citrus heights PD reception?

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gmclam

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The length is critical!!!!

I also bought the RS 800 on advice here. I only wish it was a big longer as it seems kind of short to me at 7".
Have you ever heard of the term wavelength (or wave length)? Did you know that frequencies actually have a "size"? They are measured in meters, feet or inches. For example 300 MHz is is 1 meter or 3.28 feet in length.

There are different types of antennas out there, but a 1/4 wavelength is quite common as is 1/2 wavelength. What that means is that the antenna is 1/4 or 1/2 of the length of the wave it is designed to receive. The typical formula for this type of antenna is 468 / frequency = length in feet. So 7" would be about 802 MHz for 1/2 wave.

A LONGER ANTENNA IS DESIGNED FOR LOWER FREQUENCIES. That is why we suggested that you replace your older antenna!!!
 

crucialcolin

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oh I didnt think of the wavelength. Actually the only reason I mentioned it is I had been doing some digging online and noticed a few new 800mhz antennas with another inch or two. I'm assuming that in order to have a bit more length the antenna itself would have to be larger in diameter thus more bulky. Any who not going to worry about it ;)
 

crucialcolin

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Btw here are my thoughts so far on the difference between the RS 800 and the telescopic after about 2 days of comparison.

For Rosevilles trunked system I must say that I believe the RS 800 works better when pretty stationary. It seems to work better as handheld when walking around as well. The sound is also usually clearer with this antenna. However when moving at a higher speed for example in a vehicle of some sort its is more prone to static popping over the telescopic whip(with none to the 3 bottom sections extended). Also when out towards the edge of town it doesn't seem to work as well as the whip which usually requires the 3 bottom sections extended when mobile.

The whip works a lot better with lower band frequencies(150mhz) like pcs, rocklin, lincoln, etc. It pulls these in easily without need to extend it at all. The RS 800 seems to introduce more hiss on these frequencies. I'm sure its range is significantly reduced as well which probably wont be good for CAL Fire. I just remember i listen to that occasionally which is out of grass valley for placer/nevada counties.

Then for Sac I haven't done as much testing on this as I haven't gone into sac county with the new RS 800 or gone out listening to it here in Roseville. from home I seem to be able to pick them up better with the wip when its bottom sections are extended out and stationary. With the RS 800 Sac is pretty scratchy and suffers from static popping badly making barely audible at times.

I must say this the RS 800 gets big plus for being more durable since its flexible and less likely to cause the risk of breaking the connection inside the radio. I've already place it in my pocket(probably shouldn't be doing for heat reason) and its nice to not have to worry about breaking the bnc connector like with the whip.

So now I like both and think I'll mainly use the RS 800 especially when running around. And keep the whip for use when stationary at home especially for pulling in those distant signals from Sac or lower band stuff in the 150mhz range.
 

gmclam

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crucialcolin, your comparison is dealing with a bunch of portable antennas. None of them have ground planes. Each of those antennas can behave totally differently, depending on their exact environment. When portable, which is what they are designed for, you don't have a ground plane and are forced to get by with a less effective antenna.

If you are serious about scanning, especially monitoring specific agencies, then consider getting real antennas with which to monitor them. I use a magnetic mount antenna on my truck, and I'll put it up against ANY of your portable antennas any day. At home I use a mix of antennas connected to a mix of scanners, each dedicated to monitoring different things. I did this because when using a single antenna or single scanner it is always a compromise between what I'd want to hear.
 

crucialcolin

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If you are serious about scanning, especially monitoring specific agencies, then consider getting real antennas with which to monitor them. I use a magnetic mount antenna on my truck, and I'll put it up against ANY of your portable antennas any day. At home I use a mix of antennas connected to a mix of scanners, each dedicated to monitoring different things. I did this because when using a single antenna or single scanner it is always a compromise between what I'd want to hear.
Yeah different antennas work better for certain applications over others. I have a mag mount myself but I've haven't used it all that much. I like the magnet mount option because I can use it in others vehicles as well since its not fixed to one vehicle. Looked into that option when I first bought the antenna but I couldn't find a good place for it on my truck since I have a cover on the bed and I didn't want to drill holes in the roof.

The antenna is a larson triband(150/450/800mhz) on a Maxrad BGBN Black Magnet Mount With BNC Connector. One of the reasons I don't use it is because the MaxRad has a twist on BNC on the end(don't have proper crimp tools). I'm sure this is causing a lot of signal loss(it was better at first) and the end is really fragile. I have to be careful with it making me afraid to use it.

I'm now debating buying a Larsen magnet mount from cheapham.com with a preinstalled bnc end for $30 to replace the mount. Or as a more expensive option stick with my MaxRad mount and buy some tools and bnc coax fittings so I can reprocess the end. If I go the second route I'd like to go with Compression over Crimping but I'm having a hard time finding tools that work with RG-58 coax.
 
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gmclam

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... buy some tools and bnc coax fittings so I can reprocess the end. If I go the second route I'd like to go with Compression over Crimping but I'm having a hard time finding tools that work with RG-58 coax.
There are tools at either Fry's in the area.
 

avtarsingh

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you can get good crimpers at metro electronics downtown

i havent compared the prices to frys

i would recommend ebay also a good crimper is a lifelong tool and connectors are not that expensive especially bnc

can get crimp bnc on ebay for very cheap
put ferrule over the coax - strip back just enough to put center pin onto center wire - crimp

measure back a little bit more for how far back to strip insulation - then use scissors to cut the shield braid
crimp ferrule done

same procedure for sma tnc n mini uhf tons of others
 

crucialcolin

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Actually I just happened to buy a Compression Tool + stripper(from sterlen) and a 20 pack Compression fittings(GEM Electronics) for RG58. In the end spent around $60 or so. I'm sure it will be much better then the twist on.

I'm also considering buying a Comet CP-5NMO Mount lip style antenna mount for my truck if it will fit near the back doors of the cab:


Then keep the mag for a portable when in other vehicles. It worries me having a magnet and going on freeway(65mph+).
 

cousinkix1953

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crucialcolin, your comparison is dealing with a bunch of portable antennas. None of them have ground planes. Each of those antennas can behave totally differently, depending on their exact environment. When portable, which is what they are designed for, you don't have a ground plane and are forced to get by with a less effective antenna.

If you are serious about scanning, especially monitoring specific agencies, then consider getting real antennas with which to monitor them. I use a magnetic mount antenna on my truck, and I'll put it up against ANY of your portable antennas any day. At home I use a mix of antennas connected to a mix of scanners, each dedicated to monitoring different things. I did this because when using a single antenna or single scanner it is always a compromise between what I'd want to hear.
I used to have a VHF/UHF dual band ham antenna (146 and 440 mhz) for most of my scanner reception. It worked quite well on the adjacent frequency bands (10-20 mhz up the spectrum). I didn't bother to shorten it for slightly higher frequencies; because it wasn't used for transmitting! For some reason, it did quite well on 800 mhz too with the cellular phones being on 880 mhz. The 900 mhz systems were good enough for what little listening that I did there.

This wasn't really effective for the CHP on the low VHF band; so a shortened CB groundplane was used for this purpose.

A ham antenna will cost less $$$ and work as good as any of the more expensive commercial radio models. And there are beams too, if you want to hear a distant UHF metro system such as Stockton, San Jose and Fresno.

I used some extra RG/8 coax because that's what I already had for exiisting CB and shortwave radios. The results might of been even better had I spent the $$$ on some 50 ohm RG/213 which is what they use on many professional systems above 150 mhz...
 

gmclam

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Caution: Low Clearance

Then keep the mag for a portable when in other vehicles. It worries me having a magnet and going on freeway(65mph+).
I run the mag mount on my truck on the top of the cab. I have driven at 70+ with gusting winds (the worse kind) of that speed going against me. If there is a situation like this where the antenna is going to come off, I don't want to be driving in it.

If I had a "permanent" mount like NMO it would be a lot more problems. I am able to remove the mag mount when going in to tight places (like the parking garage at Red hawk casino), which if I could not do would restrict where I can go even further.
 

avtarsingh

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i briefly looked at the corp yard (old smud bldg) and on a tower at the rear of the bldg i see several m/w paths but i cant see (i need to get in closer and close call it ) whether its a new 800 county simulcast system added in or smud's 900 system
 

crucialcolin

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I run the mag mount on my truck on the top of the cab. I have driven at 70+ with gusting winds (the worse kind) of that speed going against me. If there is a situation like this where the antenna is going to come off, I don't want to be driving in it.

If I had a "permanent" mount like NMO it would be a lot more problems. I am able to remove the mag mount when going in to tight places (like the parking garage at Red hawk casino), which if I could not do would restrict where I can go even further.
I was thinking about that if I put an antenna on top of my roof what it would raise my clearance to on my ranger. Atm measurements escape me. Seems a lot of parking garages are around 7-8 feet.

One small problem with the mag mount(besides worry of falling off) is the fact that I have to run it out my back window thus its cracked open all the time. Not so good in wet weather or for security ;)

Could always do something on the bed of my truck if I can find a long enough or straight NMO bracket so I could mount it on the bed rail under my tonneau cover up near back window. There's not enough space to run coax under the cover either so that's the only place it could go.

I doubt it would work as well as a mag mount on the roof anyways.
 

avtarsingh

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crucial whats the bulk of your scanning ? what agency ? etc

based on assumptions .. if you were to put a NMO in center of your roof and use a VHF qtr wave

using downtown sac as a example with a vhf qtr wave nmo antenna - this is what you would expect to be able to hear :

you would expect to hear chp green2-blue2-black2(all 3 quite well)

white2(at times but with static) - gray2(borderline) and brown2(borderline) [depending on what mtn top used]

vhf hi band 150 would be awesome all over

uhf would be reasonable -anything within the area

800 would be usable for sac radio system

and low profile usual length is only 18"

you get a nice black one and it blends in well

thats what I use when i want a small all purpose scanner antenna

get a nice 3/4 tapered hole saw and just cut it and put small dab of petroleum jelly on rubber and gently tighten it down it will never leak if hole drilled well and even pressure applied without overtorquing the roof nut

even on a full size suv i can squeeze by in most parkaing garages - if needed its easy to undo in a second or two
 

scannerboy02

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I was in Citrus Heights yesterday at a BBQ in the neighborhood behind station 21 and had the SRRCS site 2 at full bars. I was not able to pick up site 1 and also got lots of control channel interference on the TG's and other 800MHz frequencies.

The interference was so bad at times that it made it very unpleasant to be monitoring the system and made me glad I no longer live in that neighborhood.
 

crucialcolin

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crucial whats the bulk of your scanning ? what agency ? etc
The majority of my listening is 800mhz trunked. Mainly Roseville too. Then occasional some Sac mostly County.

I will also listen to Rocklin and Placer county which I believe is 150mhz.

For Roseville with both an portable RS 800 or the old whip i had. I noticed there are some dead spots around town. A few that comes to mind is the North Sunrise area and out on Blue Oaks near Sun City. Reception near the outskirts isn't that good either.

Theres other types of spots like Washington/Industrial but there's a big old surewest telecom tower there which kills all radio(my friends CB dies too) and near walmart on pleasant grove were there's high tension power lines and a cell tower near taco bell across the street. So those two don't really count and are bad even for pd units radios.
 
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gmclam

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I was in Citrus Heights yesterday at a BBQ in the neighborhood behind station 21 and had the SRRCS site 2 at full bars. I was not able to pick up site 1 and also got lots of control channel interference on the TG's and other 800MHz frequencies.
I have noticed that when I drive by this site many of the conventional 800 MHz frequencies I have go bezerk. These trunking sites work better on a mountain top away from urban centers.

The interference was so bad at times that it made it very unpleasant to be monitoring the system and made me glad I no longer live in that neighborhood.
I have noticed that since this site when active that I get interference on any random transmission over the SRRCS. It happens when I am driving around north of the river and in Sacramento county. It sounds like skip. When it first happened I chalked it up to someone on a cell phone around me, but since then I've noticed it happens on all my scanners and different TRS frequencies. I guess I am not alone with this and I wonder if the people using Motorola 2ways experience this.
 

scannerboy02

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I wonder if the people using Motorola 2ways experience this.
Me too, I sure hope the radios at station 21 are working OK. Would not be good to have a issue with the Rescue and BC13 being at that station.
 

Sac916

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Me too, I sure hope the radios at station 21 are working OK. Would not be good to have a issue with the Rescue and BC13 being at that station.

At SSD Bond station my scanner would go bonkers too - massive bleed over or squelch issues - It was overload to scanners INSIDE the station. However, no issues with actual radios using the system or direct/simplex 800, even with that tower looming overhead a few feet away.
 

clanusb

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The station nearest the SSD bond station (cosumnes station 73) uses the stubby 800 antennas on all of their portables.... im not sure how much more of a difference that makes. I thought the stubby antennas were for use within the immediate area of repeaters and sites by dropping the attenuation? so this might be what station 21 does.
 
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