Looking for Antenna Advice

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gfdfortynine

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I've been monitoring my fire frequency, 154.430 MHz for years with a Radio Shack Pro-2040 scanner with the on board antenna. It has served me well but a lot of the portable traffic isn't being received. I've recently started hosting the feed and would like to make it better. I am assuming height will fix things up. I guess my choices are something mounted in the attic or the better solution a roof top unit. The area I'm trying to cover is small, about 5 sq km. I have been looking at the Antennacraft ST2 and ST3. It looks like either would probably do the job. The ST3 looks to flimsy to put on roof but might be ok in the attic. The ST2 looks a little big for what I'm trying to accomplish.
What other options are out there?
I'm also wondering where do most Canadians buy scanner antennas etc. from?

Thanks
 

LtDoc

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If 154.430 MHz is the only frequency you intend to use this antenna for, why not make that antenna resonant at that frequency? That, along with some additional height would certainly do better than a typical 'scanner' antenna not optimized for that frequency.
If that isn't the only frequency you intend to use that antenna for, then a 'scanner' antenna, one not optimized for just one frequency, would probably suit your needs better.
And as you probably know, an antenna outdoors will work better than the same antenna in an attic. I'd take that outdoor antenna over an indoor one anytime.
Now it's up to you...
- 'Doc
 

LordJ

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Take a run over the the 'Burg or Watertown and pick up one of these Throw it as high up as you can get it with some quality coax..Had one up outside for years with no worries about it getting damaged.
 

LesWurk

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no antenna is to good for any setup.

If you must buy Canadian

mlhttp://www.durhamradio.com/base-antennas.ht

The antenna patter however will be more circular than square.
 

n5ims

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Jul 25, 2004
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I've been monitoring my fire frequency, 154.430 MHz for years with a Radio Shack Pro-2040 scanner with the on board antenna. It has served me well but a lot of the portable traffic isn't being received. I've recently started hosting the feed and would like to make it better. I am assuming height will fix things up. I guess my choices are something mounted in the attic or the better solution a roof top unit. The area I'm trying to cover is small, about 5 sq km. I have been looking at the Antennacraft ST2 and ST3. It looks like either would probably do the job. The ST3 looks to flimsy to put on roof but might be ok in the attic. The ST2 looks a little big for what I'm trying to accomplish.
What other options are out there?
I'm also wondering where do most Canadians buy scanner antennas etc. from?

Thanks
Get a high gain 2 meter ham vertical (an omni-direction one, not a beam) which should give you very good results on the 15x MHz frequency band. It'll work better than any wide-band scanner antenna since it's optimized for the VHF-Hi band and doesn't have to compromize performance on that band to allow it to have coverage on the other bands popular for scanner use. Please note that if you don't find a single band 2 meter antenna you like, a good dual band 2 meters / 70 cm antenna (144 / 450 MHz) will work fine as well, and will also give you good coverage on the UHF band if you need it.
 

gfdfortynine

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Eastern, Ontario
Get a high gain 2 meter ham vertical (an omni-direction one, not a beam) which should give you very good results on the 15x MHz frequency band. It'll work better than any wide-band scanner antenna since it's optimized for the VHF-Hi band and doesn't have to compromize performance on that band to allow it to have coverage on the other bands popular for scanner use. Please note that if you don't find a single band 2 meter antenna you like, a good dual band 2 meters / 70 cm antenna (144 / 450 MHz) will work fine as well, and will also give you good coverage on the UHF band if you need it.
thanks
 

gfdfortynine

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Eastern, Ontario
Take a run over the the 'Burg or Watertown and pick up one of these Throw it as high up as you can get it with some quality coax..Had one up outside for years with no worries about it getting damaged.
if my wife finds out I'm headin to Watertown, i will mean a whole day at the mall -_-
 

n5ims

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so would something like this work

JTB2B Dual Band Base Omni Base Antenna Canada

Also the county along with my town is planning a switch to P25 in a couple years, what frequency range would that be? Just trying to think ahead to an antenna which could be used for that as well.

Thanks
That antenna should work OK.

P-25 can be used on nearly any frequency range so it's pretty hard to tell what they'll end up doing without some "inside" information. Please note that you'll need a digital scanner to pick up a P-25 transmission (and even that won't work if they encrypt their transmissions).

They may simply change from their current mode (probably standard analog) to P-25 digital without changing frequencies at all. This is often the easiest way to migrate since P-25 radios can be programmed to use either analog (for use prior to the switch over) as well as P-25 digital (for use after the switch over). It could also be that they move from their old system to a totally new system on a new band. It all depends on what the agency wants to accomplish, how much money they want to spend, and what the sales folks can talk them into.

You might want to check the RR database to see if they have any info on the change. There are times that folks submit reports of new systems well in advance of when they go live so others can help track their progress and possibly discover details (like talkgroups for trunking systems) so folks can be ready for the migration.
 

gfdfortynine

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Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
286
Location
Eastern, Ontario
That antenna should work OK.

P-25 can be used on nearly any frequency range so it's pretty hard to tell what they'll end up doing without some "inside" information. Please note that you'll need a digital scanner to pick up a P-25 transmission (and even that won't work if they encrypt their transmissions).

They may simply change from their current mode (probably standard analog) to P-25 digital without changing frequencies at all. This is often the easiest way to migrate since P-25 radios can be programmed to use either analog (for use prior to the switch over) as well as P-25 digital (for use after the switch over). It could also be that they move from their old system to a totally new system on a new band. It all depends on what the agency wants to accomplish, how much money they want to spend, and what the sales folks can talk them into.

You might want to check the RR database to see if they have any info on the change. There are times that folks submit reports of new systems well in advance of when they go live so others can help track their progress and possibly discover details (like talkgroups for trunking systems) so folks can be ready for the migration.
Ok thanks, I'm on the inside so I will be able to get the info easy. P25 migration was mentioned last night at training so it got me thinking about it. As far as I know nothing has been decided other than it will be in 2015. I guess I will have to keep my ears open :D
 
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