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BCD996T Mobile Antenna Suggestions

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blake23

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
119
Location
Seattle, WA
To anyone who owns a BCD996T and uses it in their vehicle, I am looking for recommendations/suggestions for the best mobile antenna to use. I primarily use my BCD996 for VHF Conventional and APCO25, UHF, 800 trunked, Mil Air. I currently use a mag mount(sorry can't remember the brand), and reception seems to have dimished. I previously had a BC780 connected and I got better reception with that setup than my current one.

Any help will be appreciated.

Richard
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,896
Location
Bowie, Md.
Before you go looking for a new antenna, perform this simple test; turn on the attenuator on the 996. If it has little effect, or reception improves - even by a hair - that's a strong indication that what you are seeing is desense; basically stated, it means that something in the area is so strong, the scanner locks onto it, reducing the sensitivity to other signals.

The 780 is well known to have a very good front end, somewhat more resistant to overloading problems than other radios of its era. Of course, the trick would be to find the station(s) that are causing you the problem. A common source of problems are pagers, which often aren't all that clean spectrum-wise. But it could be other things as well - anything from a local FM BCer, a taxi service (another one that runs a less-than-clean shop RF wise), or even a local trunking site. It takes a bit of detective work at times to find the culprit; but it may save you some headaches in the long run.

73s Mike
 

kg4uad

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
153
Location
Pickens, SC
Secret is the Coax

I live in the Mtns of western nc and there is the same mix of VHF Hi and 800 trunked stuff here, i played around for several years as a teen trying to find the best overall antenna and finally found that first off: 1. Convert to NMO mount on the mag mount 2. re-coax your mag mount with Double Shielded coax, many diffrent types but get at least 95% shielding i use the stuff with the foil shield over the braid. Once you get into the 400mhz range rg-58 is simply puke and is much to lossy, you need that extra shielding for 800 goto your local radio shop and ask them what they run on the MDT's or 800 trunked radios ill promise you its double shielded stuff. im fairly sure you cant buy a mag mount with the good coax on it so either convert it yourself or get the radio shop to do it for you. its worth it i promise. Next if you want superior 800 reception in an antenna go with what the pro's use the 800 pigtail nothings gonna work better-period. A second runner up for the vhf conventional/800 split in one antenna is the vhf 1/4 wave antenna cut to the magical overall length of 18.5 inches (thats 18.5 from top of the whip to the contact point of the mount--not just 18.5 inch whip-- hams and old school scanner buffs know that there is just something resonant about the 18.5" whip works super on vhf and its really decent for 800 especially with your new super low loss coax.
 
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