How to Program a Bearcat 220 XLT Scanner

By Dave Maddox ; Updated April 12, 2017
A good time to pick up frequencies to scan is when services are actively performing their duties

There are two ways to program the Bearcat 220XLT scanner: entering frequencies, or scanning for active frequencies and saving them. If you have a list of frequencies that you'd like to store in the scanner such as a local list from a scanning website or reference book, the first method works well. If you're at an event or don't have a reference handy, catching activity and saving it through the scanning method will give you many useful frequencies and perhaps some that weren't in the references anyway.

Programming Frequencies from a List

Press the "Man" button to stop scanning, if the unit is scanning.

Enter the channel number to program, such as "18". Press "Man".

Enter the frequency including decimal point, such as "450.100", then enter by pressing the "E" key.

Storing Frequencies Discovered by Scanning

Press "Man" to stop scanning, if necessary. Enter a channel number to program, and press "Man".

Enter the lowest frequency in the range to scan, such as "145.100". Press the "Limit" button to enter the lower limit value.

Enter the highest frequency value to scan, such as "145.500". Press the "Limit" button to enter this value.

Press the "Srch" button to search for active frequencies. When one is found, press "Hold" to stay on that frequency.

Press "E" to save the frequency to the selected channel.

Things Needed

  • Frequency reference list
  • Day, time and location where desired frequencies are active


If you need to clear the frequency you are entering and start over, press the decimal point "." key twice.

If the frequency you enter is already stored in another channel, the unit will flash the other channel number. Press "E" to go ahead and store anyway, or "." to enter a different frequency.


It is possible that the scan might stop slightly off frequency. Use the up and down arrow keys after stopping the scan to find the best reception before storing the frequency.

About the Author

Dave Maddox began journalism and article writing in 2005, after several decades of technical writing. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites, including Politics West by the "Denver Post." He has advanced training in electronics, computing and digital photography. Maddox studied literary theory and computer science at Harvard University.