Antenna question

N0FPY

Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
216
Location
Brooklyn Park, MN
What base antenna would someone recommend for listening to the ARMER System. I will be moving to Dayton, MN next year and would want to hear Minneapolis as well as Hennepin & Ramsey Counties.

Also looking for recommendations for a low loss feed line to run about 75 feet of coax.

Thanks
 
Last edited:

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
7,205
Location
Louisville, KY
I have had some excellent results with this antenna: D130NJ Diamond Super Discone Antenna | Scanner Master

It is really more than you need, as it is wide (or all) band and all you really need is something that will do 800 MHz. They also show LMR 400 cable, which I understand is about as good as it gets for scanner antennas.

Since you are in Hennepin County, you won't have issues with Hennepin East. Hennepin West may or may not work. Ramsey County the same.

I believe the Minneapolis NS site covers a little past the city limits, but not much. MPD 4th precinct units area known to operate on Hennepin East in some of their areas because Minneapolis NS is a little dicey up there.

I would expect no issues receiving Minneapolis City Center which is the subsystem used by state agencies and and EMS units.
 

stmills

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,044
Location
Twin Cites Area MN
In Dayton you should be able to receive Hennepin East, Hennepin West, Anoka without a struggle. I have picked up Minneapolis and City Center on a handheld in parts of Maple Grove, so you may not need a big build to get them in - depends on your structure. Ramsey will be the one you need an outside antenna for if you are set in getting the Ramsey towers- the thing to remember is that dispatch mains are usually carried by adjacent systems: Ramsey Mains are on the Hennepin and Anoka Towers, but city car to car often are not. Minneapolis is on its own tower and then the easiest rule of thumb is odd channels are on City Center and Even are on Hennepin East - Fire 1, Police 1&3 on City Center and Fire 2 & Police 2 are on Hennepin East.
 

wogggieee

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
1,278
Location
Hugo , MN
If you have simulcast issues you might consider a yagi. I've had success reducing the amount of simulcast issues I have using yagis.
 

CcSkyEye

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2017
Messages
74
Location
Twin Cities, MN
I have a Laird TRAB7603 in the very peak of my attic and it has been really good at grabbing ARMER sites miles away, both on my BCD996P2 and my G5.
 

wcsd45

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
46
Hello,
May also want to check out Comet DS-150S

I went with it on cost (modestly cheaper), decent build, and power rating. Have done some 6M long distance FT8 on band opening. No tune necessary for FT8. It's kinda narrow bandwidth but tunable.
Love mine: using it for wideband scanning, 6 & 2M, 70cm Rx and Tx.
Mount is garage attic, LMR-400 feed-line, 75 ft-ish.

73, Chuck KC9QBY
 

JoshuaHufford

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
647
Location
Jefferson City, Mo
800 MHZ range
If the ONLY frequencies you will be receiving are in the 800MHz range, then I would go with an antenna designed for that range, especially over a discone.


Are the signals all coming from one direction? Then a yagi would probably be an even better choice.

For coax at 75ft, I would use LMR-400 at a minimum, you will have 3.1db of loss at 800MHz with that run. Of course this depends on how strong the signals you want to receive are. If they are right next door and strong you can probably get by with less.
 

JASII

Memory Capacity
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,739
Mike,


What radio will you be using? Is is a Uniden or Unication? If it is a Unication, there is a chance that you won't need an external antenna. If it is a Uniden, you probably will need one.

One thought is to go with a mobile antenna and a ground plane kit. As far as feedline goes, probably 9913 or LMR 400, minimum, for a run that long. As you know, there is a lot of loss at 800 MHz.

I actually use one of the mobile antennas, on a magnetic mount, on a pizza pan near my Unication. It does improve my signal, but it really isn't necessary for me. With ARMER, on a Unication, I can hear my sub-system and the surrounding sub-systems. I don't need to listen to more than that.


Jim




 

N0FPY

Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2003
Messages
216
Location
Brooklyn Park, MN
Mike,


What radio will you be using? Is is a Uniden or Unication? If it is a Unication, there is a chance that you won't need an external antenna. If it is a Uniden, you probably will need one.

One thought is to go with a mobile antenna and a ground plane kit. As far as feedline goes, probably 9913 or LMR 400, minimum, for a run that long. As you know, there is a lot of loss at 800 MHz.

I actually use one of the mobile antennas, on a magnetic mount, on a pizza pan near my Unication. It does improve my signal, but it really isn't necessary for me. With ARMER, on a Unication, I can hear my sub-system and the surrounding sub-systems. I don't need to listen to more than that.


Jim




Hi Jim,

It is for a Uniden. I am going to do some testing in the area before I decide what to install. It will have to go in the attic unfortunately.

Thanks, Mike
 

bearcatrp

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
816
Location
Central Mn
Might want to consider the Diamond D220R. Its a mini discone that works fairly well. I used it in the winter in the house mounted on a floor lamp that I stripped down, mounted this close to the ceiling. Needed something until spring to put up my full size discone.
 

ifco850

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
9
Location
Montgomery County, PA
I have a Laird TRAB7603 in the very peak of my attic and it has been really good at grabbing ARMER sites miles away, both on my BCD996P2 and my G5.


I like this idea for an antenna setup. When you say miles away, what is your estimated distance?
 

lu81fitter

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
500
Location
Marshall County, Illinois
The Antenna Farm has some good stuff. I've bought more than a few things from there.
For a good antennas, stay with some good brand name professional stuff like Laird, PCTEL, or Larsen. You'll pay a little more up front, but the quality and longevity of the antenna will be much better.
This would be something pretty good for a base antenna as long as you don't have a problem with simulcast.

www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/laird-technologies-fg8240-9042

You may want to see how the area is for simulcast before your purchase in case you need to change things up.
 

ofd8001

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
7,205
Location
Louisville, KY
Something I should have questioned, if you are using a Uniden scanner, is it an SDS model? If it is the x36 or x96 variety, there is a lot of simulcast in the Metro area. Having a "real good" antenna system is "real bad" for simulcast distortion. That's because too much signal is coming in that is a little out of sync resulting in garble.
 

safdchief2

Newbie
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
1
Location
Bemidji, MN
Not trying to be a wiseguy... I'm in the northern suburbs and after trying a variety of antennas for my BCD996XT and BCD396XT, including a Yagi, discone and others, I have a bent paperclip stuck in the antenna port that works great.
 

stmills

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,044
Location
Twin Cites Area MN
The bent paper clip is a great antenna when you are in good range of a tower. Many of the others actually lead to problems when you have good signal strength. My everyday antenna on my 396T is actually a vhf/uhf ham ht antenna- does great in my area. When I get into heavier signal strength I have a 2”stubby.
 

jonwienke

More Info Coming Soon!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
13,364
Location
VA
The bent paper clip is a great antenna when you are in good range of a tower. Many of the others actually lead to problems when you have good signal strength. My everyday antenna on my 396T is actually a vhf/uhf ham ht antenna- does great in my area. When I get into heavier signal strength I have a 2”stubby.
That only works sometimes, in cases where using a crap antenna attenuates the signal just enough to isolate the signal from one transmitter, and bury the rest under the noise floor. It's not generally a good idea, particularly since some paper clips are larger than the SMA center pin, and jamming them in can damage the connector. Also using a crap antenna pretty much guarantees the simulcast system is the ONLY thing you can hear.
 

stmills

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,044
Location
Twin Cites Area MN
Call it Crap if you want but a paper clip unfolded to 3.33 inches is a 1/4 antenna for 853 MHz which is in the middle of many 800 MHz systems. If you are monitoring an 800 MHz digital trunked system a coverage standard of 90-95% coverage over an area either for Mobile or hand held was used. The systems I monitor are 95% hand held coverage outdoors at 5’ above ground- State of MN statewide is 95% coverage by mobile but some counties but out deeper coverage and went for 95% hand held. I focus my monitoring on my home county and adjacent counties and just tested my 396T with a 3.33” paper clip antenna and could receive 6 different systems inside my house. If I want to get signals from further away I just hook my 396T up to my amplified TV rabbit ears and can usually go another ring of counties away.
 
Top