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Rockford Scanner F.A.Q.
Answers to: About Rockford Scanner, frequencies, radios, our legal department, our social media, contact info, etc….
What is Rockford Scanner? Rockford Scanner, started off in 2009 for scanner hobbyists in the Rockford, Illinois area. to share frequencies, 10 codes, information we heard on the scanner and to help others with their scanners.
It has quickly evolved over the last few years! We became an official freelance news reporting venture.
We are no longer a “hobby”, we are a licensed and official media/press.
Local news outlets use our website to get breaking news as it happens. We provide you with news, that you will not hear on your local news. Plus much more.
Why did you not make a posting about a story? We are not able to monitor the scanners 24/7. So we unfortunately do miss some stories. If you know any information on a story, feel free to contact us anytime with the information and we will post it for you. Also, If we were asked by someone involved in the article (can prove they are) to not make a posting or to remove a story, we will do so under certain circumstances. And on certain occasions we will not make a post, because of privacy, personal, or other reasons.
Would you mind if I put the Rockford Scanner website link onto my website ?
We would very much appreciate it! Most of our fans find us by hearing about our website from other satisfied fans.
Those 2 streets do not intersect? We post what we hear. If they do not intersect, then we are talking about the generalized area. We try to be as accurate as possible. If they do not intersect, then please let us know.
Why do you not post all of the info. you hear on the scanner? We feel that it is best to not post certain things. Depending on the situation. Also, we all have personal lives and do not always monitor the scanner 24/7, so we do miss some stuff. If you know some information on something, feel free to email us as much information as possible at RockfordScanner@Gmail.com .
On occasion I might see an error? When we write the articles and make posts, we are listening to the scanner and getting as much accurate information as possible, while writing up the article we do make errors. (No one is perfect, especially when trying to multi-task. We are human) If yo do see any errors, we highly encourage you to contact us and let us know so we can correct it, thanks.
How do we get our information? Most of it comes from the scanner and fans. We also get information from: Our fans (THANK YOU!!!) , our media partners, and from the emergency departments involved via press releases, etc…. So we get it from various sources. So long story short, many different sources.
Why the scanner hobby? Every day and night, scanner hobbyists are entertained by what they overhear on their radios. Police cars, fire engines, ambulances, airplanes, armored cars, trains, taxis, and buses are all equipped with radios and you can listen to them. You can monitor the local sheriff and fire departments to hear about events “as they happen,” before the news reporters hear about them. Hostage dramas, bank robberies, car crashes, chemical spills, neighbor and domestic disputes, tornado sightings are all fair game. In a single afternoon, you can hear a high speed police chase, Drug Enforcement agents on a sting operation, and undercover FBI agents as they stakeout a suspect. Stay ahead of road conditions by listening to highway road crews, snow plows, and traffic helicopter pilots. Many midwesterners monitor the state police and and county sheriff to learn of approaching tornadoes long before warnings are broadcast on TV and commercial radio. Take your scanner to sporting events and listen to race car drivers, football coaches, etc., in the 151, 154, and 468 MHz ranges. Monitor the everyday hustle and bustle of businesses, from cable TV repair crews tracking down pirate descrambler boxes, to security guards at your nuclear power plant or mall security guards chasing a shoplifter.
Is listening to the scanner legal? Yes, it is legal to listen to a police scanner. It is illegal to listen to it, if you are committing any type of a crime.
You can hear police and fire departments, ambulance services, government agencies, private companies, amateur radio services, aircraft, and military operations. It is legal to listen to almost every transmission your scanner can receive. However, there are some electronic and wire communications that are illegal to intentionally intercept. These include: telephone conversations (cellular, cordless, or other private means of telephone signal transmission), pager transmissions, and scrambled or encrypted transmissions. According to the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), as amended, you could be fined and possibly imprisoned for intentionally listening to, using, or disclosing the contents of such a transmission unless you have the consent of a party to the communication (unless such activity is otherwise illegal). These laws change from time to time and there might be state or local laws that also affect legal scanner usage.
What are the police codes, when they talk on the scanner? Police use their own language when talking on the scanner. Not all departments use the same codes. They do this, so average people listening to the scanner do not understand what type of call they are going to.
You can view the common 10 codes – click here
What type of stuff can I hear on the scanner? The typical calls you will hear on a normal basis will include; vehicles being pulled over, domestic disputes, fights, drunk drivers, etc… The other stuff you will hear will include murders, shootings, armed robberies, fires, medical calls, major car accidents, stabbings, bank robberies, home invasions, etc… In the Rockford Area you will typically hear one of these major calls per hour. (Update: RPD went encrypted)
When listening to the scanner, I hear weird noises like morse code and also static, what is this? Police radios send out digital signals that have to identify themselves over certain periods of time. It is a FCC license rule. Yes, it can be annoying at times, but it is a part of listening to the scanner. It happens a lot. Usually it lasts for a few seconds, but can last up to several minutes.
Is it legal to broadcast the scanner over the internet? Yes, it is legal. There are a few things that can not be broadcast over the internet. Things that can not be broadcast include the following stuff; SWAT, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, Events, etc…
Do you help program scanners? Yes, we can help you program your scanner. We do want to stress, there are so many different variation of scanners these days, we might not know how to program your scanner. If we can’t, we can refer you to someone who can.
Why is the scanner quiet at times? The scanner is not always active 24-7. There are times it will scan for hours without it transmitting. This is normal. It is only active when a dispatcher keys up on the microphone or when an officer keys up on their microphone. Also a scanner feed may be down at times, for maintenance. This is normal.
Why does it say the scanner is offline, but is transmitting audio? The hosting for the scanner is probably overloaded, when it is, it usually says the scanner is offline. But the scanner is still up and running and transmitting. This is also normal.
Why is the scanner offline? The feeds are not always online 24/7. There are several reasons for this. Maintenance, scanner or computer issues, bandwidth bills, there can be many different reasons why a scanner may be offline. Yes, we understand that it is nice to listen too. But certain things come into play when broadcasting a scanner feed.
What can I hear on my scanner? Originally called police scanners, today’s scanner radios receive much more than just police and emergency calls. You can listen to taxicab companies, utility companies, aircraft, military, amateur radio, family radio service, and sometimes even the space shuttle. Basically if a two-way radio is being used then a scanner can usually pick up the signal.
What is a frequency? A frequency is the number you program into your scanner to pick up who ever it is you want to listen to. The transmission/receive frequency of the person who keys up the mic and us scanner listeners can hear it
How far away will my scanner pick up? Scanners can pick up signals from as short as a few feet to thousands of miles. Many of the scanner frequencies are “line of sight” so you would not expect the signals to cover beyond the horizon. Some signals actually bounce of the earth’s atmosphere and can travel thousands of miles. Generally, expect the scanner to receive signals from a 25 to 50 mile radius from your location. It all comes down to the type of antenna you have.
Do frequencies change often? Frequencies do not change often, but they do change. You can look up frequency information on the FCC database.
What is a bank? A bank is a grouping of channels. Generally, you will program one frequency on a channel. Then many channels into a bank.
What does the squelch do? The squelch quiets the background radio noise when there is no signal present.
What are birdies? Birdies are frequencies your scanner uses when it operates. These operating frequencies might interfere with broadcasts on the same frequencies. If you program one of these frequencies, you will hear only noise on that frequency. If the interference is not severe, you might be able to turn up the squelch to cut out the birdie.
A Guide To The Action Bands: With the right frequencies programmed into your scanner, you can monitor exciting events. With a little investigation, you can find active frequencies in your community. We can give you some general pointers, and you can take it from there. Please use caution and common sense when you hear an emergency call. Never go to the scene of an emergency. It could be very dangerous.
As a general rule on VHF, most activity is concentrated between 153.785 and 155.98 MHz and then again from 158.73 to 159.46 MHz. Here you find local government, police, fire and most such emergency services. If you are near a railroad yard or major railroad tracks, look around 160.0 to 161.9 MHz for signals.
In some larger cities, there has been a move to the UHF bands for emergency service. Here, most of the activity is between 453.025 and 453.95 MHz and between 456.025 and 467.925 MHz.
In the UHF band, frequencies between 456.025 and 459.95 MHz and between 465.025 and 469.975 MHz are used by mobile units and control stations associated with base and repeater units that operate 5 MHz lower (that is, 451.025 to 454.950 and 460.025 to 464.975 MHz). This means that if you find an active frequency inside one of these spreads, you can look 5 MHz lower (or higher) to find the base station/repeater for that service.
Typical and Primary Band Usage, and Specified Intervals
Typical Band Usage
|HF Band (3.0 – 30.0 MHz)|
|25.00 – 28.63 MHz||Mid Range|
|25.00 – 28.63 MHz||Mid Range|
|28.00 – 29.70 MHz||10-Meter Amateur Band|
|29.70 – 29.90 MHz||High Range|
|VHF Band (30.00 – 300.0 MHz)|
|30.00 – 50.00 MHz||Low range|
|50.00 – 54.00 MHz||6-Meter Amateur|
|54.00 – 72.00 MHz||FM-TV Audio Broadcast, Wide Band|
|88.00 – 108.00 MHz||FM Radio Broadcast, Wide Band|
|108.00 – 136.00 MHz||Aircraft|
|138.00 – 144.00 MHz||U.S. Government|
|144.00 – 148.00 MHz||2-Meter Amateur|
|148.00 – 174.00 MHz||High Range|
|220.00 – 222.00 MHz||New Mobile Narrow Band|
|222.00 – 225.00 MHz||1.3-Meter Amateur|
|225.00 – 287.80 MHz||Military Aircraft|
|UHF Band (300.00 MHz – 3.0 GHz)|
|311.00 – 384.00 MHz||Military Aircraft|
|406.00 – 470.00 MHz||U.S. Government|
|420.00 – 450.00 MHz||0.6-Meter Amateur|
|450.00 – 470.00 MHz||Low Range|
|470.00 – 806.00 MHz||FM-TV Audio Broadcast, Wide Band|
|851.00 – 856.00 MHz||Conventional Systems|
|856.00 – 861.00 MHz||Conventional/Trunked Systems|
|861.00 – 866.00 MHz||Trunked Systems|
|866.00 – 869.00 MHz||Public Safety|
|869.00 – 894.00 MHz||Common Carrier|
|935.00 – 940.00 MHz||Private Trunked|
|940.00 – 941.00 MHz||General Trunked|
As a general rule, most of the radio activity is concentrated on the following frequencies:
|VHF Band (30.00 – 300.0 MHz)|
|144.00 – 148.00 MHz||2-Meter Amateur|
|153.785 – 155.980 MHz||Government, Police, and Fire|
|158.730 – 159.460 MHz||Emergency Services|
|160.000 – 161.900 MHz||Railroad|
|UHF Band (300.00 MHz – 3.0 GHz)|
|440.00 – 450.00 MHz||0.6-Meter Amateur Band FM Repeaters|
|450.000 – 470.000 MHz||Land Mobile “Paired” Frequencies|
|451.025 – 454.950 MHz||Base Stations|
|456.025 – 459.950 MHz||Mobile Units|
|460.025 – 464.975 MHz||Repeater Units|
|465.025 – 469.975 MHz||Control Stations|
Note: UHF remote control stations and mobile units typically operate at 5 MHz higher than their associated base and relay repeater units.
Frequencies in different bands are accessible only at specific intervals. For example:
|VHF, HAM, and Government||5.0 kHz steps|
|All Others||12.5 kHz steps|
|Aircraft||25.0 kHz steps|
Note: Your scanner rounds the entered frequency to the nearest valid frequency. For example, if you try to enter 151.473, the scanner might accept this as 151.470
- 1 MHz (million) = 1,000 kHz (thousand)
To convert MHz to kHz, multiply by 1,000:
- 9.62 MHz x 1000 = 9620 kHz
To convert from kHz to MHz, divide by 1,000
- 2780 kHz / 1000 = 2.780 MHz
To convert MHz to meters, divide 300 by the number of megahertz
- 300 / 7.1 MHz = 42.25 meters
Why support Rockford Scanner? Please support Rockford Scanner, to help keep our website online. It costs a lot of money to keep the website online. Hosting, Domain name, etc… This will help keep our website online, so everyone can enjoy our website! You can support and read more about this by CLICKING HERE
What type of scanners are being broadcast? Scanner feeds are provided by Broadcastify.com we are not sure who broadcasts all the scanner feeds and what type of equipment they use.
Can you put your scanner online? Yes, we encourage anyone with a scanner, to broadcast it online. Please email us and we will be able to give you the details on how to set it up.
Why do I see the police, fire, ambulance or any other emergency personnel, but never heard anything on the scanner? With technology these days, police have started using MDT’s (Computers inside police vehicles) and they also use cell phones and other means of communication as well. So not all the calls are broadcast over the scanner.
Update: They use encryption now. Another reason why you may not hear over the airwaves.
Side Note: When a call comes over the scanner, the info. provided is via the dispatcher to the officers. Some of the info. is not accurate at times. Rockford Scanner strives to be as accurate as possible, but we can not guarantee all the info. we post is 100% accurate. Because our info is from the scanner. So, the info. broadcast over the scanner and the actual incident might be different. If any of our information is incorrect, we do apologize. And we highly recommend you emailing us with the correct info. and any updates.
What sites and social networking are OFFICIALLY own or ran by Rockford Scanner? Below are the OFFICIAL website and social networking sites. Anything that is NOT listed below, is NOT affiliated with us.
Website ~ http://RockfordScanner.com
Facebook Page ~ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rockford-Scanner/214732295205455
Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/#!/RockfordScanner
ONLY THE ONES LISTED ABOVE ARE AFFILIATED WITH ROCKFORD SCANNER
We want to explain something to our fans. Several people have asked. And we want to explain. We had an issue with people posting spam and viruses and other bad things in the comment area on our social networking sites. So now a days we have to moderate the comments. So when you make a comment, it is “Gray” that means it is held in moderation until an admin is able to review the comment to make sure it is not spam or anything else bad.
We do this to HELP PROTECT our fans. We do not want someone posting something in the comments area, and an unsuspecting fan clicks on the links. Or posting the names of a victim, before a family is notified. We want to protect our fans in every way possible.
Yes, it is sad a few have ruined it for the rest. But it is for the best. There are bad people out there, that like to post bad things in the comment area.
This is why it says EX: 100 comments, but you only see 10 of them. The rest are in moderation until an admin reviews it, to make sure the comment is not spam, viruses, or victims names, etc…
We are not able to monitor the comments 24/7, so the comments might be in moderation for awhile at times. We do this to protect our fans. We want to protect our fans in every way possible. We do apologize. Thank you for understanding
Why do people ask “Where” in the comments? The location and information is in the articles. Most the time we even post maps along with the articles. It takes not even a second to click on the link to read the article. It takes more time to type out “where”, then to the click the link to the article and find out.
How can I contact Rockford Scanner? To contact us ~ Click Here
Contact us for the following reasons :
- Advertising on our website
- Info. on a story
- Photos or video
- Sponsoring Rockford Scanner
- Story updates or corrections
How do I become a volunteer for Rockford Scanner? Please visit the following link, on information on becoming a volunteer for Rockford Scanner. CLICK HERE
Where can I see the Rockford Scanner sponsors and friends? Click Here To View Our Sponsors & Friends
Where can I view the terms and agreements? CLICK HERE
Rickie, The Founder of Rockford Scanner
Special thanks to http://www.nat-com.org/