Experiences with Glass Mount Scanner Antennas?

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af5rn

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This question is very specifically about ONLY scanner antennas, not cellphone antennas or others being used for scanning. And yes, I already know that glass mount sucks and metal mount is better. That said...

I'd like to hear opinions and observations from personal experience with any of the glass mount, cellular look-alike scanner antennas out there. There are two that I am aware of, being the Radio Shack model and the Antenna Specialist model available at Scanner Master.

I had a friend about a decade ago who swore his Rat Shack glass mount performed better on all bands than his Rat Shack mag mount scanner antenna. Spending a little time riding around with him, the performance did seem pretty good, albeit in a mostly urban environment. What are your observations? Better performance at certain bands than others? Which bands? Anybody used both models and found a particular preference or edge for one over the other?

Basically, I need to put one -- and only one -- glass mount antenna on a sedan for all-band scanning, but with most of it being in the 800mhz band. I''m trying to figure out if I'd be better off using an 800mhz antenna and just taking what I can get for lower band performance out of it, or using an all-band scanner antenna that would be decent on all bands, but sacrificing some 800mhz performance. Opinions FROM EXPERIENCE would be appreciated.

Thanks, guys!
 

bep

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I had/have the RS model. Was not happy with the reception at all. It is a good idea that needs some tweaking. You are correct there reception in the 800 band was especially poor. High bands were much better.

I finally went to an all band antenna bolted to the car using an "L" bracket so no holes are visible. Works much better.

Hope this helps
 

bubbz

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Had the Antenna Specialist, one; for awhile on my f-150 rear window and it sucked. Bought antenna specialist "mon-r-#51?" with trunklip mount and attached it to my bed-liner, just behind the cab and it works great.
BUBBZ
 

nycrich

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I had the Radio Shack model and another unknown model from Ebay. Firstly they are cut to resemble cellular look-a-like antennas. This means they would be good only in a specific bands (VHF-mid) and terrible in other bands with reduced gain. I use it on a Honda Pilot 2008. They come with cheap cable further reducing gain. On top of that there is a 3-6db( as mentioned on package) loss going from the glass coupling.
I replaced it with the Valor PMM magnetic mount antenna and there was a big difference on air, VHF high, mil bands, 450 Mhz, 800Mhz doing side by side comparisions. I splided the cable for the run through the front passenger door, down to the floor. No magnetic mount would excel in all freqs, unless you get a dedicated antenna for the intented band you are listening to, but the Valor gives consistant performance across the VHF high to 800Mhz range.
 

unitcharlie

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My experience with the Rat Shack antenna is the same as nycrich.... acceptable on 150, worse on 450 and terrible on 800. An additional problem to consider with the Rat Shack is durability... it was difficult to keep it vertical and required tightening frequently. the thing finally twisted itself into oblivion and sits along I-75 somewhere in Rockcastle County, KY.
I love the original iteration of the PMM3B (haven't used the current production models) it works like a charm. Low profile, the magnet holds at faster than posted speeds... I prefer an old cell fone mag mount antenna for 800 meg (on a dedicated scanner) and now use a Larsen 150-450-800 for everything else (one scanner just for 800 the other for 150/450 with 800 programmed also).
 

autos

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for my set it i need to get 400s and 800s freq

when u guys say they suck meaning they dont get signal very far? for example instead of 10miles away only 5? (just a example) trying to understand what you all mean thanks

hope i am not highjacking your OP bud
 

fmon

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My experience on two autos is like your friend of a decade ago.

On trips from southeastern VA to FL or KS the glass mount is in constant use in any scanner I've used in all bands.

First car in latter 1990's in a 4 door sedan mounted near top of right rear glass well above defrost elements. 150, 406 and 800/900 worked very will...I picked up 800 trunking around 20 miles prior to entering the area using the system and had constant contact with VHF conv well before entry and after departure of the county using the freq.

In Feb of 2001 we purchased a new station wagon and a second 2067 (kept the first in previous car for additional 2 years). Mounted a new RS Glass mount on right rear side window of new car. Every thing working the same as the other car.

In Feb of 2005 replaced the 2067 with the first addition of a 2096 (digital was beginning here in VA and WV as well as KT, IN, IL and KS). As far as the scanner is concerned, the glass mount is continually keeping it busy. That would include all trunking systems - VHF P25, UHF P25 and MOT, 800 P25 and MOT and certainly, KT UHF P25 conventional barks from prior to entry at Ashland through Louisville.

Prior to last trip, I replaced the 2096 with a PSR-600. Only real difference - used 3 V-folders rather then 6 for the 2096.

Side note: The 92/2067 of course not near sensitive as later GRE manufactured scanners but the glass mount still serviced me well. And if you wish to reach out to long range, my sedan which previously had a trunk mounted K-40 likely out preformed any glass mount. However, my glass mounts keep the scanner barking all the time.
 

Scandxer

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The Radio Shack Mobile "Cellular Look-Alike" Glass-Mount Scanner Antenna
Model: 20-011
$34.99
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102468


I've had the rat shack Glass mount mobile look alike antenna for 2+ years on the back of my van.

I was actually surprised how good it works and it's a nice looking ,stealthy even, scanner antenna.

Due to some of the negative reviews I had read online (Fell off on highway, Bad reception) I thought I may be throwing my money away, but I bought it anyhow and I'm glad I did.

When I'm driving I monitor a broad range of local PD's/FD's between 39mhz-453mhz and also 800mhz range Digital Connecticut state police.

Overall this has been a good mobile Antenna. Reception is excellent and after 2 years it hasn't falling off. :)


Some tips for glass mount...

Remember to clean the glass spot (both sides) real good with the supplied towelette! This is an important step.

Stick antenna in a clear window spot , Stay a few inches from the defrost wires or other stuff thats inside the glass.
 

mjthomas59

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I put the RS glass-mount on my truck several years ago. In my experience the antenna is pretty much junk. I've done some "testing", non-scientific of course, to see just how it performed. My findings were that a handheld unit with an appropriate band antenna would do as well and in most instances do better than the glass-mount. I also found that using even a cheap hustler mag-mount "all-band antenna" or even a 1/4wave VHF antenna w/ mag-mount or trunk-lip mount would outperform the glass-mount on all bands by a substantial margin. I'm not talking the difference between a little static and clear reception, i'm talking "can't hear anything won't break squelch" on the glass-mount vs. clear reception with the other antennas.

I never received anything on the glass-mount I couldn't get on a handheld unit. In most of the cases that have been discussed in this post, i'd all but guarantee that to be the case. Hearing a countywide system outside the county isn't uncommon, even with a handheld scanner and a stock rubber duck antenna. Hearing statewide systems 800mhz P25 isn't uncommon using nothing more than a paperclip attached to your bnc connector if you are within the state.

Its tough to compare because as we all know some systems are better/stronger/easier to receive than others. Some 800mhz won't travel outside the city limits while others can be heard from many miles away. And the same is true for all bands and radio systems.

There are several companies that still make them. RS, Valor, Larsen, and i'm sure several others. Regardless I wouldn't get your hopes up over their performance or lack thereof. Use a mag-mount w/ a Larsen or Maxrad 150/450/800 antenna and enjoy. And also as mentioned, DO NOT put them near your defroster, or over window-tint. Doing this makes them worse, if they weren't bad enough to begin with.

EDIT: I also forgot to mention. I mounted my RS glass-mount on the back glass of my truck in a vertical position. I can't tell you how many times I had to stop and tighten the antenna because it would loosen and the whip would fall down. It never fell off thankfully but if I was on a long trip it made for a pain if I wasn't planning on stopping for a few hours.
 
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hoser147

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Atleast it still says it in your signature. "Man up and drill those holes!":lol: Used a RS brand one it was oK, still nothin like an NMO.........Hoser
 
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Skypilot007

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If you have a sedan and decide not to go with the glass mount I've been using an antenex nmo trunk lip mount with the larson nmo 150/450/800 whip on my sedan. The mount and antenna are black and blend in well, not very noticable. I had the rat shack antenna in question and this setup simply blows it away for about the same money. Add a quality pre-amp if needed.
 

stingray327

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How does the Autotek glass mounted scanner antenna from J.C. Whitney compare to the Radio Shack glass antenna? The cost on it is 52.00. The Radio Shack's glass mount antenna is $35.00. Both of these antennas look like cell phone antennas.
Is this the same antenna sold by Radio Shack and J.C. Whitney?
 
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