Austin Spectra Mobile Antenna??????

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Confused1234

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I am wondering if the Austin Spectra Mobile Antenna is a good antenna for scanning trunked 700Mhz, 800Mhz and TX/RX 2m and 70cm? I have a 396xt and a YEASU FT8800R that I want to use the same antenna.
 

Mork

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Yes

The Austin Spectra works well and I use it in the way you mentioned. Mine is mounted on the front passenger's side hood cowl.
 

tglendye

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I just got an Austin Spectra yesterday. I haven't had much time to play around w/ it, but it seems like a good antenna. First impressions for uhf/ vhf-hi are that it is probably a little better than the "cheaper" multi-band antennas on the market. For vhf-low, it is really pulling in the signals that the others ignored (comes w/ a cutting chart... haven't snipped it, yet). I played around w/ a low-band antenna a little and the Spectra is comparable to that on low band.

I haven't had a chance to work it in the 700/800 range. Hopefully will have the time in the next couple of days.

Todd
 

Squidward85

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Also Considering Purchasing a Spectra

Hello,

I am also considering buy an Austin Spectra with an NMO lip mount for a Toyota 4Runner. I really want to listen to everything, NC Highway Patrol uses 46mhz and 800mhz. My home county uses 800Mhz, but when I'm on the road I'd like to listen to everything, CB, FRS, Air and even Marine when I'm at the beach.

Does anyone have any experience with this antenna? It looks pretty swell, but I wanted to see how it works for others before investing.

Thank you in advance.
 

izzyj4

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I have had two so far and have good luck with them. Unfortunately the first one got wrecked by my own mistake and the other......well I forgot to take it off before sending my ride to the repair shop, but the shop's lift got a nice new scanner antenna! (Hahaha!)
 

ka3jjz

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I've been using a Spectra for years. Tough as nails - it's survived a hurricane, blizzards, ice storms - and just keeps ticking. I use it for 39mhz (where Md. State Police can be found) up to 800 without any trouble. It also seems to work pretty well on VHF and UHF aircraft, likely as a multiple of a harmonic of one of the bands it covers.

It does work well on VHF lo, and I did cut the top whip. However, just keep in mind it is a small antenna - and Lo band coverage is simply not going to be optimum. You can only bend the laws of physics so far...

73 Mike
 

tglendye

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I've had a chance to use the Spectra a little more. I still agree w/ my 1st impressions. Overall, a very good antenna. Probably better on vhf-low/hi and UHF. I haven't seen much improvement on 800mhz. I have since cut the antenna to 39 mhz.

I am using the scanner mounted NMO to an "L" bracket on my front fender. Ground plane could be an issue for me. If it was center mounted on the roof, I am wondering how much better it would be. A friend told me he hears chatter on a statewide LEO channel (39.54- VA SIRS) all day. I don't seem to hear as much.

...However, just keep in mind it is a small antenna - and Lo band coverage is simply not going to be optimum. You can only bend the laws of physics so far...

73 Mike
Agreed... I have a low-band antenna cut for 46mhz that receives better. But the Spectra is the best scanner antenna I've used, especially on lowband. I am able to pull in traffic that I didn't know existed on low-band w/ other scanner antennas.

Todd
 

ka3jjz

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I can relate one story for this antenna on 800; I was working in College Park Maryland, with my home in Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel county, which has a fairly extensive 800 system. College Park is urban, with numerous hills. I could hear my home 800 system - scratchy, and not solid, but it was there (at the time I was using a 245). It's about a 1/2 hour drive, and it's likely on the very fringes of coverage for the 800 system under those conditions. Can't expect much better. 73 Mike
 
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K5RYA

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you can use the antenna for the scanner and as a transmit antenna for ham radio and at the same time?
 
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you can use the antenna for the scanner and as a transmit antenna for ham radio and at the same time?
Yes, you can. There is a module that you can get and place between the scanner and the HAM and antenna. It kind of looks like a splitter for the one I've seen. They way it works is it's open to incoming signals for both the HAM and the scanner, but the instant you key the mic it shuts down the scanner side of the feed to prevent overloading the scanner and having other issues. I was just reading about this earlier this week, But I'm unable to retrace that link right at the moment. But it is possible to do. If memory serves correctly (which doesn't very often) it was called something like a VOX gate or Voice gate or something like that. But it was powered via a 12vdc source.
 

K5RYA

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wow. good to know. i would be very interested in that information if you find the link.
 
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Man I've spent about 10 hours trying to relocate that stupid link for that thing and I can't find it anywhere now. I don't have my computer save my history for more than a week so it's already been cycled off the list. So I'm gonna have to say it's a loss for now anyway. Maybe I'll stumble across it again in the near future as I'm roaming around on the net aimlessly. If so I'll be sure to bookmark it and post a link here on RR. Sorry.
 

conrad314

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SpectrumForce Speaker Silencer from Scanner Masters is was I've been considering. I don't think it blocks the TX to the scanner but automatically mutes the scanner audio. Haven't tried one yet but seriously considering buying one. (still searching for one that mute the wife :) )

SpectrumForce Speaker Silencer

I WOULD also be interested it using my Spectra with scanner and ham radio simultaneously! Please do post the link if anyone finds it.

As for the Austin Spectra....SWEET antenna :) Pulls in exactly what it says. Yes a frequency specific antenna will work better for that specific frequency, but for a wide spectrum scanner antenna, this thing is awesome! I TX on 2m too with no problems. Had it over a year and about to order a spare for the wifes car (she loves it when I magnet mount the ugly spectra on her pretty car!)
 

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bep

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Virginia Beach, Va.
Having a hard time finding places to buy the Austin Spectra. I want to mag mount it to my house metal roof, but the mag adaptor is also hard to find (at a reasonable price)

Any suggestions of where to purchase?

Thank you
 

bs369

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Kent Countly, DE.
Spectra antenna

Has anyone done a side by side comparison between the Austin Spectra and a good discone such as a Diamond for instance?

Bob S/N4NMK
Harrington. DE.
 

ocn29rsc

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I have family who live in the upstate of SC and I have lived there and along the north coast of SC and do live on the coast now. Scanning has always been a big deal for me and I have always put antennas on my vehicles....I have used scanner antennas and found in most cases using a simple 1/4 wave vhf usually did better than anything else I have spent money on.

I have watched the threads to see what people where saying about the spectra but didn't like the cost of it...but well I bought one this past summer.

The scanner I use in my jeep is a BCD396T and in most cases just running around town the rubber duck will work just fine...but when I travel I always hook up my external antenna.

Out of all the antennas I have used the spectra so far beats the others high and dry!
 
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