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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-07-2008, 9:36 PM
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Default Shortest 800MHz antenna?

What is the shortest antenna available for listening to trunking around 850-870MHz which still has pretty good reception? I would like to be able to stick my BC246T in my pocket. I already have a RS-800 which works well, but is about 7 inches long.
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Old 02-08-2008, 7:10 AM
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If you're in a decent signal area I found the Comet Miracle Baby to work well. They have two versions, BNC, and SMA, depending on your needs.

Comet Miracle Baby CH-32 (BNC), or SMA-501 (SMA)
http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...ntht/3938.html

Last edited by GreatLakes; 06-23-2008 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 02-08-2008, 7:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatLakes
If you're in a decent signal area I found the Comet Miracle Baby to work well. They have two versions, BNC, and SMA, depending on your needs.

Comet Miracle Baby CH-32 (BNC), or SMA-501 (SMA)
http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...ntht/3938.html
Here is the description of that antenna found at that site:
"The Comet CH-32 Miracle Baby is an ultra small HT antenna for 2 meters and 440 MHz. It is only 1.75 inches tall. It is a 0 dBi 1/4 wave and can handle up to 10 watts. Black color. This antenna terminates to a BNC. "

Since 1/4 wave at 2 meters is about 19" and about 6" at 440 MHz, somebody doesn't know anything about antennas or math.
Instead of paying that price, a 3-1/4" of wire is 1/4 wave at 855 MHz and should work just as well.
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Old 02-08-2008, 7:42 AM
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There is certainly a great deal of hype when it comes to scanner and amateur radio antennas. This looks like a good example.
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Old 02-08-2008, 2:15 PM
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Don't have mine in front of me right now, but Antenex makes an 800MHz quarter wave rubber duck that's about three to four inches long. Yes, it's shorter than the Radio Shack 800MHz antenna, and no, it will not outperform it. But if you are in an area with good signal quality, it won't matter much.
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Old 02-08-2008, 3:06 PM
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I don't know about 800mHz but my old optoscout40 (?) I can't find it, had a tiny antenna on it and I don't remember it's reception attached to the scanner.

The optoscout wasn't a feat of magic as I recall.

So I'm just "burp" on this post.

Andy
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Old 02-08-2008, 4:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomeranger
I don't know about 800mHz but my old optoscout40 (?) I can't find it, had a tiny antenna on it and I don't remember it's reception attached to the scanner.

The optoscout wasn't a feat of magic as I recall.

So I'm just "burp" on this post.

Andy
You are likely referring to the DB-32 (100MHz-2GHz), fourth antenna in from the right at this page: http://www.optoelectronics.com/accessories.htm

I have a couple of them, but I've never tried it on my scanner. I should think it would do well when in close proximity to what you're monitoring. In particular in a mall or store, trying to find new freqs with Close Call or Signal Stalker.
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Old 02-08-2008, 4:31 PM
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I have a DB32 antenna from my old Optoelectronics Scout frequency counter. It is almost identical to the Comet CH-32 antenna mentioned above. I have it attached to my 246T right now and it's hearing our statewide 800 MHz system just fine. I also have the Radio Shack 800 MHz antenna which is even better but this antenna really does seem fine for all practical use. In fact, I had the same idea as you -- try to get the smallest radio possible without losing reception. And it works great. Carried it thru walmart the other day on my belt w/ the tiny antenna and was hearing UHF crystal clear as well. The DB32 is $49 on the Optoelectronics website and the CH-32 is only $27 at Universal Radio, so I'd go w/ the CH-32. This should work out very well for you and even if you find it doesn't, I doubt you'd have too much trouble selling it off to someone else for at least $20.

After walking around a bit, I realized I should also add that it makes a difference what kind of environment you are going to use it in. If I am trying to walk around the building I'm in, it's in and out. But that's probably because the system only has two tower sites that are each a good distance away. The city's multi-site EDACS system has something like 9-10 tower sites and I can hear that one just about anywhere with almost no antenna. But keep the tower signal strength factor in mind.

Last edited by Gilligan; 02-08-2008 at 4:38 PM..
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Old 02-08-2008, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DickH
Here is the description of that antenna found at that site:
"The Comet CH-32 Miracle Baby is an ultra small HT antenna for 2 meters and 440 MHz. It is only 1.75 inches tall. It is a 0 dBi 1/4 wave and can handle up to 10 watts. Black color. This antenna terminates to a BNC. "

Since 1/4 wave at 2 meters is about 19" and about 6" at 440 MHz, somebody doesn't know anything about antennas or math.
Instead of paying that price, a 3-1/4" of wire is 1/4 wave at 855 MHz and should work just as well.
I agree, but the Pain's original post was asking for the shortest antenna possible...which still has pretty good reception, as he wants to carry this in his pocket. The Comet CH-32 fits that request perfectly. I've actually used the CH-32 on a hand-held scanner, inside my home and was able to monitor an 850MHz trunked system that was twelve miles away, very clearly. I'm not sure he would want a 3-1/4" wire antenna in his pocket...could cause pain for Pain!
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Old 02-08-2008, 6:28 PM
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I like the wire idea.

I found an old BNC connector attached to a short piece of RG-58 A/U (thin coax) laying in my junk box. Removed the braided shield (leaving just 1/8" of the shield and protective cover near the connector.) Left the PVC center conductor insulator intact for stiffness and cut it to 3.3" length from the braided shield. Then I put black shrinkwrap over all the wire for a better look and a little added stiffness. The whole thing including the BNC connector measures 4.5 inches and is slightly more flexible and thinner then the upper half of the RS-800 so it does not poke my ribs as much. It receives about the same as the RS-800 on 850-870MHz and because I had all the parts laying around anyway it cost me nothing!
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Old 02-08-2008, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain
I like the wire idea.

I found an old BNC connector attached to a short piece of RG-58 A/U (thin coax) laying in my junk box. Removed the braided shield (leaving just 1/8" of the shield and protective cover near the connector.) Left the PVC center conductor insulator intact for stiffness and cut it to 3.3" length from the braided shield. Then I put black shrinkwrap over all the wire for a better look and a little added stiffness. The whole thing including the BNC connector measures 4.5 inches and is slightly more flexible and thinner then the upper half of the RS-800 so it does not poke my ribs as much. It receives about the same as the RS-800 on 850-870MHz and because I had all the parts laying around anyway it cost me nothing!
Good deal - you know what they say about necessity being the mother of invention!
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Old 02-08-2008, 7:25 PM
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I use a JTHI dual band stubby sma antenna, 144~148 MHZ, 440~450 MHZ.
Its only 1.5" long. Works very good on 800Mhz.
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Old 02-08-2008, 8:35 PM
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Exclamation

If i wanna buy the bc350c and put only a few 800mhz fire freqs. since it is allegedly capable of that range in it, and then load the rest of it with vhf/uhf stuff..... mostly fire and medevac, would it shoot to buy a dual band vhf/uhf antenna? and if i did purchase that kind of antenna, would it still receive the few 800 mhz frequencies i program into the scanner?...
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Old 04-05-2008, 5:40 PM
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I feel the need to re-emphasize how incredible the DB32 antenna is. I've brought two scanners to work w/ me today -- a BC246T handheld and a Pro-2048 base. I know that the 2048 is a little weak on reception for some reason. Regardless, I had both sitting here on the desk trying to hear the county's sheriff repeaters quite a distance away. I was almost to the point of posting on RR about why the repeaters were so silent. I was using telescoping antennas -- one w/ the right length set for UHF. Absolutely nothing. Just for kicks I put the DB32 on the Uniden and all of a sudden I'm hearing those county repeaters -- a little scratchy but still very loud. Actually I've found that it does better on UHF than anything else I've got. And almost as good on 800 as my Radio Shack 800 antenna. Unbelievable reception on that antenna.
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