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Pro96 Antenna reception San Carlos to Marin County-Dublin?

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Perhaps this should be asked on the Antenna forum but I thought maybe the pros in CA might know the topography better.

Using a Pro96, when located in the San Carlos-Belmont city areas, is it a reasonable expectation to pick up as far north as Marin and Alameda counties? I'm looking at a range of roughly 20-30 miles, perhaps less. The stock antenna picks up San Jose, Oakland, Richmond, SF and Alameda cities, but does not reach north into Marin County or north-east towards Berkeley-Dublin. Still impressive.

Apart from a gold plated Eiffel tower set up, what 2 or preferably one reasonably priced antenna can you recommend to give the greatest range so the stock antenna can be replaced. At least getting Marin county and Berkeley would be something.

As a newbie I thought perhaps get the following,

RS 20-032 for when the Pro96 is being used as a base unit to give better reception. Don't have a dedicated base unit so a portable will have to do.

Then get either RS 20-283 for $15.49 or RS 20-034 for $19.99 or something else affordable of this type. Not knowing which of these two are better for all round use. Now, if it's possible to get that range with just one antenna of this smaller type then I could dispense with the 20-032 type for now. Rubbery flexible antenna being preferred to prevent breakage as it may get banged around. The RS stock antenna is unfortunately not constructed like those stubby or short whip type as found on prc148/117/119. Now if they took a prc and de-gutted it replacing the innards with pro-96 so it can take a slight beating or bath, but the fragile looking bit is another story. Still an impressive piece.

I'm trying to pick up conventional local fire, police, city services, and conventional trunked Mot Type I and II, APCO-25, EDACS from as far north as San Francisco, Marin Co, Berkeley-Dublin Alameda Co, Oakland south to Santa Clara County/San Jose.

Should I try and get one of those icom /vx Japanese portable scanner antenna, even have 1300MHz?
 

SAR923

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The RS 20-032 mag mount isn't very good to begin with and you need a decent size steel surface to mount it so it gets a ground plane. You'd do much better using the 20-176 as a base antenna unless there's some reason you can't get someting in the attic or up on the roof. Get the RG6QS cable and F to SO-239 and F to BNC adaptors so you hook up the cable between the antenna and your Pro-96. You should be able to hear Marin with this antenna, especially when the Tiburon tower finally goes up.

The 20-034 antenna was disappointment for me. It doesn't perform any better than the stock antenna and in some cases with was worse than the stock antenna. The 20-283 will give much improved performance on 800 mHz and decent performance UHF and VHF-hi. It's not good with HF-low however. There are some terrain issues between you and the East Bay but, if you get Richmond with the stock antenna, you should be able to hear Berkeley with the stock antenna. If you can't, the 20-283 probably isn't going to help.

I think your best bet is the 20-176 installed on your roof when using the Pro-96 as a base and the 20-283 when you're using it as a handheld. If want a mobile antenna for you vehicle, there are much better choices than RS mag mount. Search through the posts here you see some better antennas like the Larsen.
 
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SAR2401 said:
I think your best bet is the 20-176 installed on your roof when using the Pro-96 as a base and the 20-283 when you're using it as a handheld. If want a mobile antenna for you vehicle, there are much better choices than RS mag mount. Search through the posts here you see some better antennas like the Larsen.


Thank you for the detailed instructions and recommendations.

Although I haven't been able to double check yet, I certainly miswrote the original post. Richmond and Berkeley was out of range during the short experimentation I tried before. By Richmond, I must have meant Hayward. I can pick up Hayward, Oakland, Alameda City, SF, SJ and SM counties with the stock RS antenna. I can't wait to give it a shot with the Win96 files RolnCode3 was very kindly able to convert and post in a special format just for me so I could download.

An other thought, since I'm in for 23 bucks, while I'm at it should I pay some more and get the RS 20-043 Discone Antenna for $69.99 or stick with the 20-176.

When time is available, I hope to acquire the necessary parts you have recommended in a week or two and try it out, hopefully being able to post an update. Thanks again.
 

SAR923

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I'd try the cheaper 1/4 wave 20-176 ground plane first. It sounds like you've got plenty of signal strength for the trunk systems around you. I use the RS discone because I'm too far away to pick them up reliably with the 1/4 wave ground plane. OTOH, the RS discone does not do as a good a job with VHF hi/lo signals as the 20-176. If I was closer to the City, I'd use the 20-176 so I didn't lose quite so much distant VHF reception.

BTW, they started pouring concrete on the Tiburon Tower today so monitoring MERA in the south and east bays should become a lot easier in the next few months.
 
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