Best base station scanner antenna for low lying location

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pbdoran

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Nov 4, 2009
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2
Location
Southern New Hampshire
Old time listener reconnecting with the hobby. I just purchased BC346XT Trunking (non-digital based on current budget) and am saving for the BC996XT digital unit for home. I had an old RS discone that I repaired the radials on and is currently mounted approximately 25 feet high on guyed poles. Receives the stronger signals in MA and NH (I am located in southern NH on the MA border). Being an engineer, I had no trouble programming the unit myself wirth the computer software, but took a few minutes to understand the dynamic memory (I was used to the bank scanners).

I would like to improved the reception on the 460-490 and 800 trunking systems. I can receive MA state police trunking system but with static. I am currently building my own home brew 7 element yagi for the 470 Mhz and the 850 Mhz frequencies hoping the gain achieved with these antennas will improve reception. One problem, I will have to build two yagis of each frequency because I want to monitor communities that are both north and south of my location and I want to listen for both at the same time so a rotator is not a consideration. Which brings me to my question.

Does anyone have experience with an omni-directional antenna that performs well in a low lying location? I have no mountains in the way -- just rolling terrain with me in the middle at the relative low point. Would the ST-2 Scantenna work well? Does anyone live in a low location? What antennas would be best. I do not want to try another discone based on the performance of the RS unit I have up now.

Any help would be appreciated from the group. I am from the crystal controlled scanner era. The Uniden radio BC346XT is of great quality and solidly built. I can hardly wait to get a digital version. A lot of the police and fire in NH are digital.

Thanks to all in advance for your responses.

pbd
 

fineshot1

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Joined
Sep 17, 2004
Messages
2,479
Location
NJ USA (Republic of NJ)
You did not mention what type of cable you are presently using and the length.

There is almost always room for improvement so you may also consider a very
good quality cable(such as LMR400) if you have net yet.

On the antenna arena why don't you keep the discone and add the two yagi's to
the reception mix via a simple multiport antenna combiner. This way you can
have the good reception in all directions and great reception in the yagi directions.

I am at work now and can not surf ebay from here(its blocked) but that may be a
good place to start looking for one. I have seen many companies make these such
as Celwave, Telewave, Decibel, EMR, and many more.

NOTE: When I say "simple combiner" I mean a low loss non-active device that is not
specific to a narrow freq range. Some of their specs claim to be in a specific range
but are usually good for a much broader spectrum range.
NOTE2: Another name for this device is "multiport coupler" - sorry but I forgot to mention that.
 
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pbdoran

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
2
Location
Southern New Hampshire
You did not mention what type of cable you are presently using and the length.

There is almost always room for improvement so you may also consider a very
good quality cable(such as LMR400) if you have net yet.

On the antenna arena why don't you keep the discone and add the two yagi's to
the reception mix via a simple multiport antenna combiner. This way you can
have the good reception in all directions and great reception in the yagi directions.

I am at work now and can not surf ebay from here(its blocked) but that may be a
good place to start looking for one. I have seen many companies make these such
as Celwave, Telewave, Decibel, EMR, and many more.

NOTE: When I say "simple combiner" I mean a low loss non-active device that is not
specific to a narrow freq range. Some of their specs claim to be in a specific range
but are usually good for a much broader spectrum range.
NOTE2: Another name for this device is "multiport coupler" - sorry but I forgot to mention that.
Thanks Fineshot1 for the suggestions. Regarding coax - I am using RG-6. Your suggestion of the LMR400 coax is a good one -- especially for monitoring the 800MHz trunking systems. I will change the coax and see what difference this will make. I also will begin looking for an antenna multiport coupler (combiner) - for I will need to combine several antennas to one coax to scanner -- one with low loss.

After these mods and installation of the yagis, I will re-evaluate and may try the scantenna.
 
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