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Border County CC...

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#1
Hello Everyone,

I have a simple, but complicated question that someone may be able to handle.

I have 4 towers running MARCS in my county. I can lock onto the CC on each tower from my residence.

I want to monitor an SODISP of the county just north of me. I live on the county line, but cannot manage to lock onto the tower in the border county. Every-now-and then the SODISP that I want to monitor floats to a tower that I can lock onto.

My question is... How can I boost my MARCS signal to connect and trunk the CC tower in the border county?

I would really like to hear the border county DISP all the time as I have family that works for them. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!:roll:
 
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Location
Pomeroy, OH
#3
Thanks for the information.

I have the Radio Shack 800MhZ portable antenna... What is the gain on it compared to the first option that you provided me?

I noticed that is for a base radio, I have the PRO-106... Is the portable antenna with the same specs just as good? I noticed that it has some bad reviews with the BNC connector coming loose.. Any expierence?

Thanks Again!
 

W8RMH

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#4
Sorry, I thought you were referring to a base setup.
I had the RS antenna and found it useless.

I use the Comet SB14 Amateur HT Antenna on my BCD396T. I easily monitor MARCS towers in adjacent counties in addition to all the other 800 MHz systems and VHF and UHF frequencies in a multi-county area. It costs a little more than most antennas but is well worth the money.

I have used this antenna for well over 10 years on numerous scanners and cannot recommend it enough.
 

wa8pyr

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#5
I use the Comet SB14 Amateur HT Antenna on my BCD396T. I easily monitor MARCS towers in adjacent counties in addition to all the other 800 MHz systems and VHF and UHF frequencies in a multi-county area.
But you're in Central Ohio, where it's relatively flat; the OP is in Meigs County, where there are some very significant hills in the way.

If you're on a hilltop and still having that much trouble hearing Athens County (I presume), a good 800 MHz vertical antenna placed outdoors and connected with good quality feedline might improve things, but the only solution that will be truly effective is to install a directional antenna. You're looking at a cost in the range of $100 for a good quality one with good quality coax unless you can find one on eBay.

If you're in a valley, your chances of picking up either the Athens or Cutler towers effectively are pretty slim, even with a directional antenna.
 
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Pomeroy, OH
#6
I have rigged up a system that seems to be working very well.... Here is the setup:

I took the RS 800MhZ antenna off of the PRO-106, I attached that antenna to a suction cup mount. Attached the mount to the higher outermost part of my front window. Adjusted the squelch to allow the Athens Tower to come in.

I am now getting a signal from the Athens tower, and do hear some voice but it is somewhat glitchy still. I am getting there! Slowly, but surely. I went ahead and ordered the 2.5 gain antenna mentioned above. I believe that will help a little bit.

Any suggestions for me to improve my setup?
 

wa8pyr

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Ohio
#7
I have rigged up a system that seems to be working very well.... Here is the setup:

I took the RS 800MhZ antenna off of the PRO-106, I attached that antenna to a suction cup mount. Attached the mount to the higher outermost part of my front window. Adjusted the squelch to allow the Athens Tower to come in.

I am now getting a signal from the Athens tower, and do hear some voice but it is somewhat glitchy still. I am getting there! Slowly, but surely. I went ahead and ordered the 2.5 gain antenna mentioned above. I believe that will help a little bit.

Any suggestions for me to improve my setup?
A higher-gain antenna on the suction cup mount is a good start. For a somewhat more permanent solution you could hang a good quality gain antenna from the curtain rod and use good quality coax rather than the suction cup antenna.
 

mtindor

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7,367
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Carroll Co OH / EN90LN
#9
I'd really be surprised if you were to achieve any appreciable increase in signal strength from some other HT antenna if you're already using the RS 800 Mhz HT antenna. As you probably already figured out, the stock antennas are trash on 800 Mhz. The RS 800 Mhz antenna does a fine job.

Apparently OHIO63 sees better results with the antenna that he gave you a listing for, but really I think the 800 Mhz RS antenna is it for HT antennas. If you need more gain after that, I think you need to go with an outside antenna.

As Tom WA8PYR indicated, a good 800 Mhz vertical outside might do the trick. If that still doesn't do it, you'll have to go directional. But, if you are receiving enough signal with your antenna attached to a window via suction cup, I'm betting that a good 800 Mhz omni vertical base antenna would provide you with all the signal that you need while allowing you to have omnidirectional coverage.

Of course none of that is cheap [unless, as Tom said, you get a good deal on Ebay]. Obviously if you go with the outside antenna setup, you better use LMR-400 or something equivalent/better because [as you must be aware given your apparent job] the loss @ 800 Mhz is up there with RG8/X RG58 or even RG213.

If it were me and I were getting at least some signal off of the suction cup antenna, I'd go for an omni vertical.

If you ever are inclined to go with a directional antenna, I'd probably select a few-element directional antenna versus a many-element directional antenna. I say that because someething like a simple old 3-element dB products antenna that you might find really cheap on Ebay will provide you with gain in the desired direction while not having a significant FB (front-back) ratio and will pick up pretty decent off the sides. That's what i use here at times. It definitely provides gain. Not as much as I would get with a 10+ element directional antenna, but noticeable / appreciable gain while still allowing for the reception of all of the other towers surrounding me in my county.

I feel for you guys down in SE Ohio. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful country. But when it comes to scanner monitoring, it has to be a real nightmare if you aren't at a decent elevation.

Mike
 
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