Federal Scanning with Chris Parris

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Are you interested in scanning Federal agency frequencies?

In this episode, Phil welcomes Chris Parris, an expert on Federal scanning and writer of the blog The Fed Files. They discuss how Chris found his way into Federal scanning, tips and tricks for people interested in trying it, and so much more!



What You Will Learn in This Week’s Podcast:

  • Guest Chris Parris is known in the community for his work scanning Federal signals.
  • Chris started trying Federal scanning when he was touring a radio tower in the 1970s and was told that there was an FBI repeater on site, so he began to research how to listen to those frequencies.
  • When Chris moved to southern Texas near the border, he became particularly interested in listening to border patrol and other very active Federal agencies operating there.
  • When you start listening to Federal frequencies, you need to have patience because they often don’t broadcast that often.
  • You should look between 162.0-174.0 MHz and 406.0-420.0 MHz to find the majority of Federal agency communications.
  • There are some smaller bands with some Federal or military operations, including 138-144 MHz and 148-150 MHz.
  • Though most communications are digital, you can still find quite a bit of analog particularly among smaller agencies.
  • Most law enforcement need to maintain interoperability in their communications with each other, like local police with the FBI, but other agencies don’t need that.
  • Even Federal agencies have call signs and are licensed frequencies.
  • Chris’s biggest tip is to be patient, because it’s unlikely that you’re going to find a big list of great things to listen to right away.

More info:

Are you looking for your first scanner radio?

Download our new e-guide, “5 Thinks You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Scanner”.   This free PDF is about 30 pages long and has 5 things you should look for, plus a few extra bonus items to make sure you make an educated purchase.

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Links and Sources from this session:

East Coast Pagers

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Scanner School’s Audible Link

Scanner School’s eBay Page

The Fed Files blog

Chris Parris Twitter

The Spectrum Monitor Magazine

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