462.5500                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.5500)
  • 462.5750                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.5750)
  • 462.6000                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.6000)
  • 462.6250                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.6250)
  • 462.6500                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.6500)
  • 462.6750                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.6750)
  • 462.7000                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.7000)
  • 462.7250                 Repeater Output/Simplex    (Repeats 467.7250)
  • 462.5625                 Simplex (5 watts)
  • 462.5875                 Simplex (5 watts)
  • 462.6125                 Simplex (5 watts)
  • 462.6375                 Simplex (5 watts)
  • 462.6625                 Simplex (5 watts)
  • 462.6875                 Simplex (5 watts)
  • 462.7125                 Simplex (5 watts)

Family Radio Service (FRS)

  • Freq (MHz)              Ch #         
  • 462.5625                 1
  • 462.5875                 2
  • 462.6125                 3
  • 462.6375                 4
  • 462.6625                 5
  • 462.6875                 6
  • 462.7125                 7
  • 467.5625                 8
  • 467.5875                 9
  • 467.6125                 10
  • 467.6375                 11
  • 467.6625                 12
  • 467.6875                 13
  • 467.7125                 14
  • 462.5500                 15 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.5750                 16 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.6000                 17 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.6250                 18 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.6500                 19 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.6750                 20 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.7000                 21 (Shared with GMRS)
  • 462.7250                 22 (Shared with GMRS)

Multiple Use Radio Service (MURS)

  • Freq (MHz)                                                 
  • 151.8200
  • 151.8800
  • 151.9400
  • 154.5700
  • 154.6000

Citizens Band (CB)           

  • Freq         Ch #          Freq         Ch #         
  • 26.965    1                27.215    21
  • 26.975    2                27.225    22
  • 26.985    3                27.255    23
  • 27.005    4                27.235    24
  • 27.015    5                27.245    25
  • 27.025    6                27.265    26
  • 27.035    7                27.275    27
  • 27.055    8                27.285    28
  • 27.065    9                27.295    29
  • 27.075    10             27.305    30
  • 27.085    11             27.315    31
  • 27.105    12             27.325    32
  • 27.115    13             27.335    33
  • 27.125    14             27.345    34
  • 27.135    15             27.355    35
  • 27.155    16             27.365    36
  • 27.165    17             27.375    37
  • 27.175    18             27.385    38
  • 27.185    19             27.395    39
  • 27.205    20             27.405    40

WiFi on BCD536HP. How does it work?  What you can and can’t do with it.

The Uniden Bearcat BCD536HP is the only scanner that has the capability of being directly controlled by WiFi. By using the included WiFi dongle one can connect a smart phone or tablet to the scanner and listen to and control the scanner with the device. There are some other uses for the WiFi dongle as well.

Uniden has provided free “Siren” software (available for free via the Apple iTunes store or Google Play Store) to allow you to use your smart device as a scanner controller. You can even use this as a remote head for the scanner if mounted in a vehicle or to listen to your scanner from the patio or another room of the house for a scanner installed in the home. Some third party software allows you to use the WiFi feature to connect the canner to the computer without the need to plug in a cable.

There are a few things that the WiFi dongle will not work for, this includes database and firmware updates and other programming.

The Wifi dongle is designed specifically to work with your home or office WiFi network. While we have read of people using it for remote access this requires such networking tools as VPN, if you know how that works you probably can figure it out. Sorry, we cannot help with notworking issues like this!

To use the WiFi feature you need to understand the two modes involved; Infrastructure and Access Point.

Infrastructure Mode allows your scanner to connect to your home or office WiFi. This then allows you to connect to the scanner via third-party software like ProScan or RadioFeed or to the Siren application.

To get to Infrastructure Mode use the following steps:

Press Menu then select WiFi Setup>Select WiFI Mode>Infrastructure Mode

The radio will look for local access points and list them. When it displays the list select your router’s SSID name.

Then enter your password for the WiFi access point. This is the same password you would use for setting up any other WiFi device on your network. To enter the password you scroll thru the letters and use the 4 and 6 buttons to move the curser.

Access Point Mode allows you to connect you scanner to a smart phone or tablet (iOS or Android) using the free Siren software. You would use this when you are not in range of your WiFi system, such as when the radio is mounted in a vehicle. This allows you to use a phone or tablet as sort of a remote control head for the scanner.

In Access Point Mode the 536 acts as an Access Point and provides an SSID which you can change or leave at the default. You then connect your phone or tablet to that WiFi SSID and enter in the IP address in the Settings of the device. The IP address can be found in the WiFi settings on the scanner.

Siren is the free app available at the Apple iTunes Store for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch’s. It is also available for Android devices at the Google Play Store.

Siren is a neat way to use your 536 scanner but there are limits to it. It will only work with the 536, and it has limited abilities for control. It can set the range, select Quick Keys, set the squelch and start and reply the recording features but that is pretty much all she wrote. There is also a 2-3 second delay in hearing the audio compared to the radio itself.

The WiFi feature on the 546 is unique and useful as long as you know its limits.

Selecting Your First Radio Scanner

Scanner FrequenciesBuying your first radio scanner requires understanding the differences between radio systems and scanner frequencies. While you do not need to know exactly how each radio system works, you do need to know which ones are used in your area. It is never safe to assume, just because you live in a small town, your needs will be met with a basic analog scanner. You would be surprised by how many smaller communities have state-of-the-art radio systems, requiring either trunking or digital scanners to listen to two-way radio communications.

  1. Find out what radio systems are used in your town. The first step to selecting a radio scanner is to conduct a little research and find out what radio systems fire, police, and other agencies use for communications. The easiest way to do this is to use our free scanner comparison tool. All you have to do is choose your desired listening range and enter in your zip code. Next, select the counties you want to monitor on your new police scanner to see important information about the radio systems used.
  2. Compare scanner radios based compatible with your location. Our scanner comparison tool also shows you several different models of hand-held portable, mobile, and desktop scanners that will pick up scanner frequencies in your location. The key thing to remember is that it is not what features and options are on the scanner, but the type of radio systems used in your area. Every location is different, and the police scanner has to be matched to the radio systems.
  3. Consider what agencies you want to monitor. Most people buy a scanner to listen to fire, police, and emergency medical responder transmissions. A small percentage of people also use their scanner radios to listen to other government agencies, railroad communications, campus police, and racer/pit crew communications at live NASCAR racing events. Choose a scanner based on the scanner frequencies you want to hear.
  4. Radio systems used in your town can change. Police, fire, emergency responders, and other agencies do upgrade radio systems from time to time. Keep this in mind when selecting a compatible scanner. For instance, if your city currently uses a basic analog radio system, they might decide to upgrade it to a trunking system in the future. Unless you have a scanner capable of picking up both analog and trunking communications, you would no longer be able to monitor any frequencies moved to the new system. You may want to check with your city or county planning commission to find out if there are any plans for upgrading the radio system in the near future before purchasing your new police scanner.
  5. Support options for the scanner. If you know you are going to need help programming and updating the scanners firmware, it is recommended you look at models that can be plugged into a computer. This way, in most cases, you are able to receive remote desktop scanner support without having to send in your scanner any time you need help.

For more information about police scanner radios or friendly assistance from one of our scanner experts, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

Radio Scanner versus Online Police Scanner

Radio Scanner

People have various ways for listening to scanner frequencies. They could purchase their own personal radio scanner or use an online police scanner radio. There are several differences between these listening methods. Deciding which one is best for what depends on the frequencies you want to listen to and monitor. Most online scanner applications only monitor a single government agency, such as the Boston Police. If you want to listen and monitor emergency services or fire frequencies, you have to download and install another application. Further, you might be limited to only running one application at a time, so, if you want to listen to multiple channels, you have to open and close each application to switch frequencies.

With a radio scanner, you do not have to worry about these issues. Instead, you can configure your scanner to monitor and scan the frequencies you want to listen to, or set it to one specific channel. There is no software to download, install, or update. An online police scanner requires maintaining an active Internet connection in order to listen to channels. If your Internet connection goes down, you cannot listen to an online scanner. When you use a radio police scanner, you do not require an active Internet connection. The device operates using either AC power, or batteries, to monitor scanner frequencies.

Another major difference between a radio scanner and an online police scanner is the number of channels you can monitor. With an actual police scanner, you are able to monitor your local area in far greater depth, compared to an online scanner. You have access to more channels, like public works, railroads, college campus police, taxis, and several other agencies not available with online scanner applications. However, keep in mind, actual radio scanners do have limitations on the distance they are capable of picking up frequencies, depending on the model of scanner you use. Without an outdoor antenna, physical scanners ranges are between 10 and 30 miles. If you do not want to install an antenna and want to hear frequencies farther away, then an online application would be more appropriate.

Scanner monitoring laws and regulations vary, from state to state. Some states do allow people to use portable radio scanners in their vehicles and other locations whenever they are not at home or work. It is your responsibility to review the laws in your area in regards to where you are allowed to use actual scanner radios and online scanner applications. Taking the time to review these regulations prevents you from using the wrong type of police scanner or scanner application. It hardly needs mentioning that regardless of whether you use a police scanner radio or an online application, it is against the law to use a scanner or monitoring device during the commission of a crime.

For more information about police scanner radios, or assistance in selecting the best unit for your location, contact us today by calling 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

Journalists Monitor Police Scanner Frequencies for News Stories

Police ScannerDid you ever wonder how journalists and news agencies learn about breaking stories as they occur? Many newsworthy stories are obtained by journalists monitoring police scanner frequencies using scanner radios. They might learn about a fire at a local apartment complex, a break-in at a local business, or some other type of emergency. Police, fire, public works, and other government services use radio frequencies as a means of communications. These radio frequencies are normally not blocked, so anyone with a radio scanner can access the communications between dispatchers and the responding agencies.

Journalists listening to police scanner frequencies do need to confirm their stories for accuracy before releasing the information to the general public. Not all information is openly shared between dispatchers, police, fire, and other responders over police scanners. More sensitive details about the situation are typically communicated over other secure devices, such as inboard computers and cell phones.

For example, a journalist hears fire and ambulance services were dispatched to the home of the mayor. Unless other details are shared over the scanner radio, they have no other information to report until they can follow up on the story. The only information they could share on the evening news or in the local paper is that emergency responders were dispatched to the mayor’s home. Journalists need to be careful to avoid elaborating further on the story until they have obtained all of the facts.

Is It Beneficial for Journalists to Share Information from Police Scanner Frequencies?

There is some debate as to whether the information obtained from police scanner frequencies should be shared with the general public by journalists. Most local government agencies do not mind if communications are shared with the general public, as long as they are reported correctly without any conjecture. What they expect from journalists, as well as from others using police scanners in their homes, is to be responsible with the information obtained from scanner frequencies. Thanks to modern technologies and the Internet, information is shared at a faster speed today than it was in the past. Journalists and others can post status updates on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, as well as news web pages. Since information is easier to share, accurate reporting is essential in order to avoid creating wide-spread panic in local communities.

In addition to reporting on news pieces, journalists can use scanner radios to report details about weather emergencies, such as major snow storms, tropical storms, severe thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Sharing details about weather emergencies is beneficial for local government agencies. Journalists are able to assist police, fire, and other emergency responders in getting people off of streets, informing them to stay at home or go to their local shelters, as well as to share updates about the weather emergency.

If you are a journalist or want to monitor police frequencies at home, contact us to order your scanner or scanner package today, by calling 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

Why People Use Police Scanners

scannerPolice scanners allow people to listen to communications of local police, fire, public works, and other agencies in their communities. The scanner is similar to a radio receiver, as it scans multiple frequencies and finds transmissions as they occur. Keep in mind, the radio scanner is a one-way receiver for monitoring two-way radio traffic, and it does not transmit. For example, your local dispatcher sends a communication to the fire department. Your fire scanner picks up the transmission and allows you to hear what the dispatcher is saying. When the fire department responds again, the scanner allows you to hear the response.

People use police scanners for various reasons. Some people are radio enthusiasts and enjoy listening to their scanners to find out what is going on within the local community. Off duty police officers, volunteer and off duty full time fire fighters, EMTs, and other professionals use scanners to be alerted to events going on locally, as well as in nearby communities. News agencies also use scanners to find out if there are any interesting activities going on which should be reported to the general public on the evening news broadcast or in the morning newspaper.

Why People Are Choosing Police Scanners over Police Scanner Apps

There are numerous police scanning apps for mobile devices and smart phones. However, the use of these apps may be illegal in many states whenever they are used outside of the home. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal to purchase, own, and operate police scanners inside your home. There are a few exceptions you should be aware of, depending on where you live. It is your responsibility to review your state’s laws in regards to scanner usage. For example, in certain states it is against the law to use a scanner in your vehicle. In most states it is illegal to use a scanner or scanner app while committing a crime.

Another reason people prefer scanners over apps is because they monitor a wider range of frequencies, including older analog transmissions. Many of the free apps you find online only monitor specific channel frequencies and digital transmissions, so you may only hear chatter from your local police department, but not pick up any traffic from fire departments, emergency responders, and other agencies in your location. If you want to know why the fire truck just drove past your home with its lights on, you need to use a real scanner instead of a mobile app.

One key benefit of using scanners is they operate independently and can be left on for as long as you want to listen. With a mobile app, you have to open the right one in order to monitor communications. If you receive a phone call, text message, or want to use a different app, you have to close the scanning app. Additionally, if your battery goes dead or you lose cellular service, the app stops working.

For more information about police scanners or assistance in choosing a model, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

Shopping for a Police Scanner Made Simple!

By Jonathan Higgins – The Scanner Expert

It’s that time of the year again finding the right gift for that special loved one. How about a scanner? Here are 4 things you should keep in mind when buying a scanner.

1. What type of scanner is needed for the area in which the person lives?

There are three types of scanners:

  • Analog Conventional
  • Analog Trunking 
  • Digital

The scanner you pick is determined by the type of communication systems in use in the area.  You can find out the best scanner by  E-Mail us, giving us a call at 1-800-SCANNER (722-6637), or using our search tool!

Pre-programmed options:
Digital and analog areas – GRE PSR-800, Uniden HomePatrol
Analog areas only – GRE PSR-700

Both scanners are pre-programmed for the nation although we still recommend our Set-up and Optimize service. See these radios on our web site for details.

2. Deciding Base/mobile vs Portable?
Base/Mobile Scanners are normally kept in one location, either in the car or home. Desktop scanners are for home or office use only.

Portable Scanners are great for someone that wants to use the scanner everywhere they go (out and about or from room to room in the home, etc.).

New for 2012!
We also have holiday packages too – Check them out!

3. Scanner programming options:
We strongly recommend our software or our HomeTown Programming option when you buy a scanner. (For the HomePatrol, PSR-800 and PSR-700 it’s called “Set-Up and Optimize”). With these services the scanner will be ready to use right out of the box! Programming typically takes 5 to 10 business days and possibly more as it gets closer to the holidays.

4. Accessories
Make sure they have everything they might need or want when they receive their new scanner! A carry case, computer cable, software, mobile antenna and so on. With each scanner on our website you can make your own package and when you buy accessories with the scanner there are added discounts.

Remember!
We are available online by E-mail and only a call a-way at 1-800-722-6637!