Home » Handheld v Mobile v Homebase Scanners

Handheld v Mobile v Homebase Scanners

HH v Mob v HB

Handheld v Mobile v homebase Scanners

Should I Choose a Handheld, Mobile or a Home-based Radio Scanner?

The answer to this question really depends on how you intend to use your radio scanner. There are many instances, in various hobby's, that a radio scanner can be put to use. For example you may be interested in the hobby of radio scanning where you will be monitoring and logging interesting RF (radio frequency) activity on any frequency or, as a radio ham, you may only be interested in the amateur frequencies. Amateur weather forecasters will monitor transmissions from weather stations and chart their findings. Below is a list of radio scanner types and some of the uses they may be put to.

Hand Held Radio Scanners:

As the name suggests, hand held scanners are the ultimate in portable units and are used when "on the spot" scanning is required. These are used when portability is a must for local scanning, perhaps to be close to the local action when listening to the emergency services such as fire, police, ambulance, marine, air traffic control and ground to aircraft communications.
Some users may require a hand held radio scanner to monitor a specific frequency, for example, radio controlled model enthusiasts, these users will use a hand held radio scanner to monitor for any interference on their user frequencies that could cause loss of control of their models, this could be potentially dangerous particularly when flying aircraft.

Mobile Radio Scanners:

Mobile radio scanners are usually mounted in a vehicle dash-board. Mobile scanners are less portable, from an "on the spot" perspective than their hand held counter parts, however, they are used by much the same users with local, mobile scanning in mind.
Some users like to follow emergency vehicles so this option is ideal. Another advantage of a mobile radio scanner is the fact that they are usually connected to the vehicles 12 volt power supply system so there is no need to worry about battery power.

Home Based Radio Scanners:

Home based radio scanners are mains powered systems usually connected to a large external, some times directional, antenna array to pull in weak signals locally and long distant. These systems are used when portability is not required.
Home based radio scanners are very often used by radio scanner enthusiasts, these users tend to be interested in all aspects of radio scanning. They will be monitoring all frequencies and logging anything thing of interest. Should their budget permit, many will have a home based unit as well as mobile and hand held scanners so as to always be listening in.
Amateur weather enthusiasts will, most likely, use a home based unit where they can chart information from weather stations in a bid to predict the weather, particularly bad. This could be vital pre-warning information to those living in isolated areas.


Hopefully this information will guide you to making the right choice of radio scanner for your needs. There is much to be found on the Internet on the subject of radio scanners and radio scanning. Use your favorite search engine and submit a search using key words such as "hand held radio scanners", radio scanners" and "radio scanning". You may even have a club near you where enthusiasts get together to compare notes and equipment. There are also many online forums where you can gain a lot of useful information about the wonderful world of radio scanning.