any help or suggestions??!!

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Premium Subscriber
Dec 10, 2004
I'm trying to pick up BCFD from my house in Glen Burnie. I've got a handheld BC296d. I have the frequencies I need. Both for digital, and for the "old system" 154.415 154.385. The bad news is, my house is somewhat old and very well insulated. I'm trying to find the best way to pick up the signals. Once I walk outside my signal strength greatly improves, but bringing the scanner indoors and well, I don't hear much. I'd appreciate any help. If there is something I can make vs. buy, that would help a lot also. The only problem is I can weld. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Wiki Admin Emeritus
Jul 22, 2002
Bowie, Md.
You can find quite a nice selection of scanner antenna links here...

Since it seems your signal strength is pretty good outside, we need to get an outside antenna that is probably not high in the gain department (too much gain and that can cause problems like hearing pagers where they're not supposed to be, or actually hearing less than what you are now...) There are many possibilites; a discone might well be a ticket (Both the Diamond and Icom models are pretty good performers, but there are others...), the MON-3 from PAR electronics (haven't heard too much about this one, but it is worth looking at) are all in the broad coverage category. If you can weld (hmm, you said that was a problem???) and can work with copper piping, the off center fed dipole in the homebrew section might be right up your alley. While I'd normally recommend a ScanTenna, the scuttlebutt is that it doesn't work all that well at 800 - but that might work to your advantage - if you're close to Empire Towers and downtown, all those pagers and Taxi sigs aren't going to do you any favors.

You will have 2 headaches - one is to get it away from trees and out in the open; the second is the feedline. At 800 Mhz, depending on just how high you're going, a good quality 9913 is almost a must. RG58 or 59 is almost useless at 800; too much loss. The link above also lists some coax suppliers (no doubt there are many others).

73s and GL...Mike
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