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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 03-10-2018, 1:33 PM
   
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Talking Need an antenna with a farther range.

This is my first time posting on the forums, sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place.
I've got a BC125AT, and I'm looking for an antenna that will get me around 30 miles in range, if possible. Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 03-10-2018, 1:52 PM
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Welcome and good luck. Asking what's the best antenna has been known to start fights, especially with Hams...everyone has their preference. Everyone is different...different topography, different system, different scanner. What works for one may not work for others...but it's only money so let's see what happens. To better answer your question, please post more information. What city, county and state are you scanning from? What are you trying to listen to? Are you wanting to listen handheld, mobile, or base?

Diamond RH77CA SRH77CA Antenna -- is what was recommended 5 years ago on this forum...there may be better options today.
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Old 03-10-2018, 2:20 PM
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A directional antenna will give you the most gain, but only when aimed at the signal source. If you are thinking an airport tower, it would be great, but very poor for planes with signals coming from multiple directions and altitudes.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandheldHunter View Post
This is my first time posting on the forums, sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place.
I've got a BC125AT, and I'm looking for an antenna
Mobile?
Portable?
Base?
Budget?
Skill level for doing your own installs?

Unless you give us some specifics, we'd just be guessing….



Quote:
Originally Posted by HandheldHunter View Post
that will get me around 30 miles in range, if possible. Any help would be appreciated!
Antennas are important regarding how well your radio works, but topology will get in the way.
Unless we know where you are and who you are trying to listen to, no one is going to be able to tell you how far an antenna will work. It's more about the system you are trying to listen to than the type of antenna you are using on your scanner.

Details are important.
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Old 03-11-2018, 5:18 AM
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The 125AT is a handheld, so that answers a lot of the questions. The RH77CA is an excellent general-purpose scanner antenna, but there may be better options, depending on the specifics of what you want to listen to.
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Old 03-11-2018, 9:21 AM
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Yes, the the BC125AT is a handheld scanner. But it also accepts an external antenna (something other than the rubber duck that came with the radio). Something other than a telescoping or rubber duck antenna (attenuator may be a better word) attached to the BC125AT is going to have a much better chance at "30 mile range". You need to be considering an antenna mounted outside the building (rooftop) or vehicle (magnet mount or other mount outside vehicle).
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Old 03-11-2018, 9:52 AM
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Height is the ultimate factor when discussing range with VHF/UHF radios.

I have a 40 foot tower with a dual band 144/440 ham radio antenna at the very top. Apart from ham radio, I also use it for general scanning and have no trouble picking up commercial services in a city 30 miles away. I can also hear people using handheld FRS radios in a small town about a mile to the north of me.

You don't need a major tower though.. If you live in a house, just get something up on the roof. Compared to a rubber duck antenna, a simple discone mounted to an eve or on a small tripod will make an amazing difference.

Same for mobile. Get something on the roof of your vehicle and reception will improve significantly.
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Old 03-11-2018, 3:54 PM
   
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Default BC125AT antenna

I already own a RH77CA antenna, I get around 10 miles or so. I live in South Florida, so I don't have much interference. I use my scanner to listen to trains, and some of the people down here can get up to 25 miles on their handheld scanner! Is there an antenna I can directly connect to my BC125AT?
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:35 PM
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Still a lot of variables, and you haven't really talked about what it is you are wanting to listen to.

Getting 25 miles from a hand held scanner is more about what they are listening to than just the antenna they have on their scanner.
If the transmitter is up high with a good antenna, then a paperclip stuck in the antenna jack on your scanner might work well. If it's down low, the limiting factor becomes the curvature of the earth, buildings, topology, etc. No amount of antenna will necessarily overcome that.

If you are trying to listen to VHF and/or UHF stuff, then the antenna you have is probably a good choice. On hand held scanners, the issue becomes how big an antenna the connector can support. At lower frequencies, the lack of suitable ground plane can be an issue.

And, location is key. Comparing your reception to someone else leaves open too many variables to make an accurate comparison.
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Old 03-12-2018, 1:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandheldHunter View Post
I already own a RH77CA antenna, I get around 10 miles or so. I live in South Florida, so I don't have much interference. I use my scanner to listen to trains, and some of the people down here can get up to 25 miles on their handheld scanner! Is there an antenna I can directly connect to my BC125AT?
Not in the handheld antenna category that will do much better than the RH77CA for railroad freqiencies. Handheld range varies wildly, depending on terrain, buildings, and vegetation between transmitter and receiver. If you want to do much better than the RH77CA, your only option is to get your antenna above the ground clutter (buildings, trees, and hills) in your vicinity, so that there is a direct line of sight between your antenna and the transmitter without anything in between.

Increasing range from 10 miles to 25 miles requires about 8dB of signal increase, and the only way you will get that is by getting a good antenna up high, and then bringing the signal down to your radio with good coax. There isn't any handheld antenna that will give you 8dB of performance improvement over the RH77CA attached directly to your scanner.
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Old 03-14-2018, 7:03 AM
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30 miles on a handheld antenna will be a stretch without a roof-mounted antenna, even in South Florida, which is fairly flat. You'll also find that lower frequencies in the VHF-Low and VHF-High bands tend to travel further than 800 MHz UHF signals, and are less prone to interference from vegetation and topography. So if your listening targets are in the UHF band, you may be out of luck. If you'll be using your scanner in a mobile versus fixed situation, reliably receiving signals from 30 miles distance will be challenging due to ever-changing conditions as you drive around. So, as others have posted, we need more information to be able to help you out.
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Old 06-02-2018, 4:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandheldHunter View Post
This is my first time posting on the forums, sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place.

I've got a BC125AT, and I'm looking for an antenna that will get me around 30 miles in range, if possible. Any help would be appreciated!


Do you live in a condo, apartment, or house? Also are you in a city like Miami or Ft Lauderdale? If you are in a condo or apartment forget about outside antennas. House if under an association you’ll need to check their rules. House no association go for outside antenna you want. I live in a condo and hung a diamond D130 disconnection from my ceiling and get good 800Mhz reception. I also have used a Diamond SRH789 Handheld antenna with good results. Using a BCD436HP
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Old 06-12-2018, 7:50 PM
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If trains and railroad is you main focus I would reccomend this antenna. I have been using it for a while now, and it works great. There are also a few videos on youtube demonstrating it on the railroad band. It works better than my Rh77CA on this band in my opinion.

5/8 Slim Duck 160 MHZ
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Old 06-12-2018, 8:04 PM
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Default have you tried

putting into your radio the same ones they are listening to and see if you can hear them ?
trying to listen to a train on the ground putting out 25 to 35 watts is one thing.
listening to a repeater 25 miles away with 100 watts at 100 feet is another.
just a thought.
i can get the space station at 250 miles up with a uniden 396T and a radio shack 800 Mhz antenna. 6 inches long.
you have to compare apples to apples.
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