Get the real deal: get a scanner!

The world, as it’s happening. Isn’t that why we go to the internet, to news aggregators and Twitter? Those are all great for national and world news, but in case you haven’t noticed it’s sometimes easier to find out about a building fire in Mumbai than it is to find out about one in your own neighborhood.

That’s why every information junkie needs a police scanner like this one from Uniden. When local agencies respond you’ll know as much as they do. Get every dispatch call, every news item, everything just as it’s happening. You’ll know as much as the local dispatchers know and even more than you’ll find on any web site.

A scanner is nothing more than a radio that is constantly bouncing between frequencies. You can let it do the work or contact your local police and fire to find out what frequencies they use. They have to tell you, although it may take a little while to get the right person to ask. Once you’re locked in on the frequencies you want, the scanner sits quietly listening until it hears something being said, and what they say… you hear. It’s that simple.

Scanners have been around for decades, long before tweeting or instagramming, and they represent the original “instant media.” If you’ve ever seen police cars screaming by you as you’re driving, heard sirens in the distance and wondered why… wonder no more. Just get a scanner and you’ll know.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.