Frequency code databases generally come with software that automatically installs the desired frequency codes into the police scanner. Users can either purchase the software and follow the instructions to load the frequency codes onto their scanners, or they can pay an expert to use the software to load the frequency codes for them.
Users can pick up some frequencies with a Uniden scanner by searching over the air for frequencies in a way similar to how a radio or cable television works. However, this process does not reveal all local frequencies. Users can enter additional frequency codes manually, but this process is time consuming.
Purchasing a software database with the codes for nearby areas enables users to load all the frequency codes much more quickly. Companies that sell frequency code databases often allow users to customize the codes they want by county, ZIP code or other relatively small geographic area.
A frequency code database usually looks like a spreadsheet with a list of frequency codes. The software transmits the list to the scanner. In addition to the codes provided in the purchased database, users can add other desired frequency codes to the spreadsheet and use the same database software to load these additional codes onto their scanners.