I'm thinking about buying one of these GRE Super Handheld Amps.... I'm wondering if anyone out here in scanner land has one and how well does it do, helping you reach out and hear things you weren't able to before.
There have been numerous posts on RR in regard to the GRE amps. Most of them have stated that you're wasting your money if you buy one. I disagree. There are circumstances where an antenna amp won't make a difference. Then again there are circumstances when it will make a difference....such as in my case.
I live in a valley in northern NJ, about 40 miles or so northwest of NYC. I have an omni-directional antenna mounted on my old TV antenna mast about 10-15 feet above the roofline of my house. Before I bought my amp I could only receive my town and the immediate towns around me. After installing the amp in my listening post I now can hear most everything in the upper 3rd of NJ, all of NYC, and 3 or 4 counties in southern NY. The antenna line comes into the amp and then is split out to all 5 scanners. There doesn't seem to be any signal loss or outside interference.
I don't know anyone with the handheld version but I'm sure under the right conditions you'll get the same results.
Personally speaking, I think there's a great misunderstanding about preamps. If you are in an urban area, or your scanner is prone to hearing junk in places it's not supposed to be, a preamp is likely to make things worse not better. In fact, due to the way a FM signal is detected, you may even experience a loss of signal.
Preamps should be used in an area where signal strengths are rather low, or in bands where signals may not necessarily be very high, such as in the milair field.
A very good rule of thumb is to improve your antenna and coax situation first, before considering a preamp 73s Mike
Both of the above posts are right on the money if you are thinking that it will boost signal at a handheld by just putting it between the radio and the antenna it will probably act as an attenuator and not help you at all unless you are in an area that has too much signal. It is better to spend the $$ to a better antenna and coax and then see if u need the amp....hoser147
I agree with Mike on this matter. I use a preamp on my scanners when I wish to hear
normally weak signals. It is primarily used for aircraft monitoring. When I am monitoring
my local trunked systems, the amp has to be off. If I forget to shut it off, I hear all kinds
of noise and other wierdness. My thought on this is if the signal is weak/noisy, use the
amp; if it is strong (I live about three miles from my local trunk tower), shut the amp off.
I have 800 MHz yagi antennas and have to turn them away from the "correct" heading for
the local tower. For the towers further out (20-25 miles), I have to use the proper beam
headings and sometimes the amplifier. The scanners can be overloaded so I use the
minimum amount of gain (either antenna or preamp or both) the hear the signals the
Even the little rubber duck antennas need a bit of help sometimes. Like using an 800 MHz
antenna to copy the civil air band!!
73 de Carl