The Close Call feature turns your scanner into an excellent tool for finding local transmissions as they happen without the need for any manual searching. In this article we are going to give you a run down of some Close Call features and show you Uniden scanners with this handy tool built in.
What is Close Call?
The Close Call function will allow you to lock onto any signal with enough strength that your scanner picks up and automatically switch to the right frequency while giving the option to store it in memory. By setting upper and lower frequency limits exactly as you would when running a normal frequency search your scanner will only look for the strong local signals in that section of the radio spectrum.
Built with an ease of use for the scanner owner Close Call is one of the most outstanding developments in scanner technology in recent years. This automated function is ideal for finding frequencies at any event where there are a lot of mobile radios all operating on different channels and the memory save option will have your scanner full of all the important and interesting frequencies in no time at all.
Setting the Range of Close Call
To control exactly what signals the scanner picks up using the Close Call function you can set the point at where the squelch breaks, by turning this setting up to the maximum the scanner will only notify you of those transmissions that are nearby and ignore everything else that is under this threshold.
Once you have perfected the right balance on the threshold setting you will be able to screen out those signals that are too far away, the only draw back with Close Call is if a signal is very strong (like some of the pager networks) then the scanner will assume it is nearby and treat it as a close transmission.
Close Call Auto Store
Enable the auto store feature and you will experience the real power of Close Call for tracking down and listing active frequencies. With auto store turned on you can leave the scanner in a pocket or your backpack and take a walk around any event or building while your scanner automatically tracks and stores every strong transmission it finds for you to go through later when you have a bit more privacy.
As we live in an every increasing security aware world this covert way of using a scanner is a lot less likely to get you into trouble than walking around with the scanner in your hand.
The Close Call system is built into some Uniden scanners but Alinco have their own system that works the same way Close Call does but they have named it Flash Tune.
How Well Does This System Work
The strength of a signal at VHF/UHF is very dependent on line of sight so if your using close call in a high spot you’ll be inundated with “hits” depending on which frequency band your scanning. This can be dialed back a bit by winding the squelch right up to only tag those very strong transmissions.
How Useful Is It Really?
We see a lot of gimmicks attached to new evolutions of radio scanners with some never lasting pass a model or 2, so how much use is having close call and who’s going to get the most out of it?
Taking a look at the useability the function does require learning something new but if your an experienced scanner user its not going to mess with your brain too much. Knowing where to set the squelch is the difference between memory full of pointless frequencies and the ones you really want.
Where any function that locks onto nearby radio signals comes into its own is when dealing with low powered mobile radios in a small area. If your at a scene or event with a few different organizations all using there own frequencies and you roughly know what part of the radio spectrum their using its a great tool to have on a radio scanner.