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Scanner / Receiver Equipment Reviews - A forum for reviews of scanner and receiver hardware along with related accessories. Please read the forum Sticky before creating a thread.

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 04-22-2014, 11:23 PM
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I have one that i picked up second hand about a year ago. For the price i paid, i feel like i stole it. Over the year of having it ive noticed that it is ugly. VERY ugly. In fact, ive even had people refer to it as my Ugly Stick. However in this hobby ive noticed something. The uglier it is , the better it seems to work. This antenna is amazing. It is one of the best antennas that i own, the other being one of the A/S Mon series antennas. Sure those may look better, but there is a reason why i use this one everyday and am looking for another.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 3:22 PM
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Does the out-of-the-box version of this work for CHP, 42mhz? I have some friends who want to run handhelds in their cars with external antenna and do not want the big whip for 42mhz reception.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 4:42 PM
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The stock Spectra resonates around 33-35MHz depending on ground plane. It will be shorter for 42MHz and you should tune it if you want best performance. For VHF low, big is good and small doesn't work very well.
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Originally Posted by tahoekid77 View Post
Does the out-of-the-box version of this work for CHP, 42mhz? I have some friends who want to run handhelds in their cars with external antenna and do not want the big whip for 42mhz reception.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 4:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
The stock Spectra resonates around 33-35MHz depending on ground plane. It will be shorter for 42MHz and you should tune it if you want best performance. For VHF low, big is good and small doesn't work very well.
prcguy
Yeah, I personally run a 49 inch NM040 Larsen, but these guys drive Audi's and Beamers and don't want to look odd. I will let them know they have to tweak it for 42mhz.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 8:16 PM
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If it helps any, the Austin I have mounted on top of a dodge 3500 works fairly well for the CB range. I have dual 5 foot Firestick CB antennas and the Austin sometimes picks up signals before the CB does.
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Old 06-26-2014, 9:02 PM
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Its the only monitor antenna that I could find , that you actually tuned the whip. Mine was cut for 42 mhz as thats what Mo HP used and they still dispatch on. Mine is 12 or 13 years old and works fine. No rust or corrosion. Mine is mounted on a trunk lip with an NMO mount. I have seen a few police cars with the same antenna. Probably the chiefs car, based on the price of the antenna.
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Old 06-26-2014, 9:45 PM
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Despite the short physical size of the Spectra, I am very impressed with low band reception. I did tune mine in the 43Mhz range, but the key factor here is the antenna needs a very good ground to act as a counterpoise. Just roof mounted mine in my '11 Escape, drilled the hole and took fine grain sandpaper and shined up the hole....Laugh all you want, but Motorola's 3/4 hole saw had a special blade on the exterior that polished it nicely. When I was in the LMR industry, we did lots of roof mount low band antenna installs for PennDot and their subcontractors, it really makes a difference. As I drive around Western Pa, I enjoy excellent low band reception in spite of our many hills and valleys.

Love my Antenna Specialists monitor antennas, but they are a tad too long for roof mounting. Don't want to snag it and damage the roof, which I have seen happen. My only dislike of the Spectra is the center lug which is fragile and likes to bend.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2014, 10:26 PM
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I cut mine to 42 MHz size for my local highway patrol dispatch. I had it on my trunk, and than moved to my roof. What a difference....in improvement. I painted mine flat black to hide it better. I love this solidly built antenna, pure craftsmanship. My Larsen 5/8 wave tuned for this band is a little better, how're having the 4 bander is a major plus.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2014, 5:42 PM
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I've had this antenna for about four years and like it a lot. It comes with a cutting chart for the whip at the top to optimize for 30-50Mhz frequencies. I cut mine for 42Mhz to monitor the CHP. It works better than any previous antenna that I've had for many years despite its short length. It can also be used for 2 meter and 70cm transmit. I use it with an HT once in a while - low swr and works well. Yes, the contact is tricky, but that's my only gripe.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2015, 3:16 PM
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How does the Austin Spectra perform for the 700-800 Mhz P25 digital trunking systems? I purchased one yesterday from the new Ham Radio Outlet store in Plano, TX ($129.95 plus tax). I have not had much luck with the P25 digital trunking and my mobile Uniden 996-XT. Can anyone comment on the performance of the Austin Spectra for P25 digital trunking?
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2015, 4:26 PM
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It works pretty good actually, I use it for 800mhz trucked systems and I can hear (on a good day) rough signals 15 miles away. When I'm in Glynn county Ga, (where most of my work is) I can hear any and all transmissions in that county. You should be happy with a 996xt and the sepctra. I run the 15X with that antenna and love it to death. I outfitted two work trucks with the spectra and 15X combo because if its performance
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2015, 5:06 PM
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I have had my Austin since 2000. The center tab I have never had any problems with. I would say 15-20 miles , sometimes much farther , just depends on the system. MOSWIN, a state wide trunking system, using the antenna inside , I hear the next Troop west. I hear them through a tower at about 50 miles. Now this is on a Lasen Mag mt inside. When the state was on a low band, a troop hq was not uncommon at 50 miles or more. Mobiles, about 7-10 miles. Now this was in fairly wide open terrain. Sometimes I would have to adjust the squelch but I could hear most traffic.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old 06-22-2015, 12:12 AM
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I run the Austin on the roof of my truck... It's the best antenna ever... Works great on 800 P25 trunk...
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old 10-01-2015, 8:14 PM
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Thanks for the information. It will help me with the purchase of a replacement antenna for my WS1080.
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