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This article can be used to house questions about scanning in general - anything from antennas to laws to coax and more
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On this page, you'll find a random sampling of questions and answers about scanning and radios.  If you have a question, and find a good answer, please feel free to add both to this page.  Only add questions, though, if you have the answers; if you ''need'' an answer to a question, and it's not on this page already, please try the Radio Reference forums.
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=== General Scanning Questions ===
 
=== General Scanning Questions ===
 
* '''''''Can I bring my scanner on an airplane?'''''''
 
* '''''''Can I bring my scanner on an airplane?'''''''
 
**  Read the [[Scanning on an Airplane]] and [[Scanners and Airport Security]] pages.
 
**  Read the [[Scanning on an Airplane]] and [[Scanners and Airport Security]] pages.
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* '''''''Is scanning legal? How about in my car?'''''''
 
* '''''''Is scanning legal? How about in my car?'''''''
 
**  Read this informative site on [http://www.afn.org/~afn09444/scanlaws/ scanner laws].
 
**  Read this informative site on [http://www.afn.org/~afn09444/scanlaws/ scanner laws].
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* '''''''What is the best scanner for me?'''''''
 
* '''''''What is the best scanner for me?'''''''
 
**  See the help provided on the [[Scanner decision | scanner decision]] page.
 
**  See the help provided on the [[Scanner decision | scanner decision]] page.
  
=== Equipment Questions===
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* '''''''What are the codes and signals I hear public safety personnel using on the radio?'''''''
* '''''''Where can I find information on scanner antennas, filters, mobile mounts, ect.?'''''''
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**  See our articles about [[10 codes]] and other [[brevity codes]].
**  Return to our main page via the navigation link to the left, go to the bottom and see the 'Antennas and Accessories' category.
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* '''''''I want to hear more. Will an amplifier help?'''''''
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* '''''''What is a signal contour, and how does it affect what I can hear?'''''''
**  Before you go looking at amps, make sure that your antenna and feedline are at the best you can afford. A nice high antenna, with the right coax, will hear lots - maybe, at times, too much. In some cases, a good [[Milcom_Receiving_Equipment#Filters|filter]] will be a huge asset. Not all scanners - particularly handhelds - work very well with big outdoor antennas and feedlines. They simply aren't designed to handle that much RF all at once.
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**  See our [[Signal Contour]] article
* '''''''Is the coax that important?'''''''
 
**  They can make the difference between hearing a signal (particularly if you are out in a fringe area) and not hearing well, or at all. The larger the loss, the less signal is received. The general rule is a 3db loss results in a loss of 1/2 the signal. In practical terms, if you are in a strong signal area, this won't mean much - but if you're a long way off, this kind of loss should concern you. These 2 links explain this clearly;
 
** [http://www.strongsignals.net/access/content/co-ax.html Strong Signals Coax Cable]
 
** [http://hamradio.arc.nasa.gov/coaxcableloss.html NASA Coax Cable loss chart]
 
  
=== General Frequencies ===
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=== Frequency Searches ===
 
If you are searching for specific frequencies in your area, the RR Database is the place to start - but
 
If you are searching for specific frequencies in your area, the RR Database is the place to start - but
at times there may be a better option....
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sometimes there may be a better option....
* '''''''Where can I find frequencies for the various services, such as Railroads, Aircraft, ect.?'''''''
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* '''''''Where can I find frequencies for the various services, such as Railroads, Aircraft, etc.?'''''''
 
**  Please see our [[:Category:US and Canadian Common Frequencies|US/Canadian Common Frequencies]] article
 
**  Please see our [[:Category:US and Canadian Common Frequencies|US/Canadian Common Frequencies]] article
* '''''''Where can I find frequencies for NASCAR, LPGA, NFL, ect.?'''''''
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* '''''''Where can I find frequencies for NASCAR, LPGA, NFL, etc.?'''''''
 
** See our [[:Category:Sports_Events_and_Organizations|Sports]] frequencies article
 
** See our [[:Category:Sports_Events_and_Organizations|Sports]] frequencies article
* '''''''Im flying into an airport that the RRDB doesnt have. Where can I find frequencies for it?'''''''
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* '''''''I'm flying into an airport that the RRDB doesnt have. Where can I find frequencies for it?'''''''
 
** Go to the popular [http://www.airnav.com Airnav] website
 
** Go to the popular [http://www.airnav.com Airnav] website
* '''''''Im going on a cruise and would like to see if theres activity to be heard. Where can I find frequencies?'''''''
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** See this popular [http://home.earthlink.net/~ecps92/cruise_ships.htm website] by Bill Dunn for cruise ship frequencies
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* '''''''I'm going on a cruise and would like to see if there's activity to be heard. Where can I find frequencies?'''''''
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** See this popular [http://scanmaritime.com CruiseShips] by [mailto:webmaster@scanmaritime.com?Subject=*CruiseShips* Bill Dunn] for cruise ship frequencies
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* '''''''I need to look up a callsign I copied. Where can I find it?'''''''
 
* '''''''I need to look up a callsign I copied. Where can I find it?'''''''
 
* '''''''I need to look up a frequency that isnt in the database. Where might I find it?'''''''
 
* '''''''I need to look up a frequency that isnt in the database. Where might I find it?'''''''
** Go to the [http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/reports7/ FCC General Reports] website
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** If you have a [http://www.radioreference.com/apps/subscription/ premium subscription], you will be able to use the FCC query tools at the bottom of the [http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/ database] page
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* '''''''Where can I find out about military communications in my area?'''''''
 
* '''''''Where can I find out about military communications in my area?'''''''
 
** Check out our [[VHF/UHF Military Monitoring|Milcom]] article
 
** Check out our [[VHF/UHF Military Monitoring|Milcom]] article
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* '''''''Where can I find out about frequencies used by the US Federal Government?'''''''
 
* '''''''Where can I find out about frequencies used by the US Federal Government?'''''''
 
** Check out our [[:Category:US Federal Government|Federal]] frequencies article
 
** Check out our [[:Category:US Federal Government|Federal]] frequencies article
  
[[Category:FAQ]]
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[[Category:Scanners FAQ]]

Latest revision as of 13:52, 2 February 2016

On this page, you'll find a random sampling of questions and answers about scanning and radios. If you have a question, and find a good answer, please feel free to add both to this page. Only add questions, though, if you have the answers; if you need an answer to a question, and it's not on this page already, please try the Radio Reference forums.


General Scanning Questions

  • ''Is scanning legal? How about in my car?''
  • ''What is the best scanner for me?''
  • ''What are the codes and signals I hear public safety personnel using on the radio?''
  • ''What is a signal contour, and how does it affect what I can hear?''

Frequency Searches

If you are searching for specific frequencies in your area, the RR Database is the place to start - but sometimes there may be a better option....

  • ''Where can I find frequencies for NASCAR, LPGA, NFL, etc.?''
    • See our Sports frequencies article
  • ''I'm flying into an airport that the RRDB doesnt have. Where can I find frequencies for it?''
    • Go to the popular Airnav website
  • ''I'm going on a cruise and would like to see if there's activity to be heard. Where can I find frequencies?''
  • ''I need to look up a callsign I copied. Where can I find it?''
  • ''I need to look up a frequency that isnt in the database. Where might I find it?''
  • ''Where can I find out about military communications in my area?''
  • ''Where can I find out about frequencies used by the US Federal Government?''
    • Check out our Federal frequencies article