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

Scanning Hints

With the right frequencies programmed into your scanner, you can monitor exciting events. With a little investigation, you can find active frequencies in your community. We can give you some general pointers, and you can take it from there.

  • Please use caution and common sense when you hear an emergency call. Never go to the scene of an emergency. It could be very dangerous.
  • Find out if there is a local club that monitors your community's frequencies. Perhaps a local electronics repair shop that works on equipment similar to your scanner can give you frequencies used by local radio services. A volunteer police department or fire department can also be a good source for this information.
  • As a general rule on VHF, most activity is concentrated between 153.785 and 155.98 MHz and then again from 158.73 to 159.46 MHz. Here you find local government, police, fire and most such emergency services.
  • If you are near a railroad yard or major railroad tracks, look around 160.0 to 161.9 MHz for signals.
  • In some larger cities, there has been a move to the UHF bands for emergency service. Here, most of the activity is between 453.025 and 453.95 MHz and between 456.025 and 467.925 MHz.
  • In the UHF band, frequencies between 456.025 and 459.95 MHz and between 465.025 and 469.975 MHz are used by mobile units and control stations associated with base and repeater units that operate 5 MHz lower (that is, 451.025 to 454.950 and 460.025 to 464.975 MHz). This means that if you find an active frequency inside one of these spreads, you can look 5 MHz lower (or higher) to find the base station/repeater for that service.

The following links provide a brief listing of some of the standard frequencies that a scanner can receive. Please note: your scanner may not be able to receive all frequencies and/or modes of reception that are listed. For complete information of your scanner's capabilities, be sure to read your owner's manual completely. Additionally, these frequencies are subject to change, and might vary from area to area. For a more complete listing, refer to the Police Call Radio Guide available at your local RadioShack store.

National Weather
Ham Radio
Citizens Band United States
Broadcast Bands
Broadcast Bands

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