Antenna for 800MHZ BCD396XT

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optize

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I have a BCD396XT, I'm listening to a 800MHZ Trunked system roughly 15 miles away.

I've tried so many antenna's, none really seem to work that well.

I've had the best luck with the 800MHz Scanner Antenna : Scanner Antennas | RadioShack.com however I only get 1-2 bars at the most, only in specific parts in my home. If I go outside, I'll get 3-4 bars constantly.

I've also tried the Amazon.com: Opek Hi Performance Tri Band Amateur RadioandScanner Antenna - SMA 6M/2M/440: Electronics which got horrible signal.

Is there anything better that will help when it comes to a 800MHZ trunked system? I don't care if it's 5 feet long, which leads me to my next question... If there's nothing portable that is better than what I already have, what do you suggest for an outdoor antenna? I prefer to keep something slim if it's going to go on my roof.
 

flythunderbird

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If you're interested in an outdoor antenna, have you considered an 800MHz Yagi? If you're only monitoring one system, a Yagi may do the job for you.

If making your own antenna is your thing, this is in the wiki:

SCANNER ANTENNA
 

troymail

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I have a BCD396XT, I'm listening to a 800MHZ Trunked system roughly 15 miles away.

I've tried so many antenna's, none really seem to work that well.

I've had the best luck with the 800MHz Scanner Antenna : Scanner Antennas | RadioShack.com however I only get 1-2 bars at the most, only in specific parts in my home. If I go outside, I'll get 3-4 bars constantly.

I've also tried the Amazon.com: Opek Hi Performance Tri Band Amateur RadioandScanner Antenna - SMA 6M/2M/440: Electronics which got horrible signal.

Is there anything better that will help when it comes to a 800MHZ trunked system? I don't care if it's 5 feet long, which leads me to my next question... If there's nothing portable that is better than what I already have, what do you suggest for an outdoor antenna? I prefer to keep something slim if it's going to go on my roof.
The RS 800 is great. I have 4 of them and almost never use the stock antennas.

NOW, having said that -- no antenna I have ever helps with some (newer) systems. By that I mean if the system you are trying to listen to is P25 and was installed or upgraded in the past 3 years or so, it's probably not an antenna issue.

I see from your earlier posts it may be a P25 system (http://forums.radioreference.com/arizona-radio-discussion-forum/253517-portable-scanner-can-pick-up-mcso.html).

If it's this system (Maricopa County Trunking System, Maricopa County, Arizona - Scanner Frequencies), it looks like there are 15 sites for that system and it could well be your radio is locking onto the wrong (further away) site. Best bet in terms of troubleshooting might be to only program in the site that is closest to you (initially) and ignore/block out the other ones.

I'm on the other side of the country so continued discussion with the folks in the Arizona forum may be your best bet.
 

optize

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I'm on the other side of the country so continued discussion with the folks in the Arizona forum may be your best bet.
Yeah, I looked at all of the sites and only added the one closest to me, so there's no way for it to be looking at the other sites. The one it's connected to is about 15-20 miles from me which is as close as it's going to get.

I agree the radioshack antenna is great, I get awesome signal in my drive way. Sadly once I enter my house, it's all gone. I wonder if I can run a line outside and just hook up the radioshack antenna? ;-) I'm not sure it would be fond of getting wet though.
 

ka3jjz

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Yes the height is going to help you a lot. The more you can get it away from obstacles the better.

There are a number of 800 Mhz yagis floating around the net - they're VERY small and not all that easy to see if you're putting it up somewhere. The height, plus a yagi, would be the way I would go if I were only interested in 800 Mhz stuff.

Here's just one example, from our scanner antennas wiki

Wilson Yagi Antenna 301111 - 700-800MHz Directional

And remember, don't skimp on the coax. At freqs this high, you're going to need to ignore the 58/U and 59/U varieties.....just too much loss

Mike
 

troymail

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Yeah, I looked at all of the sites and only added the one closest to me, so there's no way for it to be looking at the other sites. The one it's connected to is about 15-20 miles from me which is as close as it's going to get.

I agree the radioshack antenna is great, I get awesome signal in my drive way. Sadly once I enter my house, it's all gone. I wonder if I can run a line outside and just hook up the radioshack antenna? ;-) I'm not sure it would be fond of getting wet though.
Amongst many others, I have a P25 system (Phase 1, simulcast) with the closest tower to me being 11 miles away.... No reception from my house - period. I have other "legacy" Motorola (non-P25) digital systems even further away that I can receive just fine....

And I have no interest in spools of cable and/or rooftop/attic antennas (been there, done that - didn't really help) -- and it defeats the purpose of having handheld radios.
 
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W2GLD

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Did you try this antenna Laird Technologies EXE-806-BNX 800-866 Portable Antenna BNC, 8" | TESSCO. Laird makes really good antennas. I have the 1/4 wave 800 MHz antenna from them and it works great. I have not tried this antenna yet from them. I have read some really good reviews on it. The link I gave you is for the 1/2 wave 800 MHz antenna.
For the Uniden BCD396XT, I think this is the actual antenna you meant to post:

Laird Technologies EXE-806-SM 800-866 Portable Antenna, SMA Male 8" | TESSCO

As this one has the SMA Male connector and thus the adapter is not needed.

I have this antenna and it does indeed work well; however, be careful with simulcast systems as you may get overload issues. If you are in a good simulcast system, consider the 1/4 3" version instead; again, this assumes that you only wish to monitor 800 MHz. This antenna also has a nice clean look on the BCD396XT scanners as well.
 
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I didn't know what connecter that radio took so I posted this one. I thought it was that one because he used the Radioshack antenna . Sorry I got the right antenna wrong connecter.
 

DisasterGuy

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If you go with an outdoor antenna, for what you describe, I would recommend the Laird PC804N Laird Technologies PC804N 806-902 MHz 6dB 4 Element Yagi Antenna | TESSCO. It is very reasonably priced and performs well. It is what I use for all control station installs within our basic system footprint. For cable, I would use 1/2" Heliax CommScope LDF4RK-50A 1/2" Foam Heliax Cable, Black | TESSCO from the antenna to the point that you enter the house, connect to a properly grounded PolyPhaser PolyPhaser IS-B50LN-C2-MA Bulkhead Arrestor,N/M-N/F | TESSCO, and then go to the radio using 1/4" superflex CommScope FSJ1-50A 1/4" 50 Ohm Superflex Coax Cable | TESSCO.
 
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