Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

Share this Page URL

Scanner Selection > Scanner Selection - Pg. 80

80 chapter 5 Analog Wireless Devices order back to from the customer. The speaker at the curbside does not care about who is transmitting on the same frequency, only which signal is the strongest. In the case of pranksters, it's not hard to obtain a radio that is powerful enough, and with some modifications, capable of broadcasting to drive-through speakers. Sometimes creative, sometimes not, these pranks can be entertaining to watch when documented. A sCanner seLeCTIOn There are a huge amount of scanners on the market. Some are aimed at very simple users, while others are aimed at amateur radio enthusiasts and others for professional use. Some of the simplest scanners are aimed at sports fans, namely NASCAR race fans, that use them to listen to the radio transmissions between their favorite drivers and pit crews. Others are aimed at those with voyeuristic intentions and are typically sold as "police scanner" in that they focus on frequencies in use by law enforcement. One does not even need a scanner in some cases as with the advent of the Internet and streaming audio; scanner fans have put their scanners online for anyone to listen to online for free. B There is even an application for the iPhone for listening to scanner feeds from many cities around North America. C While these are limited to police bands, they show the kind of information that can be heard right out of the air. WarnIng When looking to purchase a scanner, be aware that local laws may ban their possession or use by those without special permission or a license (amateur radio). Other jurisdictions have bans on some frequencies and others on convicted felons possessing them. Some rules also cover handheld scanners as opposed to vehicle-mounted units. These rules do not necessarily work to stop the criminal element that may use them against you since they won't care about the law anyway. However, as a law-abiding citizen wanting to test your own equipment, it is highly recommended to familiarize yourself with all the relevant local laws before purchasing or using a scanner or else you might find yourself on the business end of the law. The most important thing to consider in selecting a scanner is the frequency range. A cheaper scanner for the NASCAR crowds may not be capable of the frequencies needed to listen in on your target device (but they may be, depending on the target), but they will probably not have the range necessary. Some research will be needed ahead of time to determine what frequency ranges you require. Generally speaking, the wider the range of frequencies supported, the higher the cost. A B C