Specific question about Scanning behaviour

hey, i’m researching details around an idea i’ve been carrying around for a while:

i’d like to setup up a low-cost radio that is set to scan for activity permanently, the audio would be fed into a raspberry pi, that is recording the input, cuts silences and uploads the audio files to a server.

would a, for example, baofeng be able to scan for stronger signals, stay on the frequency for the duration the signal is audible/above treshold and continue scanning after that? could i keep it in this mode for weeks or months? the cheap PMR test device i got is behaving like that, but i’d like to make sure pricier devices would do the same before i order one.

thank you!

Hi there. To answer your scanning capability question, theoretically, a Baofeng radio may scan in the way you described, but there are a couple larger issues to consider first. The biggest thing is which frequency, or frequencies, are you wanting to scan? Most Baofeng radios are limited to 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz. Anything outside that range will not be received. It is important to note that these types of radios are NOT designed to be used as scanners. They are transceivers. Sure, some people use them as scanners, but the Baofeng UV-5R will only hold 128 channels, making your scan list relatively limited. If you are hoping to scan the full spectrum of frequencies, then I would have to recommend purchasing an actual scanner over a two-way radio. Lastly, a Baofeng radio is very unlikely to remain ON for weeks or months at a time. It is detrimental to the battery to leave it sitting on the charger for long periods of time, and the unit itself may fail after some time. This may skew the research you are trying to attain, or possibly even destroy it entirely.

I’m not exactly sure what kind of device you are currently using for this purpose, or what kind of information you are trying to collect over this long period of time, but I would have to advise against using a Baofeng radio for this use.

thank you, very good points already. i live in berlin and was surprised that even a simple 8-channel PMR radio picks up a lot of chatter and non-professional communication in my area. i have a background in web development and music, some experience with audio data analysis and raspberry pi hacking so i’m dying to record a few weeks of audio and maybe graph the data in different ways, do voice detection, to even setting up a fully automated daily podcast. maybe i should look into scanners that can be directly plugged into a raspberry pi or something similar.

thank you again!

yes, it looks like going down this route would be a better approach for my plans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pgCC4cqgTc