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Who uses Handheld Radio Scanners?

Who Uses HH Scanners

Who uses Handheld Radio Scanners?

A radio scanner is a radio receiver that has electronic circuitry that enables it to constantly sweep a range of radio frequencies until it finds one that is modulated. The scanner will continue to monitor that frequency until modulation stops or it is instructed to continue with the scan automatically or manually.

Scanners are not generally used to listen to music or entertainment broadcasts. Scanners, particularly hand held, are used to monitor local and mobile RF (radio frequency) transmissions usually in the VHF (very high frequency) and UHF (ultra high frequency) bands of the RF spectrum.

Typically it is the broadcasts of the emergency services such as fire, police and ambulance, the marine and air service as well as mobile telephone communications and weather information transmissions that are monitored.

Who Uses Hand Held Radio Scanners And Why?

Hand held radio scanners can and are used by both professionals and by the enthusiast or hobbyist. For example, professionals that may use a hand held scanner are journalists and reporters, they will be monitoring RF channels that may provide information for a news story, another example of professional use is by off duty police officers who may be listening for criminal activity or local government officials monitoring for illegal wireless transmissions.

As for the enthusiast or hobbyist, much fun can be gained from a hand held radio scanner. In general these users spend many hours monitoring emergency services, however, some will be members of certain special interest groups such as aircraft enthusiasts. These users tend not to be interested in the technical aspects of the radio scanners but will spend many hours around local airfields and airports listening to air traffic control and aircraft both on the ground and in the air. They keep meticulous logs of frequencies and conversations between pilots, ground-crew and ATC, information that they will talk at great length about to other like minded people.

Then there are radio hams or amateur radio enthusiasts. Often they have a technical interest in how a scanner works electronically as well as listening out for transmissions on the amateur RF frequencies. Radio hams, usually, have transmitting and receiving equipment coupled to large antennas at home but use a hand held scanner to listen in while mobile.

People interested in the weather, whether it be for their profession or as an interest can use a hand held radio scanner to listen out for weather information and bad weather warnings. In many cases this information is displayed as text on the scanners LCD display.

I have personally seen a hand held radio scanner used by radio controlled model aircraft enthusiasts. It was being used, in this case, to monitor their operating frequencies to make sure there was zero interference that could potentially cause models to become uncontrollable during flight damaging many hours of model making and possibly injuring spectators.

For the enthusiast there are many instances where a hand held radio scanner could be useful in their particular hobby or interest. There are scores of clubs across the country and indeed the world that are dedicated to the radio scanner enthusiast, where they can meet and exchange codes, frequencies and other information. Also there are online forums with hundreds if not thousands of members all with stories to tell and information to exchange about the exciting world of the hand held radio scanner.