Frequency scanners: What You Should Know – LIFESTYLE BY PS
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Frequency scanners: What You Should Know

Frequency scanners: What You Should Know

If you have ever asked yourself, “What is a frequency scanner?” or “What does frequency scanning do?”, the answer is actually quite simple. A frequency scanner allows your CB radio to scan different frequencies, letting you know when a channel is open for use. In the unlikely event that two people are using the same channel (collision), both individuals will receive an alert on their radio that a collision has occurred.

A frequency scanner does more than just warn you of impending collisions. While some scanners will simply alert you to the collision, others will provide various amounts of critical information, including the frequency number and call sign being used by the user on the channel that has been affected by the collision. This allows the user to make sure they are communicating on an available channel and not on one that is already used by another party. Those who don’t have scanners can often see what channel other users are using in order to get their attention. However, this option is not always available to those who are scanning.

Frequency  Coverage

If you’re looking for a CB radio , you might have heard the term “coverage”, but what does this actually mean?

A CB radio with more channels and a broader range of frequencies means more options in choosing a channel and more privacy when you talk. If you want to talk with people who live along the same coast as you, in the same town, or even down the street, you may want to choose a CB radio that has a high channel count, like 30 or 40 channels.

Don’t assume that more channels means longer range, however. A CB radio with 27 channels may be more secure than one with 10 channels but not as good for long-range communication.


The frequency scanners that are available today can be divided into two types: analog and digital. Both types of scanners have their own distinctive features. Whereas analog scanners are older, they are still very popular in the market due to their ability to provide efficient reception and transmission. On the other hand, digital scanners have taken over the market with advanced features and services. However, let us have a look at what each one of them is capable of doing.

  • Digital Scanners:

It is nearly impossible to find a mobile user who wouldn’t have heard at least something about digital scanners. A lot of people might think that these scanners provide the same service as an old analog scanner but that isn’t the case. They are quite different from each other in terms of performance and features. Digital scanners are faster, smaller, more reliable and offer more advanced features that help you keep yourself updated about what is happening around you.

  • Analog scanners

Analog scanners, on the other hand, have no internal memory and must be programmed manually to handle multiple channels. Classic radio scanners also lack some of the advanced features offered by digital scanners.

The frequency of the CB radio can be set to several modes:

  • Skip:

Skip is a general purpose CB Radio mode. This is the "default" scan mode for most CB radios when you first turn them on. Skip will scan the entire 40 channel CB band in 5 KHz increments (the band segments are 5 KHz wide). In skip mode you will not hear anything unless another station is transmitting on a frequency that your scanner is currently scanning. This "all or nothing" mode is useful if you are looking for a specific channel that you know someone is using and they may not be transmitting constantly. If you are looking to find other channels on the band, listen in regular mode.

  • Manual Scan: 

The scanner is used to search for nearby frequencies. Once you have found a frequency you want to monitor, press the PTT (Push To Talk) button or switch to transmit mode.

  • Transponder Scan: 

This is the same as the manual scan except the scanner will automatically go to the next unoccupied channel after 15 seconds of scanning. This saves time in looking for new channels.