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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02-18-2012, 8:35 AM
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Default Antenna for BCD396XT

Just wondering if there is any reason to upgrade the stock antenna that comes on the BCD396XT. My scanner is on the way. I used a Diamond SRH77CA on my 346XT. I kept it when I sold the scanner. Any better upgrades out there? Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-18-2012, 8:38 AM
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What frequencies do you monitor?
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Old 02-18-2012, 8:44 AM
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I cover all my surrounding counties police, fire, rescue etc...usually in the 155.xxx range. I am not real big on the numbers game and I really don't know how to get the most out of my scanner but am trying to learn on the fly. My cousin is a dispatcher for my local county EMS and he said they are switching to a digital service sometime soon. Maybe I should have went with the HP model but I like trying to learn programming and such.
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Old 02-18-2012, 8:51 AM
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The scanner you went with is great, so I think you made a good choice. As far as the antenna, the Diamond one you kept should be fine unless you went with something mounted outside. I have the BNC version and I love it.

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Old 02-18-2012, 8:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotgunShells View Post
Maybe I should have went with the HP model
Naw, Learning a more difficult scanner will help you in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotgunShells View Post
I cover all my surrounding counties police, fire, rescue etc...usually in the 155.xxx range... My cousin is a dispatcher for my local county EMS and he said they are switching to a digital service sometime soon
Well, depending on how soon the switch is coming waiting might be the best idea, unless you know what freq's they will be on. Between the stock and diamond you should be set for now. If they switched to 800mhz then I would say the RS800 Antenna... But I think you're good.
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotgunShells View Post
Just wondering if there is any reason to upgrade the stock antenna that comes on the BCD396XT. My scanner is on the way. I used a Diamond SRH77CA on my 346XT. I kept it when I sold the scanner. Any better upgrades out there? Thanks for any input.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotgunShells View Post
I cover all my surrounding counties police, fire, rescue etc...usually in the 155.xxx range. I am not real big on the numbers game and I really don't know how to get the most out of my scanner but am trying to learn on the fly. My cousin is a dispatcher for my local county EMS and he said they are switching to a digital service sometime soon. Maybe I should have went with the HP model but I like trying to learn programming and such.
If you have a lot of 155.xxx frequencies (Vhf-high), then the Diamond antenna is a good choice. It's much better than the stock antenna for that band. It's only drawback is the length.
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Originally Posted by N0WEF View Post
Naw, Learning a more difficult scanner will help you in the future.
Since the 346XT is, in effect, the analog sibling to the 396XT, the 'learning curve' won't be that steep at all. You do have more options on the 396XT: Setting backlight display colors for one thing. Also, when your local agencies do begin to shift to digital operation, you can set the NAC codes, or search to find them by setting the audio for that frequency to "digital only" and specifying "search".

Your existing 346XT programming files, of course, can also be used to program the 396XT. You can then tweak them to utilize some of the additional features of the 396XT (such as the display colors).
Quote:
Originally Posted by N0WEF View Post
Well, depending on how soon the switch is coming waiting might be the best idea, unless you know what freq's they will be on. Between the stock and diamond you should be set for now. If they switched to 800mhz then I would say the RS800 Antenna... But I think you're good.
I use the R/S 800MHz antenna here in the DFW Metro area on the 396XT I carry with me, since we have a large number of 800MHz trunked systems in the my listening range. However, once I get out of the area, especially to the west, where Vhf predominates, I switch to one of the Diamond antennas.
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Old 02-18-2012, 3:59 PM
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I have the same scanner and use both the RH77CA and the very bendy RHF40. I love the performance of both.
If you are going to be switching antennas very much be sure to get a SMA to BNC adapter so you dont wear out the threads on the scanner.
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Old 02-19-2012, 1:43 AM
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the Diamond antenna is a pretty good one however, its length can be a drag, cant shove your scanner in your coat or hoodie with it.
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Old 02-19-2012, 9:31 AM
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Anyone have experiance with Comtelco A1483 for the 800MHz range with a 996XT?
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
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the Diamond antenna is a pretty good one however, its length can be a drag, cant shove your scanner in your coat or hoodie with it.
I put the whole show in the hood! It is a great carrier - just dont bend over to pick anything up or tie your shoes!
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator596 View Post
I have the same scanner and use both the RH77CA and the very bendy RHF40. I love the performance of both.
If you are going to be switching antennas very much be sure to get a SMA to BNC adapter so you dont wear out the threads on the scanner.
Yes I do have the adapter. The RS800 antenna does not pick up anywhere near as good as my Diamond. I purchased one last night. Any other suggestions on a shorter antenna for easier carry.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotgunShells View Post
Yes I do have the adapter. The RS800 antenna does not pick up anywhere near as good as my Diamond. I purchased one last night. Any other suggestions on a shorter antenna for easier carry.
Did you test it out on freqs in the 800mhz band? That's the only thing the RS800 is for.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_s104 View Post
The scanner you went with is great, so I think you made a good choice. As far as the antenna, the Diamond one you kept should be fine unless you went with something mounted outside. I have the BNC version and I love it.

Sent from my ADR6400L using Tapatalk
When I purchased my BCD396Xt scanner new, the SMA to BNC adapter came with the scanner in a small plastic bag that contained the belt clip and the hand-held lanyard.

With the choice of antenna,I agree with the other commenters, Go with a different antenna for the 155.xxx range. The stock antenna will pick up lowband 42MHz, aeronautical, 200-300 MHZ, 800 MHZ, 900 MHZ, 450-512MHZ, and the 162 MHZ NOAA weather bands "decently". However, it does not like the 155.xxx, and especially the 156-158 MHZ Marine radio band (and I live less than 5 miles from the ocean)
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
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the Diamond antenna is a pretty good one however, its length can be a drag, cant shove your scanner in your coat or hoodie with it.
Im glad im not the only covert scanner user Im sure your wife (if married) loves it as much as mine.
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Old 02-20-2012, 6:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShotgunShells View Post
Yes I do have the adapter. The RS800 antenna does not pick up anywhere near as good as my Diamond. I purchased one last night. Any other suggestions on a shorter antenna for easier carry.
The RHF-40 works ! It's bendy shape allows you to bend it into a horseshoe to reduce its length. Great for a big outer pocket on a winter coat. Or an inside vest pocket. The stubby Comet ( I forget the model # ) promises much, but from what I have read here it only delivers if you are really close to the targeted transmitter.
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Old 09-05-2012, 1:23 PM
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Default 800 mhz mobile antennas

[QUOTE=bnoland;1705925]Anyone have experiance with Comtelco A1483 for the 800MHz range with a 996XT?
My experience with this style antenna has been subpar exhibiting 0 gain .In comparison test this antenna has performed well on both 800 and the lower end of VHF hi . The key is to utilize a base loaded 800 antenna along with high grade dual shield coax. The typical RG-58 coax actually attenuates incoming signal levels below the level a 800 duck would deliver from inside a typical vehicle. For portable use the RS 800 antenna gives a nice boost (3db) to your receive .
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:23 AM
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Default Antennas for Uniden 396 & Home Patrol

Reference the Comtelco A1483 for the 800MHz range .
My experience with this style antenna has been subpar exhibiting 0 gain over a rubber duck on 800 Mhz. In comparison test the following antenna has performed better on 800 than most other mobile antennas and also gives satisfactory results in the lower end of VHF hi . The 806-866, 5db, Laird Mobile Antenna Product Code: 20-540972 from Scannermaster .The key is to utilize a base loaded 800 antenna along with high grade dual shield coax. Most RG-58 coax actually attenuates incoming signal levels below the level a 800 duck would deliver from inside a typical vehicle. For portables using the RS(Radio Shack) 800 mhz duck antenna which is 5/8 wave gain type gives a nice boost (3db) to your receive over the stock antenna . Once again in comparison side by side testing i find that on 800mhz a RS 800 duck performs as well as the Laird with a slight exception in a van, where it provides a small degree of improvement when traveling in the opposite direction away from the origin of the the signal. Improvement is slight & mostly noticable when on the very fringe of reception. IMHO not enough improvement to warrant the cost of a mobile antenna unless your wanting improved coverage on VHF as well . If you want to monitor 800 only and your needs require a mobile antenna , performance test results favor Andrews or Antenna Specialists brand 800 mhz thru glass antennas .Some other on-glass brands tested, performed poorly.

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Old 09-06-2012, 10:26 AM
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Please disregard this post from yesterday .Posted a follow up to replace it .


[QUOTE=Gcom;1814691]
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnoland View Post
Anyone have experiance with Comtelco A1483 for the 800MHz range with a 996XT?
My experience with this style antenna has been subpar exhibiting 0 gain .In comparison test this antenna has performed well on both 800 and the lower end of VHF hi . The key is to utilize a base loaded 800 antenna along with high grade dual shield coax. The typical RG-58 coax actually attenuates incoming signal levels below the level a 800 duck would deliver from inside a typical vehicle. For portable use the RS 800 antenna gives a nice boost (3db) to your receive .
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Old 09-06-2012, 4:29 PM
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Alternative is a Watson WSMA-801 much shorter than Diamond's but still very good replacement for stock antenna.
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Old 09-06-2012, 6:05 PM
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Quick note the RS 800 antenna performs close to the stock antenna @ 155 mhz + providing gain for 800. If you can find one there are some 800 mhz 5db gain rubber ducks that really perform well on VHF as well as 800. I have seen them occasionally on Ebay. But like some of the aforementioned antennas it does carry added length.
 

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