How is a racing scanner different from a regular scanner?
Currently, RadioShack is the only supplier of "real" race scanners. Others say they have race scanners, but they just take a regular scanner, make it a different color, and suggest that customers just put the frequency of the car into the same channel number as the car.
There are two significant problems with this method. First, most cars have 2, 3, or even 4 possible frequencies. Second, using this method results in lots of empty channels because there are no cars with those channel numbers, and empty channels equal wasted memory in your scanner. Our race scanners let you actually enter the car number, then enter as many frequencies as that car has.
Additionally, what do you do if Buckshot is running (car number 00)? We treat the number 0, 00 and 000 as if they are all different numbers, so storing the car number is not a problem. You can even store all the frequencies for the Busch race (Saturday) and the Winston Cup (Sunday) race, because you can add a leading 0 to car numbers in the Busch race. This prevents writing over memory locations when the two races have cars with the same numbers - and that happens much of the time.
Finally, when scanning, our method allows you to see on the display which car you are listening to, regardless of how many frequencies that car has; the other method requires remembering which channels correspond to which car. Also, when you are scanning, you can choose to listen to the frequencies of only certain cars without complicated programming sequences.
A common feature of all racing scanners is that they often use a small "stubby" antenna, rather than the large flexible antenna found on most other scanners. The stubby antenna limits the radio from picking up extraneous signals which might be broadcast on nearby frequencies, as well as being much more comfortable when the scanner is worn on a belt clip or waist pack. The standard-length antennas tend to get in the way and can poke into your side when you sit down wearing the scanner.