Base Scanner Antenna

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I just purchased a digital scanner for my area and now im looking to buy a antenna for the house and was hoping some of you will tell me which one to purchase.I need something that will reach out there because the place i live they are mountains on both sides of me.


Thanks For Any Help
John
 

michaelmikesj

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I just purchased a digital scanner for my area and now im looking to buy a antenna for the house and was hoping some of you will tell me which one to purchase.I need something that will reach out there because the place i live they are mountains on both sides of me.


Thanks For Any Help
John
I Live in northern Idaho and have mountains surrounding me as well. I have my outdoor antenna mounted 20 feet up using a standard pipe 1 and 1 quarter inch in diameter. The antennna I have is sold at radio Shack and is the discone style. RadioShack® Outdoor Scanner/Ham Discone Antenna - RadioShack.com
I can hear all neighboring counties surrounding me as well as Spokane Washington. This antenna has been in use for 6 years now on two different scanners, The 2052, and now the pro 197. I have no trouble receiving digital traffic with this antenna. I hope this helps you out.
 

N0WEF

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Congrats on your purchase TurkeyHunter!

I have a feeling soon you will be as addicted as the rest of us :) Which digital did you decide on?

But I digress... To answer your question I would start with the RS Ant. suggested previously. Though take care putting it together, and make sure everything is nice and tight, as they have a reputation for falling apart.

For the price it's a great starter Ant., and it will allow you to find what you enjoy listening to... After that if you need to upgrade, or get a more specialized Ant, you can.
 
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Well,i got a great deal on a pro-96 digital got it for $130.00 couldnt pass that up.Im going to start with that one and than maybe later on once i get everything setup i might go with something more professional.But for right now just the ol' 96.What can i do with this model if you have any experience with this radio?


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N0WEF

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I never had a 96, but for 130 I would have bought it too. It will definitely get you used to digital scanners, and allow you to save for a P25 phase2 scanner that we'll all need to purchase in the next couple of years. I'd also recommend getting the software to assist you in programming. (you can also ask around in the KY forum as I suspect someone will have a starter file to share with you) another neat thing is Don S, the writer of the software, is a member here, and always happy to help.

But so I don't get yelled at by the Mods. (J/K Mods) I better say something on topic. The one thing I'd warn you about using a outdoor/aerial antenna with a handheld is be very careful attaching and unhooking it. as the antenna mount can break easily leaving you're scanner deaf.

Also, search the forums for a discussion about the RS discone antenna. A while back someone gave instructions on how to put it together really well so it will never come apart. ( I can remember something about glue, but not much else, it was detailed and well written)
 

n5ims

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The RS discone uses crimped on hollow rods for the elements and can easily fall apart in high winds (mine only has two or three elements left at this point). You can find solid rod versions for less than what RS charges that will perform as well (if you don't require VHF-Low they're real easy to find), last much longer, and cost about half as much (K1CRA Radio Store - Discone Antenna - Workman T601 / Tram 1410 / Jetstream JTD1 Details).

The Pro-96 is a good scanner (old, but good) and should work fine for most of what you need. You'll need a firmware upgrade to properly handle rebanded systems and it won't trunk-track 700 MHz systems, but other than that it should work well.
 

N0WEF

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Oh my goodness! The last time I checked the RS ant. it was 34.99... Now listed as $69. N5IMS may have a point!

Then again, if there is a RS in your town you'll save shipping costs and waiting... and if there's a problem, or it doesn't work out, it will be a lot easier to return.
 

michaelmikesj

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The RS discone uses crimped on hollow rods for the elements and can easily fall apart in high winds (mine only has two or three elements left at this point). You can find solid rod versions for less than what RS charges that will perform as well (if you don't require VHF-Low they're real easy to find), last much longer, and cost about half as much (K1CRA Radio Store - Discone Antenna - Workman T601 / Tram 1410 / Jetstream JTD1 Details).

The Pro-96 is a good scanner (old, but good) and should work fine for most of what you need. You'll need a firmware upgrade to properly handle rebanded systems and it won't trunk-track 700 MHz systems, but other than that it should work well.
My Shack antenna doesn't have hollow tubes, they are solid and work very well. I don't know what RS you went to but the one near my house has these antennas on sale and they DO NOT have hollow tubes. They are solid metal rods and the antenna goes together quite well. I haven't had one single element fall of or get broken because of high winds, snow, rain or ice. Just saying. All you have to do is put it together the right way and you will have an antenna that will last you for a long time.
 

n5ims

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My Shack antenna doesn't have hollow tubes, they are solid and work very well. I don't know what RS you went to but the one near my house has these antennas on sale and they DO NOT have hollow tubes. They are solid metal rods and the antenna goes together quite well. I haven't had one single element fall of or get broken because of high winds, snow, rain or ice. Just saying. All you have to do is put it together the right way and you will have an antenna that will last you for a long time.
Mine is the 20-043 discone (about $70) that's linked to above. If you read the reviews on the RS web site on that antenna there are several that comment about the issues with the flimsy hollow elements. If they now use solid elements that, to me at least, is a very good thing. Simply crimping hollow rods to a threaded cap was the reason the elements keep failing with those designed like mine. The threaded cap remained on the antenna, but the hollow tube elements pop off in high winds.
 
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Well,i want to thank you all for all the info you are giving me and it sounds like i made a pretty good investment for the RS-96.Now on the software upgrade were and how do i get the items to do this upgrade for this model?Can someone tell me what transfer cable,and were to purchase this at.


Thanks John
 

Cruiseomatic

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N0WEF

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I now remember why I stay out of the antenna forum.... Everyone has an opinion, and everyone else is an idiot.

We're all looking to help people enjoy a hobby we love(and are sometimes to passionate about.) Let's skip comments like "Skip the rat shack junk. $70 for a chinese made junk" and offer educated, well worded, opinions.

I'm not looking to slam you cruiseomatic, but I found it funny your two 164s were made in China, and carried by radio shack. (I can't believe I'm kinda defending RS!)

Oh-well, let me climb down from this soapbox... I don't like it up here.
 

Cruiseomatic

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Its called reviews. Read them sometime. Too many people have said that dis-cone has fallen apart and was just made cheap. I know where the 164 is made. And? I didn't say ALL things made in china are bad or all things made by RS are bad, However majority of it is. If someone is just getting started in the radio hobby, Why would you suggest them buy something cheap and that won't last so that their experience is bad and will get out of the hobby? I suggested the st-2 because it is a workhorse, rugged, affordable, and will last. $70 for a antenna that screws together and shortly fall apart? C'mon.You can get the same thing for $40 cheaper and it is more durable unless you have money you want to waste. I've seen them in person. You couldn't pay me to take one home. EVERY review I read on RS antennas are that they either don't work, fall apart, over-priced, made cheap, something else priced cheaper works better, etc... Don't get me started on the kids that work there now...
 

N0WEF

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If you read what I said initially, I so-so agreed with what someone said, then raised the concern you two mentioned and how to avoid it.

I'm sorry to get you all worked up by asking to keep things civil/avoid the sarcasm, not to "name call" and to allow everyone to express their opinion.
 

KD0LWU

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I've had a Radio Shack dis-cone up in the air for over 16 years here in KS. Numerous hail storms, 70mph plus winds, freezing rain, ice storms, snow storms, temps from -20 to 120, it hasn't fallen apart yet? BTW, the last hail storm was softball sized and came down sideways, $7500 in damage to my '04 F-150! Yeah, I'd buy another one!
 

Rt169Radio

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I've had a Radio Shack dis-cone up in the air for over 16 years here in KS. Numerous hail storms, 70mph plus winds, freezing rain, ice storms, snow storms, temps from -20 to 120, it hasn't fallen apart yet? BTW, the last hail storm was softball sized and came down sideways, $7500 in damage to my '04 F-150! Yeah, I'd buy another one!
I have heard that the RS discone was made poorly? Did they start making them more sturdy?
 

KD0LWU

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I don't know, this one is over 16 years old like I said, and still in the air with all it's parts and pieces!
 

michaelmikesj

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RS Antenna

Anything will fall apart if you don't take the time to put it together correctly. I have read the reviews on the RS discone also, and it seems to me that people are not taking the time to put them together the right way. So when they fall apart they blame RS and not their shortcommings. I have never had one problem with my RS Discone and I live in a place where the whether can get pretty rough. I will buy another one when this one gets stolen. Because it seems that is the only thing that is gonna happen to this antenna, Mother Nature hasn't been able to touch it yet.
 
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