Scanner or just a cheap transistor radio ?

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It's time that some people learn the difference between a scanner and a cheap transistor radio.

Too often I see auction title's with the word scanner in them to describe a cheap and nasty transister radio which happens to cover airband, cb, emergency service's and amateur radio bands. These radio's are cheap and nasty and will only pick up vey little other than normal broadcast radio station's.

A scanner does just that, it scan's. You don't tune through the frequencies with a silly thumb wheel on the top or side of the radio, you enter the frequencies into a memory bank or search bank using a keypad on the front of the scanner and the scanner scan's them for you. It's not rocket science, a scanner scan's !

When looking at an auction don't be scared to ask the seller some question's before you bid on the item. Ask how many memories the scanner has, anything under 100 is poor. Ask what is the frequency coverage and what mode's does it have, in the UK the most active part of the frequency spectrum using AM or FM mode's is from 27 mhz through to 447 mhz.

One very good feature that some newer scanner's have is a frequency sniffer which is sometime's called "close-call". Basically this feature let's the scanner monitor the frequencie's covered by the scanner and alert's you when it finds a transmission, you can then add the frequency to one of your memories. It's a very good feature for finding out what frequency is being used at air shows or any other event.

So to recap...

A scanner scan's, don't be caught out by cheap and nasty transistor radio's worth no more that 3 or 4 pounds.

Ask the seller question's BEFORE you place a bid if you are unsure if  his item is a scanner or a cheap radio.

Check the frequency coverage.

Check the number of  memories.

Please !, don't get caught out by title's or descriptions using the word scanner to describe a transistor radio. Use the information above and a little common sense and you won't go far wrong.

Thank's for reading this guide, I hope it helps.


P.S - If you see an auction which is selling a cheap radio but describe's it as a scanner then you can help Ebay by reporting that auction. Ebay need's it's users help to keep the site as safe as possible for everyone to buy or sell.

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