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Radio Monitoring - A How To Guide

Radio monitoring can be a fun hobby and can keep you informed in cases of emergency. There are many types of radio services available to the casual listener. Fire, Police, Sheriff's, Emergency Medical Services (EMS for short) all, are easy to listen too and garner the most attention from the casual and survival listener.

Radio Monitoring

Only requiring a radio scanner, that is available at most department store's, You too can begin radio monitoring yourself. You can listen to local emergency radio traffic and know what is happening in your local community. You can tune into NOAA weather radio to obtain current weather conditions, the weather forecast and also listen to local HAM radio operators.

Radio Monitoring - A How To Guide-old short wave radio


The different LF to UHF bands have different uses and different types of communications. From over seas broadcasts to your local public service agency's, there is always something to listen to.

VHF and UHF Bands

Radio monitoring in these very high frequency (VHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) bands are line of sight frquencys of the radio spectrum and as a consequence can only be used for short distance communication. In order to get more usable distance, police, Sheriff's, EMS and radio HAM's use another piece of radio equipment called a repeater. A repeater is exactly what the name implies. It receives a radio signal on one frequency and repeats it back out on another frequency. A repeaters antenna is usually located on a radio tower and high on a hill or on a tall building. Placing the repeater antenna in an elevated location helps to receive and transmit a stronger radio signal over a larger area.

When radio monitoring, most VHF and UHF signals are frequency modulated (FM). Much like the FM wide band radio receiver in your car, emergency services and HAM radio operators use FM narrow band, to communicate. With the use of filters, a more narrow area of radio frequency is used in emergency services to allow closer frequency separation and in turn more usable frequency's in an already crowded band.

You will find voice and digital signals in the VHF and UHF bands consisting of FM, SSB (single side band) voice and digital using packet.

The generally accepted VHF frequency range is 30-300 MHz. UHF is 300-3000 MHz.

Listening To HF and LF HAM And Short Wave Broadcasts

In order to listen to HAM radio operators and short and long wave broadcast stations, you will need a radio capable of receiving and demodulating amplitude modulated (AM) and single side band (SSB) signals. These types of radios can be purchased from electronic stores or ordered on line from Amazon. If you are planing on becoming a HAM radio operator, most HF HAM radios, or as they are known by amateur radio operators(HAM operators) as rigs, receive the LF to HF bands.

Short wave (SWL) radios can be purchased in compact battery operated designs up to large rack mounted radios.

radio monitoring-short wave recever

HAM radios can be bought in mobile and base station designs. These types of radios require an external antenna.

radio monitoring-kenwood HF transceiver


HF Band

Radio monitoring in the  high frequency (HF) band is where you will find long distance communications. Depending on time of day, atmospheric and solar conditions, these are the bands you can receive radio signals from across the state, across the sea or the other side of the world depending on the frequency used.

Radio Monitoring - A How To Guide-radio tower

HF communications are truly world wide. In the not to distant past, world governments, HAM radio operators, militarys, television networks, the phone company(Bell Telephone and AT&T), ships at sea, airlines and news services used high frequency (HF) communications to accomplish their tasks. Sometimes using phone (microphone or voice) but more often using telegraphy (CW or better known as Morse code), world governments, HAM radio operators, militarys, media, communications, shipping and airline companys and spy's used and some still use HF radio to operate. There is still a great deal of HAM radio activity and short and long wave broadcast stations in the the HF bands.

You will find voice and digital signals in the HF band consisting of AM, SSB (single side band) voice and digital using radio teletype (RTTY), AMTOR, PACTOR, FAX, HF PACKET, PSK31 Morse code and other digital modes. There are digital modems and computer programs available to decipher these signals and display them on your computer screen.

The HF band is the 3-30 MHz range.

LF Band

Radio monitoring in the low frequency (LF) band is where you will find amplitude modulated (AM) broadcast stations in the US and over seas. You will also find Ham radio operations, radio navigation, time and military communications. This can be a useful band to listen to.

Radio Monitoring - A How To Guide-radio broadcast

You will find voice and digital signals in the LF band consisting of AM, SSB (single side band) voice and digital using radio teletype (RTTY), AMTOR, PACTOR, FAX, HF PACKET, PSK31 Morse code and other digital modes. There are digital modems and computer programs available to decrypt these signals and display these messages on your computer screen.

LF broadcasts are in the 30-300 KHz frequency range.

VLF Band

Home of the US Navy submarine communications, some radio location services, government radio time signals and secure military radio communications, the very low frequency band is not practical for use for phone (voice) communications. This band is most often used for digital communication with a slow bit rate. The VLF band is very dependable for world wide communication day or night but there is a great deal of atmospheric interference and is not practical for use by most people due to the huge antenna and equipment requirements.

ELF Band

The extremely low frequency (ELF) band is the home of scientific research and the Russian and Indian Navy's submarine operations. The United States Navy discontinued use of ELF communication late in 2004 due to it's high power requirements, unbelievably long antennas (14 to 28 miles) needed and a host of other difficulty's required to operate an ELF system. ELF frequency's have very limited use and are not worth your time to attempt to use.


Radio monitoring is an enjoyable hobby and can be a source of important information in an emergency.

You can download a graphic chart of US frequency allocations by using this link.

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Misuse And Abuse of Police Forces

Our nations Police Forces are under attack. Sometimes rightly so. Sometimes not so rightly so. The behavior of police, in general, is being unjustly attacked. It's being attacked by people who are parroting what they hear in the media, jumping on the band wagon so to speak. Much like the political party's are doing on media and social networking sites, trying to put positive spin on their politician and a negative spin on the opposing party. (Yep, payed and un-payed political lackeys. It's that obvious). As a profession, Police Officers have a very low incidence of official misconduct. Far lower than Judges, Lawyers, Doctors, Pretests / Clergy or even Plumbers. But that doesn't matter. One case of official misconduct by an Officer is one too many. You wouldn't know that by watching news reports.


No excuse for ANY abuse of anyone's rights
Each and every Officer takes an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and in the case of state and local Officers, their states Constitution in addition to the U.S. Constitution. There is no excuse for ANY abuse of anyone's rights. Non what so ever. If an Officer abuses his or her position, they should be dismissed. I lay blame on that officer. They took the oath. If they didn't know what it said, they shouldn't had said "I do" when asked if they would uphold the Constitution.

Misuse And Abuse By Elected And Appointed Officials
More than each individual officer's responsibility for upholding the Constitution, it is the responsibility of elected and appointed officials over these officers, to remove from service, any Officer who is guilty of misconduct. I do not see this happening very often. I see officers dismissed for political reasons more often than for misconduct. Thats wrong in and of itself. That tells me the root cause isn't the street officer. It is much higher than that. The root cause is at the elected and appointed official level. The people responsible for hiring the Officer. The official telling the Officer what to do. The official that ether doesn't know what the Constitution says or has blatant disregard for it when it doesn't suit what they want.


Many elected and appointed officials see a police force as their personal tax collector
Many elected and appointed officials see a police force as their personal security, tax and regulation enforcement organization. Their personal tax collector. This is not what a Police Officer is there for. It never was. There is civil law to cover taxes and regulation( not that I agree with them). Stop using the Police for your personal tax enforcement. Any official using the Police for these ends should be removed from office.
The Constitution should be required reading for anyone who is elected or appointed to a public office or who pins on a badge. Even more so, for the officials who over see law enforcement. Not told about. Not told what it means by someone who doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground. Sat down and READ!


The general public has little knowledge of what the Constitution says and what their rights are

The general public has little knowledge of what the Constitution really says and what their rights actually are. They depend on You Tube and news reports of some jack leg idiot spouting off about their rights. Some of these people get into "real world" trouble attempting to "exercise their rights" of whatever is the right of the day.

Sit down and READ our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other Amendments

Sit down and READ the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the other Amendments. Most people don't realize that the Bill of Rights is only the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. Then and only then will you know what your rights are and the importance of your Freedom and Liberty. Never buy into what someone else tells you what they are.
The general public has little knowledge of what the police do
The general public's knowledge of what the police do is limited to watching crime drama shows and the television show COPS. This is why citizen review boards don't work. Being a police officer is a professional position. It requires more knowledge than most jobs. It's also the leading reason for the high turnover rate for officers that have 1-5 years of service. Most of the time when an Officer quits, their comment is " I didn't know it was going to be like this". Facing down a drug crazed gunman at one call then 30 minutes later, holding the hand of a lost child. If being a cop was a mental state, it would be on Prozac. I am a 20 year veteran of the Sheriff's Office. I've worked the Jail and the streets. You do not have any idea what goes on around you everyday. If you did, you would go home, lock the door and never come out again. I am a patrol Sergeant. I supervise. I sit down every new Officer, and some seasoned veterans, to talk to them about the Constitution, encourage them to read the document and explain what I expect of them and the adherence to the Constitution. I receive complaints about my officers from time to time. I cannot tell you of the times I receive a complaint about what an Officer said to someone on the phone. What the complaint doesn't know is, often I am setting next to the Officer when they are speaking too them. The untold times that a person asks an Officer if they can do something that isn't legal. They didn't hear what they wanted to hear so they call back on the next shift and ask another Officer the same question. (Cop shopping). This situation usually involves the complaint denying someone of their rights. Their hope is that someone in a position of authority will tell them that they can do whatever they are wanting to do and when another Officer comes to arrest them for violating someones rights, they can tell them that Officer so and so said I could do it.


It's all about the money

According to modern Police management organizations, government and private, it's all about the numbers. Number of arrests. Number of citations issued. Using the numbers in business is a good thing. Business is profit driven. Policing shouldn't be, but is profit driven. A way to tack additional taxes on the people. Government becomes drunk with the extra money coming into government coffers. They "NEED" that extra money like a drug addict "NEEDS" his next fix.


Policing is a people business
Policing is a people business. It should not be used as a profit generating arm of government. Whenever and wherever it is used to generate additional government income, there is abuse of position and authority.


It's time for the population to rise-up and call for the end of Policing for profit
It's time for the population to rise-up and call for the end of policing for profit. To take back their Government and to return it to what it was intended to be. A protection of each person's individual Freedom and Liberty.

Misuse And Abuse of Police Forces By Elected And Appointed Officials


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