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Going to work for a PD & wanting to scan 800 only...need car & house antennas

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AggiePhil

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Howdy all. I'm about to go to work for a PD and I'd like to be able to scan their 800 Mhz Motorola Type II trunked frequencies both in the car and at home. I have a RadioShack Pro-97 scanner with the RadioShack 800 Mhz antenna and it's decent...but I don't think it does as good of a job as a better antenna could do. Especially in the car...I keep it down low in a cupholder, so I don't think it gets as good of reception as an external antenna would.

So that having been said, what is a good car antenna for this scanner and this 800 Mhz application? I guess I'd prefer it to be something removable, but I've installed stuff before and could do it again if need be.

And then, what's a good one for home use? I live in an apartment--it's a two story townhome basically. So I'd need an antenna that I can mount to the outside of my upstairs window. No mast or anything (assuming that's alright), but just something that will somehow stick on to the side of the building. Maybe something with a side magnet?

Alright, thanks guys!
 

unitcharlie

a Kentucky DB Admin...
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on the road to Nonesuch, Ky...
Hi AggiePhil:
Welcome to rr.com....

My vote would go to the Valor ProAm PMM3B-- I have had three for the past four years.... had the BNC fall off of one, the magnet on my current one is not sticking as well.... and the third is still holding..... The little thing has held in wind storms, higher-than-posted-limits speeds and even hears well when coated with ice.... it is also kinda inconspicuous....

Still the best antenna buy I have ever made....
here is the link:
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/1190.html
 

AggiePhil

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unitcharlie said:
Hi AggiePhil:
Welcome to rr.com....

My vote would go to the Valor ProAm PMM3B-- I have had three for the past four years.... had the BNC fall off of one, the magnet on my current one is not sticking as well.... and the third is still holding..... The little thing has held in wind storms, higher-than-posted-limits speeds and even hears well when coated with ice.... it is also kinda inconspicuous....

Still the best antenna buy I have ever made....
here is the link:
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/hamantm/1190.html
Would this be for the car application or the home application? I can't envision how you'd mount that antenna to the side of an apartment window.

Also, I see that that isn't an 800 only antenna. 800 really is all I'm needing...is there some other antenna that is 800 only and would receive better in that range, or would the differences be negligible [and I might as well just get this one that can receive on many different frequencies]?
 

buffalogoat

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If all you want is 800MHz, then I would go with a good external cell phone antenna for the mobile & a small 800MHz YAGI for the base inside your apt. I doubt your property manager will let you "stick" anything to the outside of the building. I know mine won't.
 

AggiePhil

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Not sure what an 800 Mhz YAGI is, but I'm pretty sure nobody would notice or care about a small antenna on the outside of my window sill (magnetic). As long as there wasn't a mast or something, they wouldn't mind. Hell, there are satellite dishes on poles all over the complex. LOL.

Cell phone antenna huh? Hmmm...what are some good ones?
 

nosoup4u

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I like the looks of that antenna, but I would imagine the signal loss from the RG-174 cable would kill your 800Mhz reception.
 

mass-man

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Big D, little a, double l, a s
If your local RADIO SHACK has them, they sell a cellphone magnetic antenna that works pretty well. All you have to do is adapt the TNC at the end to a BNC!!! It is magnetic, and could sit on the sill or on top of a filing cabinet. They do like a 6 inch piece of metal under them to work just right...

Or try this one...take a three foot of good coax!!! Peel back 3.5 inches of the outer coating, leaving the braid intact...peel back the braid and braid it into three strings...then cut back the center insulation to expose about 3.5 inches of the center conductor...attach a BNC to the other end and plug into your scanner. It works for me for a TRS system about 10 miles away.
 

red8

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denham springs la.
hey aggie phil
i just wanted to welcome you from the bayou land i just checked you
texas policecars.com i myself was a deputy sheriff in baton rouge,la
for 23 years. i got out of it because the job wasn't fun anymore
new bosses who wanted to change things and certainly not for the
better i do wish you for going into a very noble profession
take care partner
your pal
red8
 

wyldman

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Center of the RF Universe
It will all depend on your signal strength.

If you have a strong signal,then even the stock rubber ducky may do.Just using an extension cable for it to get it out it the clear may be all you need.If this is the case,any cheap external antenna will most likely do the trick.

If your signal is very weak,or your out on the fringe,then a high gain antenna will be needed.A 5 db gain car antenna,or a good properly aimed yagi will give you what you need,unless you need height to clear obstructions which may interfere.

Using an NMO mount for the car is handy,as you may need to switch to a normal antenna when your close to the towers.Try to find an old stubby 800 mhz NMO antenna for when your signal strength is high,so your high gain antenna doesn't overload the radio.

Remember too,at high frequencies,use high quality cable,and keep the run as short as possible.I have an older mag mount with 25 ft of cheap coax that seemed to be worse than the stock rubber duck.Changing to better coax,and using just enough to reach the radio brought it to life.
 

red8

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Jan 16, 2004
Messages
613
Location
denham springs la.
by the way, i remember the cc company the company that sells the
cc radio sells an antenna perfect for an apartment. you can run it
vertically from baseboard on up and has a cable that hooks up to
the back of the scanner you can order it with either bnc or the old
motorola plug, and it costs around $16.00 guaranteed to boost your
reception by%50. their web address is www.ccradio.com
red8
 

Al42

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Apr 29, 2005
Messages
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Long Island, NY, USA
How far is your home from the PD's antenna tower. That will determine what your base antenna setup has to be. For mobile the determining factors are how large an area you want to cover, where the transmitting antennas are relative to that area, whether there's more than 1 site and whether you're willing to drill a hole in your car. The antennas the police department uses will tell you about what you need, though - they work for them, don;t they?
 

nexus

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AggiePhil said:
Not sure what an 800 Mhz YAGI is, but I'm pretty sure nobody would notice or care about a small antenna on the outside of my window sill (magnetic). As long as there wasn't a mast or something, they wouldn't mind. Hell, there are satellite dishes on poles all over the complex. LOL.

Cell phone antenna huh? Hmmm...what are some good ones?
Aggie, a Yagi is a BEAM (unidirectional) antenna. It would be mounted onto a mast. Here is a picture and diagram of a yagi. Also regarding the portable antenna. The 800mhz antenna that Radio Shack sells is pretty good quality. You're not going to get any better reception out of any other antenna. That antenna is electronically tuned specifically for 800mhz, so it's not like a OEM scanner antenna. You'd be wasting your money buying a commercial 800mhz or cellular antenna. The problem will be the radio itself. If you want to be able to receive as well as the units do, you'll need a commercial radio designed specificially for 800mhz. Scanners (especially newer ones) have good selectivity, but keep in mind, they're multi-purpose. They aren't going to be as selective as a commercial radio. So don't expect to hear as good as the PD's radios.


 

AggiePhil

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Messages
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Location
TX
mass-man said:
If your local RADIO SHACK has them, they sell a cellphone magnetic antenna that works pretty well. All you have to do is adapt the TNC at the end to a BNC!!! It is magnetic, and could sit on the sill or on top of a filing cabinet. They do like a 6 inch piece of metal under them to work just right...

Or try this one...take a three foot of good coax!!! Peel back 3.5 inches of the outer coating, leaving the braid intact...peel back the braid and braid it into three strings...then cut back the center insulation to expose about 3.5 inches of the center conductor...attach a BNC to the other end and plug into your scanner. It works for me for a TRS system about 10 miles away.
Are you talking about this one? This is the only external cell phone antenna that Radio Shack sells. Also, can you get all the connectors that you need to make them work AT Radio Shack? Thanks.

 
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