- Purchase a scanner
that fits your needs. If you are looking to listen to police, fire, and
other emergency frequencies you will need a scanner with trunking
capabilities. If you are using a scanner mainly for racing you will not need
the trunking function.
- You probably should
have a 100-200 channel scanner. I have found more channels to be better
especially if you attend races where more than one series is running. Some
scanner manufacturers offer special modifications to double and triple the
number of channels.
- If you are planning
to purchase a scanner make sure that it is computer programmable. Most
companies will include the software as part of the purchase. Computer
programming will save you a great deal of time and it will allow you to
enjoy the races even more.
- Be sure to read the
scanner manual carefully and follow all the directions.
PROGRAMMING THE SCANNER
- One method is to
program the driver frequency to the corresponding channel number such as car
#8 into channel #8. The drawbacks to this are drivers having several
frequencies or cars having the same number. The advantage is that it’s
easier to identify the driver you are listening to by looking at the
- The second method is
bank scanning. That means loading each bank of channels for a different
purpose. For example you could have one bank for the top 10 drivers, another
bank for track frequencies, one for officials, and another one for misc.
- A third method is a
combination of the first two, which is what I prefer to use. I program in
car to channel frequencies for a series such as the CRA Super Series. Then I
use a bank for tracks and officials and then another bank for alternate or
secondary driver frequencies. And finally another bank for unknown
frequencies that have been picked up on race day at the track.
- Make sure you use the
appropriate batteries recommended by the scanner manufacturer.
- Keep battery packs
charged during periods of extended non-use or storage. Deep discharge of
rechargeable batteries can and will reduce or destroy their usefulness.
- Always have at least
one fully charged battery pack in reserve. Nothing is more annoying than to
have your batteries go dead halfway through a race.
- The most important
information is to get the best headset that you can afford.
- Make sure they are
noise-canceling headsets with a least a 20 decibel quieting rating.
- At the very least
always have some foam type earplugs available for use. Always make sure that
any kids with you have some form of ear protection on.
allows two headsets to be hooked up to one scanner.
- Leg Strap---this will
prevent your scanner from possibly falling through the bleachers when you
stand up to see something on the track.
FINDING NEW FREQUENCIES
- Tracks. Search
between 150-155 MHz and also between 450-470 MHz.
- Drivers. Search
mainly between 460-470 MHz. You might also check between 450-460 MHz for a
small number of drivers that use this band.
- Best time to search
for new frequencies.
- Caution flag
periods. This is literally a beehive of activity, as you should listen
for driver’s first names, or car positions on the track, etc.
- Out of car driver
intros. They usually start at the back of the field. After the driver
has been introduced and gets hooked up his crew chief will run a radio
check. If you are searching in the 460-470 band you might get lucky and
grab a new frequency.
autograph sessions. Most of the drivers will not know their frequency
but one of his crewmembers nearby will know. Just ask.
- During hot laps
or practice. Some tracks are very accommodating to fans and will let you
enter early to watch practice. Since the number of cars on the track at
any one time is usually limited it is an excellent time to pick up new
- Ask another fan.
An excellent source for frequencies. Someone else may have a frequency
that you are looking for and you might have one that they need. All you
have to do is ask---it’s that simple. I have met and made many new
friends at racetracks doing just this. Pretty soon you may develop a
mini network for gathering frequencies.
- Check the
Internet. There are many websites that have frequency lists some of
which are pay services and others are free. This website,
www.greatlakesfreq.com is a free service so enjoy! There are
also some tracks that include frequency lists in their programs but
these are pretty rare.
USE OF NUMERIC FREQUENCY LISTS
- The purpose of these
is quite simple since it saves time in looking up frequencies in a normal
- Frequencies are
grouped in a numerical order—all 450’s together then 460, 461, 462, up to
- Lets say you are
searching between 460-470 MHz and you find an active frequency. You go to
the numeric list and quickly check to see if it’s an unknown or a regular
frequency. If it’s not on your numeric list then you place the frequency in
the “unknown” bank that I referred to earlier in the Tips. You will probably
end up with several frequencies in that “unknown” bank and eventually those
will be identified as the race event goes on.
SUGGESTIONS AND TIPS
If you have any scanning
suggestions or tips that you would like to pass along just email them to
firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be included in future revisions of this
I would like to thank
Mike Delaney for letting me use some of his information in this section.
JEGS All Stars Tour
Dixie Motor Speedway
ARCA Midwest Tour
Dells Raceway Park (WI)
Main Event Series
Shadybowl Speedway (OH)
Stan Perry Memorial
ARCA/CRA Super Series
Battle at Berlin 251
Berlin Raceway (MI)
Stan Perry Memorial