Powering Your Scanner

From The RadioReference Wiki

Powering Your Scanner

Powering your scanner is the most necessary part of using it; without power, your scanner is just a lump of plastic and electronic parts with the potential to be useful. Improperly powering your scanner can potentially turn your scanner into a lump of plastic and electronic parts with no potential to be anything else without repairs.

With that in mind, please read your owner’s manual carefully and do not attempt to power your scanner with anything other than what the manufacturer recommends unless you are willing to take the risk of turning your investment into spare parts.

Most scanners made today are powered by direct current (DC) supplied either by battery (or batteries), a power pack (wall wart AC to DC transformer) or an internal AC to DC transformer. One of the most common mistakes made on today’s scanners is reversing the polarity of the DC power applied to the scanner. In some cases this doesn’t harm the scanner as there may be a circuit internally designed to detect this and stop the reverse voltage from flowing into the scanner; that is not to indicate that the source might not be damaged by this process. Carefully check the polarity of the voltage you are going to apply before you do it. Another common error is applying the wrong voltage to the scanner, just because you radio may use three 1.5 volt batteries does not mean that the external power supply should be 4.5 volts! And applying 12 volts to a scanner looking for 6 volts will certainly cause you trouble. Once again, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines; they designed it, assume they know what is best.

Now, with that background, there are lots of options available for the scanner user and below you will find several links providing information on various methods of powering your scanner. To get more background information on how batteries work, what can cause damage, and how to care and properly charge them, see the Battery University site.

Battery Packs

Battery Information

Battery Sources

All types of scanner batteries, including packs and in some cases, chargers

DC Power Cords and Connectors

Connect all your 12 VDC equipment to a power source. It is a 13.8 VDC power panel that uses the excellent Anderson Powerpole®

AC Power Cords

Power Supplies