RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Scanners, Receivers and Related Equipment Forums > Antennas and Associated Hardware > Scanner / Receiver Antennas


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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2017, 12:11 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Marshall County, Illinois
Posts: 138
Question Good multi-band antenna

I am looking to purchase an antenna for mobile use to pick up 450-470 MHz and 700/800 band. I have found these 2 antennas.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...-001-4286.html

or

Austin Spectra Mobile Antenna | Scanner Master

Does anyone have any experience with either of these antennas? And if so, what are your recommendations.
I was also considering a diplexer, and use 2 antennas, but I didn't find one to split those bands appropriately. Any recommendations along those lines would be welcome as well.
Thanks.
Tim
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2017, 2:04 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,728
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lu81fitter View Post
I am looking to purchase an antenna for mobile use to pick up 450-470 MHz and 700/800 band. I have found these 2 antennas.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...-001-4286.html
WAY overkill. You can get a suitable antenna for much cheaper:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...canc-1048.html
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...-800-1050.html

The Laird you linked to has a very large base, a few inches in diameter, and honestly they look ridiculous on anything but a fire truck, service truck, etc. The less expensive antennas I linked to will work just as well for what you are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lu81fitter View Post
Austin Spectra Mobile Antenna | Scanner Master

Does anyone have any experience with either of these antennas? And if so, what are your recommendations.
I was also considering a diplexer, and use 2 antennas, but I didn't find one to split those bands appropriately. Any recommendations along those lines would be welcome as well.
Thanks.
Tim
Other than adding low band capability, which you didn't indicate you needed, it's an awful expensive antenna. The ones I linked to above are made by commercial antenna companies. Installed correctly, it'll easily outlast your car. I've got Larsen antennas that are 30 years old.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2017, 2:17 PM
Member
  Audio Feed Provider
Audio Feed Provider
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 883
Default

Ill second the larson antennas. Had several of the tri band antennas on my old truck years ago when i had several scanners in it. NMO mount with excellent performance.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-14-2017, 3:16 PM
dmg1969's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Newport, PA
Posts: 1,077
Default

I have had good luck with the Laird tri-band. I have not had experience with it receiving 700-800 MHz as nothing I monitor is in that range. VHF and UHF are very good...even low band.

http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalo...canc-1048.html
__________________
Dave
My Scanners: HP-1, BC125AT, BC355N and Baofeng UV-5R2
Founder Perry County Pennsylvania Scanner Enthusiasts Group on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/groups/407409399385884/
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2017, 3:36 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Marshall County, Illinois
Posts: 138
Default

Thanks for the info. I'll look into those antennas.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 11-15-2017, 9:10 PM
ko6jw_2's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Santa Ynez, CA
Posts: 483
Default

I use the Spectra. Why? Because it can be tuned for 30-50Mhz which is needed here in California for the CHP. Works well on low band despite being very compact. You can also transmit on 2 meters and 440 with good results. I don't do that very much, but it is handy. Elsewhere, if you don't need low band, I'd get the Larson.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2017, 3:45 AM
teufler's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: ST PETERS, MISSOURI
Posts: 2,308
Default

I too use the Spectra, through the last 20 years, it has been my scanner antenna. I have had to use it as a tramitting antenna, in a pinch. That means it is insurance policy if your normal vhf/uhf antenna craps out. Prior to that, I have used other antenna that have corroded, bases rusted, ; just did not hold up over one car. I drove 60K miles per year.. Larsen makes good antennas too but the Austin Spectra is the Cadillac of scanner antennas. Over the years, there have been many RR discussions on scanner antennas. Pretty much any external antenna works but the Spectra keeps working long after the other have hit the scrap pile. So over the life of the antenna, the Spectra has cost me less per year than other s I have had.
__________________
WD0GSY
BC-396XT,780XLT,TENTEC PARAGON, TYT-2017, MD-390, DM-5R+, ANYTONE 5888,VX10, VX7, VX3,TERMN-8R, F8-HP, GT3, UV-5, UV-3R, WOUXUN UV-8D,JUENTAI UV8DR,
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 11-18-2017, 11:30 AM
K3DRQ's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Milford, PA
Posts: 84
Default

I use my 6m half wave dipole with my scanner.
__________________
73, Dan K3DRQ

FISTS #13110, SKCC #4493T, EPC #20322
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 11-19-2017, 12:18 AM
DJ11DLN's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Mudhole, IN
Posts: 1,303
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by K3DRQ View Post
I use my 6m half wave dipole with my scanner.
Though the OP didn't exactly specify, the two antennas he linked are mobile units. I would think that a half-wave 6M dipole would be just a little bit cumbersome on a car or a pickup.
__________________
If it looks stupid but it works...it ain't stupid.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 11-19-2017, 3:45 PM
K3DRQ's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Milford, PA
Posts: 84
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ11DLN View Post
Though the OP didn't exactly specify, the two antennas he linked are mobile units. I would think that a half-wave 6M dipole would be just a little bit cumbersome on a car or a pickup.
What about a 2m/440 mag mount then?
__________________
73, Dan K3DRQ

FISTS #13110, SKCC #4493T, EPC #20322
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2017, 2:02 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Marshall County, Illinois
Posts: 138
Default

I have NMO mounts that are drilled in. No magnets. I got the Laird antenna that mmckenna referenced. It seems to work pretty well. Right now, I have a BCT15X with a diplexer using an 18" whip for VHF-Hi and a 6" whip for 450-470 and 8xx trunked systems. My 996P2 has the Laird multi-band on it. The P2 is used for digital monitoring only. One dept has a VHF DMR system, another a 400 MHz DMR single freq, and the Illinois STARCOM system.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2017, 2:27 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,728
Default

The diplexers do add a non-insignificant amount of loss. Have you tried the multiband antenna in it's place and compare?
There's probably a slight benefit to running tuned quarter wave antennas, though, so might be a very slight improvement.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2017, 4:24 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Marshall County, Illinois
Posts: 138
Default

The holes were already in the car for the NMO mounts, so I just filled them up. I already had the diplexer and antennas, so I used them. I bought it as a cheap work car. It's a Chevrolet Impala. It used to belong to a sheriff's department near me. A 2012 with 97,xxx miles is a hard deal to pass up for $3300!!
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2017, 4:05 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 918
Default

I measured my triplexer MX-627 and it had 0.2dB maximum and 0.1 general attenuation in its different
passbands, as it also says in the written specs. I wouldn't worry too much about that loss.

/Ubbe
__________________
TRX-2 BCD536 HP1 BCT15 BC246 BC346 BR330 UBC3500 Pro2006 Pro2042 Optocom OS545 Scout PCR1000 ICR2500 IC75 DX394 AR8200 IC-R2 IC-R10 UBC780 MD380 CS580 CS750 Pro96 Perseus ADCR25 AcecoSC1plus RTL-SDR
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2017, 4:01 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,728
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubbe View Post
I measured my triplexer MX-627 and it had 0.2dB maximum and 0.1 general attenuation in its different
passbands, as it also says in the written specs. I wouldn't worry too much about that loss.

/Ubbe
Understood. I had a cheap one that had worse specs. Getting off close to the edges of it's cutoff points resulted in higher losses. Since he's using if for scanner use, he might get some issues there.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2017, 5:15 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Marshall County, Illinois
Posts: 138
Default

The duplexer (as it is labeled) is a CF-4160 that I got from the Antenna Farm. The frequency ranges are 1.3 - 170 MHz on the low side and 350 - 540 MHz on the high side. I monitor from 150 - 160 and 452 - 461. I have not noticed any issues.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 3:15 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 918
Default

The Comet CF-4160 are measured in a youtube video and it's less than 0.2dB in the passband.
It is a low pass filter and a high pass filter put together and when there is a big gap between 170-350MHz
you can put both band edges at 250MHz and get great results. It's much more trickier if you wanted
the 250-350MHz mil air band to also be useable.

/Ubbe
__________________
TRX-2 BCD536 HP1 BCT15 BC246 BC346 BR330 UBC3500 Pro2006 Pro2042 Optocom OS545 Scout PCR1000 ICR2500 IC75 DX394 AR8200 IC-R2 IC-R10 UBC780 MD380 CS580 CS750 Pro96 Perseus ADCR25 AcecoSC1plus RTL-SDR
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 2:33 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boerne,Tx
Posts: 88
Default

Not trying to hijack this thread but have questions along the same line. I have a Uniden 396xt with a RS-800 antenna. I live in Boerne and drive to and around S.A. everyday of the week. I get fairly good reception inside the vehicle but would like to improve it. I drive a company car, 2016 Ram Promaster City so drilling holes to mount an antenna is out . I see several black plugs on the roof which I assume are for a roof rack. I listen to KCSO, Federal, LCRA, TXDPS,TXDOT and the SAUA system. From what I have been reading, I have to get an antenna and a separate magnet mount that the antenna screws onto?? This would be connected/disconnected every day since I listen to KCSO when I am home, would that affect the longevity of the connectors??

Thanks!!
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 2:56 PM
RRR RRR is offline
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 724
Default

I wasted my money on 3 Austin Spectras so far. There is a reason they have a "No return" policy, and it is because the thin piece of tin they call a "center contactor" WILL break off if it is bent anymore than slightly. I know, I have had to remove mine more than once, and the tin pieces just fall right off, and weren't even cranked down hard on the NMO.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2017, 3:17 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 7,728
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRR View Post
I wasted my money on 3 Austin Spectras so far. There is a reason they have a "No return" policy, and it is because the thin piece of tin they call a "center contactor" WILL break off if it is bent anymore than slightly. I know, I have had to remove mine more than once, and the tin pieces just fall right off, and weren't even cranked down hard on the NMO.
As they say, "Buyer Beware".

"Miracle" antennas usually aren't. As I often tell people here, there is no way around the laws of physics, and no company has developed any sort of magic pixy dust that makes one brand antenna beat those laws.
When purchasing antennas, looking at the reputation of the manufacturer. how long they've been in business, and how well they stand behind their products is key.

Hobbyist claims are usually dubious at best. Too much ego involved. The "Its the antenna I chose, therefore it's the best" never sits well with me. I want to know a company backs up it's products and they have a long track record of good products. Knowing that most public safety agencies spend good money on decent antennas should tell us something. They do it for a reason.

I've tried the amateur/hobby grade antennas and they were always disappointing. Once I switched to Larsen, issues went away. I've had good luck with Laird and a few others, too.

I never understood why the hobby radio crowd will willingly spend $500 on a radio, but then insist on putting a $10 antenna on a cheap mount and expecting it to work well.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions