How to Buy a Police Scanner


How to Buy a Police Scanner 2019
Scanners give you a live feed of the public safety activity in your area, granting you the ability to hear police reports, EMS calls, firefighter activity, weather alerts, and more.

Police scanners are one of the best worst-kept secrets in the history of modern technology. A powerful means of keeping tabs on all manner of public agencies in your city, scanners are relatively simple to obtain, use, and set up. Most people use them to monitor the law enforcement, fire, and EMS activity in their local area, as well as stay up-to-date on severe weather or emergency alerts.
In the “good old days” of scanning, this was as easy as switching on an analog (or “crystal”) scanner and waiting for the calls to roll in. Things have changed, however. Advances in radio technology have made finding the right one for your city slightly more of a hassle than it used to be.
The good news is we’re here to help! This guide was designed to guide you through picking the best police scanner for your specific area and needs.


Step 1 – Find the Correct Scanner Format

Choosing the correct format is the most important (& confusing) part of buying a police scanner watch ‘how to buy a police scanner’ video. Format types:


Digital Phase 2
Digital Phase 1
› Encrypted


What Format Do I Need?

Look Up Your State Here

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Where you live & what you want to listen to determines what format you need. Additionally, every county, State, agency & business is different. To add to the confusion—these change.


Format Facts

› All communication is moving to phase 2 digital.
› Encrypted signals cannot be picked up on any scanner.
› Some scanner formats can pick up more than one format (See chart below).
Phase 2 digital scanners can pick up all formats (phase 2, phase 1, trunked & analog), phase 1 digital scanners can pick up (phase 1, trunked & analog), trunked scanners can pick up (trunked & analog), analog scanners can only pick up analog.


How to Buy A Police Scanner - Frequency Chart for all Scanner Types


Step 2 – Choose Police Scanner Type


There are 3 types of police scanners. Click below to view all police scanners for that type.


Home police scanner
Handheld police scanner
Vehicle police scanner



Step 3 – Compare & Choose A Police Scanner


Now that you’ve narrowed your search by format & type you can compare scanners. There is a side-by-side comparison on each scanner page under ‘Specifics & Compare’. There is no shortage of things to compare on scanners. Some of the most popular considerations are:

› Price
› Brand – Whistler or Uniden
› Programming
› Memory



Step 4 – What To Buy With Your Police Scanner



› Which accessories you buy will vary greatly based on what scanner you buy.
› On each product page under ‘Accessories’ all accessories for that particular scanner are listed, as well as a brief ‘Why Buy’ & ‘Percent of Sales That Include This Accessory’.



Step 5 – Buy & Enjoy Scanning



Now the fun part – listening to your scanner!


Why choose Zip Scanners?

› Awesome Support
› Free Shipping
› No Tax
› Best Price Guarantee
› Easy Returns
› 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
› We Specialize in Police Scanners Only
› No Refurbished Products
› Great Reputation
› Same Day Shipping



What Do You Think?


Have any questions or think we should add something? Chat with a police scanner expert now



Hero image from Rosemary Ketchum.

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