Are These The Same?

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Muilisx

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Greetings,

I just purchased a Uniden BC125AT but I want to buy the better antenna for it. As some of you know I'm a total beginner in this field / hobby. The BC125AT is my first scanner. I've always owned regular 2 way radios and they usually were always around $30 so nothing fancy.

This first link is the better main antenna that I want you all to base all the other off of.

https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Original-Dual-Band-Handheld-Antenna/dp/B00M1X73EA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488276365&sr=8-1&keywords=BC125AT+ANTENNA

Now, the next links are of antenna that look identical but more much less than the Diamond. I want to know if these are the same spec wise as I'm not sure. if I can buy the same antenna for much less then I would like to do so.


16" BNC scanner antenna for Uniden BCD246T BCD296D BC125AT BC75XLT BC95XLT | eBay

14.4" BNC Male Antenna for Uniden BC125AT BC75XLT BC95XLT BC125AT Scanner Radio | eBay


Now, besides the lengths being different. Is there anything different about the cheaper ones compared to the Diamond?

Thank you for your help!
 

br0adband

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The Diamond RH77CA is pretty much a mainstay in the Ham and scanner communities these days, it is arguably one of the best antennas ever made but technically by design it is actually a Ham antenna for use on the 2 meter (144-148 MHz) and 70 centimeter (420-450 MHz) bands in terms of transmit capability (antennas need to be tuned for specific frequencies to keep the SWR down as low as possible or else you could burn out your transmitter).

Having said that the side effect of the dual banded nature of the RH77CA makes it quite acceptable as a receive antenna - which is what you'd care about as a scanner/monitor hobbyist - across a fairly wide swath of frequencies meaning yes it'll actually receive down into the 118-136 MHz Civilian aka CivAir air band where all the commercial aircraft traffic communicate, into the 144-148 it's designed for, then the 150-174 range with great reception, somewhat workable reception in the 225-400 range which is the Military aka MilAir air band for military aircraft comms (and commercial aircraft can communicate there if necessary just as military aircraft can use the civilian air band). Continuing up into the 400-470 MHz range (that covers the 406-420 government band as well as the 450-512 MHz commercial/land-mobile radio services) then well into the 700 MHz public safety bands around 772 MHz then into the 800 MHz public safety around 855 MHz and even into the 900 MHz commercial/land-mobile services around 935-940 MHz.

The RH77CA tunes them all fairly well for an antenna that by design is supposed to be for just two bands. I bought one almost 2 decades ago now and I still have it, along with one of the very popular Radio Shack 800 MHz antennas that I bought even before that one and I still have that too.

Basic gist is there are clones of the RH77CA out there, one by Wilson (which is a good antenna maker but their version is obviously a clone, it might even be an actual Diamond just rebranded I don't know for sure), and many more by cheap Chinese knockoff companies like those you find on eBay. There is a huge black market for knockoff antennas and Diamond antenna products are one of the most cloned ones there are - the Diamond company even has a page on their website that tries to teach people how to spot the counterfeit and fake copies of their products so here's my recommendation:

Don't bother with the counterfeits, the fakes, the look-alikes, the clones, the copies, the knockoffs - if you want the real thing, then get the real thing and you won't ever have to worry about it not being the real thing. :) I don't regret the $28 + shipping I paid for my RH77CA and I can't imagine that anyone that's ever purchased one will regret having done so either. It's one of the best reviewed, most recommended, and most used antennas out there, available in a BNC model as well as the newer screw-down SMA model for newer scanners if needed but you can always use an adapter if needed to attach it to a BNC connector.

Anyway, long post short: get the actual RH77CA and be done with it, you won't be sorry to do so, at least not in my opinion. Does it cost more? Yes. Is there a reason for that higher cost? Yes. The reason? It's worth it and it's the real thing. :)

The copies/clones/counterfeits/fakes are not the same antenna, and here's a thread about that type of situation here:

http://forums.radioreference.com/amateur-radio-antennas/243550-how-spot-fake-diamond-antenna.html
 

Muilisx

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The Diamond RH77CA is pretty much a mainstay in the Ham and scanner communities these days, it is arguably one of the best antennas ever made but technically by design it is actually a Ham antenna for use on the 2 meter (144-148 MHz) and 70 centimeter (420-450 MHz) bands in terms of transmit capability (antennas need to be tuned for specific frequencies to keep the SWR down as low as possible or else you could burn out your transmitter).

Having said that the side effect of the dual banded nature of the RH77CA makes it quite acceptable as a receive antenna - which is what you'd care about as a scanner/monitor hobbyist - across a fairly wide swath of frequencies meaning yes it'll actually receive down into the 118-136 MHz Civilian aka CivAir air band where all the commercial aircraft traffic communicate, into the 144-148 it's designed for, then the 150-174 range with great reception, somewhat workable reception in the 225-400 range which is the Military aka MilAir air band for military aircraft comms (and commercial aircraft can communicate there if necessary just as military aircraft can use the civilian air band). Continuing up into the 400-470 MHz range (that covers the 406-420 government band as well as the 450-512 MHz commercial/land-mobile radio services) then well into the 700 MHz public safety bands around 772 MHz then into the 800 MHz public safety around 855 MHz and even into the 900 MHz commercial/land-mobile services around 935-940 MHz.

The RH77CA tunes them all fairly well for an antenna that by design is supposed to be for just two bands. I bought one almost 2 decades ago now and I still have it, along with one of the very popular Radio Shack 800 MHz antennas that I bought even before that one and I still have that too.

Basic gist is there are clones of the RH77CA out there, one by Wilson (which is a good antenna maker but their version is obviously a clone, it might even be an actual Diamond just rebranded I don't know for sure), and many more by cheap Chinese knockoff companies like those you find on eBay. There is a huge black market for knockoff antennas and Diamond antenna products are one of the most cloned ones there are - the Diamond company even has a page on their website that tries to teach people how to spot the counterfeit and fake copies of their products so here's my recommendation:

Don't bother with the counterfeits, the fakes, the look-alikes, the clones, the copies, the knockoffs - if you want the real thing, then get the real thing and you won't ever have to worry about it not being the real thing. :) I don't regret the $28 + shipping I paid for my RH77CA and I can't imagine that anyone that's ever purchased one will regret having done so either. It's one of the best reviewed, most recommended, and most used antennas out there, available in a BNC model as well as the newer screw-down SMA model for newer scanners if needed but you can always use an adapter if needed to attach it to a BNC connector.

Anyway, long post short: get the actual RH77CA and be done with it, you won't be sorry to do so, at least not in my opinion. Does it cost more? Yes. Is there a reason for that higher cost? Yes. The reason? It's worth it and it's the real thing. :)

The copies/clones/counterfeits/fakes are not the same antenna, and here's a thread about that type of situation here:

http://forums.radioreference.com/amateur-radio-antennas/243550-how-spot-fake-diamond-antenna.html
Thanks for all the information, and quite detailed too.

If it's actually designed for a HAM radio then should I steer clear of it altogether for my BC125AT? Or, since I'm only receiving will it still be OK to use? I want to be able to get the best receiving distance possible.
 

br0adband

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"Designed for Ham radio" only directly applies to it being used with Ham radio hardware that transmits in the 144-148 and 420-450 MHz bands - since your sole purpose is to use it for reception only then yes, it'll work just fine overall. You didn't say what you plan to use the scanner and antenna for meaning what frequencies/bands/services you intend to monitor so that could prove useful. When transmitting it's a necessity to have an antenna tuned for the frequencies (or centered in the bands/ranges) or else it can harm and even destroy the transmitting circuit/amp - when receiving none of that really matters to significant degrees other than the fact that an antenna tuned aka cut or made to the proper length based on the full wavelength (can be quarter, half, and even 5/8 of the actual wavelength or even full depending) will receive that frequency better than one that's tuned to something else.

Whenever you see the term 'wideband' it just means it's an antenna that can receive a wide range of frequencies overall with good performance, but it will still perform best at the actual wavelength it's cut for or the length of based on well known antenna wavelength calculations.

If you intend or want to monitor CivAir and VHF (118-174 MHz) or the UHF business/land-mobile bands (450-470) then the RH77CA will work just fine overall. As the BC125AT handheld scanner is limited to 512 MHz as the highest frequency it'll receive then anything above that point (700-800-900 MHz bands) is not a concern at all here. As for anything lower than 118 MHz like the CB band in the 27 MHz area or anything else "down there" in VHF-Lo you'd probably do better with a longer antenna, preferably a telescopic whip that you can adjust and tune as needed.

For general purpose "wideband" use, the RH77CA won't do you wrong and again it's a known performer where the same thing can't necessarily be said for the copycat/counterfeit clones of it so again I'll stand by my recommendation to buy the real thing.

If you really want the best antenna for wideband use on a handheld scanner that's still going to be a traditional telescopic whip because you can then easily adjust it to the proper length for a given frequency so it's "wideband" in the sense that it'll be capable of receiving anything from the longest wavelength (the lowest in frequency) to the shortest (the highest in frequency) that it can be adjusted for. With antennas, the longer it is the lower the frequency it's capable of receiving based on the tuned wavelengths. If you decide to get a telescopic whip one that I'd recommend is the Diamond RH771 - it even has some markings on the elements so you can easily adjust it to the proper length for a given frequency or band.

Complicated? Well, it can be for someone new to this stuff but the basic principles haven't changed in hundreds of years because that's just how radio waves work. :)
 
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Muilisx

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since your sole purpose is to use it for reception only then yes, it'll work just fine overall.
Cool, thanks.

You didn't say what you plan to use the scanner and antenna for meaning what frequencies/bands/services you intend to monitor.
I plan to listen to pretty much whatever the scanner finds. I really don't have a specific thing I want to listen to. I just want to have fun with it, and enjoy whatever I can find.
 

br0adband

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One thing I do know about the BC125AT: it gets great reviews as a CivAir and MilAir scanner and is recommended by many for that purpose. Listening in on aircraft is a pretty unique experience that takes some learning to understand because pilots use incredibly short bursts of talking that last a second or two at most quite often and yet they convey a great deal of info once you understand how to decode their "pilot speak" - it's not quite like listening to law enforcement with 10-codes and other abbreviated remarks, it's a whole new ballgame with aircraft comms but interesting just the same.

With you being located up on Long Island which is one of the busiest air corridors in the world I'm pretty sure the aircraft comms up there should prove very interesting indeed. Also make sure to check in on the New York subforum here at RR as there could be a lot of region-related information about stuff to listen in on, tips and tricks, and just general info from people living around you in your area.

Good luck... ;)
 

Muilisx

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One thing I do know about the BC125AT: it gets great reviews as a CivAir and MilAir scanner and is recommended by many for that purpose. Listening in on aircraft is a pretty unique experience that takes some learning to understand because pilots use incredibly short bursts of talking that last a second or two at most quite often and yet they convey a great deal of info once you understand how to decode their "pilot speak" - it's not quite like listening to law enforcement with 10-codes and other abbreviated remarks, it's a whole new ballgame with aircraft comms but interesting just the same.

With you being located up on Long Island which is one of the busiest air corridors in the world I'm pretty sure the aircraft comms up there should prove very interesting indeed. Also make sure to check in on the New York subforum here at RR as there could be a lot of region-related information about stuff to listen in on, tips and tricks, and just general info from people living around you in your area.

Good luck... ;)
I used to play Flight Simulator like ALL THE TIME for many years so breaking down pilot talk wouldn't be that hard for me personally. I wasn't really planning on using it for that purpose. I only went with the 125 because it has more features for a few bucks more, and if I was going to spend $80 I might as well pay a little more for the better model. Then, it went on sale for a little cheaper than the 75 so I grabbed it. I really had no idea people used it because of CivAir MilAir but that ought to be fun. I'm 15 minutes from the major airport on Long Island, and there are quite a few private airports all over. I'm super excited to get this thing. I'll have it tomorrow!
 

Muilisx

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ok....SCRAP the ebay antennas I linked...... what about these two

again....the diamond

https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Original-Dual-Band-Handheld-Antenna/dp/B00M1X73EA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488276365&sr=8-1&keywords=BC125AT+ANTENNA

but what about this one?

https://www.amazon.com/UpBright-Antenna-BC72XLT-Portable-Handheld/dp/B00LISLCVO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1488868055&sr=8-2&keywords=BC125AT+ANTENNA

They both have GREAT reviews. Should I still just get the Diamond or is the other one decent?

Turned out Amazon messed up and issued a refund on my Uniden BC125AT so I pretty much got a free scanner so I could easily splurge on the Diamond if the Diamond is TRULY WAY BETTER than the other one.

Thanks
 

br0adband

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My recommendation to get the real actual Diamond antenna and not some less expensive - at any lower price - clone stands, it's entirely up to you to make the decision on which to purchase.
 

Muilisx

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My recommendation to get the real actual Diamond antenna and not some less expensive - at any lower price - clone stands, it's entirely up to you to make the decision on which to purchase.
Yes indeed, I went with the actual real Diamond. It's listed for $27.95 but I was able to get Amazon to hook me up with a $10 promotional credit thru the customer service chat so I was able to order it for $17.95 + free 2 day shipping with prime so I will have it on Thursday.

I'm happy because now I got it for around the price as the knock off and I'm getting the better one.

Thanks for the reply.
 

pinballwiz86

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Looks like you already bought the Diamond. It's a great antenna. I have the SMA version for my Uniden 396XT.

I would also consider the Radioshack 20-006 BNC telescoping antenna. It is my workhorse antenna for my BC125AT. Best of all, you can fine tune it for different frequencies by raising or lowering it. You just can't beat it for home monitoring. If you're out and about, just slap on the stock antenna or get a stubby antenna for in-jacket monitoring.

Enjoy your scanner.
 

Muilisx

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Looks like you already bought the Diamond. It's a great antenna. I have the SMA version for my Uniden 396XT.

I would also consider the Radioshack 20-006 BNC telescoping antenna. It is my workhorse antenna for my BC125AT. Best of all, you can fine tune it for different frequencies by raising or lowering it. You just can't beat it for home monitoring. If you're out and about, just slap on the stock antenna or get a stubby antenna for in-jacket monitoring.

Enjoy your scanner.
Thanks!
 

Muilisx

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My Antenna came!

https://s4.postimg.org/wqh93x0wd/Antenna.jpg

https://s4.postimg.org/ggr310q8d/Antenna2.jpg

What does it mean by 8 band coverage ( 2 amateur bands + 6 more bands for receiving )?

What does that mean exactly? That this Diamond antenna is only good for certain things? It almost makes it sound like the stock Antenna would be better unless I'm just so noob that I'm thinking that means something else than it actually does.

Is this Diamond antenna DEFINITELY better for reception than the stock? Does it have any drawbacks than the stock?

Thanks!
 

br0adband

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As I noted earlier, the RH77CA is considered to be a wideband receiving antenna which means it receives a very wide range of frequencies - the bands it's talking about are the ones I mentioned previously. Consider this list of what your BC125AT can receive - this is a link to the PDF of the User Manual for that scanner so you'll want to look at pages 13 and 14:

https://www.uniden.com/File Library/FooterNav/Product Information/Owners Manuals/BC125ATom.pdf

See all those "bands" that the scanner can receive? Well, that antenna will do well on most all of them but not so well on in the first two bands there, the 25 to 28 MHz and then 28 to 54 MHz because of it's length. Those frequencies because of them being considered as VHF-Lo would require a longer antenna to do well. That's not to say you won't pick up anything at all but it's safe to say the RH77CA is designed to work from roughly 100 to 950 MHz and covers most everything in between as I stated previously.

You're overthinking this, seriously. The two bands it's designed for (144-148 MHz and 420-450 MHz) are just a small portion of what it can cover as noted by the other bands/frequency ranges the scanner is capable of - those two pages in the User Manual easily show more than 6 other bands and the RH77CA can receive them just fine.

You have a good scanner and a good antenna, so get to using it. You're not really going to do any better with any other antenna unless you get a telescopic whip and constantly keep adjusting it for proper tuning which is a waste of time overall. The RH77CA is arguably better than any stock scanner antenna ever made and I can't believe anyone that owns one would even debate that point at all, it's a vast improvement over the stock antenna for the BC125AT especially for the VHF-Hi and UHF ranges.
 

Muilisx

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As I noted earlier, the RH77CA is considered to be a wideband receiving antenna which means it receives a very wide range of frequencies - the bands it's talking about are the ones I mentioned previously. Consider this list of what your BC125AT can receive - this is a link to the PDF of the User Manual for that scanner so you'll want to look at pages 13 and 14:

https://www.uniden.com/File Library/FooterNav/Product Information/Owners Manuals/BC125ATom.pdf

See all those "bands" that the scanner can receive? Well, that antenna will do well on most all of them but not so well on in the first two bands there, the 25 to 28 MHz and then 28 to 54 MHz because of it's length. Those frequencies because of them being considered as VHF-Lo would require a longer antenna to do well. That's not to say you won't pick up anything at all but it's safe to say the RH77CA is designed to work from roughly 100 to 950 MHz and covers most everything in between as I stated previously.

You're overthinking this, seriously. The two bands it's designed for (144-148 MHz and 420-450 MHz) are just a small portion of what it can cover as noted by the other bands/frequency ranges the scanner is capable of - those two pages in the User Manual easily show more than 6 other bands and the RH77CA can receive them just fine.

You have a good scanner and a good antenna, so get to using it. You're not really going to do any better with any other antenna unless you get a telescopic whip and constantly keep adjusting it for proper tuning which is a waste of time overall. The RH77CA is arguably better than any stock scanner antenna ever made and I can't believe anyone that owns one would even debate that point at all, it's a vast improvement over the stock antenna for the BC125AT especially for the VHF-Hi and UHF ranges.
Is there anything special on those two low frequencies that I should use the stock antenna for ever? Or, should I just not worry about them at all and always use the long one? I don't mind swapping back and forth if there's anything special on them. I guess asking that depends on location as if someone is actually using them but wondering if people do.

Thanks for the clarification boss.

You have a good scanner and a good antenna, so get to using it.
And, it was free :)
 

prcguy

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The RH77 series and its clones are simply a 1/4 wave whip tuned around 146MHz and they also have a good match at three times that frequency or around 440MHz. That's it, they are not special broad band antennas and have no special receiving properties beyond a 1/4 wave VHF whip. Any advertising contrary to that is not consistent with the facts.
prcguy

As I noted earlier, the RH77CA is considered to be a wideband receiving antenna which means it receives a very wide range of frequencies - the bands it's talking about are the ones I mentioned previously. Consider this list of what your BC125AT can receive - this is a link to the PDF of the User Manual for that scanner so you'll want to look at pages 13 and 14:

https://www.uniden.com/File Library/FooterNav/Product Information/Owners Manuals/BC125ATom.pdf

See all those "bands" that the scanner can receive? Well, that antenna will do well on most all of them but not so well on in the first two bands there, the 25 to 28 MHz and then 28 to 54 MHz because of it's length. Those frequencies because of them being considered as VHF-Lo would require a longer antenna to do well. That's not to say you won't pick up anything at all but it's safe to say the RH77CA is designed to work from roughly 100 to 950 MHz and covers most everything in between as I stated previously.

You're overthinking this, seriously. The two bands it's designed for (144-148 MHz and 420-450 MHz) are just a small portion of what it can cover as noted by the other bands/frequency ranges the scanner is capable of - those two pages in the User Manual easily show more than 6 other bands and the RH77CA can receive them just fine.

You have a good scanner and a good antenna, so get to using it. You're not really going to do any better with any other antenna unless you get a telescopic whip and constantly keep adjusting it for proper tuning which is a waste of time overall. The RH77CA is arguably better than any stock scanner antenna ever made and I can't believe anyone that owns one would even debate that point at all, it's a vast improvement over the stock antenna for the BC125AT especially for the VHF-Hi and UHF ranges.
 
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