996t ANTENNA

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scanman9

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any thoughts on an antenna for the 996t. I can not mount any thing out side i live on the bottom floor of an apartment building and the land lord is very sticky about mounting anything. So it has to be indoors i was looking at the skycan desktop antenna.

http://www.rocketradio.net/ishop/1048/shopscr405.html

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sky-Scan-25-130...3784553QQihZ002QQcategoryZ40979QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...loc=closed_view_item&refwidgettype=osi_widget

any suggestions would be great

thanks scanman9
 

ka3jjz

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Probably better than nothing; the problem you have is no height. Without that, you're going to be seriously limited as to what you can hear. If you can mount that antenna in a closet or near an outside wall, as high as possible, that will help some - but not much. I've been there; it's a royal pain, but there's little you can do.

I'm pretty sure Rich Wells did a review of a similar antenna, and it's linked on our Wiki somewhere (not a very good review, as I recall...) - you might be better off, if you have the vertical space where you can hide something, with an off center fed dipole (we have plans in the Wiki, and Grove sells the ANT-35 - I think that's the model...) with a small amplifier (make sure you can adjust the gain...). You will need to move it around somewhat to find the best 'sweet spot'; probably about the best you can do.

73s Mike

[edit] I did find Rich's review, and it was a bit better than I expected; however, he did review the antenna by having it outside on a porch, so that's going to slant the review somewhat. You can find it on the homebrew and reviews section of...

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Scanner_Antennas

I still think my suggestion would work better - and probably somewhat cheaper, with the customs and other charges, importing an antenna from the UK is a costly exercise. Another possibility would be a good mobile antenna (such as some of the Antenna Specialists MON series) with a metallic ground plane underneath it - which might, come to think of it, be even a better idea. You could still use a small amp to give the signal a boost when you need it (normally I'd avoid amps like the plague if you are in an urban environment, because of all the overloading and intermod possibilities; but your situation is such that RF is going to be heavily attenuated anyway by all the surrounding obstacles - you need all the help you can get...). Again, our scanners wiki has several that have been mentioned in the past, and links to other distributors such as the well-known Universal Radio in Ohio.
 
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ka3jjz

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Yes, that first link is what I was thinking of - if you have a closet or other space with enough vertical clearance. That 2nd link also has a 25db amp, which might be way too much if you are in an urban environment. I don't know of any amps with adjustable gain - Grove sold one a while back, but I don't think he does anymore. I'll have to do some more digging - the adjustable gain is important, as you can change it if you find a setting is too high (too much junk coming in, like pagers - or you are actually losing signal due to desense). The amps listed on our military monitoring equip page are for the most part I think fixed gain units. 73s Mike

[edit] Here we go - this is one example of an amp with adjustable gain; even tho it's set up for handhelds, with the right connectors it should be quite usable for a desktop scanner - it's not made by Grove (they used to make their own) but this would work fairly well....

http://www.grove-ent.com/PRE01.html
 
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