Antenna Suggestions

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yorkphotog

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I decided to post this here instead of the antenna forum because users from outside the GTA aren't necessarily aware of our geographical layout.

In the next few weeks or so, I'll be making some major changes to my radio setup in the car.. at this point it looks like I'll end up with a total of 5 scanners - a BC246T, 3 BC15's, and a BCD996T.

I know for sure that 4 of the scanners will be specifically for 800 Mhz stuff, and the other one will be for Fleetnet and conventional stuff. It'll obviously be the 996T that will be used for the VHF systems.

At this moment, I'm pretty unhappy with my antenna setup... a lot of crackling and very poor signal. If I'm downtown Toronto and trying to listen to the south zone I get tons of interference. I work both in the city and in the outskirts, so it'd be good to have antennas that'll reflect where I use them.

I'm not too specific....but am open to any suggestions.

On a totally different note, I'm also open to suggestions about how to best program the scanners. I'll likely be putting York/Durham/Peel on one, Fleetnet and conventional on another, and the rest for Toronto.
 

slicerwizard

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yorkphotog said:
At this moment, I'm pretty unhappy with my antenna setup... a lot of crackling and very poor signal. If I'm downtown Toronto and trying to listen to the south zone I get tons of interference.
So you're getting tons of cellular overloading. A "better" antenna will just make it worse.

News hounds should spend the money and get (used) Moto gear and/or other real radios. IMO, of course.
 

exkalibur

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If you use a VHF antenna with attenuator turned on for 800MHz in Toronto, you'll pretty much eliminate cell overload but still hear TPS just fine.
 

yorkphotog

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Honestly, Mike?

I've got somebody here telling me that the low profile Larsen 800 MHz tuned ones work really well in and out of the city...although he's using them with motos.
 

unpltd

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yorkphotog said:
Honestly, Mike?

I've got somebody here telling me that the low profile Larsen 800 MHz tuned ones work really well in and out of the city...although he's using them with motos.

That’s what I run with (800 phantom) around Mississauga/ Toronto I have no problems with TPS down in the core and all the way out to Pearson (and further) and I can pick up PPS as far up as the south end of Barrie.. This is on a BCT8
 

yorkphotog

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You've got a Larsen phantom? A lot of people buy them because they're so low profile, but I don't really care much about profile.... I care a lot more about the quality of the reception as opposed to how it looks.
 

exkalibur

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Yes, for real.

The problem in the city is cell sites. A VHF antenna is already going to help get rid of the junk and the attenuator is going to get rid of a whole lot more.

The transmitters for TPS have very good coverage and in almost every case will come in just fine.

But, as Andrew said, commercial radios are better suited for ENG work bot in terms of ease of use and reception. Not to mention cost - you can get a good Motorola radio for less than $100 these days.
 

unpltd

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yorkphotog said:
You've got a Larsen phantom? A lot of people buy them because they're so low profile, but I don't really care much about profile.... I care a lot more about the quality of the reception as opposed to how it looks.

Yep I use it for running around the city because of it's low profile and what I listen to..

For 800 I love it works great.. Most of the time it will pick up Fleetnet too.

For traveling I switch over to a Workman 140/440 and through my Larsen 27 on for the CB.

i have two NMO fender mounts inbetween the trunk and the passenger rear quarter..
 

palo1

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Try http://www.dci.ca/

Bandpass filters - you might find something that will work for you off the shelf or they will custom design.

Might be expensive but it depends on how great your need is

Just sell one or two of those scanners :)

p
 

Chrome69

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yorkphotog said:
You've got a Larsen phantom? A lot of people buy them because they're so low profile, but I don't really care much about profile.... I care a lot more about the quality of the reception as opposed to how it looks.
here maybe the simplest solution for you. Pick what system is most important to you. I am guessing York..

Go find a parked York car and see what they use.. If its York they use alot of Antenex (which i love) and go from their.. I believe they use a very low profile (pancake) type of antennas and I thought i seen the Antenex Phantom. But thats one of the best ways to do it. Pick the most important system and see what they actually use. Most of their antennas are available online but be prepared to spend a few dollars as for one Antenex isn't cheap..

Hope that helps...
 

imcleish

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I currently use the Antennex mulitband scanning antenna for all my 996 needs south of Orillia/Barrie and it meets. When I head further up, I use a 5/8 Larsen on their 150 coil, it helps pull in the signals through the trees and hills.

I prefer the Antennex build quality over Larsen, and was able to find a 2-way radio shop in Oshawa that was happy to order in Antennex products for me.
 

Chrome69

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fire4117 said:
What kind of good Motorola radio?? Let me know where!!!

yea really, considering most Motos that will work on the systems in the GTA area have become very scares. Unless you want to drop large $$$..

I have been looking for months for a second Astro Spectra Low VHF and i have only seen one and it was like $650 on eBay..

MCS2000 Type 2 or 3 are again hard to find, actually their was a type 3 on eBay for like $845.

Portables (Hand held) are not fairing better and if you do find one for like you said $100 its had the S*** kicked out of it.. The only Portables that i have seen have been the XTS models but again your talking $500 +

Most cases its cheaper to buy a BCT15 or BCD996.. But i too would like to find these $100 gems.. :D
 

yorkphotog

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I bought, brand new, two BCT15's and a 996T for $1000 give or take.

So back to the original question -- best antenna for these radios. I understand the quality will be better with Motorolas, but that wasn't something that I wanted to get into right now. By the time all is said and done, I'll need 4 800 MHz's, and 1 VHF antenna. No real preference over mag mount vs permanent mount. I'm looking mainly at Larsen and Antenex. Back to the cellular intermod.....I saw a friend's setup a couple of days ago - he has some 1/2 wave short 800 Mhz antennas on the roof of his SUV, and has virtually no issues with interference....
 

exkalibur

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Wow you guys need to look harder.

I picked up a great working condition MTX8000 for $65 the other day.

Maxtracs can be had for a dime a dozen...heck I've got 5 or 6 here that are destined for the scrap heap if I can't find heads for them.

Considering radios that were going for well over $1000 only a handful of years ago are under $300 if you look hard enough, I'd say prices are on the decline - and with all the re-banding and new digital systems poping up all the time, I'd say it'll only get better.
 

Chrome69

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yorkphotog said:
I bought, brand new, two BCT15's and a 996T for $1000 give or take.

So back to the original question -- best antenna for these radios. I understand the quality will be better with Motorolas, but that wasn't something that I wanted to get into right now. By the time all is said and done, I'll need 4 800 MHz's, and 1 VHF antenna. No real preference over mag mount vs permanent mount. I'm looking mainly at Larsen and Antenex. Back to the cellular intermod.....I saw a friend's setup a couple of days ago - he has some 1/2 wave short 800 Mhz antennas on the roof of his SUV, and has virtually no issues with interference....
Your looking at it backwards, stop looking for antennas for the radios, Look for antennas for the systems you want to listen to. Any antenna will work on those scanners. But not any antenna will work on a said system... Your friend does he live close to your home? If so why not get what he is using if their is no issues?
 

Chrome69

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exkalibur said:
Wow you guys need to look harder.

I picked up a great working condition MTX8000 for $65 the other day.

Maxtracs can be had for a dime a dozen...heck I've got 5 or 6 here that are destined for the scrap heap if I can't find heads for them.

Considering radios that were going for well over $1000 only a handful of years ago are under $300 if you look hard enough, I'd say prices are on the decline - and with all the re-banding and new digital systems poping up all the time, I'd say it'll only get better.
Good price on the MTX but i am guessing its a B3? :roll:
 
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