Compact Yagi for 800mhz for Trunked Simulcast System

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kingshootr

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(I'm a major noob, and the technical equipment part of scanning is a bit beyond me, so the terms I'm using are hopefully accurate.)

CushCraft PC804N 800 MHz 6 dbi Yagi Antenna, 806 - 902 MHz, 4 Element

This is a link to an antenna I'd like to get if it will solve my problem.

http://forums.radioreference.com/arizona-radio-discussion-forum/230040-mesa-pd.html#post1678399

This is a link that describes my problem: In a nutshell, the Mesa, AZ PD has made some kind of switch to their system that the current scanner/antenna can't deal with. Per the above post, a yagi is working for some people.

My options are limited - the antenna has to be in the same room as my scanner - can't mount it outside and no attic to use. So it would be on a home fabbed boom/stand maybe 6'-7' off the floor aimed at the tower 3 miles from my house.

I'm trying to balance a workable solution with an aesthetic one that won't put me in the doghouse with the wife.

Any and all information and advice is appreciated (keep it in laymans terms if possible.). I am handy but home made isn't for me, I'm just not grasping the design/fabrication nuances.

Other big issue is other systems I want to listen to as well, preferably at the same time. Most, if not all use the same tower, as far as I can tell from the freq database. They range from aviation in the 100's (not from the tower), to 100's and 460's for some other emergency/law/fire depts. Some from the tower, some not. If I'm only 3 miles from the tower, will the yagi be able to pick up anything not in the 800 band?

If not, how do people run what appears to be different antennas for different needs on one scanner? Do you use some kind of splitter or ?

Thanks for your time.
 

W6KRU

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I have a maxrad 6 element yagi for 800(824-896) that I use to minimize simulcast issues. It helps some but it's not a complete fix for the distortion. Have you tried manually adjusting your P25 threshold level? My yagi will not pickup weather stations(162MHz) at all that are full scale on a vhf antenna so I think you are going to lose a lot of sensitivity on VHF frequencies.
 

kingshootr

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Mesa, AZ
I have a maxrad 6 element yagi for 800(824-896) that I use to minimize simulcast issues. It helps some but it's not a complete fix for the distortion. Have you tried manually adjusting your P25 threshold level? My yagi will not pickup weather stations(162MHz) at all that are full scale on a vhf antenna so I think you are going to lose a lot of sensitivity on VHF frequencies.
I use FreeScan and I'm not finding a threshold adjustment for P25, but there is one for APCO I believe. APCO mode is set to AUTO with threshold at 8. Is this what I should adjust? Up or Down? Do I need to change the APCO mode to MANUAL? Am I messing with MODULATION or P25 WAIT TIME?

I was afraid of losing the VHF, but for $30-$40 dollars, I'd be willing to gamble. I Googled yours, looks good too.

Thanks again for your help.

(Just noticed your local - vacationed there every year in the 70's - I was the only AZ kid that could actually surf, I think!)
 

kingshootr

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Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

I have the "easy" manual saved and refer to it often, thanks for the link. I've tried adjusting the P25 levels, but honestly I don't know what I'm doing. Do I aim for "0" or a higher number? I really don't know what difference I'm looking for besides being able to hear the targeted conversation better, which as best I can tell, I hear no difference.

Also, I'm going to ask the most basic, dumb question ever: I'm such a noob/oblivious to the true technical aspects of scanning, that I believe any "antenna" can pick up any frequency if the signal is close/strong enough.

What I mean is, going back to my original query - would a yagi aimed at the towers only 4 miles from my house that is tuned for 800-900 range still pick up 150-160 and 460 range frequencies?

Thanks again for any and all assistance.
 

N0WEF

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Which scanner are you using? (Sorry if I missed it)

Have you tried a weaker antenna? If you have one lying around try that first. (Considering how close the tower is)

The 800 yagi is going to lose you channels/reception in the 100's and 400's
 
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kingshootr

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Mesa, AZ
Which scanner are you using? (Sorry if I missed it)

Have you tried a weaker antenna? If you have one lying around try that first. (Considering how close the tower is)

The 800 yagi is going to lose you channels/reception in the 100's and 400's
I'm using a BCD996T, with latest updates. The antennas I've used are a basic "attach to the back" extendable, and the current one, one of those snoops (eBay buy, PVC tube with something inside - works great - and worked fine until Mesa PD changed something a few weeks ago).

The extendable seems to lose out on some of the car-to-car and fringe stuff, and I didn't hear as much as I do with the snoop. So I'm guessing that kind of stuff doesn't go through the tower (repeater)?

I take there is no "splitter" that would allow a yagi and a snoop to be connected to the scanner at the same time?

This is what I mean, I still don't know the correct terminology to communicate properly with you all, so bear with me. Thanks.
 

N0WEF

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I'm using a BCD996T, with latest updates. The antennas I've used are a basic "attach to the back" extendable, and the current one, one of those snoops (eBay buy, PVC tube with something inside - works great - and worked fine until Mesa PD changed something a few weeks ago).

The extendable seems to lose out on some of the car-to-car and fringe stuff, and I didn't hear as much as I do with the snoop. So I'm guessing that kind of stuff doesn't go through the tower (repeater)?

I take there is no "splitter" that would allow a yagi and a snoop to be connected to the scanner at the same time?

This is what I mean, I still don't know the correct terminology to communicate properly with you all, so bear with me. Thanks.
You're doing a lot better communicating than most n00bs!

There is a "splitter" I'd recommed reading through this thread, as it might help. http://forums.radioreference.com/scanner-receiver-antennas/90805-using-2-antennas-1-scanner.html

Here's less expensive options Multicouplers, Splitters
 
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kingshootr

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Bullseye! That is the exact info I was hoping for. Thank you for your time and your help. Will let you know how things shake out.
 

N5TWB

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Wilson Yagi Model Y8009EL Antenna 806 - 939 MHz (N-Female Connector) - 301111, $69.95

Would this antenna work for a scanner (with appropriate connectors/adapters)? The first post of this thread describes my problem, and the possible solution others have found, using a yagi type antenna.

I found a smoking deal on one of these but would like some opinions of it is viable or not. Thanks.
Looks good to me for both price and performance, based on the chart on the linked webpage. You'll need to either learn how to attach an N-male connector to coax, get an adapter, or buy a section of coax cable with an N-male already attached. Also, as you have previously mentioned the wife acceptance factor, you better show her that picture before ordering.
 
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