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Good scanner antenna for car

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Rudy3145

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Nov 19, 2004
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196
Location
New York
Looking for a good vehicle scanner antenna for low band, vhf, UHF and 800

any suggestions?

Thanks
 

btritch

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Nov 27, 2006
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Paragould/Greene County AR
First Off..

First of all, There are a couple of things here, 1) Do you want a mount antenna or a mag mount, on glass, etc., 2) which band do you monitor the MOST because it's going to be hard to find one to monitor all of those bands on one antenna....It can be done but it's pretty expensive from what I hear.. and 3) How far is the range you want to monitor? If it's close, about any kind will work, if it's not, Then again going back to number 2, it's going to be iffy... maybe someone else has a better answer but from what I've saw on here before you can't get one to monitor all three of those bands etc. real great, just one and hope you get the others but maybe someone else has a better idea/answer...
 

Rudy3145

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Nov 19, 2004
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Location
New York
id like a mag mount, the glass mounts arent that great. i had the radio shack mag mount, worked great but a little big. i was going for something a little smaller that covered most spectrums. my county is mostly low band, uhf and 800. most antennas will pick up the repeated uhf & 800, so i guess im looking for something that is good for vhf-low simplex.
 

swstow

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Nov 17, 2006
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295
Location
Erlanger Ky
1/4 wave works good if you dont mind a new hole in the car,
ive installed many scanners in local police car with then and have yet
to have any problems with reception
check with your local radio shop
 

jon_k

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May 7, 2008
Messages
269
Location
Fort Worth, Republic of Texas
I'd suggest the Austin Spectra.

It does 30-50, 150-174, 430-512, 806-896 MHz which is mostly in the range you want.

It takes an NMO mount which comes in mag mount variety, or drill-in-the-roof variety. Truck mounts are also available.

For transmitting, it is tuned for 2 meters and 70cm up to 100 watts. (Haven't tested yet since my callsign hasn't been processed yet.)

In my opinion it has great coverage all around and picks up very well. I wish I had a picture of my install. It's a nice looking antenna with nice coverage.

Just be careful when installing it. There are precautions you have to take. If you plan on this antenna PM me and I'll let you know ahead of time on how to be careful with the installation.

http://www.scannermaster.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=04-540720&Click=20907

 
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bee

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Jan 5, 2003
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1,049
Location
Belmont, Ms.
"Valor pmm3b" is a mag mount from "universal". I have three, and am very satisfied with them. ,
They are also "low profile, about 13 inches tall, and will not "blow off"!
 

SAR923

Active Member
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The Valor is a great little antenna but it's lousy on low band. If you have stations you need to hear on low band, the Valor is a bad choice.
 

Skypilot007

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Dec 26, 2005
Messages
2,118
Location
Medford, NJ
I like the larson 150/450/800. It works very well on all the bands its spec'd for.
BTW I found the Austin to be not so great on 800MHz, and its a big antenna.
 

af5rn

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Apr 4, 2008
Messages
1,059
Location
N. Tex / S. Fla
Skypilot007 said:
I like the larson 150/450/800. It works very well on all the bands its spec'd for.
BTW I found the Austin to be not so great on 800MHz, and its a big antenna.
I agree with that, however the Austin is as good on 800 -- if not better -- than any other scanner antenna. It is a full bar better than the Larson or the Comtelco/Maxrad. But scanner antennae are not particularly tough competition. I have a small cellphone glassmount antenna on my car that gets two to two and a half bars more than the Spectra gets on a mag mount. However, if you man-up and drill a hole for it, the Spectra is about as good as it gets for full-spectrum coverage. A mag mount simply can't match up to a permanent ground plane. Not to mention that a mag mount screams "Temporary install! No special tools needed to steal this radio!"

Unfortunately, our OP says he wants something small and doesn't want to drill a hole, which is what everybody seems to say, even though they say they want "the best".

Folks, if you want good low band performance, you're going to have to get over this phobia of having an ugly antenna on your car. Period. The Austin Spectra or the Antenna Specialist MONR33 (which doesn't do 800) are about the only things out there that will do it well, unless you live in a pretty small rural community and don't stray far from the transmitters.

If you don't need long distance performance, and you're dead set on a short, mag mounted antenna, then the Comtelco/Maxrad BMAXSCAN1000 is probably among your best choices. http://www.scannermaster.com/Comtelco_All_Band_Low_Prof_Antenna_p/07-540719.htm It's good looking, only 19 inches long, and although not ideal for low-band (nothing short can be), it'll do it as good as anything else in it's size range, while giving you better than average performance on the other bands.
 
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SAR923

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Dec 19, 2002
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That Comtelco BMAXSCAN1000 is about the best all around scanner antenna I ever used if vertical space is an issue. We had them on all out patrol cars and they were also very sturdy for the price. I'd like them a little better if they had a spring because they are pretty stiff for a little antenna.
 

jon_k

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Joined
May 7, 2008
Messages
269
Location
Fort Worth, Republic of Texas
Skypilot007 said:
I like the larson 150/450/800. It works very well on all the bands its spec'd for.
BTW I found the Austin to be not so great on 800MHz, and its a big antenna.
The spectra works fine on 800mhz for me. I can pick up trunks about 42 miles away that are clean and clear!

The size isn't so bad. I wouldn't consider anything "tall" until it starts hitting drive-thru's and scraping parking garages.

Here is what my Austin Spectra looks like on my truck. It goes 1 foot above the top of the cabin of the truck. It's hardly taller than the FM antenna.

This thing bends sideways when going around 100mph. Seems to hold on tight though!
 

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af5rn

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Apr 4, 2008
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Location
N. Tex / S. Fla
stevolene said:
thats one ugly antenna :)
LOL, no doubt! It looks a lot better on the website! But you'd be amazed how much better it looks after a can of flat black Rust-Oleum.

jon_k said:
The spectra works fine on 800mhz for me. I can pick up trunks about 42 miles away that are clean and clear!
Sweet! It's the best 800 performance you're going to get out of a multi-band scanner antenna. And having that metal on metal mount makes a difference. Imagine if you had it on a flat ground plane!

Nice job on the stand-offs, by the way. I think I might look to replace them with metal though, if you can find something suitable.

Have you tried to monitor the digital systems in Mansfield or Grand Prairie? Digital is where you find out just how good your 800 reception is!
 
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