Is there a good indoor attic antenna I should consider for my 536HP?

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Roveer

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When I first got my 536HP I commented (literally the night I got it), that a lot of the audio on my P25 system was garbled. I assumed it was poor reception but have come to learn that there is a current issue being looked at concerning garbled audio on certain systems.

One of the things I said I was going to do is to get a better antenna. Right now I'm working off the stock antenna and I seem to get full bars on the meter. I did an analyze feature on my Pro 106 and found the control channel to be 98+% so I believe I'm getting good signal.

But, if I want to put a decent antenna in my attic is it worth doing and can you suggest a model?

I've looked at the Antennacraft ST2 ST3 & ST4. Radioshack sells the ST2 but the 3 or 4. No sense in buying something if it isn't really going to improve things. For that matter will putting this in the attic basically criple it? I'm just not going to put something on the roof. I'm thinking the ST3 would be good but would like to hear if I'm wasting my money because I want to put it in the attic.

Roveer
 

davenlr

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If *I* were going to put an antenna in an attic, I would use a Discone without the whip (unless you need low band), mounted to one of the cross pieces of wood going from one side of the house to the other...unless you have a metal roof. That should give you significantly better performance that the rubber duckie, and would not get in the way, or obtrusive in the attic. If you need low band, then the discone with the whip, or the ST2 would be good choices, as long as the ST2 will fit in the attic vertically without the elements being near any metal.
 

popnokick

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Roveer- You haven't specified what you listen to (frequency bands). Is it safe to assume because you referenced P25 that you primarily listen to 700-800 mHz... and maybe some VHF High Band that has P25? Or do you also listen to Civ and MilAir, VHF low, and UHF? If you listen to all of those things, then the ST-2 or other broadband scanner antenna will be best suited. But if your listening is more limited (e.g. 700-800 mHz) you'll be better off with an antenna intended for those freqs.
 

Roveer

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Your right, I neglected to tell everyone what I was monitoring.

Most of the time it's my P25 system on xxx

and my Fire dispatch conventional on 476.2875 which I believe is VHF (I actually took the time to go and look at the differences between the different bands).

My P25 is on 470 ish so that should also be VHF.

Roveer.
 

JamesO

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I got this one last month to put in my attic and it seems to work well.. Its well built and seems to work well at lower frequencies and does a little better at 800mhz..


DPD Productions - Scanner, Aviation, NOAA, Low-Band, 700 MHz Public Safety, Base & Mobile Radio Antennas for Commercial & Hobbyist Applications
I do not have this antenna, but I have looked at it and I really like the fact that the elements are not vertical. When set on an angle and the X pattern this antenna likely may help with multipath issues. But not sure how the antenna feed is phased so not sure if it really exhibits a true circularized polarity, but in any event the non vertical elements are likely to be a benefit.

I did a lot of experimentation with circular polarized antennas for land/mobile and although you take a 3 dB hit with circular polarization, by real world field data feedback, the 3 dB is typically not missed as the CP antenna really helps with all the multipath and you gain so much stability overall that the 3 dB is not really missed in most situations.
 

oracavon

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Your right, I neglected to tell everyone what I was monitoring.

Most of the time it's my P25 system on xxx

and my Fire dispatch conventional on 476.2875 which I believe is VHF (I actually took the time to go and look at the differences between the different bands).

My P25 is on 470 ish so that should also be VHF.

Roveer.
Those are actually UHF frequencies.

VHF Low Band 30-50 Mhz
VHF High Band 148-174 Mhz
UHF Band 450-470 Mhz
UHF-T Band 470-512 Mhz
 

oracavon

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I've looked at the Antennacraft ST2 ST3 & ST4. Radioshack sells the ST2 but the 3 or 4. No sense in buying something if it isn't really going to improve things. For that matter will putting this in the attic basically criple it? I'm just not going to put something on the roof. I'm thinking the ST3 would be good but would like to hear if I'm wasting my money because I want to put it in the attic.

Roveer
I read somewhere that a typical roof will absorb about 50% of the signal before it gets to an antenna in the attic. Of course, that's a general rule. It depends on what your roof is made of and how much side wall exposure your attic has. So you want a good antenna that will make the most of the available signal. If you're reasonably close to the transmitters, however, it may not matter much.

All my antennas in are in my attic, and I'm getting good reception from a significant part of the next county. So it's doable. However, I am using top-notch antennas and very low loss cable (LMR 400 from the attic to my amplified multiplexer and RG6 to the radios from there).

The ST2 is a very good antenna for the price, if it will fit in your attic (it's about 8 feet vertical). If you're in a good signal area, I'd say go with that and use RG6 cable. If it won't fit, then look for an antenna recommended by someone here who is getting good results on the frequencies you monitor (sounds like they're all UHF).

If you're in a difficult reception area and money is not a big problem, I can recommend the MP Antenna Super M Ultra Base Antenna 08ANT0861 (around $200). That's my best antenna - it's not too big, and it works great on VHF Low band, which most small antennas have a problem with. It doesn't sound like you need VHF coverage, but it also works very well on all the other bands. Supposedly it uses some type of multi-polarized thing to get the best reception out of weak and/or reflected signals - just the type environment you would have in an attic.

Bottom line - if you're listening to strong local stuff, any good antenna will do. Start with that and RG6 cable. If that doesn't do it for you, go with a better antenna and low-loss cable and you'll get good results.
 

pepsima1

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I am using an antenna-craft ST-2 in my attic and it works great. It works really nice on VHF-Lowband

Also, I am using an Electroline 4 port signal amplifier with RG-6 cabling. Works wonders. Pulls in signals from a distant.

Since I have an HOA I had to put it in the attic and I have a really small attic but I was still able to get it in the attic. I still have some tweaking to do with the antenna and I need to move it around still but it works great.
 

davenlr

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Looks from the design, that the MP Antenna is basically a discone, with extended elements to provide some reception of the opposite polarity. Interesting design. The gain ratings shown on their chart is a tad misleading. 2db over isotropic, which is basically no gain, vs 8 db mp....did they make that one up?

Discones, like that one linked above do good for scanners, because they cover a broad range, and have a very low angle of radiation on the horizon, which is probably more important for scanners than gain would be.
 

Roveer

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Those are actually UHF frequencies.

VHF Low Band 30-50 Mhz
VHF High Band 148-174 Mhz
UHF Band 450-470 Mhz
UHF-T Band 470-512 Mhz
Total brain Fart. I actually know it should have been UHF. Have no idea why I put VHF... Long day.

Roveer
 
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