So I gave you a post on CB Radios for SHTF communication, now lets discuss scanners. These things are rippin’! I have an old Bearcat scanner that my father gave me. While I don’t use it often (or even have it plugged in), if SHTF this item would be supah sweet.
by Derrick James, SHTFblog founder
“Holy Hell, Honey! The community is falling into chaos. There’s a fire in the distance, another over there. I hear gun shots!”
“I’ll fire up the trusty scanner. Let’s figure out what’s going down, who is where, why the mayhem.”
Related article: Police Scanners for Home Preparedness and Bug Out Bags
Scanners hold a niche of their own in the radio world, different than a CB and different than a short-wave. You can buy a basic model that allows you to listen to local police, fire, ambulance, game wardens, etc. for little money; or you can get a hoity toity expensive model that has crazy performance over a broad range of frequencies. What lines of communication fall under a particular frequency can be a little confusing, so in the “BTW” section of today’s post I’ve detailed SHTF pertinent ranges and descriptions.
The Bearcat was used regularly when I was growing up. Living near the Maine coast one of the most interesting things to lock in on was fishermen conversations as they called home.
“Hey babe, didn’t catch shit. I’ll be home shortly. Okay?”
“You won’t believe who Tracy got caught shacking up with! Your COUSIN!”
Portable, handheld scanners are all the rage now. They run on batteries and you can take them in the field. They cost more, though; and different models come with different numbers of channels. Some of the sweetest models allow you to monitor scanner frequencies AND shortwave (plus AM). These are called “wideband receivers”.
They’re so freaking perfect for a SHTF “go bag” that it isn’t even funny. Hook ’em up with an ear plug so you can listen to what’s going on as you run down the streets, racing from the zombie hordes with your mighty AR in hand.
Communication is critical come TEOTWAWKI. Be “in the know” – score a scanner today, AND you can always use the SHTFblog Amazon search button to find one if you want. 😉 That’d be so appreciated, so sweet.
BTW: as partially quoted from this source: http://www.dxing.com/above30.htm
30 to 50 MHz: This is known as the “VHF low” band. Most transmissions will
be in narrow band FM with channels spaced at 20 kHz intervals. A wide
variety of stations can be heard on this range, including businesses,
federal, state, and local governments, law enforcement agencies, and various industrial radio services.
50 to 54 MHz: This is the six-meter ham radio band.
138 to 144 MHz: The various military services are the biggest users of this
segment in the United States, with most transmissions in narrow band FM and spaced at 5 kHz intervals. You can also hear ham radio operators who are members of the military affiliate radio service (MARS).
144 to 148 MHz: This is the two-meter ham radio band. This is the most
heavily used ham radio band in the United States. USB and various FSK modes are mainly used in the first 500 kHz, and the rest of the band is FM.
216 to 220 MHz: In the United States, this band is used by the automated
maritime telecommunication system (AMTS) used on major inland waterways such as the Great Lakes and the Mississippi river. Communications are in FM on channels spaced at 12.5 kHz intervals. However, the 219 to 220 MHz range is shared with ham radio. On this range, ham stations can be used to relay digital messages to other hams, subject to a maximum power of 50 watts. Hams must first register to use their shared allocation, and cannot use it within range of maritime users.
220 to 222 MHz: This range was reallocated a few years ago from ham radio to land mobile radio.
222 to 225 MHz: This is the 1.25-meter ham radio band. It is mainly used for
FM communication through repeaters, although it is much less heavily used
than the two-meter band.
225 to 400 MHz: This very wide band is used for military aviation
communications in AM. Most channels are 100 kHz apart.
400 to 406 MHz: This range is used primarily by government and military
stations in FM.
406 to 420 MHz: In the United States, this band is used exclusively by the
federal government. All transmissions are in FM, with most channels spaced at 25 kHz intervals.
420 to 450 MHz: This is the 70-centimeter ham radio band, second in
popularity to the two-meter band on VHF/UHF.
825 to 849 MHz: This range is used for cellular telephone service, with
cellular units transmitting here. Listening in this range is prohibited.
866 to 869 MHz: This allocation is used by public safety and law enforcement agencies.
869 to 894 MHz: This range is used for cellular telephone service, with
cells transmitting here. Listening in this range is prohibited.
894 MHz and above: These higher frequencies are where new communications technologies, such as wireless local area networks, spread spectrum telephony, and direct satellite broadcasting are being implemented.