Apartment Antenna Recommendation

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smitty54017

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I just purchased the Uniden BCD996XT. I pick up my local analog channels fine, however the digital channels are spotty (closest tower is 13 miles away).

I'm looking for recommendations on antennas that have better performance than the stock antenna. I live in an apartment, so an exterior antenna isn't an option.

Thanks in advance!
 

bharvey2

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I just purchased the Uniden BCD996XT. I pick up my local analog channels fine, however the digital channels are spotty (closest tower is 13 miles away).

I'm looking for recommendations on antennas that have better performance than the stock antenna. I live in an apartment, so an exterior antenna isn't an option.

Thanks in advance!
If you are only interested in a particular band (say 700 or 800mhz) a yagi or corner reflector pointed in the proper direction might be a could fit. Getting it outside and with clear line of sight is much preferred. Do you have a window with a clear view toward your direction of interest available?
 

JamesO

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Cannot say I have tested any of these very rigorously, but something to consider.

THE ORIGINAL SNOOP SCANNER ANTENNA

Super Scanner 1, Base Scanner Antenna, 20'Coax, Four Separate Antennas Inside!

THE INVESTIGATOR SCANNER ANTENNA

I have the last antenna above, came with some other stuff I purchased. I can say it works, probably better than the stock antenna, but I have it hanging in the window so it may be that the antenna is closer to the outside of the house?

You may also benefit from a Pre-Amp as well if the antenna do not work out as well for you.
 

chief21

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W8RMH

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I've tried a few of those PVC antennas and their performance was well below par.

I use a Laird Technologies B7603 for 760-870 MHz. mounted to a Laird Technologies MBC800 base/mobile adapter on a torch light pole inside my first floor apartment and it works great. It can be adjusted just by moving the pole a little. I also have a Yagi antenna on it to deal with my city's simulcast system.
 

jafarm66

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I live in a condo on the first floor and external antennas aren't allowed. What I did is I hung a Diamond D-130J Discone from a Hook in my ceiling via shoelace. I then ran a 10-15 foot length of LMR 195 cable (PL259 male - SMA male which I got at amazon) to my BCD436HP, It's improved my reception dramatiically Even better than my Remtronix (Radio Shack 800) Antenna. I have tried many portable antennas and they all stink in comparison to my current setup.
 

K5MPH

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I've tried a few of those PVC antennas and their performance was well below par.

I use a Laird Technologies B7603 for 760-870 MHz. mounted to a Laird Technologies MBC800 base/mobile adapter on a torch light pole inside my first floor apartment and it works great. It can be adjusted just by moving the pole a little. I also have a Yagi antenna on it to deal with my city's simulcast system.
IM with you on these antennas i call them the flea market antenna way over priced just a bunch of copper wire wrapped around in a coil inside an PVC pipe i had one of these antennas it was a piece of crap....
 

smitty54017

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Something odd...I can get the digital channels to come in loud and clear at one point, but then a few minutes later, I get nothing. These are in a busy metro area and radio traffic is steady, when I'm receiving transmissions. When it's quiet, the signal meter shows 0-1 bars when it scans those channels.
 

trp2525

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...I'm looking for recommendations on antennas that have better performance than the stock antenna. I live in an apartment, so an exterior antenna isn't an option...
You could consider picking up an NMO magnet mount base and mating it with an NMO mount scanner antenna. The magnet mount could be placed on something like a metal filing cabinet or on a metal air conditioner cabinet outside of your widow (if you have either of those options available).

FYI the Antenna Farm has NMO magnet mounts (http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/mobile-antenna-mounts-264/magnetic-mounts-265/) and NMO scanner antennas (http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/antennas-191/mobile-antennas-192/monitor-scanner-205/) at reasonable/fair pricing.
 

Hooligan

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The issue may be more complex than just needing a better antenna. It could be a stronger signal (including EMI) de-sensing the your receiver in the spectrum that the signals you're hearing weak are using. You should investigate this before you spend $$$ on a newer/better antenna system.

If you're in a tall apartment building, could there be some transmitters on the roof of it -- PCS, paging, SMR, etc?
 

smitty54017

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The issue may be more complex than just needing a better antenna. It could be a stronger signal (including EMI) de-sensing the your receiver in the spectrum that the signals you're hearing weak are using. You should investigate this before you spend $$$ on a newer/better antenna system.

If you're in a tall apartment building, could there be some transmitters on the roof of it -- PCS, paging, SMR, etc?
I live in a 2 story duplex (old house). Other than cell phone towers, my county's analog repeater tower is about a mile away. I've tried changing my WiFi channel several times, without any affect. It's weird...to go from full crystal clear signals to absolutely nothing.
 

lu81fitter

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If the tower with the analog frequencies is just a mile or so away, I would get an antenna tuned for the digital freqs. If the digital freqs are in the 700-800 MHz band, you could probably get by with just an NMO mag mount antenna on a file cabinet or A/C unit as described above with about a 3' whip on it. Or maybe just use a pizza pan for your ground plane. A 6' whip would work for freqs in the 400 MHz UHF band and an 18" whip for VHF HI. With the analog tower at a mile or so away, almost any antenna will suffice. The digital tower is the trick. Good luck!
 

jafarm66

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I live in a condo and I hung a Diamond D130J Discone antenna from a hook in my celing and use LMR 195 cable (15 feet) PL259 Male to SMA Male connector for my 436. Works like a champ and I pick up stuff the internal antenna can't even dream of. I have also used a Remtronix 800Mhz SMA antenna (SMA version of the RS800 antenna) and a Diamond SRH789 SMA antenna both are very good for portable use.
 
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