I have been researching this topic also. Broderick(fourwd1) is the one here that seems to know alot about them. I read that Radio Shack has a good book about ham radio operation.
I know you need to have a license to use a ham radio. I believe it is multile choice and you need to pass with a "D". There are several different operator levels and the lowest one does not require you to know Morse code.
As far as it being used as a scanner. I don't believe a Ham Radio could be used as one.
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