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Want to replace antennas

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yorkphotog

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I'm still buying/adding more radios to my car setup, but the antennas are causing me a lot of grief! I currently have a BC246T and a BCT15. I'm using a Larsen mag mount (I think it's tuned for 800MHz) and a junky generic scanning antenna (also a mag mount).

I need to be able to listen to a wide range of things on both scanners.... anything from 800 MHz to 100 MHz. In the future, I'll likely use one antenna/radio for 800 MHz stuff and another for 140 MHz stuff, etc. I'm not very happy with either antenna....if I'm downtown I can hardly hear the system that is located downtown -- too crackly, even with the attenuator. If I'm up north, it still isn't clear. There is a specific system in which, as soon as I leave the area, it basically stops working or becomes unmonitorable -- even though I know other people can hear that system from afar.

Any tips and thoughts would be much appreciated.
 

af5rn

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N. Tex / S. Fla
Ditch the mag mounts. Simply drilling holes and mounting even a crummy antenna through the metal will make a HUGE difference in performance. There is no substitute for ground plane. If you spend thirty bucks each on a good quality 3db 800 antenna and a VHF (or dual band, if you need UHF too) antenna, then dedicate each to a specific antenna, you'll hear more than you ever thought possible.

Number one best possible advice: ditch the mag mounts.

Good luck!
 

yorkphotog

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Thanks for the replies.... the issue with having, say, a tuned 800 Mhz antenna for the 800 Mhz stuff is that I've been told it overloads my scanner. Even with my tuned (800) Larsen is terrible downtown (where the tower that I'm trying to listen to is). Having the attenuator on makes a slight difference, but not much.
 

N1BHH

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Jackson Square, East Weymouth, MA.
Many city systems are designed to be just that, a city system. So when you have left the city you loose signals rather quickly. As for getting crackly signals, that is normal when you are mobile. You have to understand that you will experience mobile flutter. On the various bands it depends on what you are listening to, what frequency, what power output, what antenna height, down-tilt of antenna, weather and any number of other factors. Signals don't travel perfectly in our imperfect world, they have a mind of their own.

If there are big buildings in the way, they don't penetrate them well, they are deflected and distorted. Even the best designed systems have their flaws. Well designed antennas are the same way. Sometimes a gain antenna is useless in a city where a simple quarter wave works much better.
 

lebrunmn

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Hamphire County, WV
Antenna for 100MHz up to 800MHz

I can't say enough good things about my Larsen NMO 150/450/800 antenna. If you're looking for a low cost, great performing antenna, I recommend this one quite highly.

They're priced at $27.95 at HRO (www.hamradio.com)

Regards,
 

andrewccm

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lebrunmn said:
I can't say enough good things about my Larsen NMO 150/450/800 antenna. If you're looking for a low cost, great performing antenna, I recommend this one quite highly.

They're priced at $27.95 at HRO (www.hamradio.com)

Regards,
Where are you using yours (mounting)? Which NMO are you using for the base?
 

Metrofire31

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Western North Carolina
Mag Mount vs. Hole NMO

I too use a mag mount on my car roof with the Antenex Phantom 800MHz 3db gain antenna. It works great for 800 MHz but when I travel out of the city (Atlanta) where everything is 800 MHz to the rural areas where everything is still VHF/UHF, i usually switch to the Larsen 150/450/800. Do I understand you guys correctly that I would get better reception if I ditched the mag mount NMO and when with the hole-drilled NMO?
 
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