|Scanning is a growing hobby that lets you "listen in" on public radio conversations and keep up on current local events as they are happening. You can get into the scanning hobby with only a radio scanner.
A radio scanner is a radio receiver used by hobbyists to tune to a wide range of frequencies in order to monitor two-way radio communications from the various agencies and companies using two-way radio, such as police and fire departments, ambulance services, government agencies, aircraft and amateur radio services. In addition to letting you scan these transmissions, scanners are often preprogrammed with service search banks (such as police, marine or aircraft). By pressing a single button, you can quickly search those frequencies most commonly used by public service and other agencies. In addition, scanners can be programmed to monitor specific frequencies, as well as to follow conversations on trunked radio systems (called trunktracking).
Additional accessories, such as headphones, antennas and external speakers can be added to your scanner in order to enhance your listening experience. Also, localized frequency lists give you a place to start listening.
In addition to the enjoyment of hearing day-to-day action as it happens, scanners can also allow you to monitor emergency situations as they are discussed by the people on the scene (rather than waiting for the news reports).