Programing a police scanner

Programing a police scanner DEFAULT

How to Program a Digital Police Scanner

Locate the battery compartment on the scanner first and make sure that you have a battery installed. This will prevent any memory loss if you unplug the scanner from the AC current for long periods of time.

Press the "Manual" button on the scanner. This will stop the channel scanning process.

Enter the channel that you would like to start programming. For instance, if you want to program channel 10, use the numerical keypad to enter 1 and 0, then press "Manual" again.

Enter the frequency number. For instance, if you want to program , use the keypad to enter 1 5 5 "Dot button" 3 4 5. Press "Enter" when you have entered the correct channel.

Press "Manual" again to program additional channels and repeat steps 3 and 4. If you make a mistake when entering the frequency, you can redo step 3 and 4 to reprogram the frequency correctly.

Press "Manual" when you are done programming all of your preferred frequencies, and the scanner will start scanning.



  • Always make sure you enter channels only once, or the scanner will beep three times when you press the "Enter button" to alert you to duplicate frequencies.

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How to Program Frequencies Into a Uniden Bearcat Scanner

Radio-frequency scanners, like the Uniden Bearcat Scanner, check for active radio communications in your immediate area. They're commonly purchased by hobbyists, but they also have many business applications. For example, warehousers can use them to monitor communications between warehouse staff, truckers and security guards. Frequencies can be added during scanning, but it's quicker and more effective to manually program known frequencies.

Programming a Base Model on the Uniden Bearcat Scanner

  1. Connect the scanner to its supplied antenna, or use an external antenna for better reception. Plug in your scanner. Turn on your scanner and ensure that it's working.

  2. Hold down the "Prog" key on your scanner's keypad until the letters "CH" begin blinking on its display.

  3. Choose a storage bank for your first frequency. This can be either Private, Fire/EMG or Police, depending what the frequency is used for.

  4. , use the numeric keypad to enter the first frequency from your list. For example, if the frequency is , you'd press the 1, 2 and 3 keys, then the decimal, then the remaining digits.

  5. Use the numeric keypad to enter the first frequency you want to monitor. For example, if the frequency is , you would press the "1," "2" and "3" keys, then the decimal and then the remaining digits.

  6. Repeat the process to add any additional frequencies and press the "Prog" key again to exit the programming mode.

Programming a Handheld Model of the Uniden Bearcat Scanner

  1. Ensure the battery is fully charged, or plug in the AC adapter. Attach the flexible antenna, or connect your portable to an external antenna for better reception.

  2. Press the "Scan" button to put the handheld into scanning mode and press "Manual" to enter manual programming mode. Your scanner will have a number of available channels that can be programmed. Enter the channel number you wish to use and press "Manual" again.

  3. Enter the frequency you wish to store, using the numeric keypad. For example, if the frequency is , you would press the "1," "2" and "3" keys, the decimal point and then the remaining digits.

  4. Press the "E" or "Enter" key. The display will flash to show the frequency has been stored successfully. If the scanner beeps, that indicates you've already programmed that frequency into a different channel. Press "E" again to store it anyway, or the asterisk if you want to enter a different frequency.

  5. Press "Scan" again to return to scanning mode.

  6. Tip

    Uniden manufactures a wide range of Bearcat scanners. There may be some minor variation in the name of the programming keys.

    Your local Radio Shack typically has a list of frequencies for your area, or you can check on the Internet for radio hobbyist groups.

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How to Program a Police Scanner

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DIY: How to Program a Police Scanner

How to program a police scanner is easy-peasy if you’re someone who’s comfortable with technology. While you can pay for expert police scanner programming, you can most certainly do it on your own. Below, we discuss the different ways you can program a scanner – both manually and using software – both on the computer and on the phone. For instance, police scanners like Uniden and Whistler have paid-for-programming software like FreeSCAN.

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Programming a police scanner is easy-peasy if you’re someone who’s
comfortable with technology, which I assume you are because you’re on this page. While you can pay for expert police scanner programming, you can most certainly do it on your own. Below, we discuss the different ways you can program a police scanner – both manually and using software.

Programming a Base Police Scanner

Step 1: Find the frequencies you want.

Police scanners are all about frequencies, so the first thing you need
to do is find which ones you want to listen to. There are lots of sources
online that can provide you with a database of frequencies in your area.
Whether you want to listen to nationwide, statewide, or county systems, you can select a wider or a more specific coverage.

Mind you, this is the manual way of doing it. It’s great if you want to
listen to specific channels only and you don’t want a lot of clutter in your
memory. So, collect the frequency reference numbers you want and be prepared to input them in your base model.

Step 2: Power Up the Police Scanner

With frequency list in hand, turn on your police scanner to start. Of
course, once the scanner is on, you won’t hear anything yet because nothing’s programmed.

Step 3: Press the programming button.

It’s usually on the face of the base model along with the other buttons. It can display “Prog” or “PGM” depending on the police scanner model. Press it to activate programming mode. Watch out for the “CH” letters on the screen, indicating you’re ready to input a channel and frequency.

Step 4: Input the channel number.

This is where you store your frequencies. There are all sorts of ways you can organize them into channels, but the most common way is to assign one channel for fire, another for emergency services, another for police, and so on.

Step 5: Input the frequency number.

Right after you’ve pressed your desired channel number, go ahead and enter the frequency you want. Don’t forget to press the decimal point. So if you want to enter “” which is the frequency for the County Sheriff in Lancaster, Los Angeles, you press decimal point

Step 6: Press enter.

Step 7: Test using the “MAN, , MAN” sequence.

Press MAN, , MAN and your channel and frequency should appear. If
everything seems fine, go ahead and input another channel and frequency until you’ve finished everything on your list.

Step 8: Exit programming mode.

Simply press the Prog or PGM button again to exit programming mode and
start using your police scanner.

Programming a Handheld Police Scanner

Step 1: Make sure the batteries are charged.

Manual programming can take some time, so make sure the model has enough juice.

Step 2: Gather your frequencies.

You can list down frequencies you like, similar to how we started the process for base models. Alternatively, if you don’t have particular frequencies on hand, you can just press “SCAN” and let the scanner
gather frequencies nearby.

Step 3: Press the MAN or Manual button.

This puts your scanner in programming mode.

Step 4: Input the frequencies.

Enter the frequency number you want to program into your scanner. Don’t forget to press the decimal point in the needed place. After the frequency is set, press “E” or “Enter”. You can repeat the process to enter more frequencies as you like.

Using a Programming Software

This method is for those who are more comfortable with using software to easily program the scanner. I get that you don’t want to be pushing buttons all day with manual programming, so here’s an easy step-by-step on how to do it.

Step 1: Download the programming software on your

There are a number of options out there, with some depending on the brand of the model you have. For instance, recommended police scanners like Uniden and Whistler have Sentinel and EZ Scan, respectively. If your police scanner doesn’t have a software program included, you have other options like FreeSCAN, Butel, and ScanControl. Note that some of these are paid, though.

Step 2: Connect the police scanner to the PC using the programming cable.

Step 3:Create a new configuration.

This will be a bit different depending on the software, but for most, you just click File>New and enter a profile name.

Step 4:Explore the database and find the frequencies you
want to import.

You can find frequencies based on country, state, county or city. All the details for each frequency will be listed in the database. Choose your frequencies and add them to the list.

Step 5: Import frequencies.

Once you’ve gathered everything you want to put in, you can go ahead and import the frequencies into the police scanner. Wait a bit until it’s done importing, and you’re done!

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