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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 06-02-2006, 5:47 PM
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Default Review: Maldol MH-255 on 159-162MHz VHF

I just got the Maldol MH-255 SMA "Active Hunter" in today. It is a very flexible ducky; size-wise, it fits the 396T extremely well and is exactly HALF the length of the stock Uniden ducky. There are no markings on the MH-255, so it would probably be difficult to tell the difference between it & it's 2M/70cm sibling, the MH-209 SMA.

So far I am very pleased. It picks up all the local 159MHz VHF P25 traffic with a full five bars (to be expected since tower is rather close). There hasn't been enough conventional traffic on the distant site I was trying to compare, but will update when I get a chance.

Note: The following comparison is done using two NOAA stations: (1) 162.500MHz & (2) 162.475MHz. Site 1 is about 28 miles away; site 2 is about 48 miles away. These were chosen as they continuously transmit on a frequency extremely close to the range I needed the MH-255 for.

The numbers below are by no means scientific, so take them as such. They're my observation of the signal strength bars on a BCD396T and my perception of how clear the channel/antenna combo sounds. YMMV!

While the signal strength only displays whole numbers, I've converted them to decimals to portray approximately how long it stayed at that level. For example, 1.5 means the signal evenly fluctuated between 1 bar & 2 bars.

-162.5 & 162.475 MHz--Site 1-------Site 2-----Length(inches)-
Maldol MH-255SMA----3.75--------1.5-------2.85-------------
Uniden Stock SMA------3.25-------0.75-------5.68-------------
Pryme RD-9-SMA-------2.0---------0.25------7.68-------------
RadioShk 800BNC-------3.0--------0.75-------7.43------------
Maldol AS-25SMA------0.25--------0.0-------1.00------------

(Interestingly, while the AS-25 usually didn't show a signal bar, the audio was extremely clear and probably coming in at ~80-85% (I could easily understand the broadcast, with very little static or popping).

The MH-255 now makes the 396T extremely portable for my purposes, all without any perceivable loss in signal clarity for the VHF frequencies needed.

I hope this has been helpful to those looking for a small VHF antenna.

(from left to right: Pryme RD-9-SMA, Radio Shack 800MHz BNC w/SMA adapter, Uniden 396T stock SMA, Maldol MH-255 SMA, Maldol AS-25 SMA)

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Last edited by JHaislet; 06-02-2006 at 5:52 PM..
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Old 06-03-2006, 5:02 AM
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Thanks for the info, J.

Having two of the three top performers in your to date testing, two questions come up. What do they charge for the MH-255, and what are the delivery costs?
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:31 PM
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I ordered the MH-255 from http://www.wb0w.com who in turn had it drop-shipped directly to me from Maldol in California. Cost was $26.95 + $9 s/h.

I found a couple other places online that allegedly sold the MH-255 (as well as the MH-209), but wasn't confident in their response or ordering system as it showed up as a MH-209 when added to the basket.

While the MH-255 & MH-209 are indistinguishable on the outside (no markings or model number), they are indeed two very different antennas. The MH-209 is made specifically for 144MHz/430MHz (2M/70cm), whereas the MH-255 is 155/465MHz. The differences in designed frequency seem small, but when your dealing with a ~3" antenna, the closer you can get to your desired range, the better the results.

The Pryme RD-9's performance was a bit of a shocker to me. I figured it would pull in 162MHz as good as or better than the stock Uniden and even the MH-255, as it's one of the longest antennas in the ones I tested. Also, it's a HAM antenna (144/430), so I figured the jump from 144 to 157-162 wouldn't be that bad. That turned out not to be the case. I imagine similarly disappointing results would have occurred if I had picked up a MH-209 (instead of the MH-255).

While the MH-255 seems to be about $5-7 dollars more than the MH-209, if your main focus is public safety VHF and your wanting a smaller antenna, then by all means get the 255, as IMHO, it's worth it.
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Old 06-03-2006, 8:53 PM
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Thanks, JH, for the info.
-Doug
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Old 06-04-2006, 5:47 PM
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I'm gonna order one on monday.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:37 PM
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I have one enroute.

I also ordered one from Antenex to try, the DEXS150SM.

order says it is 4.5 inches long, and is specifically for the 150-162 VHF band.

Not a normal stocking item, so I was informed it'll be shipped out on the 19th.
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:05 AM
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Sounds good, I'm interested in seeing how the antenex does against the MH-255. I would expect the Antenex to do pretty good since it's what, 1/2" to 1.5" taller by most accounts?

Kind of strange how no one keeps these ~155Mhz VHF antennas in stock. You'd think with the large number of folks scanning public safety, especially in rural areas, VHF antennas would be pretty popular.
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Old 06-08-2006, 2:25 AM
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My Maldol MH-255 arrived today, and so far, I'm impressed.

Our city and upper county fire dispatch, as well as the city P.D., are dispatched out of the same com center, and they do not use the repeaters. The mobiles and portables, DO use the repeaters, and I have noticed that all three frequencies are clearer, and less static prone.

Sheriffs department uses the repeaters for dispatch and mobiles, and the upper county sounds the same. Lower county repeater is difficult to catch on a handheld from where I am located, and I heard that repeater on this scanner, for the first time.

I will report back when I have a chance to listen further. The above was heard in a timeframe of about 5 minutes.
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Old 06-08-2006, 2:42 AM
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Hey that's great, I'm glad the MH-255 is working good for you as well.

I can actually pick up the distant P25 site (~25 miles away) for the first time on the other side of my residence while still inside using the MH-255. It usually has 2 bars of signal to boot! This site is completely deaf on the other antennas I have.

Were you surprised by the MH-255's construction? I still can't get over how flexible and "soft" the antenna is. One would expect it to be rather stiff by it's thick appearance, but it's not.

Be sure to let us know when the Antenex VHF comes in. I'm very interested in a comparison between these two. I'd also be interested in how both perform outside of VHF, especially in airband and 800mhz if you have that traffic in your area.
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:23 AM
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I 'll do a comparison of both antennas when the Antenex arrives.

I have one 800 mhz TRS in my area, so I'll get it loaded and see how well it works for them.

I had the scanner with me earlier this evening, and while mobile, I caught the distant lower county S.O. repeater as clear as the upper county repeaters. Scannner was in the drink tray. My wife asked me why I was a little excited, and when I told her, she just rolled her eyes at me.

The MH-255's construction did suprise me a bit, yes, but it is a plus. Won't get broken easily.

I think I'm going to order one for my PRO-97 and see how well it does.

Hats off to Advanced Specialties for getting me this antenna in two days!
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Last edited by CODE03; 06-10-2006 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 06-10-2006, 7:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RISC777
Thanks for the info, J.

Having two of the three top performers in your to date testing, two questions come up. What do they charge for the MH-255, and what are the delivery costs?
Here it's $27.99, & a flat $ 6.99 s/h on your entire order:

https://www.webtrix.net/shopcart/Adv...tenna&search=1
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Old 06-10-2006, 7:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concrete1
Here it's $27.99, & a flat $ 6.99 s/h on your entire order:

https://www.webtrix.net/shopcart/Adv...tenna&search=1
That is where mine came from.

They sent it USPS Priority, so I had it in two days.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:04 AM
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A quck update on the Maldol MH-255.

I've been picking up a couple of the mountain fire repeaters that I previously had trouble receiving using the stock antenna.

This is in a metal building at work, and while not completely clear, I can now hear the dispatcher and the mobile/portables with just a bit of static.

This antenna has exceeded my expectations by a large margin.

Also, I received the SMA to BNC adaptor today, so now I can use the Maldol on my PRO-97. I'll report on that when I have a chance.

Still waiting on the Antenex DEXS150SM.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:15 AM
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Not bad for such a small antenna The MH-255 keeps surprising me as well!

I'm also looking forward to your impressions on the small Antennex you ordered.
Hopefully it will arrive soon.

I'm still waiting on the Diamond SRH77CA. I ordered it the same time as the MH-255, but they said it is backordered until the 16th (this Friday). Hopefully it will ship out this week.

I'm hoping the SRH77CA opens up the airband and some of the milair for a bit more than the stock antennas. We'll see!
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Old 06-15-2006, 9:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHaislet
I'm hoping the SRH77CA opens up the airband and some of the milair for a bit more than the stock antennas. We'll see!
You will be very happy with the RH77CA for mil air. I have both the BNC version and the SMA version (for my FT-60), and they do a fantasic job for UHF mil air. I've had the BNC version for 8+ years now.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CODE03
Still waiting on the Antenex DEXS150SM.
Where did you order your Antenex DEXS150SM from?

Can't wait to hear how this antenna works also!

Good report..
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MB
Where did you order your Antenex DEXS150SM from?

Can't wait to hear how this antenna works also!

Good report..
I ordered it directly from Antenex via their website.

They called me right after I ordered it, and told me that is was not a normal stocking item, and had to be made. I was also told it would ship on the 19th, so I probably won't have it until the end of the month.
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Old 06-20-2006, 3:55 PM
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Well I got my MH-255 antenna today. So far I'm impressed. The county I live in is still down in the 155/450 range. Reception is awesome. Tomorrow I'll see how it does on 800 Mhz. My expectations will not be as high though, since the antenna is not cut for that range.
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Old 06-20-2006, 11:22 PM
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My Antenex DEXS150SM arrived today.

I'll have it on my BR-330T tomorrow at work, so I'll be able to report on how it compares to the Maldol.

Stay tuned.

Oh. I have one 800 TRS system here (City services) and the Maldol picks it up just fine. Of course, I'm not far from the repeater site, so I don't really know how it'll work at a distance.
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:39 PM
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I ran the Antenex all day today, and I did not notice any difference between it and the Maldol.

I did not hear anything on the mountain repeater today, so I'm waiting to see how well I can pick it up on the Antenex VS the Maldol.

More to follow over the next couple of days.
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