If you are new to Utah, scanning, or both the Utah Radio and Scanner Group welcomes you. Utah offers some exciting scanning opportunities. In addition, the UtahRadio group offers regular meetings that may be of interest to you. Below is some general information about scanning and radio in Utah.
The first recommendation to new scanner users is to find information about your scanner on-line. There may be alternative manuals that are easier to read, additional free software to help you manage your scanner, and user groups with a focus on your specific scanner model. While not strictly required, using the Internet to coordinate scanner listening is a rewarding part of the hobby.
If you have not found it already, it is highly recommended that you get a subscription to http://www.radioreference.com/. Most scanning software specifically supports this site, and allows you to download the latest information directly to your scanner (depending on which one you have). The site is driven by volunteer information. The UtahRadio group contributes a significant portion of their volunteer efforts in ensuring this site is accurate.
There are two major trunked systems in Utah that scanner listeners usually take notice of. Chances are you live in an area covered by one or both of these systems. The first is the Utah_Communications_Agency_Network_(UCAN)_System. This is by far the most important system in the state. The state of Utah is attempting to integrate every local and state agency in to this system. So far, a large majority of all counties in the state are using it. In fact, this system has garnered world-wide attention because of the level of integration the state enjoys. Leaders of the project are frequently invited to address government and public safety officials all over the world. One of the main reasons for the focus was the 2002 winter olympics held in the state (just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks). The system recieved high praise by federal officials, and was the core system used during the games to coordinate federal and state officials. Utah is a safer place because of this system.
UCAN has recently been re-banded. If you have been able to hear this system, and can no longer do so, please see the Custom_Band_Plans page. For the latest up to the minute frequency, site, and talkgroup information for UCAN, check out the UCAN RRDB entry.
The second largest trunked system in the state is the Salt_Lake_City_Public_Safety_(AC33)_System. This system handles all public safety and city traffic for Salt Lake. There is some controversy regarding why Salt Lake City chose not to be a part of the UCAN state wide system. Cost of operation is considered the most plausible explanation.
If you live in the Salt Lake City area, these two trunked systems will cover nearly 100% of all public safety transmissions. For more information about other trunked systems and frequencies in your area, check out the Utah RR Database.
If you are new to scanning, be sure to contact the group on the RR Forum for Utah. There are several exciting things you can do to participate with the group. If you are technically inclined, you might help with Talk_Group_Identification. If you enjoy following the action as it unfolds live, you should check out the UtahAlerts page, as well as the Live Feeds sites. In some cases you don't even need to own a scanner to participate.
Keep in mind you are listening to live broadcasts. You may, on rare occasion, hear personal, disturbing, or offensive content. Please listen responsibly, and never use the information you hear on the scanner for any illegal purpose. Never record or rebroadcast personal information, names, social security numbers, etc. If you hear a private or offensive transmissions - turn off the scanner or change frequencies. The group will ban access to anyone suspected of illegal or unethical behavior. We know the bad guys listen, and some day that means this hobby may die (due to encryption, new laws, etc). We hope that doesn't happen, and that means we would like to protect our hobby as much as possible. We can do that by promoting legal and ethical listening, and by contributing in a positive way toward public safety. The Utah Radio & Scanner Group will fully cooperate with any law enforcement agency needing our help. We know, perhaps better than most, just how hard our public safety officials work to keep us safe. These guys are our heroes, so please remember that.
I need help. Where do I go?
Start by posting to the RR Forum for Utah. You may also find help in user groups specifically catering to your brand of scanner. There are many Yahoo groups that also serve to support specific scanner models. The RadioReference site has information about every known scanner model, including links to useful on-line resources.
What scanner should I buy?
There are three major manufacturers of scanners. Uniden, GRE, and Radio Shack (re-branded GRE). There are pros and cons of each model. However, it is highly recommended that you choose a scanner that supports trunking, and rebranded systems. If not, you will likely miss most of the action in the state. To start, have a look at the RadioReference_Portal page for links to information about scanners that support trunking.
What is re-banding?
For an introduction to re-banding, please see the RR Wiki Re-banding page.