Best Laird all band antenna for my truck

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McCarthy84

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I'm trying to find the "best" multi-band LAIRD antenna for my truck and my Uniden BCD536HP scanner. I'm planning on using the current place / hole at the fender where the antenna for the radio is.

My priority is police, EMS, fire but I do not want to exclude any of the other bands.

I found a review suggesting the Laird ABSCANCS, but can't find this model on the lairdtech.com website. I also tried to click through their navigation but can't figure out which antennas from LAIRD will fit my needs best.

Hope you guys can help me out.
 
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prcguy

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Does it have to be a Laird antenna? The Larsen tri-band and Maxrad BMAXSCAN1000 are very similar antennas and very popular.

If you wanted something better than the ABSCANCS that covers nearly full band on every band look at the Laird WPD136M6C-001. It may not work much better than the others for a scanner but if you needed to transmit it would offer a better match across all the bands compared to the others. Its also a bit pricey.
prcguy
 

McCarthy84

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Does it have to be a Laird antenna? The Larsen tri-band and Maxrad BMAXSCAN1000 are very similar antennas and very popular.

If you wanted something better than the ABSCANCS that covers nearly full band on every band look at the Laird WPD136M6C-001. It may not work much better than the others for a scanner but if you needed to transmit it would offer a better match across all the bands compared to the others. Its also a bit pricey.
prcguy

Thank you for your reply.

I'm about to give up on Laird, because I can't figure out their website.

- none of those Laird antenna model names come back when I use the search function
- I can't find any of those wide range antennas in their product categories

Right now I'm in LMR antennas. I tried every sub category but can't find any antennas that cover wide range. Did they stop making them?

Would you (or anybody) mind looking into their product category and come back with a working link of any wideband automotive antenna?

https://www.lairdtech.com/product-categories/antennas/lmr-mobile-antennas
 

prcguy

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I don't bother with their website, just Google the model #s I mentioned and you will find various vendors with specs and pricing.
prcguy


Thank you for your reply.

I'm about to give up on Laird, because I can't figure out their website.

- none of those Laird antenna model names come back when I use the search function
- I can't find any of those wide range antennas in their product categories

Right now I'm in LMR antennas. I tried every sub category but can't find any antennas that cover wide range. Did they stop making them?

Would you (or anybody) mind looking into their product category and come back with a working link of any wideband automotive antenna?

https://www.lairdtech.com/product-categories/antennas/lmr-mobile-antennas
 

mmckenna

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https://www.amazon.com/Larsen-NMO150-450-800-Tri-Band-Nmo-Antenna/dp/B00P9JAVF6

Can't go wrong with Larsen. I've got Larsen antennas pushing 30 years old. This antenna will cover VHF High, UHF and 700-800MHz bands just fine for scanner use.

Shop around and you can often find it cheaper.

Also, if this is your first mobile antenna, make sure you stick with NMO mounts. It's the industry standard. One you install an NMO mount, you can easily swap out antennas with models from any other manufacturer. Don't get locked into other types of mounts, as it will greatly limit what you can do down the road.
 

McCarthy84

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Thanks for all the suggestions.


https://www.amazon.com/Larsen-NMO150-450-800-Tri-Band-Nmo-Antenna/dp/B00P9JAVF6

Can't go wrong with Larsen. I've got Larsen antennas pushing 30 years old. This antenna will cover VHF High, UHF and 700-800MHz bands just fine for scanner use.

Shop around and you can often find it cheaper.

Also, if this is your first mobile antenna, make sure you stick with NMO mounts. It's the industry standard. One you install an NMO mount, you can easily swap out antennas with models from any other manufacturer. Don't get locked into other types of mounts, as it will greatly limit what you can do down the road.

I'm trying to find out the base diameter of the NMO150/450/800. Do you know it?
 

McCarthy84

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Looks like its 3.5", which is too wide.

Just ordered the WPD136M6C-001. Should be here by the end of next weekend. Also going to order a Breedlove mount for the stake pocket in the bed truck.
 

prcguy

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The Larsen NMO150/450/800 is about 1.25" dia at the coil. The WPD136M6C-001 is a fat little thing and around 2.5 to 3" dia at the base. I have both but am not near them to measure at the moment.
prcguy


Looks like its 3.5", which is too wide.

Just ordered the WPD136M6C-001. Should be here by the end of next weekend. Also going to order a Breedlove mount for the stake pocket in the bed truck.
 

mmckenna

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Looks like its 3.5", which is too wide.
1.60 inches.

Not sure where you came up with 3.5 inches.

Just ordered the WPD136M6C-001. Should be here by the end of next weekend. Also going to order a Breedlove mount for the stake pocket in the bed truck.
The base on that antenna is huge, that's probably the one that's 3.5 inches in diameter, at least. Those things are monsters.

If you can cancel that order, I'd do it. Stick with the Larsen or similar. That one you ordered is more designed for transmitting across those frequencies. They're ugly as sin, too.

As for the stake pocket mount, putting these antennas low and behind the cab is going to greatly inhibit performance. You need them up high and in the clear. Mounted in the center of that cab roof will let these things shine.
 

McCarthy84

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The one I ordered is 2.5" at the base, which won't stick out into the bed.

https://assets.lairdtech.com/home/brandworld/files/WPD136M6C-001 0915.pdf

The roof is a no-go, I have only 2" of clearance at the garage door. I also pulled the cover at the OEM radio antenna. GM uses their own mounting base. I didn't find any adapters and there's no room to fabricate a NMO mount.

Keep in mind that my goal for now is anything that's better than the stock scanner antenna inside the truck.

I'll buy some land within a year and build a house. I'll make sure to include a 4 car garage with high ceilings and high garage doors. That antenna will go on the roof eventually.
 
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mmckenna

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Got it. Garage door clearance is an issue.
If you can, put it in one of the stake holes farther back on the bed. Putting it close to the cab will be about the worst location you can pick.

The more expensive antenna isn't going to work better than the less expensive one. The antenna you ordered is overkill for scanner use. It's basically the less expensive whip with a more elaborate matching system in the base to allow transmitting. For your use, the basic Larsen/Laird will work just as well, cost less and be less obtrusive.

Either one will work, one is just a lot less expensive than the other.
 

FFPM571

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1/4 wave VHF antenna at 17" works the best across all bands.....If you are worried about clearance on garage door. Use an NMO mount on your roof with a sti-co flexi whip. bends and bounces back every time.
 

McCarthy84

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I got the antenna on jet.com for $96, no biggi. When my ex decided to go for another guy I was all of the sudden able to retire early and 'invest' into plenty of toys, tools and firearms. :)

And now I'm inclined to get my ham license to put that antenna to good use.
 

McCarthy84

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What would be a good cable for my setup?

The Uniden has a male BNC plug, the antenna hocks up to a ReedLoveMount which in turns has a female SO-239 socket.

Are there any good female BNC to male SO-239 cables or should I go with a BNC to BNC cable and a BNC to SO-239 adapter?

Solder my own cable? What's a good shop for quality cables and plugs?

Am I missing something?



UPDATE: I guess this would be the right cable, but it needs to be longer: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BNC-male-to...l-Cable-RG58-6-039-MADE-IN-USA-/321951888916?

I can't find anything that is 10 feet long, so what is a good place for quality cable and plugs?
 
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jonwienke

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I concur with mmckenna, if you are going to use a bed stake mount, use one of the rear ones. Putting the antenna next to the cab like thant will hamper its performance.
 

McCarthy84

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I concur with mmckenna, if you are going to use a bed stake mount, use one of the rear ones. Putting the antenna next to the cab like thant will hamper its performance.

The other spot where the radio antenna is, is also close to the cab. It'll be fine and much better than a telescoping antenna buried and closed in the center console which is the current situation. And even that gives me access to all local police and EMS calls.

Out on the rear won't work, the holes are larger and the mount won't fit. I won't start over with another mount. I also don't want the antenna in the way when I have something sticking out of the bed, possibly hitting the antenna. It also would be too much of an eye sore.

Anyways, my questions had been around "What's the best Laird all band antenna for my truck" and "what's a good shop for cables and plugs" and not the location of the antenna. Never asked for that. I have a degree in electronics and know what to expect from the location. Too bad I don't get my questions answered.
 
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