looking for good yagi or omni-directional

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hello RR i'm looking for a good omni-directional or yagi antenna. i have a whistler 1040 digital trunking hand-held scanner and i'm hoping to find a good antenna to boost my range.

below is the image of the valley i live in, the san gabriel valley. i live in the area marked with a "circle" and the X's are areas i can pick up on my scanner. as you can see i wrote the number of miles away near each X.

Now I'm hoping I could pick up areas marked with the "triangle". i wrote down what the rough distance is between each of those areas. can anybody recommend an antenna that is very wide band (400-1000 mhz). only receiving no transmitting.

also, i'll be up in my 40 foot high tree. please don't tell me this is unnecessary or ill-advised (i already get enough of it from my wife). i do it because sometimes i can see the police chases and helicopters on clear nights. i plan on putting whatever antenna i buy up there with me in the tree as well.

in summary:
1) can anybody recommend an antenna that goes to 50 miles in distance?
2) does being 40 feet high up in a tree help receive antenna strength?

how's this thing for starters?
D130NJ Diamond Super Discone Antenna | Scanner Master

like i said i'll take either a yagi or omni-directional antenna but i'll really take anything as long as its near or under $100. thanks in advance for your thoughts- you guys on this website help an old guy like myself have a lot of fun
 

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jonwienke

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Several things:

A yagi antenna is highly directional. It only picks up signals in one direction. It is the opposite of what you need of you want an omnidirectional antenna.

Mounting an antenna in a tree is a bad idea. Lightning may not be common in your area, but it's not practical to properly ground an antenna mounted to a tree. Also, as the tree grows, it will disturb your mount as the tree limb increases in size. You'll have to adjust the mount every year or two or it may shear the mounting bolts as the branch grows inside the U-bolt or clamp or whatever. The tree will also block your signal to some degree. Not much at HF and VHF frequencies, but at UHF and higher, signal loss may be significant.

As to antenna height, the higher, the better, at least until you've achieved a clear line of sight between the antenna and the transmitting radio.

A discone antenna might work OK. The key is getting it high enough so that there is a clear line of sight between the antenna and the area you want to receive, and connecting good-quality coax between the antenna and the scanner.
 

prcguy

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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
There are mountain ranges between you and many of the areas you want to receive. Unless those systems are transmitting from very high mountain top sites its unlikely you will ever get them. I live near one of the triangle areas and I can't remember when I've picked up a signal on any band but HF from the San Gabriel Valley that was not on a mountain top.
prcguy

hello RR i'm looking for a good omni-directional or yagi antenna. i have a whistler 1040 digital trunking hand-held scanner and i'm hoping to find a good antenna to boost my range.

below is the image of the valley i live in, the san gabriel valley. i live in the area marked with a "circle" and the X's are areas i can pick up on my scanner. as you can see i wrote the number of miles away near each X.

Now I'm hoping I could pick up areas marked with the "triangle". i wrote down what the rough distance is between each of those areas. can anybody recommend an antenna that is very wide band (400-1000 mhz). only receiving no transmitting.

also, i'll be up in my 40 foot high tree. please don't tell me this is unnecessary or ill-advised (i already get enough of it from my wife). i do it because sometimes i can see the police chases and helicopters on clear nights. i plan on putting whatever antenna i buy up there with me in the tree as well.

in summary:
1) can anybody recommend an antenna that goes to 50 miles in distance?
2) does being 40 feet high up in a tree help receive antenna strength?

how's this thing for starters?
D130NJ Diamond Super Discone Antenna | Scanner Master

like i said i'll take either a yagi or omni-directional antenna but i'll really take anything as long as its near or under $100. thanks in advance for your thoughts- you guys on this website help an old guy like myself have a lot of fun
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
9
Several things:

A yagi antenna is highly directional. It only picks up signals in one direction. It is the opposite of what you need of you want an omnidirectional antenna.

Mounting an antenna in a tree is a bad idea. Lightning may not be common in your area, but it's not practical to properly ground an antenna mounted to a tree. Also, as the tree grows, it will disturb your mount as the tree limb increases in size. You'll have to adjust the mount every year or two or it may shear the mounting bolts as the branch grows inside the U-bolt or clamp or whatever. The tree will also block your signal to some degree. Not much at HF and VHF frequencies, but at UHF and higher, signal loss may be significant.

As to antenna height, the higher, the better, at least until you've achieved a clear line of sight between the antenna and the transmitting radio.

A discone antenna might work OK. The key is getting it high enough so that there is a clear line of sight between the antenna and the area you want to receive, and connecting good-quality coax between the antenna and the scanner.

thank you for the response. i have another question. if i get this

Laird FG8246 Omni Base Antenna | Scanner Master

antenna will it still go to the 400 frequencies? this thing advertises in a narrow 800 range but does it mean it cannot absolutely pick up any other frequencies at all? im new to this scanner stuff so i have to ask the basics
 

jonwienke

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12,016
Location
VA
Extremely poorly. Get an antenna designed for wideband reception if you plan on connecting it to a scanner. As a general rule, antennas will work to some degree at a multiples of the designed frequency range (2x, 3x, etc.), but the farther the frequency is from the designed range the worse performance will be. The reverse, however is generally not true. An antenna tuned for 100MHz will work to some extent at 200, 300, and 400MHz, but not at 50 or 25MHz.

And +1 on what prcguy said. If there is a mountain range between you and an area, forget about receiving anything from the other side of the mountains. The only way you'd get anything is from a repeater on a mountaintop in-between.
 

Ubbe

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Stockholm, Sweden
I recommend usig this tool: RF Line of Sight - SCADACore
If you do not know the exact location or hight of the transmitter towers then I'm sure that the guys here at RR can instruct you how to get that information.

You seem to be surrounded by mountains and there is little chance of receiving those distant places.

/Ubbe
 

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cmdrwill

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I see he is up in one of the RF Sinkholes in LA County...

What system is he trying to listen too? " 'm looking at the 400-520mhz range because i listen to a lot of public safety channels. ", then you would need a wide band UHF antenna that would cover 460 - 510, for most P S around you.

The discones do not work well there.
 
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