A beginner's guide to radio scanning should include what a radio scanner is, what a radio scanner does, and information about the various types of scanners. It should also include some technical details, such as explanations of squelch, modes, step size and scan delay. Beginners likely also want to know which types of devices typically operate at which frequencies so that they can adjust their scanners accordingly.
Beginners may benefit from learning that scanners are radios that are different from average radios because they cover a much wider frequency range. Scanners can listen to communications such as air traffic control, emergency services, security guards and taxis. Beginners should also know the difference between search and scan functions on a scanner. Search mode looks for any transmissions within a certain frequency range specified by the user, whereas scan mode only recalls channels the user has saved.
A beginner's guide should also inform those new to the hobby that there are base types, which are best for use at home or in a single location, and handheld types, which are ideal for users who plan to use the scanner in multiple locations. Most scanners have AM and FM modes, along with squelch control, which eliminates excessive hissing and white noise. Beginners also need to know how to use step size and scan delay features when seeking out new transmissions.