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Utilizing BaoFeng UV-5X3 HT as Police Scanner

Hello pretty folks! 👋 I’m an enormous radio fanatic. A lot in order that I just lately gave (and cleared) my Technician Ham license examination. I’m now simply ready for my name signal to seem within the FCC database. Whereas that’s occurring, I went forward and acquired a BaoFeng UV-5X3 radio.

Observe: In case you ever determine to purchase this radio have a look at the BaoFeng web site first. You may have the ability to rating a less expensive deal there.

I began listening to some native frequencies and shortly acquired bored. I requested myself “wouldn’t it’s enjoyable if I might take heed to emergency companies and native police on this radio?”. The reply was a powerful sure and I made a decision to go forward and determine the right way to do precisely that. On this tutorial, I’ll present you ways you’ll find out the frequency of your native PD/FD after which take heed to them utilizing your handheld transceiver.

Discovering the Police Division/Fireplace Division Frequency

The very first step is to search out out the frequency your native PD/FD operates on. For that, you may go to the fantastic Radio Reference web site and seek for your metropolis. I’m at present in Ingham County so that is what my county web page appears to be like like:


In case you scroll down you will notice the assorted departments in your space and the frequencies they function on:


The 2 necessary columns for us are the Frequency and the Tone columns. The frequency column tells us what frequency a specific Base Station or Repeater is transmitting at and the Tone column tells us if the station makes use of any CTCSS tone or not. A CTCSS tone is also called PL tone and that’s what the Tone column lists for many stations on Radio Reference web site.

If a station makes use of CTCSS then along with organising the station frequency, it’s good to set the CTCSS frequency in your HT as properly.

Inputting the Station Frequency and CTCSS (PL)

For our use case, let’s assume that we try to entry the frequency 453.480 MHz whose CTCSS is listed as 162.2 PL. Step one is to go to the menu on our radio and add the CTSS frequency. To do this observe these steps:

  1. Press MENU button
  2. Press 11 and that can take you to the R-CTCSS setting
  3. Press MENU once more to begin updating the R-CTCSS setting
  4. Sort 162.2 or use the up and down arrow keys to navigate to it manually
  5. Press MENU to verify the setting

Now that the CTCSS is efficiently set we are able to tune in to 453.480 MHz. Initially, guarantee that your HT is within the applicable mode and band. First press the VFO/MR button to enter the VFO mode. In frequency (VFO) mode we are able to tune to customized frequencies. Now cycle via the bands by urgent the BAND button. As soon as it exhibits 460.525 on the display you may make sure that you’re in the correct band for our desired frequency. Now manually kind in 453.480 and it ought to tune to that frequency. Now it’s only a matter of ready for somebody to talk on that frequency and it’s best to have the ability to take heed to them.

You too can use the scan possibility by long-pressing the * key and inputting a variety of frequencies. It should inform you which frequency has some chatter occurring. I’m certain it is possible for you to to search out a few frequencies with folks speaking on them.

PS: I additionally purchased this Nagoya NA-320A Triband HT Antenna for my UV-5X3. It vastly elevated the vary of alerts I used to be in a position to obtain on my HT.

Assist I don’t hear something!

Once I inputted CTCSS, my radio didn’t output something helpful on the listed frequencies on Radio Reference. I then went forward and began scanning the channel vary with out inputting any CTCSS frequency and was in a position to efficiently tune in into the native PD frequency. It was within the neighborhood of the frequency values listed on Radio Reference however wasn’t precisely the identical. So if you happen to encounter an identical downside attempt eradicating the CTCSS frequency and scanning via the vary of frequencies.

I noticed that many of the alerts have been between 450 and 464 MHz so I scanned between these frequencies. Earlier than scanning you may modify the Scan Resume Methodology in your Baofeng to Time Operation (TO) mode in order that the scanner continues scanning the vary of frequencies even after it picks up chatter at a specific frequency. Scan Resume Methodology, or SC-REV, units delay on scanning. I like this mode as a result of I don’t must manually provoke the scan once more if my radio picks up a ineffective frequency. If you wish to change the Scan Resume Methodology you may undergo the next steps:

  1. Press MENU button
  2. Press 18 and that can take you to the SC-REV setting
  3. Press MENU once more to begin updating the SC-REV setting
  4. Press up/down arrow keys to get to TO
  5. Press MENU to verify the setting

All legitimate SC-REV setting values are:

  1. (TO)=Preset Time, begins routinely
  2. (CO)=Service current auto startup
  3. (SE)=Stops on provider, guide restart.


On this tutorial, I confirmed you the right way to discover out the frequency utilized by PD/FD in your native space and the right way to enter these in a BaoFeng UV-5X3. Remember that some Police and Fireplace departments have/are transferring to encrypted (trunked) digital radio. So far as I’m conscious you cannot use this Baofeng radio to choose up on the chatter on trunked frequencies. For that, you’ll have to both purchase a police radio scanner or use an SDR. I’d write an article on the right way to use an SDR sooner or later.

As I discussed, I just lately cleared my Novice Technician license examination so I’m nonetheless studying. I’m at present making ready for my Basic class examination in order that I could make use of sure Excessive Frequncy bands and phone folks at a for much longer distance with out a repeater. You possibly can anticipate to see much more radio associated articles sooner or later. It’s a enjoyable interest and I’m not certain why there aren’t extra younger folks taken with it.

I hope you loved this text. I’ll see you within the subsequent one. Take care and keep protected! 👋 ❤️



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