Alright. So you have your hands on an awesome new police scanner. What next? Well, we have a couple of tips and tricks to share with you that we are 100% positive will help you to get the most out of your nifty new police scanner. You will be diving into some awesome police conversations in next-to-no time at all.
1. Expect It To Be Boring, So Make Your Own Fun
We are going to be honest with you here. Nine times out of ten, the stuff being broadcast on a police radio channel is not going to be exciting. Some people believe that they are going to be tuning into epic police chases, your stereotypical New York movie cop solving crimes over the radio, that sort of thing. Most of the time, you are going to be listening to stories of old ladies stuck in trees and cats driving vehicles the wrong way down the road. Or is that the other way around? Either way. Police work is boring. You need to make your own fun.
If you have a police scanner, listen in, and make notes of crimes that are happening. Lots of people do this. Sure, you are going to be noting down bland crimes, but it adds a sense of enjoyment to keep a log of everything you have heard. You may even be able to match it up to a court case later on.
2. Update Your Channel List
Not a lot of people know this (a bit of insider knowledge for you), but most police forces will change the radio frequencies that they use several times per year. This means that ‘out of the box’, your police scanner may not be able to find any channels in the local area.
Not to worry. Most decent police scanners nowadays will have an SD card built into them that will allow you to up the channel list. Your radio manufacturer will likely have software that allows you to do this.
If your radio scanner doesn’t have an updateable channel list, then there is still no need to panic. You can use a site like RadioReference.com to find the current frequencies for your local area. You will just have to manually program them in, which shouldn’t be too difficult.
3. Get A Better Antenna
It doesn’t matter how brilliant the police scanner you have purchased is, the antenna it comes with will be rather shoddy. There is no exception to that rule. The antenna is simply there to allow you to get up and running with your police scanner and to check everything works. If you want the best audio quality, then you will need to purchase a better antenna. An external one. Make sure that it has good reviews.
4. Position The Antenna Well
While there is fancy tech on the market that will allow you to position your radio antenna to ensure the best audio quality when you are listening to your police radio scanner, you don’t really need it. Just make sure you follow these rules:
- Position your radio antenna as high up as possible
- Make sure that there are no obstacles in the way.
- Make sure there are no electronics nearby that could influence the radio antenna
If you do this, then we can 100% guarantee that listening to your police radio scanner will be a much better experience. Yes. We know that police radio broadcasts tend to be pretty strong as it is, but surely you want to get the best audio quality when you are listening in on those broadcasts, right?
5. Get Yourself A Signal Amplifier
When most people think of a ‘signal amplifier’ they think of boosting their outgoing signals. However, it can also help to provide the incoming signals with a good kick in the teeth too.
When you are listening to your police scanner, you may find that some signals come in a little bit distorted, and barely audible. A signal amplifier may be able to help clean some of this up and ‘amplify’ the signal (yes, the job is right there in the name!)
6. Learn The Lingo
The police don’t have time to recite massively long speeches when they are in the pursuit of crime. Most of their communications will boil down to a couple of words at the most. This means that if you want to stand any chance of enjoying police radio, you are going to need to learn the lingo.
There are plenty of guides online about learning police lingo. It won’t take all that much effort to track down some of them. However, do bear in mind that these guides are not the ‘be all and end all’ guide to the police lingo. Not by a long shot. Each area will likely have developed its own unique way of speaking. The only way that you are going to learn how the police force talk in your local area is by actually listening to them. One day, everything is just going to click and you will seriously end up enjoying those police conversations!
7. Browse The Police Channels
The whole idea of a police scanner is to scan channels. Therefore, it has always baffled us that there are some people that tune in to just one radiofrequency. Don’t do this. If you live in an area of a decent size, then you will have several channels to flick through.
The real thrill of owning a police radio scanner is skipping through all those radio channels that you have available to you. In fact, do not just listen to the police broadcasts, listen to the other emergency services. In fact, there will likely be other public channels too. Have a tinker about with your radio scanner and see what you can unearth.
We promise you, owning a police scanner is a wonderful experience. It can take a bit to get to grips with it, though. Follow these tips, and we are sure you will be using your radio like a pro in no time at all.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.