Antenna Suggestions

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truckco07

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I have a BCD966P2 - I scan 800 MHZ P25 system - looking for outdoor antenna - I live on the boarder of two counties that are on the same radio system , but I can only pick up the county I live in control channel , I would like to pick up both counties , hoping that outdoor antenna would help pick up the other control channel.
 

mmckenna

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If 800MHz is all you want to listen to, and nothing else, then a dedicated 800MHz vertical antenna will be your best option.
The antenna needs to be mounted outside and up high, preferably above the roof line. You will also need some good low-loss coaxial cable to get the signal down from the antenna to your radio. The exact type of cable you need really depends on how long the cable run is.
 

mmckenna

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Not for outdoor use.

You could try an 800MHz tuned antenna in the house, but it probably won't work any better than what you have.
 

mmckenna

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That will work fine IF the two systems/counties you want to listen to are all in one direction. That's a very tight pattern directional antenna, which should work well. If the towers are in different directions, you'll have issues with just one of these antennas.
You'll need to feed it with some good coaxial cable, exact type depends on how long your cable run is.
You'll need a place to mount it. A vertical pole will work well.
You'll need to weatherproof the outdoor coaxial connection.
You'll need lightning protection/grounding.
Ideally you should use a short flexible coax jumper to make the final connection to your radio. Usually the heavier coaxial cable to get good performance on longer cable runs for 800MHz is pretty stiff and can damage the radios antenna connector if you try to directly connect.
 

truckco07

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I work at our county 911 center , we have 10 towers all over the county , I know neighboring county does as well , do they make indoor antenna that I could mount in living room ? I have old tv antenna stand on the roof with vertical pole on it, it is already grounded. there is radio tower 3 miles from my house , neighboring county also has tower that is 7 miles away.
 

mmckenna

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Any of these antennas will work indoors, but they are kind of big if you don't have a lot of room.
The other thing you need to consider is that some homes have building materials that can block radio signals pretty well. Plaster walls with metal lath, foil backed insulation, foil vapor barrier, metal siding, etc. Even some windows can have metallic film tinting. If your home has any of these, using the antenna indoors might be an issue.
One way you can test this is to set up your radio in the home and see what the signal level is. Then take it outside and see if it improves considerably. If there is a big difference, you may not have sufficient results with one of these antennas inside your home.

A TV antenna mount would work well.

Since these are directional antennas, they work well in one direction. Not so well/awful in others. This may be a problem unless the towers from both counties are in (or nearly in) a straight line in one direction from your house. If they are not, you may have issues, and you may need an omni-directional antennas.
Think of these antennas as a telescope. Your radio will "see" best in one direction, and you'll miss everything else.
 

mmckenna

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Something along those lines would work if the two systems you want to listen to are in different directions.

It is kind of pricy for hobby listening use. That's a good antenna, but for scanner use, you could do well with something less expensive. But, not sure what your budget is. Shopping around should find you a better price.
 

ww9a

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Coaxial colinear

If you are looking for inexpensive, but with good gain and ok for outdoor use, I'd suggest building a coaxial colinear antenna. The design and calculations are online. It is made from pieces of RG-59 coax and can easily be weather sealed inside a piece of 3/4" PVC. Would mount very easily onto your existing TV mast. Total cost should be in the $20-30 range, I would think.
 

DJ11DLN

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Another option would be a quarter-wave NMO type on a base radial kit. It won't be as cheap as the home-brewed mentioned above, but it would probably do a good job. Or you could spend a tad more and get a mulri-band NMO antenna, with radial kit lengthed for the lowest frequency band you intend to use, if you ever think you might want to monitor something besides 800 MHz.
 

truckco07

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I'v been trying to find a decent Omni directional 800 antenna , scanner master looks like its going to be winner , any others out there?
 
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