Having another way to monitor 27 Mhz besides the CB you talk on leaves your main rig free and saves wear and tear on that channel knob along with reducing the chance of some sort of RSI type injury in the future 🙂
Even though there’s a large amount of new and used radio scanners that have 27MHz coverage, to get the most use its better to get something with SSB receive. The addition of sideband will mean a general price hike over a vanilla FM model but staying within the secondhand market usually wears this down to acceptable levels.
FM Only CB Radio Scanner
On the other hand if your only into listening to FM its not too hard to find a basic radio scanner that will do the job nicely.
As an example, below is my GRE PSR-255 with FM CB radio coverage that’s been in my possession for that long now that I don’t even remember where it was bought from in the first place.
The low specs mean you not lumbered with an expensive piece of radio kit and picking right gives you the chance to use it for other things as well (which could also open up your interest in a different side of hobby radio). The only drawback with the PSR-255 is the 50 memory channel limit, which isn’t that much of a problem for me as I tend to stick to one set of 40 channels anyway.
Another option would be a radio like the Icom R1 which has the coverage and more than enough channels to keep you happy.
Vintage SSB CB Radio Scanners
Top end radio scanners have focused on the trunking side of the hobby for many years as all the juicy transmissions have moved onto different systems. This means you’ll pay a premium for a new scanner and will be wasted if used just for listening to 27 MHz.
By going down the vintage route you’ll not only save a bundle of cash but also end up with a nice piece of radio kit. Although there are more than a few scanners that will do, a favorite of mine has to be the Yupiteru MVT-7100 that has excellent HF coverage and some pretty good specs for a handheld radio scanner.
Of course if your using the scanner as a why of finding possible DX you’ll want at least the same level of reception that your getting from the CB radio itself.
This does present a problem and although it would be nice to slap CB and scanner onto the same antenna, this doesn’t really fly as it just going to push pure wattage down into the scanner (along with screwing up the antenna impedance).
There’s solutions with the most complicated being modifying the CB PTT (Push To Talk) so that the scanner gets shut off every time you key the mic, but its much safer just to put up a second decent antenna for 27Mhz.