• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

My friend gave me this. What do you think?

Status
Not open for further replies.

waymark

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
45
Location
New Jersey
Hey guys, my friend works or a company that installs radios/police lights in emergency vehicles. He gave me this after I told him I wanted a shorter 800 MHZ antenna.

What do you think? I don't want 10 miles of scanning power. I only want like 5 miles or less.. Just for the towns I'm currently driving through. It actually came off one of the Police Cruisers from a town next to me, but they are only like a few miles in diameter :D.

This link is what I currently have:
http://www.scannermaster.com/Comtelco_All_Band_Low_Profile_Mobile_Antenna_p/07-540719.htm






 
Last edited:

Skypilot007

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
2,118
Location
Medford, NJ
It looks like its cut for 450-500MHz. Also the from the first pic it looks like moisture made its way in there. Clean it up and make sure the antenna elements makes good contact with the NMO mount you have. This one looks like the contact point is pushed up into the gromet a bit.
 

KevinC

Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 7, 2001
Messages
4,564
Location
Somewhere other than home :(
I don't see a corona ball and it looks like the base end doesn't have the curly twist. I think this is just a random piece of wire someone stuck into the base. I'm not sure it would make good contact with the NMO center contact either as it sits..
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,462
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Some installers tune the antennas by trimming off the top. Yeah, the corona ball is missing, but that won't matter, other than the obvious safety issue. The internal contact looks busted, as was stated, it's usually formed into a circle.

If it's the right length, then it should work just fine. I used 1/4 wave 800MHz antennas on my system and don't have any issues at all getting 15-20 miles out of it. In fact, in the right places, I've been able to connect to the system at about 60 miles.
 

waymark

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
45
Location
New Jersey
Oh wow, really? I always HATED having a single foot black antenna. It looks so awful on my car :D. If I end up having to replace it, can you or someone else tell me where to get a really good shorty antenna like this one with the same mounting option?
 
Last edited:

waymark

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
45
Location
New Jersey
$14? I didn't know those were the prices. That's a lot cheaper than the 800MHz I just replaced now. Maybe scanner master will take it back.

I would have shopped on eBay, but I wasn't sure of the quality or if they were turned properly.
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,462
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
It's $14.00 at Tessco if you don't have an account. I have an account and my price is $9.49. Of course there is a $50 minimum order....

These sorts of antennas are really simple and should be cheap. When they are this cheap, it's pretty pointless to be looking for used ones to save a dollar or so. Since the rubber seal can fail over time, going cheap isn't the best option. Getting water down inside is going to be a headache.

I use one of these on my own personal truck for my work radio with great results. Using the radios internal "maintenance" mode, I can see the received dB level of the control channel. Using this I've swapped back and forth between a Larsen 3dB 800MHz antenna and the 1/4 wave. 1dB of difference according to the radio. Hardly enough to make a difference. The lower profile suits my needs.

Sometimes simple is best.
 

waymark

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
45
Location
New Jersey
Great link W8RMH! Also, mmckenna, thank you for that info. I'm going to just purchase a new antenna for piece of mind.

Now the last question I suppose I have is, chrome or black? My car is white, but with a tinted back windshield. I'm kinda leanings towards the black version. I know it was kinda hard to see the taller black antenna if you weren't looking for it, even if it was like 1'.

I think this is the model? Ouch, it's double the price. Oh well :).
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmoqspec800b-881.html
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,462
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
My own personal truck is white, and I feel the chrome blend in better. But, then again it's a full size 4x4 and it's hard to see the little antenna up there. The VHF antenna sticks up high enough, but it doesn't stand out.

The black ones do look good, but after a while you'll notice the powder coating on the whip will start to chip off. After a few chips it starts to look pretty crappy. One easy fix is to use black heat shrink tubing on the whip. It won't chip off and if you hit it with some Armor-All every now and then it'll stay looking shiny and new. It won't affect performance. A good electronics store (not Radio Shack) will sell lengths of heat shrink tubing for a few bucks. If you have a Harbor Freight, they sell it also in a kit. I've done the heat shrink trick on a few antennas for others and they have been happy with it. Works well on the shorter antennas, like UHF and 800 quarter wave. The longer VHF whips don't work quite so well.
 

LtDoc

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Messages
2,145
Location
Oklahoma
It appears to be a simple 1/4 wave antenna, so ought'a be something like 3 - 4 inches long for 800 Mhz. A 1/4 wave is about the simplest/cheapest antenna around (for any band) and should work for you. Judging how well an antenna 'works' by 'range' is a terrible way of going about it, there are too many variable for that to be a good method. And since you are talking about only receiving, not transmitting, if the thing is 'close' to the 'right' length it'll do just fine.
I also thing it's better to get a new one (with all the required parts) than use a 'used' one if possible. I've used a lot of 'used' antennas and they mostly works fine, but there's always going to be something that can go wrong (no @#$ gasket!).
Have fun.
- 'Doc
 

waymark

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
45
Location
New Jersey



Here's what it looks like so far with the current one I have. I like how low profile it is. I wonder how the black version would look.

Yes, I will only be receiving transmission.
 
Last edited:

waymark

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
45
Location
New Jersey
Do I need to use the rubber gasket that comes with the new antenna?

The instructions said something about if the height from top of ground plane is .350 to .330, then you use the gasket.
 

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,462
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Basically, if it will fit under the antenna and the whip still makes contact, use it. If the chrome nut bottoms out on the vehicle body, then you may not need it. Best way to tell is to install the antenna without it and find a signal. Remove the antenna and install the gasket. Reinstall the antenna and see if the signal strength is the same. Sometimes the gaskets will prevent the antenna from making proper contact, has to do with the mount type and how it's installed.

You want to keep water out of the base and the best way to do that is with the gasket.

Also, make sure you remove the antenna periodically and make sure it's clean and the gaskets are not damaged. Getting water inside there can cause corrosion that will not only damage the antenna, but also the NMO base.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top