Can 396XT handle RF from a big antenna?

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Nightjock

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I noticed in the Scanning Q&A FAQ Scanning Q&A - The RadioReference Wiki the following passage:


* Before you go looking at amps, make sure that your antenna and feedline are at the best you can afford. A nice high antenna, with the right coax, will hear lots - maybe, at times, too much. In some cases, a good filter will be a huge asset. Not all scanners - particularly handhelds - work very well with big outdoor antennas and feedlines. They simply aren't designed to handle that much RF all at once.

So...before I spend the money on gear and climb up on my roof, does a 396XT do well with an outdoor antenna?
 

ka3jjz

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This is greatly dependent on your own local enviornment, RF wise, and will vary from place to place. Any handheld - even professional ones - will be overloaded if the environment is heavily RF polluted. If you are in an urban environment, with lots of cell towers, pagers and so forth, it's entirely possible that under the right conditions, a 396XT - or any other consumer grade radio, for that matter - may experience overloading issues. Therefore, this is a better question for the NY forum where folks in your vicinity can relate their experiences.

73 Mike
 

kc2rgw

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Absolutely agree.

My 396XT has been hooked to a giant hunk of aluminum in my yard (GAP Titan) as an antenna with no problems, but I don't have extremely high powered transmitters in my immediate area and I enable CTCSS or DCS on everything. Haven't had intermod, but I'm in the burbs, not the city.

Forgot...I also have had it hooked to my high gain 2m/440 antenna on the roof and didn't have any issues with that either and that's a heck of a lot more gain than the ground mounted HF antenna I normally have it on.
 

Danny6569

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Rf

You really have to be careful with the idiots out there with cb radios using the big linear amps, some of those things go up to like 5000 watts or more, and if there out there close to youre house talking on one it could fry youre radio, ive seen it done before, they tend to do that around here a lot!
 

JASII

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One other thing to keep in mind using a handheld like the BCD396XT is stress on the antenna connector. If you use good quality feedline, like 9913 or better, it is going to be fairly stiff and unwieldy. I know this is going to sound like one of those "I have a friend, who's brothers, bosses wife, etc.", bit seriously I do know of fellow amateur radio operators that have stressed the antenna connector of their portable radio. So, if you use the portable with low loss feedline, add a short patch cable where it mates up with the BCD396XT, just so you don't stress that antenna connector. (I now return you to you regularly scheduled program!)
 

kc2rgw

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I do two things.

One is a whip lead that is very flexible mini coax that does from SMA to SO-239, very handy for using in a mobile for strain relief...but monkeying around with an SMA screwing/unscrewing will wear them out too.

Another is to simply lay the scanner flat so the fat cable doesn't pull on it...I almost always jack it into speakers anyway.

Third, the BNC adapter with the nice support collar that comes with it...I use that 99% of the time and just use BNC antennas. This way it stays put, and if you wear out the BNC, you buy another $4 adapter collar and put it on.
 
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