is this Austin Spectra antenna a good one for a bcd996xt?

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popnokick

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If you're looking for a fixed base antenna (home use, not mobile), then you might want to consider the Antennacraft ST-2 which has a pretty stellar rep here on RR. Mobile OTOH is a whole different story: Strong both pro and con reports here on RR for the Spectra.... use Search. Very popular mobile scanning antenna is the Larsen 150/450/800 tri-band scanner antenna. Very good reports.... not spec'd for VHF lowband, but not totally deaf there either.
 

AronDouglas

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For a base station, I would look to the ST-2 or something else. But for a mobile I would highly suggest the Spectra. But thats my opinion.

The Spectra is a great antenna all the way around. I can monitor the 800 range (on a good day) 35 miles away, and thats over flat ground, at sea level through DENSE pine forest with the antenna on top of a truck. If I put the thing on a short tower or on top of a 2 story building I bet I could reach out much further.

The 150-400 is where I think the antenna shines, but it does well on all bands. I sometimes turn the squelch up (to block out the extra trash) and listen to the CB guys just to see whats going on. I wouldn't use the Spectra as my primary Ham/CB antenna, but it is most certainly the go to antenna for everything else. I have heard great reports about the Larson and some Diamond antennas though if you dont want to bite the price bullet.
 

teufler

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I will chime in on the Spectra also. I have had the Spectra maybe 15 years. No rust, no corrosion, other than the coils have faded some due to sun light, still works good. Pretty pricey for a mobile antenna though a few public serive departments have them too. Probably the chief or the Sheriff. I have tried others over the years. Have had Antenna Specialists, Radio Shack, and some others but all eventually broke . Car washes, hit birds on the highway, or they just rusted and need to be replasced. The Spretra was the only antenna that I coul find that had a tuneable tip for low band. As a base antenna, I would go with a discone. But mobile, Sprectra had stood the test of 450,000 miles on the road,
 

AronDouglas

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To throw a wrench into your decision process, looks up the Antenna Specialist MON- 52. While they are a discontinued antenna, you can find one every now and again on Ebay. Or just ask on the forums, I'm sure there is one lying around. I would rank the MON-52 up with the Spectra (just through the reading I've done). Since I already have a Spectra, my next scanner/antenna combo will be with a MON-52.
 

mrkelso

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I am thinking of buying the Antenna

Austin Antenna Spectra Multiband Mobile/Base Scanner Antenna

and was wondering what you guys think!! I will be monitoring UHF VHF and 800 megahertz radio systems
I don't do a whole lot of VHF LOWLAND listening occasionally I might listen to CBrs

is this the antenna to get or is there something better ???
I have the Spectra on My 2003 F-150 and Have been loving it for several years now. I have two in the house and they work Great.
 

LIScanner101

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To throw a wrench into your decision process, looks up the Antenna Specialist MON- 52. While they are a discontinued antenna, you can find one every now and again on Ebay. Or just ask on the forums, I'm sure there is one lying around. I would rank the MON-52 up with the Spectra (just through the reading I've done). Since I already have a Spectra, my next scanner/antenna combo will be with a MON-52.
I've bought quite a few MON-Series antennas last few years. Worth their weight in gold - for now. I think their claim to fame is their excellent VHF low band coverage. As that band goes by the wayside the overall worth of these antennas will decline.
 

RRR

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Just be careful with the very cheap and flimsy "spring" center connector (non-springy piece of thin bent tin) on the Spectra. If you break it, which is very easy to do, the antenna is useless.

Also, be careful if it bends too much at the spring base, such as going through a drive thru or hitting an occasional branch or something. The spring base is made of a piece of rather tight coax with a spring around it, if it bends too much, the coax will pull out of the connection, again rendering it useless.

You won't really be aware of either happening until you stop receiving anything.

Pity really, because it is such a great antenna, with such major, yet easily correctable design weaknesses.
 

tglendye

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I liked it, but it's UGLY :). On VHF-hi, uhf and 800 I did not notice any significant improvements at all. VHF-low however, there was a great improvement. I tuned it for pretty much the center of the band (39 mhz) and was real impressed with what it was able to do.
 

awattam

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Thank you all for your feedback/ recommendations!! I'm going to look up that Larson tri band antenna and decide between the two
I recently consigned my Spectra because it was just too tall for my needs and bought a Larsen Tri-band instead. The tri-bander has a much lower profile antenna and costs 1/4 the price of a Spectra.
 

AronDouglas

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I recently consigned my Spectra because it was just too tall for my needs and bought a Larsen Tri-band instead. The tri-bander has a much lower profile antenna and costs 1/4 the price of a Spectra.
When I was shopping for antennas I was at first concerned about high. But I soon got over that and didn't mind how tall it would end up being. Then I got my Spectra and was kinda disappointing in its length. I was hoping for an impressively long whip (never took out a tape measure to see how long 33 inches was). The FM stereo antenna on my truck is 32" and I dont find that length offensively long, most car antennas are 30-some-odd inches long. I figured worst case was if someone didn't like its length on their car they could angle it back at a 22 degree angle of something to make it look "sporting" (yes I know it should be mounted strait up).Thats my 2 cents
 

scannermanner1

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To throw a wrench into your decision process, looks up the Antenna Specialist MON- 52. While they are a discontinued antenna, you can find one every now and again on Ebay. Or just ask on the forums, I'm sure there is one lying around. I would rank the MON-52 up with the Spectra (just through the reading I've done). Since I already have a Spectra, my next scanner/antenna combo will be with a MON-52.
Thanks I'll see if I can find one BEFORE I order the Larson tri bander !
 

jdobbs2001

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I bought a Sirio 300-3000 Discone. I have it up and it works nice, built like a commercial antenna. for 100 bucks. Nice thing about it is small.
 
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