Antennas For Monitoring ARMER Simulcast Sites

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JASII

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I was up in the Saint Cloud area for most of the week. What a difference monitoring the ARMER system up there. It sounds great on the Uniden HP-1. Of course, once I am back in the Twin Cities Metro area it is the usual simulcast issues. Anyway, for those monitoring simulcast systems, have you tried to use unity gain antennas to see if this helps reception? Usually, we try to get more signal, thus we get antennas with gain, etc., but with ARMER, particularly in the Metro area with simulcast sites, is this an example of "less is more"? I don't think I even have a 1/4 wave 800 antenna, be it portable or mobile, but I am wondering if it may actually work better on ARMER. Also, have people here tried either the ATTenuator on the scanner and/or an in line variable attenuator to see if that actually improves reception on ARMER in the Twin Cities? It might be worth a try!
 

wogggieee

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Heres my experience with Ramsey county from Hugo: The stock antenna is worthless. I got an 800mhz rubber ducky and it was slightly better but still had decode/signal problems. I got a 800 yagi and pointed it directly at the WBL site and had an awesome signal but a lot of simulcast issues. The attenuator took the signal down too much. I tried flipping the antenna so as to change the polarity and it attenuated the signal some but still had simulcast issues. I then started rotating the yagi to different positions and eventually found that about 60 degrees west of the WBL tower seems to be the sweet spot. Now I get a good signal most of the time and have little simulcast. Washington county comes in great with an 800 ducky with no issues.
 

NDRADIONUT

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A dish antenna would be better than a yagi...

Someone on here mounted an antenna in a paint can so only the open end would face the wanted site I think it was bruce in duluth ??
 

JASII

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Right now I am trying an 800 mHz rubber duck antenna on a Uniden BCD996XT in the house. I am still trying to determine if this is an example of "less if more". By any chance, has anybody here tried one of the Comet CH-32 Miracle Baby antennas on a scanner for ARMER? I am hoping that by not having "too much" antenna that it might actually improve reception on an ARMER simulcast sub-system.
 

NDRADIONUT

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Try mounting a 3.25 " antenna in the bottom of a coffee can and aim the open end at the strongest / nearest site and see if that does it....
 

blue5011

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After giving this some additional thought, I would be tempted to try an indoor TV antenna that is directional. Granted, it is horizontally polarized and the ARMER system is designed for units that are typically vertically polarized, but I may just give this a try.


Supersonic HDTV and Digital TV Indoor Antenna 927517 - Micro Center
Why "try" an antenna made for VHF/ UHF frequencies to receive a signal on 800mhz? You could use a one foot portion of a 3' aluminum ruler (Walmart has these, Mayes 10189 36-Inch Aluminum Ruler $11.84) and some 3.5" sheetmetal screws (hardware store) and build your own antenna. There is enough aluminum there to build three antennas. Biggest problem w/ 800mhz is the small size.

Come to think of it, I have a piece of aluminum ruler laying around, I might try my own advice...

Ten years ago I bought my own copy of the ARRL Antenna Book, a lot of practical information about antennas.
 

wogggieee

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Switching the polarization was one of the things i tried with the Yagi i mentioned earlier. it seemed to attenuate the signal but I still got some digitization.
 

stmills

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Tv antennas work to increase range. I have used an indoor amplified tv antenna to pick up a sight that I am normally out of range.
 

JBWayzata

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Cznlsports

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BCD536HP

I have the Uniden BCD536HP scanner and it still has stock the antenna(telescoping BNC). It does a very good job surprisingly. I live just south of 5 county metro area. I would interested to try a discone on the roof to compare... I do get some digital fragmentation with P25 signals on occassion with current firmware version. upgrading to latest version should help with this.
 

JASII

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.....I would interested to try a discone on the roof to compare.....
At the risk of possibly pointing out the obvious, make sure that you use very good quality low loss feedline. There is a lot of loss at 800 MHz. So much so, that some have used leftover RG-58U and found out that be the time the signal gets to their radio, it is actually weaker than using the back of set antenna! I have 9913 coaxial cable, but I would actually suggest something better than that.
 
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