Transmission1's guide to scanning

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Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Feb 22, 2012
The Basics

1: What is a scanner?

A scanner is a radio that covers a far wider frequency range than your average radio at home. Most radios you find in everyday use have a single purpose, i.e. the radio in your car/home is designed to only receive commercial radio stations. Scanners on the other hand, can receive signals transmitted on a wide range of frequencies, allowing the user to listen in to a huge range of different communications including air traffic control, emergency services (ambulance and fire), hobbyists (Citizens Band, Amateur radio), security guards, taxi's and a lot more.

2: What does a scanner do?

A scanner has two main modes of operation; these are commonly known as 'search' and 'scan'

In 'search' mode, you are searching for any transmissions within a certain frequency range specified by the user, i.e. 400-470 MHz. The scanner will quickly scan through the frequencies and if it detects a transmission it will stop immediately and let you listen to what it has found. At this point you can hold the scanner on this frequency and continue to listen or you can let it continue scanning for other transmissions. You can also store the frequency it stopped on into a memory channel for future reference. That brings me to the next mode on your scanner, 'scan'

Once you start filling up your memory channels with frequencies of interest to you, you can set the scanner to scan through only the channels you've saved. This mode on most scanners is extremely quick so you never miss any action.


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