Austin Ferret scanner antenna
Some of the members here are aware that I'm a fan of the Austin antenna line since I have made several posts regarding the Spectra for mobile scanner use, and have made recommendations to some who asked how good it is.
I have also stated on here that I purchased both the Spectra and the Ferret when I went to the Austin factory in New Hampshire back in 2007, but never got the Ferret up and working because we sold our house and moved into an apartment. Of course the use of outdoor antennas was prohibited by the management....so the Ferret sat in the corner doing nothing but collecting dust.
Fast forward to our new digs - a townhouse on the other side of town - but the twist is that now, even though I cannot put up an external antenna, I have a deck at the back of the place for a gas grill, several chairs and maybe a location for the antenna I've waited a long seven years to get some use out of. But what can I come up with for the antenna that I can't attach to the building?? And am I trusting enough to leave it out on the deck overnight and maybe find it gone in the morning?
And here my friends is the solution to my problem. I found a cast iron base at a flag store that I could attach the Ferret to. It has a hole with a thumb screw to tighten against the aluminum pipe that mounts at the base of the Ferret, and is just heavy enough to hold the antenna firmly and securely. So now, I can use the antenna during the day when I take my 396T out to the deck and then bring it back inside and not have to worry about it taking a walk when I'm not there. See photos of my mounting device below.
Now to my review of the Austin Ferret antenna. I am so very pleased at the terrific job it does with my 396T and the systems and departments that I monitor. I have read many posts on these forums regarding the Austin antenna line - some pro, some con - but I am convinced that since I put this unit outside on the deck that's only 5 feet above ground, my reception has gone crazy. For example: I am getting good reception of the MA State Police system in Western MA, excellent coverage of CT State Police (troops H, W, C, F, K, B, I) and the conventional systems as distant as Northampton MA, to the North and Portland CT to the South. Of course the Police and Fire Departments that are local to me are also coming in loud and clear. Oh yes....I'm a very happy scannist - is that a word?
In conclusion, I want to say that some have posted their negative results, or impressions about these Austin antennas and that may come from their higher price points. You can surely find multiband antennas for a lot less money, but my experience has just proven to me that the Ferret and Spectra are awesome units and I wouldn't hesitate to give either one a big thumbs up. But, this is my opinion, for whatever it's worth.
BTW, its been hinted around here, that a BCD436HP may be under the tree this year and if Mrs. Claus comes through....we will see how that performs at my location.
BCD436HP HP-1 BCD396T BCT-7 BC350C PRO-2052 ICOM R-75 BC175XL REGENCY R-1050 TDXone TD-Q8A