The Uniden BCD536HP and BCD436HP Are User Friendly Scanners

There are all different levels of users in the scanner community, ranging from new hobbyists, to long time scanner enthusiasts, to professionals using scanners as part of their jobs. Finding the right scanner to fit your skill level with the features you want is essential in order to be able to get the most out of your scanner. The Uniden BCD536HP and BCD436HP are two scanner models that are ideal for users of all skill sets and include a wide range of features to make owning and using a scanner radio fun and enjoyable, such as:

Scanner Radio

  • TrunkTracker V Support: Monitor LTR, X2-TDMA, Motorola, APCO Project 25 Phase I and Phase II, and EDACS trunked radio systems.
  • Multiple Frequency Coverage: Monitor the scanner frequencies used by numerous agencies, like police, fire, public works, university security, forest rangers, and more.
  • Simple Programming: Choose from several flexible channel selection options, like GPS, zip code, or service types, and select your locations and the frequencies you want to hear. The BCD536HP and BCD436HP radio scanners automatically program the channels based on these selections.
  • Auto Update Using a GPS: By plugging a GPS into the scanner, radio frequencies are automatically updated as you move from one location to another. This feature is ideal for those who listen to their scanner in their vehicle while traveling.
  • Easy Scanning: The scanners allow you to select from your favorites lists, the main frequency scanner database, or custom combinations of these to monitor transmissions.
  • Sentinel Software: Install the software on your laptop or desktop computer, and plug the scanner into any USB port any time you want to update the firmware or the scanner database, as well as edit, manage, and create your favorites lists.
  • Front Panel Programmable: Both Uniden scanner models allow users to program their scanners using the front panel, without being complex or complicated.
  • Selectable Scan Control: Scan radio frequencies by pushing the channel hold, dedicated system, or department buttons, or use the quick key access to use your favorite lists.
  • Remote Access: The BCD536HP includes Wi-Fi access, so you can monitor and control your scanner from anywhere in your home using your smartphone or tablet. The Wi-Fi access feature gives you full control of your scanner radio over an Internet connection while you are away from home. You can even configure the Wi-Fi settings as a remote access point, if the scanner is installed in your car, and use your mobile device to control and listen to the scanner in your vehicle.

Who Uses Uniden BCD536HP and BCD436HP Scanners?

The types of people who use the BCD536HP and BCD436HP scanners include law enforcement radio systems technicians, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, news agencies, hobbyists, homemakers, truck drivers, and other people from a variety of backgrounds and professions. Anyone can own and operate a scanner radio to monitor what is going on in their community or while they travel around the country. People use their Uniden scanners to monitor traffic conditions, road closures, weather alerts, accidents, fires, and crimes in their community.

For more information about Uniden BCD536Hp and BCD436HP scanner radios, feel free to contact us at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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Radio Scanner versus Online Police Scanner

Radio Scanner

People have various ways for listening to scanner frequencies. They could purchase their own personal radio scanner or use an online police scanner radio. There are several differences between these listening methods. Deciding which one is best for what depends on the frequencies you want to listen to and monitor. Most online scanner applications only monitor a single government agency, such as the Boston Police. If you want to listen and monitor emergency services or fire frequencies, you have to download and install another application. Further, you might be limited to only running one application at a time, so, if you want to listen to multiple channels, you have to open and close each application to switch frequencies.

With a radio scanner, you do not have to worry about these issues. Instead, you can configure your scanner to monitor and scan the frequencies you want to listen to, or set it to one specific channel. There is no software to download, install, or update. An online police scanner requires maintaining an active Internet connection in order to listen to channels. If your Internet connection goes down, you cannot listen to an online scanner. When you use a radio police scanner, you do not require an active Internet connection. The device operates using either AC power, or batteries, to monitor scanner frequencies.

Another major difference between a radio scanner and an online police scanner is the number of channels you can monitor. With an actual police scanner, you are able to monitor your local area in far greater depth, compared to an online scanner. You have access to more channels, like public works, railroads, college campus police, taxis, and several other agencies not available with online scanner applications. However, keep in mind, actual radio scanners do have limitations on the distance they are capable of picking up frequencies, depending on the model of scanner you use. Without an outdoor antenna, physical scanners ranges are between 10 and 30 miles. If you do not want to install an antenna and want to hear frequencies farther away, then an online application would be more appropriate.

Scanner monitoring laws and regulations vary, from state to state. Some states do allow people to use portable radio scanners in their vehicles and other locations whenever they are not at home or work. It is your responsibility to review the laws in your area in regards to where you are allowed to use actual scanner radios and online scanner applications. Taking the time to review these regulations prevents you from using the wrong type of police scanner or scanner application. It hardly needs mentioning that regardless of whether you use a police scanner radio or an online application, it is against the law to use a scanner or monitoring device during the commission of a crime.

For more information about police scanner radios, or assistance in selecting the best unit for your location, contact us today by calling 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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Is It Illegal to Listen to Live Police Scanner Audio Feeds?

Scanner radioOne common question people have about police scanners is whether it is against the law to listen to live police scanner audio feeds. It is not illegal to monitor police audio feeds and police scanner frequencies with radio scanners from the privacy of your own home or business. However, each state sets its own laws in regards to monitoring police radio frequencies with portable scanner radios and using online police scanner apps on smartphones. If you intend to listen to these transmissions, it is your responsibility to check with your local government agencies to find out more about the laws and regulations in your area.

Why Do People Listen to Live Police Scanner Audio Feeds?

People monitor police scanner frequencies and listen to live police scanner audio feeds for various reasons. For instance, reporters and journalists rely upon these transmissions to learn about potential news stories they feel should be shared with the general public. Off duty police officers, volunteer firefighters, and other emergency responders listen to scanner chatter to know exactly what is going on, especially during emergencies, to determine whether they need to report for duty, such as during a major power outage. In addition, people use a police radio scanner to find out about accidents and traffic congestion, so they can avoid these areas and take alternate routes.

What Information Is Shared over Police Scanner Frequencies?

The information communicated over police scanner frequencies is normally limited to specific details between the dispatcher and the responding agency. For instance, if there is traffic accident, the dispatcher normally alerts police, fire, and ambulance services. Upon arrival at the scene, the responding agencies may communicate whether anyone is injured and if towing services are needed. However, more sensitive information, such as the names of those involved in the accident and extent of injuries, are communicated through other secure channels, rather than publically broadcasted over live scanner audio feeds.

How to Select the Best Police Scanner

Finding the top police scanner to use to monitor and listen to scanner communications largely depends on how and where you want to use the scanner. If you are going to be using the scanner radio at home or your business, or your local laws allow you to install it in your vehicle, a base or mobile scanner is a good choice. On the other hand, if you want a scanner to use for emergencies, or your local laws allow you to carry a scanner radio with you wherever you go, then you should consider a portable scanner. The key to selecting the best scanner is not getting distracted by the features or number of channels offered on a particular model, but ensuring the model you select is capable of picking up the radio frequencies used by your local fire, police, and other government agencies.

For further assistance in selecting an appropriate scanner compatible with the radio frequencies in your area, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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Journalists Monitor Police Scanner Frequencies for News Stories

Police ScannerDid you ever wonder how journalists and news agencies learn about breaking stories as they occur? Many newsworthy stories are obtained by journalists monitoring police scanner frequencies using scanner radios. They might learn about a fire at a local apartment complex, a break-in at a local business, or some other type of emergency. Police, fire, public works, and other government services use radio frequencies as a means of communications. These radio frequencies are normally not blocked, so anyone with a radio scanner can access the communications between dispatchers and the responding agencies.

Journalists listening to police scanner frequencies do need to confirm their stories for accuracy before releasing the information to the general public. Not all information is openly shared between dispatchers, police, fire, and other responders over police scanners. More sensitive details about the situation are typically communicated over other secure devices, such as inboard computers and cell phones.

For example, a journalist hears fire and ambulance services were dispatched to the home of the mayor. Unless other details are shared over the scanner radio, they have no other information to report until they can follow up on the story. The only information they could share on the evening news or in the local paper is that emergency responders were dispatched to the mayor’s home. Journalists need to be careful to avoid elaborating further on the story until they have obtained all of the facts.

Is It Beneficial for Journalists to Share Information from Police Scanner Frequencies?

There is some debate as to whether the information obtained from police scanner frequencies should be shared with the general public by journalists. Most local government agencies do not mind if communications are shared with the general public, as long as they are reported correctly without any conjecture. What they expect from journalists, as well as from others using police scanners in their homes, is to be responsible with the information obtained from scanner frequencies. Thanks to modern technologies and the Internet, information is shared at a faster speed today than it was in the past. Journalists and others can post status updates on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, as well as news web pages. Since information is easier to share, accurate reporting is essential in order to avoid creating wide-spread panic in local communities.

In addition to reporting on news pieces, journalists can use scanner radios to report details about weather emergencies, such as major snow storms, tropical storms, severe thunderstorms, and hurricanes. Sharing details about weather emergencies is beneficial for local government agencies. Journalists are able to assist police, fire, and other emergency responders in getting people off of streets, informing them to stay at home or go to their local shelters, as well as to share updates about the weather emergency.

If you are a journalist or want to monitor police frequencies at home, contact us to order your scanner or scanner package today, by calling 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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What Law Enforcement Thinks about People Using Scanner Radios


Most police scanners are not illegal to use in a fixed location – say, your home or office — or in vehicles, in certain states. The primary thing to remember, when monitoring chatter on scanner radios, is this information is being communicated between the dispatch center and the agency dispatched to investigate the call. Police agencies do not think these types of communications require blocking to prevent the general public from hearing the communications over a police radio scanner.

Law enforcement wants people to be aware of and understand that the information communicated over police scanners should not be taken as fact. For example, someone reports a suspicious person lurking behind the bushes outside of their neighbor’s home. Until the police investigate the call, it does not necessary mean there really is a person. Once the police arrive on the scene, the suspicious person could turn out to be a chair with a tarp draped over it, and a rake leaned against the chair in such a manner to make it appear like it is a person.

Further, police do not always report over scanner radios the outcome after investigating calls. In cases where there is an event in progress, police have other means for communicating with dispatchers and other key agencies, like their in-vehicle secure computers and cell phones. Whenever information is vital to a case or sensitive in nature, it is normally not openly shared over police scanners.

Now that you understand this essential bit of information about police scanners, using these devices is an ideal method for learning what is going on in your community. Not everything communicated over scanners is published in your local paper or broadcast on the evening news. In addition, a radio scanner is used by some people as a method of being alerted about a weather emergency, civil emergency, or other critical event occurring in your community, as it is occurring. For instance, several scanner radio models operate off of batteries. If you lost power due to a severe thunderstorm, your scanner would be an effective way to be kept updated about the status of the storm.

However, whenever communications are not blocked, people are still able to find out basic information about events in their local community. Just remember this is preliminary information about the event, and there could easily be more details not being openly communicated.

To learn more about police scanner radios, or for assistance in selecting a model, contact us at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637) today.

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Why People Use Police Scanners

scannerPolice scanners allow people to listen to communications of local police, fire, public works, and other agencies in their communities. The scanner is similar to a radio receiver, as it scans multiple frequencies and finds transmissions as they occur. Keep in mind, the radio scanner is a one-way receiver for monitoring two-way radio traffic, and it does not transmit. For example, your local dispatcher sends a communication to the fire department. Your fire scanner picks up the transmission and allows you to hear what the dispatcher is saying. When the fire department responds again, the scanner allows you to hear the response.

People use police scanners for various reasons. Some people are radio enthusiasts and enjoy listening to their scanners to find out what is going on within the local community. Off duty police officers, volunteer and off duty full time fire fighters, EMTs, and other professionals use scanners to be alerted to events going on locally, as well as in nearby communities. News agencies also use scanners to find out if there are any interesting activities going on which should be reported to the general public on the evening news broadcast or in the morning newspaper.

Why People Are Choosing Police Scanners over Police Scanner Apps

There are numerous police scanning apps for mobile devices and smart phones. However, the use of these apps may be illegal in many states whenever they are used outside of the home. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal to purchase, own, and operate police scanners inside your home. There are a few exceptions you should be aware of, depending on where you live. It is your responsibility to review your state’s laws in regards to scanner usage. For example, in certain states it is against the law to use a scanner in your vehicle. In most states it is illegal to use a scanner or scanner app while committing a crime.

Another reason people prefer scanners over apps is because they monitor a wider range of frequencies, including older analog transmissions. Many of the free apps you find online only monitor specific channel frequencies and digital transmissions, so you may only hear chatter from your local police department, but not pick up any traffic from fire departments, emergency responders, and other agencies in your location. If you want to know why the fire truck just drove past your home with its lights on, you need to use a real scanner instead of a mobile app.

One key benefit of using scanners is they operate independently and can be left on for as long as you want to listen. With a mobile app, you have to open the right one in order to monitor communications. If you receive a phone call, text message, or want to use a different app, you have to close the scanning app. Additionally, if your battery goes dead or you lose cellular service, the app stops working.

For more information about police scanners or assistance in choosing a model, contact us today at 1-800-SCANNER (1-800-722-6637).

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New Products – Radio Shack Scanners are back!

Radio Shack’s most popular models are back and now available again through Scanner Master as well as Radio Shack stores.  These include the high-end APCO-25 digital base and mobile scanners as well as the low-end analog radios. Call 1-800-SCANNER to order now or online anytime.

Basic Analog Conventional Scanners
Simple to program for those basic analog VHF/UHF communications

  • 200 Channel Handheld Scanner in 10 Banks
  • Analog Entry Level Scanner (no trunking or digital)RS_BasicPRO549-550
  • VHF and UHF Coverage – No 800 MHz
  • 5 One Touch Service Searches
  • PC Programmable

Radio Shack PRO-649
Handheld Police Scanner

Radio Shack PRO-650
Desktop Police Scanner


Digital Trunking Scanners
Sensitive, amazing digital decoding, simple menu structure

  • Store up to 1,800 frequenciesRS_BasicPRO651-652
  • Object-Oriented, Menu-driven programming
  • Signal Stalker II Near field frequency capture
  • Multi-Site Trunking Scanning

Radio Shack PRO-651
Digital Handheld Scanner

Radio Shack PRO-652
Digital Base/Mobile Scanner

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