Antenna that works well with APCO-25?

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cratliff

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I am looking to target my scanning in the milair bands, the air bands, and other public safety, both in the 450mhz+ and 800mhz using the Uniden 996t. I have been reading that people will get a new and supposedly better antenna and it will degrade the quality of the digital signal. Any thoughts or ideas? I am using one of the ebay "Snoop" type antannas, which isnt bad, but I want to pick up more, and from farther away....I got the itch
Also, rather than get a separate scanner to monitor separate bands, what about connecting 2 antennas to 1 scanner? I know this is talked about a little bit in other threads, but I just want to know if it is really practical and/or effective?
 
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ka3jjz

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First, you're mixing apples and oranges asking about antennas for 'APCO 25'. The 2 topics are very dissimilar.

For such a wide range of frequencies, you would need a discone such as the Diamond D130J or Scantenna. Putting it up nice and high, and feeding it with the right coax (a 9913 type or RG6) will keep the signal loss down (a real problem for cheap coax - the higher in frequency you go, the more signal you lose).

Keep in mind no single antenna performs equally across such a wide spectrum of frequencies. Some have found that the ScanTenna's performance on 800 (probably with many discones, too...) tends to fall off, although it will certainly still work.

73 Mike
 

jon_k

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As above poster said, there is no antenna that will make digital come in better. A radiowave is a radiowave. Digital travels over radiowaves the same way voice does, it just looks different (and sounds different if you don't have a digital decoder.)

If you want ultimate performance in 800mhz and your signal is in a secific direction, you can get a directional antenna such as an 800mhz Yagi. You will point the Yagi in the direction of the signal and it will pick it up (have much higher gain to that direction.) Yagi is the name of the antenna design itself and if you google for 800mhz yagi antennas you will find plenty from several manufacturers (and be able to find how to build your own using coat hanger wire, which will work as well as many mass-produced version.)

One thing to avoid is "WIDE BAND" antennas that advertise a huge range. These don't work well. An antenna is cut to length and size because it can pick up that frequency well, but then it falls short for every other frequency outside of that specific area. If you wanted ultimate performance on all of your monitoring frequencies, you would have a different antenna for every frequency range. The antennas for different frequencies get taller/smaller because they are better at picking up a wavelength. There's math out there that says "1/2 foot = tuned for this wavelength" etc.

For an all-around omni-directional multi-band antenna for scanning, a discone should suffice. (I've used a friends Radioshack Discone and it picked up 400mhz incredibly well (400mhz signal was 34 miles away.) This was inside an apartment complex with 10 other apartments in the building blocking the signal.)
Avoid the scantenna if you're doing 800mhz, I've heard many reports that say it's not good at 800mhz.
 
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cratliff

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Ok, thank you for the advice! I am still pretty new to this. I actually dont need a whole heck of a lot of 800mhz reception. I like to listen to Highway patrol, aviation, and the F-16's from Luke Air Force Base out here in Phoenix. I know they are all different bands too so I may cause a problem. So, in that case, in order to use targeted feq's/antennas like that, is it more practical to try to rig multiple antennas to one scanner or just use multiple scanners?
 

tilleyhat

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... is it more practical to try to rig multiple antennas to one scanner or just use multiple scanners?
- that's what i'll do: mix a scantenna (excellent product, except 800) with an 800 yagi filling up the dead zone of scantenna.
 

cratliff

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Ok, from what I have read in other threads in the antenna forum, it not really suggested to connect multiple antennas to one scanner, but rather hook the antennas to separate scanners that are scanning those respective freq's. I guess I am trying to say, I still am not sure what is best as far as that goes. Any suggestions? Split to one scanner or run to mult. scanners? Thank you so much, sorry if my questions seem really redundant!
 
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