Guide to Scanners
Understanding Scanners
Types of Scanners
Scanner Accessories
Trouble- shooting
Reception Issues
Chasing Birdies
Image Reception
Legal Issues
Scanning Hints
Standard Frequencies
Usage and Intervals
Band Allocation
Frequency Conversion
Additional Resources
Scanner Glossary

 RadioShack Guide to Scanners

Comparing the Scanning Methods

Crystal-controlled Programmable Scanners
Conventional Racing Analog Trunking Digital Trunking

Crystal-controlled Scanners

The earliest scanners were crystal-controlled. These scanners had one or more internal slots for a crystal which allowed the radio to receive a single frequency. Crystal-controlled scanners are not currently being sold through RadioShack; however, they still turn up in pawn shops and garage sales. For example, the PRO-25 (Cat. No. 200-0106), PRO-27 (Cat. No. 200-0108), and PRO-53 (Cat. No. 200-0122) scanners were of this type. Generally, if you are looking at a RadioShack scanner and it does not have a keypad or program button, it is probably crystal-controlled.

The disadvantage of crystal-controlled scanners is that they were slow to tune, expensive to set up for new frequencies or channels, and they could not follow the new trunked radio activity. Crystal-controlled scanners have been replaced by programmable scanners.

Programmable Scanners

In the mid-80's, programmable scanners were introduced which used integrated circuits to allow the radio to tune to a range of frequencies. These scanners were a marked improvement over crystal-controlled scanners, which required the purchase and installation of individual crystals which could only tune to a single frequency. Programmable scanners have a wide range of features and capabilities and can be distinguished from one another by the following features:

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