ScanNow for AR8000

The Computer Controlled Scanning Software

What is it?

ScanNow is a computer scanner control program. "Yet another computer scanner control program?" - you ask. Yes, in some sense, - and no. ScanNow was written as a result of dissatisfaction with programs currently available on the market and full of unique features not found in other programs. It is also much smaller and cheaper than any other program with similar capabilities. You can run ScanNow in the background as it takes very little screen estate and doesn't consume much resources. Yet, it provides you with a standard set of capabilities you would expect from such a program (searching, scanning over selected frequencies, etc.) plus some more.

Following is a full list of ScanNow features:


[#] ScanNow 1.0 for Windows NT/95 (registered)
[#] ScanNow 1.0 for Windows NT/95 (unregistered)

[#] AR8000 Serial Interface from Javiation
[#] AR8000 Serial Interface from CAT Technologies
[#] Homebrewn AR8000 Serial Interface


ScanNow is now available for general audience! You can download a shareware version of ScanNow from this page. It is fully functional but will not save frequency database into a file or upload anything to the scanner.

The complete version of ScanNow is available for only $35US. While this fee is low enough to make it affordable to anyone, it will allow me to continue development of this software. You can obtain registered copy in one of following ways:

    Tell your WWW browser to go to


    and use the online form to register ScanNow. This service is provided by DigiBuy. You can pay with a credit card: MasterCard, Visa, Amex, or Discover. The software will be emailed to you as soon as I receive the notification from DigiBuy.

    Call one of the following numbers in US:

    1-800-242-4775 (extension 15674)
    1-713-524-6394 (extension 15674)

    and refer to product #15674 (ScanNow). This service is provided by DigiBuy. You can pay them with a credit card. Don't forget to give them your email address. The software will be emailed to you as soon as I receive the notification from DigiBuy.

    Send cash, checks, or international money orders to address below. Don't forget to include your email address and mention that you want ScanNow (as I'm selling several other products as well). The software will be emailed to you as soon as I receive the money.

    Marat Fayzullin
    3030 Southview Road
    Ellicott City, MD 21042

ScanNow is based on a C++ library designed to control scanners in general and AR8000 in particular. It will be freely available from this site for anybody who wants to write scanner control applications.


To run ScanNow, you will need the following:


Following tutorial will show you how to use ScanNow and demonstrate some of the features available in the program. Click on the tabs to see different panels.

Manual Tuning

Manual Tuning Panel

This is the Manual Tuning Panel which appears when you start ScanNow. From this panel, you can tune scanner to any frequency as if you were using its built-in keyboard. There is also simplified access to the modulation type, step size, and other parameters. Accessing them via AR8000's keyboard is somewhat difficult as it requires pressing the FUNC button.

Frequency Database

Frequency Panel

The Frequency Panel provides you with access to the frequency database. All frequencies are organized in a tree structure. There are two kinds of entries in this structure, marked with different icons:

Any frequency or range can be edited using the panel at the right. ScanNow will not allow to set frequencies not supported by the receiver, nor will it allow to narrow a range entry if this causes some of its descendants to go out of range.

To enter a frequency entry (as opposed to a range entry), simply set its From and To fields to the same frequency, or uncheck the Range box.

When you press the right mouse button on the frequency tree, a pop-up menu appears with the following options:


Scan Panel

The Scan Panel shows the status of frequencies being monitored for activity. For every entry, its name in the database, actual frequency, and modulation type are shown. When scanning is on, ScanNow will continuously go through the list and check signal levels plotting them on the graphs, from left to right.

If scanning was switched off for some reason (for example, ScanNow was temporarily switched into manual tuning), the corresponding parts of graphs are left gray.

Double-click on a scan list entry will automatically tune the scanner to selected frequency and switch you to the Manual Tuning Panel.

When you press the right mouse button on the scan list, a pop-up menu appears with the following options:


Search Panel

The Search Panel is used to display results of the range search and modify its parameters. The range search is performed in the background, i.e. while you are using other features of the program. A graph shown on the screenshot is used to display signal strength distribution in the searched frequency range. Following controls are available:

Frequency Hunting

Frequency Hunting

When Hunting is on, the search creates a timestamped entry in the frequency database. All searched frequencies for which signal strength exceeds the Hunt Threshold will then be stored under that entry and labeled in a following way:

     WFM 98.7MHz (60%)
      |     |      |
      |     |      +---- Relative signal strength
      |     +----------- Frequency
      +----------------- Modulation type
The "active" entry under which search stores its results is labeled with a special icon (see above). Frequencies can be cut from it and pasted somewhere else. Entire entry can also be cut. In this case, search will create a new entry as soon as the first new frequency is found.

Direct Access

Direct Console Panel

The Direct Console Panel allows to communicate with the scanner directly, using its built-in commands. The direct communication should be used with extreme care though, as many commands may disturb ScanNow operations. Commands are typed in the box at the bottom of this panel. The upper half shows responses coming from the scanner.

General Settings

General Settings and About Panel

The About Panel gathers all controls which didn't find their place in other panels. Those include Communications and General settings.

You will be automatically switched to this panel if ScanNow hasn't been able to establish communications with the scanner. In this case, you need to change communication settings and restart ScanNow.

Scanner Features

Scanner Panel

The Scanner Panel gives user access to specific features of AR8000 scanner, such as internal search ranges and scan banks. The functions of buttons at this panel are pretty self-explanatory. All information downloaded from the scanner will appear as timestamped entries in the frequency database.

©1998 Copyright by Marat Fayzullin