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Old 01-12-2018, 3:13 PM
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Default Outside Antenna

I am looking for a good outside antenna for a Homepatrol 2 that will pick up the new P 25 radio system in Maryland. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-12-2018, 3:18 PM
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Do you want it strictly for the FiRST system or do you want to monitor other systems?
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Old 01-12-2018, 3:22 PM
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If I could get one to do other systems great. But I interested mainly in listening to Kent, QA, and Talbot.
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Old 01-12-2018, 3:27 PM
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Gotcha. Reason I asked was Yagi vs Omni. In that case you’ll probably prefer an Omni. This is my favorite in the 7/800 bands:

https://www.theantennafarm.com/catal...-mfbw7463-7028
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Old 01-12-2018, 3:32 PM
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Thanks for the information and getting back to me so quickly. Hopefully I will be able to receive a little clearer transmission with this antenna.
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Old 01-12-2018, 3:36 PM
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Default Outside Antenna

Your best bet would be a yagi pointed directly at the tower you’re trying to hit. But then you would be limited to talkgroups attached to that site. Although based on reports in the FiRST forum, talkgroups are ending up on all kinds of sites in that area.

Also consider a preamp - although prices and quality for them are all over the place.
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Old 01-13-2018, 6:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QACMD View Post
I am looking for a good outside antenna for a Homepatrol 2 that will pick up the new P 25 radio system in Maryland. Any suggestions?
I live in Oxford and very successfully decode FiRST with just the crappy wire antenna that comes with an RTL dongle. If you want to hear the receive quality listen to either Talbot County Fire & EMS or Talbot County LEO on Broadcastify.

Generally consumer scanners do a very poor job of decoding P25 simulcast, so for a fixed installation I'd recommend a $25 RTL dongle, a $35 Raspberry PI3 and free OP25 software.

Since you already have a scanner, a directional antenna may help reduce the multipath interference, but it's only a partial solution.
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Old 01-13-2018, 3:09 PM
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OP: Where do you live, and are you having trouble receiving the FiRST system with the stock antenna? It *should* work fine, as signal strength is fairly high on this system. An outdoor omni antenna may make things worse. A Yagi / directional antenna might work better, one you can point towards a tower site to help reject signaling from other towers that might be causing interference. Have you tried a simple wire as an antenna? Like a paper clip?
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Old 01-13-2018, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbod View Post
I live in Oxford and very successfully decode FiRST with just the crappy wire antenna that comes with an RTL dongle. If you want to hear the receive quality listen to either Talbot County Fire & EMS or Talbot County LEO on Broadcastify.

Generally consumer scanners do a very poor job of decoding P25 simulcast, so for a fixed installation I'd recommend a $25 RTL dongle, a $35 Raspberry PI3 and free OP25 software.

Since you already have a scanner, a directional antenna may help reduce the multipath interference, but it's only a partial solution.
Curious, does the RTL dongle have the bandwidth to follow all the system channels? Does this setup allow for multiple RTL dongles to increase bandwidth? OP25 can run on a Pi3?
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