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Need Info on an Antenna

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pacers111

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I'd like to an antenna for my home, I have an old radio shack scanner right now and also to pro-94's, Im also going to buy a uniden BCD996T soon, and would like an antenna that would give me better listening capabilities. I live in live in mansfield, ohio. How far of a distance could i expect to pick up with an antenna, i would like an antenna that could monitor conventional as well as trunked systems.
 

kb2vxa

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Uh oh, here we go again with another "What's the best antenna?" thread.

"i would like an antenna that could monitor conventional as well as trunked systems."

Oh how they prey on ignorance, wise up before you buy a trunked antenna. Pace, first on the agenda is a good description of your "operating conditions", that is basically your living conditions, how and where you can put up an antenna, information pertanent to your property rather than only the city in which you live. Mansfield is the typical urban environment but do you live in the city, the suburbs, or on a farm outside the city limits? You're telling us nothing and you have to tell us before we can tell you or it's the proverbial black cat hunt in a coal mine.

Help me out guys, he needs an education from the ground up, NOT more >opinions and guesses< than he can swallow. A basic short course on antenna types and applications might be a good place to start but still the question remains, wazzup onna roof bro?
 

kf4lne

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Ok, answer these questions:

1: Where will you be installing your antenna?
2: About how far will you need to run the coax to get to your scanner?
3: Will you be using one antenna for multiple scanners?
4: other than 800MHz systems what other bands are you intrested in hearing, such as Air, Low band, VHF hi or UHF or even satcom or milair.
6: Will all of your monitoring be coming from the same direction or will it be all around you?
7: What kind of budget do you have?

Now for the basics. 800MHz trunked and conventional systems use the same band splits so you will not need a special antenna for each mode. You will need an antenna for each range of frequencies you want to monitor, but scanner antennas typically include antennas for each range in a single antenna package such as the RS ground plane antenna that works well for VHF-HI and UHF because of the multiple elements. A good antenna for average monitoring is the Discone. These are typically suited for VHF-LO, Air, VHF-HI, mil air, UHF and 800/900MHz systems and may also work for satcom monitoring. Your antenna needs will be determined by your monitoring habits. lets move on to coax. THere are several types of coax cable you can use to connect to the antenna. Avoid coax like RG58 and 59, these are lossy and arent much good for scanning. If price is a concern you may want to look at a good quality RG6 coax like that used to supply cable TV to your house. The doom sayers are going to scream mismatch, but the mismatch loss is so low its not worth mentioning unless you have like 6000 feet of coax. (less than 1/10 of a db) i use RG11 from my scanner to my antenna and can receive with good clarity about 6 counties on both VHF and UHF, 3 SHP troop HQs and recently i noticed i can hear a law enforcement agency in Rock Hill, SC. Connectors for the RG6 may be hard to find to match the scanner and antenna, but most electronics supply shops will have the BNC to fit it since thats a common cable used in CCTV systems, but you may have to use an adapter to connect the coax to the antenna. now for the good stuff. LMR400, very low loss, very not cheap and you probably will not find a BNC connector to fit it directly so expect to get an adapter to fir the scanners BNC and maybe even to match to the antennas connector. Any questions?
 

pacers111

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Okay Kb2vxa settle down. This is the first time I have posted on here so as to the Uh oh here we go again, I wouldnt know anything about it...Dont make me try to look like an idiot because I have no clue about any of this stuff I actually thought you guys could have an open mind and not have to bash somebody with a simple question...

kf4lne thanks for the help, I will be installing the antenna on an old TV antenna mast above my roof. The coax would be 50 feet or less, I would be using the antenna for one scanner, I would be mostly monitoring the mansfield public safety frequencies, but want to be able to pic up state patrol, and possibly pick up digital trunked from a couple counties away...monitoring from all around i think?? but not sure what you mean. budget is no problem but cheaper is always better.
 

hsdtech

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Pacer,

You could go with the Scantenna. It is pretty cheap, it's an all band antenna, and works great. You can do a search on it and you will find several places to buy it. Antenna Warehouse is one popular store.
I think you will get great results from it. On average it's about $50 usually including a 50 ft. roll of RG-6 coax and shipping.

Good Luck.
 

jmhill5

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I recently purchased a procomm spider for my uniden 996T, mounted it on a 15 foot mast from radio shack, and it performs great for vhf-uhf-800meg. I purchased it on line on ebay by putting in "police scanner" in the search. It cost me about $40 and it included 50 feet of coax and the mounting hardware. I spent about $70 total after buying some pieces of mast and other supplies.
 
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pacers111

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jmhill how is the antenna doing performance wise? what kinds of distance are you pick up?
 

jmhill5

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I am about 30 miles south of Phoenix and I pick up some of the trunking channels out of Maricopa County which is about 30 miles away, but their repeaters are farther than that. I would estimate I am picking up about 50 miles or more with the set up I have although I think I am going to add about 5 more feet to my mast and this will improve the performance. I am also picking up some border patrol transmissions close to the border. I have had good luck with the scanning here and I am in a rapidly growing area with lots of homes around me.
 
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