Scanners are widely available and many are not terribly expensive. There are often scanners available for most budgets. Check out the selection of scanner radios available below.
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There is a huge variation in the cost of scanners that can be bought - there is something to fit every budget. However, as expected, the cost generally reflects the quality of the scanner radio and its performance.
Although scanners can be bought to operate on many frequencies, they tend to be used mainly for VHF / UHF listening.
Scanners have been available for many years and the name is derived from the fact that they can scan a variety of channels or frequencies within a band, stopping where a signal is present.
They can be used for general purpose reception, or many people like to use them for scanning particular set of pre-programmed channels.
Scanners may be bought for base station use, or many are also intended for portable use. With current technology, they are able to provide a considerable level of functionality in a small space, making them ideal for portable operation.
The portable scanners normally have their own short antenna attached both e receiver, but those intended for base station use require an external antenna. Discones are one of the favourite forms of antenna as they can operate over a wide bandwidth.
When buying scanner there are several points to note:
- Frequency range : Most scanners will cover a very wide range, but always check that it covers the frequencies and bands required.
- Scan rate: The scan rate can be an important point to consider. If large numbers of channels or a wide bandwidth needs to be scanned, then the scan rate can make a significant difference. There are obviously limits to the top rates than can be achieved because the shorter the time on each channel, the less sure.