How to Program a Handheld Scanner

By Pamela Gardapee

Learning how to program a handheld scanner will allow you to enter frequencies of interest to you in your area. You can enter state patrol, local police, city and county frequencies, and even frequencies used by your local race tracks. Programming the channels you want to listen to is simple when you follow a few easy-to-follow steps. Make sure that you have a battery backup in the scanner if you are not using an electrical outlet or you will eventually lose the frequencies in your scanner's memory.

Inspect your scanner and familiarize yourself with the buttons. To program your handheld scanner, you will use the "Manual," "Scan" and "Enter" buttons, and the keypad.

Press the "Manual" button on the scanner. Then press a channel number on the keypad and press "Manual" again. For instance, if you want channel 16, press "1" and "6," then "Manual."

Enter the frequency number on the keypad. The decimal point is created by using the "Dot" button on the keypad. For instance, 134.678 would be "1 3 4 Dot 6 7 8." If you make a mistake when you are entering the frequency, press the "Dot" button two times to enter the number again.

Press the "Enter" button to lock the frequency into the channel. You should see the display blink two times if you have stored the frequency correctly. Then repeat these steps to enter more frequencies.

Press the "Scan" button to listen to all channels after you are finished entering the frequencies.