How to Make a Police Scanner Pick Up More Frequencies

By Patrick Nelson

A police scanner’s frequency coverage typically ranges from low VHF frequencies of 25.000 to 54.000MHz up to the UHF high frequency of 1300.000MHz with some gaps for services like cellular phones, which by law can’t be scanned. The scanners can be made to pick up any frequency within the frequency coverage (excepting the gaps.) You can make your scanner pick up these frequencies by simply pushing a few buttons.

Step 1

Refer to the RadioReference website for lists of frequencies in your area. RadioReference has frequency lists of police, fire, railroad and more.

Step 2

Turn the scanner on and press the Program button. It’s sometimes marked “PGM” or “PROG.”

Step 3

Enter the channel you want to use to store the new frequency. You can often have hundreds of frequencies programmed. To use Channel 100, just press the digits “100” on the keypad.

Step 4

Enter the frequency you want to pick up using the keypad. Use the period button too and insert the period in the correct place. For example enter “470.5375,” which is the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s main dispatch frequency.

Step 5

Press the Enter button to store that frequency into the channel. The button is sometimes called “ENT.”

Step 6

Press the Manual button, sometimes marked “MAN” plus the digits “100.” The newly-added frequency will be selected.

Tips & Warnings

  • The scanner will automatically round the entered frequency down to the closest valid frequency. If the frequency is already added the scanner will beep three times.