Is there anyway to optimize increase signal for marine?

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redrum2489

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I'm looking for suggestions on how to increase my reception so I can listen to VHF marine radio during my Florida break. I'm 20 and not quite up to speed on all the features on my pro-106. Has anyone found a way to receive Marine radio with one of these? I've tried to use the search button feature but it scans without getting any hits. Could someone recommend a better antenna or feature that so I can listen in?

Thanks! =)
 

ka3jjz

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The first thing to look at is a better antenna - there are duckies that are resonant in various bands that should be very helpful, such as those from Diamond (Universal Radio has several of these - see our scanner antennas wiki for the links).

Of course you've checked to make sure you haven't got the attenuator on, right? Just checkin' LOL

Most duckies that come with handhelds are worse than wet noodles when it comes to VHF reception. Very lossy and inefficient.

However this comes with a caveat. The GRE/RS radios are well known to be prone to desense/overload issues in the VHF bands. Essentially what happens here is that the front end gets swamped with too much signal, and the scanner appears to be dead.

The most obvious possibility here is that you're simply too far away. Ask a few folks in our Florida forum for marine freqs known to be active in your area - concentrate on those first.

73 Mike
 
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redrum2489

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OK, thanks for your help. I'm going to order a Diamond RH77CA Amateur HT Antenna I should really enjoy it anyway. Hope they ship fast. Anyway thank you so much for the help and maybe I'll pick up the Marine VHF and get some more hits. I got some with the stock ant but not nearly as much as my uncles marine specific radio.
 

bgkoe

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Marine reception

I'm a mile from the water, on a hill that is 310 feet above sea level. I use the RS 8 foot marine whip antenna indoors mounted on an 18 inch stool. I get great reception, even ship to ship.
On busy saturdays the CG keeps busy aiding the weekend skippers; interesting stuff!

Bill K.
 

ka3jjz

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Without getting too technical here, a marine radio and antenna are both optimal for their service because they're built and designed for it. A typical handheld scanner is not - it's simply designed as a broadbanded device. You probably won't get quite as good reception on a handheld and extended duckie, but it should be better, assuming you are reasonably close to a major body of water. The further inland you are, the harder it is to hear, without giving the antenna some height....as long as it's clear of obstructions, you should have a shot at it. 73 Mike
 

RadioDaze

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One thing to keep in mind is that many boaters simply use HTs rather than fixed marine radios with larger antennas. So a scanner might have a hard time picking up some of the transmissions, even when close to a crowded marina. Having some elevation, like bgkoe does, is a big help. Also an antenna optimized for VHF, such as this one EB602 VHF Helical Antenna might be helpful to bring along.
 

bgkoe

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Re: Marine freqs.

I use the RS marine antenna, it's an 8 foot whip mounted as high as possible, it does a good job. The ship and fishing boat transmissions are not really strong, the Coast Guard transmissions are strong and they're repeated (I think) from antennas on several hills near the ocean.

Bill K.
 

Billknn

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I purchased a marine band rubber duck for my 2M handheld with a wideband recvr (and xmtr) and not surprisingly - it worked great. It wasn't particularly expensive - just make sure it's the right mount, i.e. SMA vs BNC for example. Having said all that, the stock scanner duck ought to be adequate for casual listening while on vacation.
 
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