Why Do I Need a Uniden Scanner with Internet Scanner Apps?

Uniden Scanners

One common question people have in today’s Internet and app heavy environments is whether a handheld Uniden scanner or Whistler scanner is really necessary since people can access online police scanners. Handheld police scanners are still an essential piece of hardware for people to own for several reasons.

Running a scanner app on your smart phone limits your channel selections. With an app, you are limited to a few frequencies rather a full spectrum of scanner radio frequencies. With a battery operated handheld scanner you have access to more channels, the ability to monitor your local area better with access to not only sheriff, police, and fir dispatch channels, but also tactical, detective, SWAT, state police, highway patrol, fire ground, and numerous other channels rarely offered on scanner apps. In addition, you can monitor public works, university police, transits and so much more. Remember too, that thousands of local, county, and state agency dispatch channels are not offered on apps since there is no one local in many areas feeding the audio to the Internet. These apps generally rely on hobbyists, who may just decide to take down their feed at any time.

Also, consider you are home during a severe thunderstorm and the power goes out. Your home Internet and cellular hotspot services are down and not working. As a result, you cannot access online police scanners from your computer or smart phone. You have no way of knowing what is going on because you are cut off from the police radio scanner transmissions.

However, if you have a battery operated handheld scanner radio, like the Uniden BCD436HP or Uniden HomePatrol HP2, it does not matter if the power is out or whether your Internet or hotspot service is functioning. You are able to listen and monitor radio frequencies from your local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and emergency responders, as well as other numerous other agencies in your community, and know exactly what is going on in regards to the severe storm.

If you are like 90 percent-plus of the people out there who buy police scanners to listen to live police scanner audio feeds and fire department audio feeds, you want to make sure you hear all of the transmissions from city, county, volunteer, and state agencies. The easiest way to ensure you are able to monitor all of these transmissions is with a Uniden scanner, like the BCD436HP or HomePatrol HP2.

How to Program a BCD436HP and HomePatrol HP2 Uniden Scanner Radios

The BCD436HP and HomePatrol HP 2 Uniden scanner radios are one of the easiest scanners on the market to program. You do not need an advanced degree in computers and electronics to program this scanner. It is as simple as entering in your zip code into the scanner. The scanner does all the work and downloads all of the available scanner radio frequencies available in your area. If you ever want to update the radio frequencies, like if you take the handheld scanner with you on vacation, you just enter in the zip code for wherever you are and the scanner updates to that location.

To learn more about handheld Uniden scanner radio models, including the BCD436HP or HomePatrol HP2, or for professional assistance in choosing the best scanner for your area and needs, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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Selecting Your First Radio Scanner

Scanner FrequenciesBuying your first radio scanner requires understanding the differences between radio systems and scanner frequencies. While you do not need to know exactly how each radio system works, you do need to know which ones are used in your area. It is never safe to assume, just because you live in a small town, your needs will be met with a basic analog scanner. You would be surprised by how many smaller communities have state-of-the-art radio systems, requiring either trunking or digital scanners to listen to two-way radio communications.

  1. Find out what radio systems are used in your town. The first step to selecting a radio scanner is to conduct a little research and find out what radio systems fire, police, and other agencies use for communications. The easiest way to do this is to use our free scanner comparison tool. All you have to do is choose your desired listening range and enter in your zip code. Next, select the counties you want to monitor on your new police scanner to see important information about the radio systems used.
  2. Compare scanner radios based compatible with your location. Our scanner comparison tool also shows you several different models of hand-held portable, mobile, and desktop scanners that will pick up scanner frequencies in your location. The key thing to remember is that it is not what features and options are on the scanner, but the type of radio systems used in your area. Every location is different, and the police scanner has to be matched to the radio systems.
  3. Consider what agencies you want to monitor. Most people buy a scanner to listen to fire, police, and emergency medical responder transmissions. A small percentage of people also use their scanner radios to listen to other government agencies, railroad communications, campus police, and racer/pit crew communications at live NASCAR racing events. Choose a scanner based on the scanner frequencies you want to hear.
  4. Radio systems used in your town can change. Police, fire, emergency responders, and other agencies do upgrade radio systems from time to time. Keep this in mind when selecting a compatible scanner. For instance, if your city currently uses a basic analog radio system, they might decide to upgrade it to a trunking system in the future. Unless you have a scanner capable of picking up both analog and trunking communications, you would no longer be able to monitor any frequencies moved to the new system. You may want to check with your city or county planning commission to find out if there are any plans for upgrading the radio system in the near future before purchasing your new police scanner.
  5. Support options for the scanner. If you know you are going to need help programming and updating the scanners firmware, it is recommended you look at models that can be plugged into a computer. This way, in most cases, you are able to receive remote desktop scanner support without having to send in your scanner any time you need help.

For more information about police scanner radios or friendly assistance from one of our scanner experts, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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What Is the Best Police Scanner?


One frequently asked question by people in the scanner world, as well as those interested in purchasing their first new scanner, is which one is the best police scanner to own. The most straightforward answer is: it depends on the situation. There are several key factors that need to be evaluated to determine what radios scanners are most appropriate for your needs and, from there, these can then be narrowed down to the best scanner radio.

  1. What scanner frequencies are you going to be listening to? Do you want to monitor police, fire, and EMT channels only, or do you also want to be able to listen to railroad, NASCAR racing, and other public broadcast channels?
  2. What signal formats do you need to listen to your favorite scanner frequencies? You need to find out whether local police, fire, EMTs, and other channels you want to listen to use analog, analog trunking, or digital scanner frequencies, or some combination thereof.
  3. How do you intend to use the scanner? If you only intend to listen to transmissions from your home office, a desktop radio scanner could be sufficient. However, if you want to be able to listen to scanner radios while on the go, you need to determine if a handheld or mobile police scanner meets your needs.
  4. How many channels and how much memory does the scanner have? If you intend to save multiple favorites in the scanner, you should look at models with more memory. The number of channels is really not important. What truly is important is the type of radio systems used in your local area. You could have a high end scanner with all the bells and whistles, but may not need it.
  5. How much does the scanner cost? Some people get hung up on cost and think the higher the price, the better the scanner. This is not always the case, and you need to be careful the price does not distract you too much. Remember, you are looking for a scanner with the features and options to satisfy your listening requirements.
  6. How difficult is it to program the scanner? If you are tech savvy, then this probably is not an issue. For other scanner users, there are one-touch programmable scanners where you simply enter in the zip code, and the scanner downloads all available scanner channels. Another option for more complex scanners is to have the scanner preprogrammed before it is shipped to your home or office.
  7. Is the scanner computer friendly? Many modern scanners can be connected to desktop and laptop computers to make downloading radio frequencies and installing firmware updates simple and easy. You are able to obtain remote support for most programming and scanner update issues with computer-friendly models.
  8. What is included with the scanner? Some models include everything you need to get started, while others could require purchasing additional accessories, like an external antenna to pick up more frequencies.

For further assistance in selecting the best police scanner, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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The Easy Way to Program and Load Scanner Codes into Police Scanners

3There are numerous methods for programming and loading scanner codes into police radio scanners. The most appropriate method for your scanner radio depends on the make, model, and type of scanner. Some scanner models are simple and easy to program, and do not have to be manually programmed, like the Bearcat BCD436HP. To program and load scanner codes into this Uniden scanner you simply enter in the zip code of your location. The scanner automatically loads all available police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) channels and scanner frequencies.

Another scanner model that does not require any programming knowledge to load scanner frequencies is the Bearcat BCD536HP model. Just like the BCD436HP model, you enter in your zip code, and the scanner radio does all the work. Both of these Uniden models are well suited for anyone who wants to listen to police, fire, and EMS transmissions, but who does not have the patience or ability to manually program the scanner by hand.

If you are considering Whistler scanners or other models without the zip code feature, and are new to the scanner world, loading scanner codes is not difficult if you have them preloaded at the time of purchase. Your scanner supplier is fully capable of loading and programming your Whistler scanner, like the WS1010 analog handheld police scanner radio, based on where you live, before they ship it to your home or office.

How Do I Get Scanner Codes Updated if I Move and Need Help?

There are a few different options for having your scanner codes updated any time you move to a new location. If you have either a BCD436HP or BCD536HP model, just enter in your new zip code, and the scanner updates itself. If you do not have a scanner with the zip code programming feature, many of the modern scanner radio models on the market today are able to be connected directly to your desktop or laptop computer using a USB connection cable. If you have one of these models, you can obtain Home Town Programming Remote Services. This unique service is where your scanner is reprogrammed using your Internet connection and sharing access to your computer with the scanner programing technician, while the scanner is plugged into your computer.

In situations where your scanner model is older and not able to be connected to your computer, or you do not have a reliable Internet connection for Home Town Programming Remote Services, your other option to have your scanner reprogrammed is to use Home Town Programming Mail-in Service. This is where you mail in your scanner and have the scanner codes updated for your new location. You may also have the firmware in your scanner updated to the latest version while it is being serviced.

For more information about either of these programming services, or assistance in selecting a brand new scanner model, feel free to call us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637) and speak to one of our friendly and experienced scanner technicians.

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10 Uses for Your Police Scanner

Scanner RadioPeople use police scanner radios for a variety of different purposes and reasons to monitor communications in their area over public radio broadcasts. The types of transmissions they are able to listen to does depend on the make and model of the scanner radio, as transmissions may be communicated over an analog trunking system, conventional analog system, or digital system.

  1. Crimes: People can discover what current criminal activity is going on in their neighborhood or city. Do keep in mind, initial communications about a crime in progress do not necessarily mean there is an actual crime until the police investigate a call.
  2. Fire: Listening to scanner radios alerts you to fires in your town. You are able to use this information to determine whether you need to evacuate your home and be prepared, should the fire department ask you to leave.
  3. Weather: People use police radio scanners to monitor communications about severe weather in their location. Many scanner radios operate off of batteries and allow you to continue monitoring weather updates, even in the event you lose power.
  4. Traffic Information: Use your radio scanner to find out where there is heavy traffic congestion, accidents, and other delays in your city.
  5. FRS/GMRS Transmissions: Listen in on both of these public broadcast systems and pick up communications over walkie-talkies and other short range devices.
  6. NASCAR Racing: Hear what your favorite drivers are communicating with their pit crews during live NASCAR racing events with a scanner radio from your seat in the stands.
  7. Over the Road Truck Drivers and RVers: Always be in the know of what is going on as you travel from one location to the next with scanner radios. Police scanners can be programmed with your favorite scanner radio codes for those locations you travel through or visit on a regular basis.
  8. Homemakers: Homemakers can have peace of mind and know whenever there is a possible break-in or other crime occurring in their neighborhood, as well as have inside information about their neighbors any time police, EMTs, or fire fighters show up at their homes.
  9. Neighborhood Watches: Portable models allow you to utilize scanner transmissions into your neighborhood watch program and make your neighborhood better prepared against potential crimes.
  10. Up to Date Information: Scanner radios provide current information so you are always in the know about what is going on in your community.

When selecting a police scanner, remember to verify what types of systems are used in your area. If you intend to use the scanner radio in multiple locations, it is highly recommended you look at digital makes and models. Digital police scanners are capable of picking up all three public radio systems and the scanner frequencies used on each one.

For more information or further assistance in selecting the best scanner radio to fit your needs and requirements, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637). We offer the option of preprogramming your scanner for you before it is shipped.

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Give Bearcat Scanners as Holiday Gifts

2Are you looking for a last minute holiday gift for those difficult people on your list? Why not consider getting them a Whistler or Bearcat scanner as a gift? These radio scanners are the perfect gift for anyone who likes to listen to local police and fire communications. Even though 90 %+ of people use scanners primarily for these purposes, they are also beneficial for monitoring traffic patterns, construction delays, accidents, and other communications over the local public broadcast channels.

How Difficult Is It to Program Bearcat Scanners?

Programming radio scanners is not difficult for most people with some technical background, or if you select user-friendly Uniden Bearcat models, like the BCD536HP or BCD436HP. Another option many people choose is to have police scanners preprogrammed for their locations before they are shipped. When your gift recipients open their holiday gifts, their radio scanners are ready to go. All they have to do is either plug the scanner into an AC outlet, or, if it is a portable Bearcat model, make sure the batteries are fully charged.

What Types of Frequencies Can You Listen to with Bearcat Scanners?

Bearcat scanners monitor a wide range of scanner frequencies from numerous agencies in your area. It is possible to listen to police, fire, railroad, public works, forest rangers, railroad, air traffic, general mobile radio service (GMRS), family radio service (FRS), and car racing. Most basic scanner radios pick up all of these analog transmissions.

Do keep in mind, in certain locations some frequencies may be transmitted over analog trunking or digital systems. If you want to be able to also monitor these transmissions, you need to look at Bearcat scanner radio models with trunking and digital capabilities. It is highly recommended you search our free database for your location to see what types of systems are used in your area, or the location where the scanner is going to be used the most, before ordering police scanners for holiday gifts or for yourself.

What Sorts of Transmissions Can I Hear over Bearcat Scanners?

Radio scanners have a set range of operation. It is possible to extend this range by installing an external antenna. Within the normal range of operation you can hear communications from dispatch centers, police, fire, and emergency medical responders, construction workers, GMRS and FRS radio transmissions, and more, depending on where you live and your distance from the transmission towers. If you have a portable scanner and use this in your vehicle, your range of operation is based on current location. As you drive through town, the types of communications you hear may change if you pick up new transmission towers or go out of range of current towers.

For further assistance in selecting the best Bearcat scanners to give as holiday gifts, feel free to contact us now at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637), and speak to one of our friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable scanner experts.


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2014 Holiday Shopping Tips

It’s that time of the year again for finding the right gift for that special loved one. How about a scanner? Here are 4 things you should keep in mind when buying a scanner.

1. What type of scanner would be the best?
Give us a call, and speak to one of our scanner experts at 1-800-722-6637
Monday – Friday 10AM – 4PM or send us an email.

2. Deciding Base/mobile vs Portable?
Base/Mobile Scanners are normally kept in one location, either in the car or home. Desktop scanners are for home or office use only. Portable Scanners are great for someone that wants to use the scanner everywhere they go (out and about or from room to room in the home, etc.).

3. Scanner programming options:
We strongly recommend our software or our HomeTown Programming option when you buy a scanner. The HomePatrol Series Scanners are pre-programmed for the nation although we still recommend our Set-up and Optimize service. With these services the scanner will be ready to use right out of the box! Programming typically takes 5 to 10 business days and possibly more as it gets closer to the holidays.

4. Accessories
Make sure they have everything they might need or want when they receive their new scanner! A carry case, computer cable, software, mobile antenna and so on. With each scanner on our website you can make your own package and when you buy accessories with the scanner there are added discounts.

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