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Scanner / Receiver Antennas For discussion of any type of receiving antenna used by a scanner or receiver base, mobile or handheld.

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Old 10-09-2012, 1:32 AM
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Default Vehicle Antenna (Pickup truck)

I hate to be the guy to ask of you to pick something out for me, but with something as complex (complex for a new guy) as antennas, I would like to hear from the professionals out there. (Rather than self educate for days for knowledge I will only use occasionally)

Ok enough nonsense.
I have a BC125AT in my truck, and I want to find an external antenna to mount on the truck for the best possible reception. (also in mind of possibly getting a non-portable scanner in the truck in the future).

I am opposed to drilling holes in the roof, but I do have a truck box and bed rails that I could sacrifice. I've read that the truck box is less than ideal for antenna mounting, but i'm not really sure why. It is grounded to the frame (via nice ground wire) if that makes any difference. I currently have a 4' CB antenna mounted there, but that could be subject to change based on your responses. Thanks guys

(Picture is old. Bedrails have since been added and TSC logo removed)
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Old 10-09-2012, 2:02 AM
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1. That style of tool box doesn't allow for a NMO mount to sit flat due to the texture.
2. I know you nixed it, but center of the roof for a NMO roof mount would be ideal.
3. Thru the glass multi band would be the other option.

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Old 10-09-2012, 2:45 AM
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I believe this antenna Valor 670B will fit your existing mount and you could even use your existing coax with a SO-239 (UHF) to BNC male adapter. At $8.98 plus $2.95 for the adapter it may be worth a try.
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Last edited by W8RMH; 10-09-2012 at 2:58 AM..
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:09 PM
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I want to keep that CB antenna though, as it's connected to the CB haha

I'll have to get a new mount, but that Valor670B looks perfect, matches my CB one pretty well

Will it need to be tuned to the radio like the CB antenna?

Also, when I run the wire, will I need to separate it from the other antenna wire? (can't run along side it?)
And is this location (on the driver's side of the box though) going to work for decent to good reception? or would I be better off with a glass mount than the box mount?

Last edited by J-fro; 10-09-2012 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:36 PM
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Don't rule out that 'box' as a mounting location. It isn't very easy, but it's certainly do-able.
As others have said, on the cab's roof would be the best mounting location. But, if that's not an option then the 'box', bed rails, front fender/hood are also options. Each would present a few 'obsticals' but nothing you can't 'fix'.
The biggy about mounting an antenna on 'diamond plate' is weather sealing the @#$ thing. Electrical contact isn't hard to 'get', and making the thing 'straight' isn't impossible by any means. I found that the back corners of that 'box' will allow an antenna mounted there to 'clear' the cab when you open the box's lid. At least it did on a Silverado that I had, YMMV. Best mounting in the world? No, but it worked fine. So did a fender/hood mount for the same antenna. [Understand that these were 2 meter antennas, not just for a scanner.]
And then you get to the fact that any/all multiband antennas are compromises on almost all bands except for one, the one the thing is nearest resonance for. The difference in height for most mobile antennas just isn't a biggy. But the getting of it away from any obstructions -is- a biggy! Antennas of any kind would rather be above metal than beside metal and just don't like being under metal. Howz that for an analogy, or whatever the #e// it's called??
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:52 PM
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Thanks Doc, and the rest of you guys

I figure that 4' antenna might be best for my application then. It's pretty cheap, too. I don't need a super expensive antenna right off the bat.

I'm just going to find the same mount I have for the cb antenna then, and mount it on the driver's side. On the driver's side of the truck interior I have multiple power wires running, so I'll have to run it parallel with the cb antenna wire on the passenger side. Hopefully these aren't too prone to interference.
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Old 10-09-2012, 9:15 PM
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When you key up the CB it is VERY likely to go straight in to the front end stages of the scanner's receiver.... regardless of whether the two coax cables (CB and scanner) are running next to each other inside the vehicle. So don't sweat running the antenna cables next to each other. However, it would be best not to key the CB transmitter when the scanner is turned on. But try it a few times... I've found my BCT-15 scanner to be very damage-resistant to my 40W 2M/440 ham transmitter. What's the worse that can happen? You'll just blow out your scanner. Buy another! Shopping for scanners is fun.
The scanner antenna is a Tram thru-the-glass, and the ham antenna is center of rooftop. Does the ham transmitter get into the scanner? It most certainly does, both on 2M and 440. Doesn't matter what freq the scanner is tuned to.... everything goes right into the front end and comes right out the speaker... audio feedback and all. So best to turn the scanner off when transmitting. No feedback, no blown out radio.
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Old 10-09-2012, 9:39 PM
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I've put an NMO mount on a diamond plate toolbox.
The lid is filled with foam insulation.
First decide where you want to mount the antenna. Think of where you want it then open the lid. Chances are your ideal spot will not work because of the antenna height.

Second decide where you want to have the cable exits the lid.

Before drilling, grind the area flat first. Sealing is no problem if you use RTV.

Finally and most important, ground the lid to the box and then ground the box to a suitable grounding point on the vehicle. The way most tool boxes are secured to the pickup bed are not adequately grounded for an antenna.

TOM
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Old 10-10-2012, 1:03 AM
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Shopping for scanners IS fun, but spending money is not...Who am I kidding of course it is! It's the making of the money that isn't fun. Well.. that has its fun moments. Waiting. I hate waiting for shipments, thus I shall not blow out the scanner unit.

Is there any sort of inline antenna device I can use to maybe "cut" the antenna line when I key the CB? Like an inline switch so-to-speak?
Pretty much anything short of press-and-hold to shut off the scanner...

The truck box is grounded with a 10g wire, box to truck frame. I figure the lid would be grounded as well, as it is welded the length of the box. I can test with an electrical tester though. I'll probably just go for a driver's side version of my CB antenney.

I don't use the CB a whole lot though, so it might just be inconveniently convenient. Until I rebuild my center console to face the CB at me, and my buddy gets his antenna installed...

(trying to find a law enforcement style modular console that will fit an f150/bronco cab below & against the dash Worth a mention incase someone here may know -sorry for the semi off topic)
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