Antenna question - Wicomico County

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bms

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Jan 11, 2002
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Maryland
Hi:

I am in south Wicomico County and would like to make a cheap covert scanner antenna outside the house. The three counties are mostly 800s but I also want to listen to railroad, some marine and the VHF fire frequencies. Right now, I have indoor rubber ducks on two TRX-1 radios and can’t get Worcester or OC.
What do you think of a 1/4 PVC pipe with a wire inside.
What is better, PVC or CPVC?
Should I have one wire from the center conductor or does it have to be a dipole?
How long should the wire(s) be?
Am I correct it doesn’t need a ground if it’s a dipole?
Do I need lightning protection if it is not higher than the peak of the house?
Can the PVC be painted to match the house?
Can I use one antenna for both radios?
There are very tall trees in my neighborhood. Can the antenna be near the peak of the house or does it have to be higher considering the distance to OC is about 22 air miles to the antenna by the MSP Berlin Barrick and 30 miles to 65th Street in OC.
Thanks.

BMS
 

emtLarmy15

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Pocomoke City, MD
You won't get OC there... wait a couple months and you'll probably see increased possibilities with Worcester as the new system will have new sites.
 

troymail

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If you're not hearing Worcester or OC today, it will be even more difficult when they switch to P25 soon (Worcester reported to be in late October). An external antenna might help but it's hard to say. I have some reception issues in my area of North Carolina as well and am considering external options. However, like you, I tend to use handheld radios and don't like the idea of being tethered by a cable.

Of all my radios, I've found that the Unication G4/G5 (pager - not a scanner) is able to receive systems that the scanners cannot - using essentially the same handheld (RS800) antenna. Unfortunately, Worcester is about to go P25 Phase 2 and Unication keeps announcing and delaying (and delaying) their Phase 2 firmware update.
 

emtLarmy15

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What do you consider south Wicomico?

Troymail in theory I would agree as p25 is supposed to be more restrictive and stay in its "boundaries" but with the new sites in Worcester (particularly Nassawango) I think he could stand a chance depending on what south Wicomico is
 

troymail

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Troymail in theory I would agree as p25 is supposed to be more restrictive and stay in its "boundaries" but with the new sites in Worcester (particularly Nassawango) I think he could stand a chance depending on what south Wicomico is
Possibly - however, typically, when systems goes from legacy ("blasting signals"") systems to P25 - particularly simulcast systems - the systems get harder to receive outside the intended area (but with some "sweet spot" exceptions).

Worcester is mostly active now and probably won't change much before going live with exception of the Mystic Harbor tower (which won't likely affect "south" Wicomico County).
 
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