Best Antenna

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af5rn

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You know better than to ask a question like this without giving us details about what bands and distances you are trying to listen to. Those factors make all the difference.

But overall, it's a no brainer. Rat Shack only makes two mobile scanner antennas. Both are the same price. Both perform roughly the same in the city. You just have to decide if you want a mag mount or a glass mount.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...052.2032075.2032078.2032098&parentPage=family

http://www.radioshack.com/product/i...052.2032075.2032078.2032098&parentPage=family
 

landonjensen

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For the 1st one, what connector at RS would I have to get? It says BNA not SMA connection. Reviews for it dont look that great however.. I dont know how to tune either. LOL.
 

iMONITOR

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It's tough to find one antenna to perform well on all three of those bands. Which band needs the most improvement?
 

af5rn

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It's a BNC, not a BNA. All you need is the adaptor that came with the radio.

The reviews at RS.com are about useless. Most of the idiots that write them don't know dick about radio, much less how to install or evaluate them. They screw it up and blame the antenna. You have to take all that with a grain of salt.

That said, RS antennae are notoriously poor performers, including both of those. However, in the middle of LA, they should do well enough for you on repeated channels. The glass mount is weak on low band. Other than that, they both perform about the same, depending on how they are mounted. But glass mounts are very finicky and temperamental. The mag mount is the far easier, and more portable way to go. But the glass mount isn't far behind in performance, and certainly looks better on a nice vehicle.
 

af5rn

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Yeah, they both do acceptably well on the higher bands.

Just curious why you're stuck on Rat Shack though. You got stock in Tandy Corp. or something?
 

n4yek

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.......

The reviews at RS.com are about useless. Most of the idiots that write them don't know dick about radio, much less how to install or evaluate them. They screw it up and blame the antenna. You have to take all that with a grain of salt.

That said, RS antennae are notoriously poor performers, including both of those.........
I don't think that the mag mount is a poor performer, I have one and it works rather good. I live in the country and travel to the city with great reception. I used it on my vacation recently and was really impressed with its performance compared to my other antennas that I use. Its not the best antenna, but at a third of the price, I would definitely recommend it to anyone as a beginner antenna and a back-up antenna.
 

af5rn

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No argument there, Danny. I used one for many years and was happy with it's performance. I just wouldn't rate it up there with "the best". I hear a lot of reports of them breaking or becoming electrically unusable. Whether it is the coil components rattling apart or what, I don't know. But it happens often enough as to put it down on the list of top contenders. Definitely big points for availability though. And with a can of black Rust-Oleum, it doesn't look too bad either.

That's definitely the way I'd go, Landon. It's portable, so you can move from vehicle to vehicle, as well as being able to experiment with different locations on your vehicle, or even sticking it on a metal groundplane and using it in the house. You definitely can't get that flexibility out of the glass mount. But if stealth is more of a concern than those other factors, the glass mount really isn't a bad choice in an urban area.
 

andrewccm

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The RS800 duck is a very decent upgrade to the stock antenna. It makes a big difference on trunked analog and digital 800 on my 396T in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. For $20, it's a bargain. I have tried a lot of different types too.. When mobile, that RS800 is on my scanner 99% of the time. BUT...I mostly listen to 800...
 

N1BHH

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One point about the digital system you are trying to monitor. If you have a digital capable radio, you will hear it all, if no digital capable radio, you will only hear any analog transmissions. That is what is called a mixed mode system. Notice how there are A and D designators, A for Analog and D for Digital. I'm 3000 miles away but if you want to keep it simple a VHF quarter wave antenna may do it for you, or a Larsen NMO-150/450/800 is a very nice short antenna for mobile applications. I don't have any other recommendations for hand held scanner applications except the OEM duck. Others swear by this or that after market duck or antenna, just search this Antenna Forum and you'll see the variety.
 
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