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Low band base scanner antenna

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randytn

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I am looking for a good low band base antenna for my BC780XLT. My main interest is the 42 Mhz band, and 155 Mhz. bands. I have been looking at the Scantenna. Does this antenna provide good reception on the low band, or do I need to look for something else. Any ideas will be appreciated.

Randy
 

timmer

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The scantenna is excellent for vhf hi band and so-so for low band. An excellent low band antenna is actually a cb antenna, an Antron 99. As for an antenna that would perform well on both bands that you mentioned, I'm not sure. Maybe one of the older antenna specialist antennas like the monr 31, although I don't know if it's made any more. There is a modification that can be done to the scantenna that lengthens the main vertical element to increase the low band performance, but I am not a "mod" expert. I generally like to buy and mount, but maybe someone else on the board might be able to help you with that.
 

OpSec

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You can kill two birds with one antenna if you have the room:

Purchase a Larsen NMO150 VHF 5/8w with the ground radial "base station" kit. Even though it's a mobile antenna, the set up works pretty good and the NMO150 covers lowband very well as it's a 1/4w at those frequencies right out of the box.
 
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K0ATC

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Any multi band ham antenna that covers 6 meters and 2 meters would work well also. The CB antenna is a good idea as it is cheap. Any mag mount for moble use needs radials as stateboy said, or a metal surface to place it on. I have used mobles stuck to large metal cans or coffie cans, this works well. I owned the scantenna, it was so so on the low band, could have been better, did well on vhf up to about a gig.
 

DaveH

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Back when Ontario (OPP) was on 42MHz, I got great results from a cheap
CB (27MHz) quarter-wave groundplane antenna, which was made of
aluminum tubing. It worked OK uncut but you can cut these down to higher
frequencies. I now use an old commercial sleeve dipole, which ironically
came from the service which is no longer on lowband.

Regarding the Larsen LM/LA/NMO150, my impression it would work better
towards the high end of the 30-50MHz band (since hams use it in the 50-54
band); as well as VHF high. It may work OK at 42MHz. On the other hand, a
coil/whip combo for 42MHz should conversely work OK at 3x the frequency,
although this is low for 155MHz. Since many agencies have left lowband,
you can probably find these surplus for a good price; ham radio fleamarkets
are one good source, although you might have to attend several to find what
you want (it being a hit/miss situation).

Dave
 

OutPost

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Glad to see others that are serious about the Low FM band. Here in West Tennessee, the Low FM band is very important, since THP operates on several frequencies around 42mhz and 45mhz. The following is what I discovered through trial and error......

I agree that the "Scantenna is so so." It works great for VHF/UHF though, and looks great...hangn' off the side of my tower.

What I am using for Low FM is a good Wilson magnetic CB antenna for one radio, and a homemade dipole I was using for HF. It is 45 feet on each side, horizontal and I can hear Nashville THP 100 miles away. The other scanner is using a Saturn B-100 CB antenna that sits at the top of the tower, next to the Scantenna. Above that, a Starduster. The B-100 works very well for Low FM and I noticed that I can hear THP on one radio (same freq) and not the other. All three scanners have their own mind, I guess....maybe because of repeater locations in West Tennessee, but the best is the homemade dipole, using 14 guage copper wire, strung across from tree to tree.

The next best is with the Workman (Saturn) B-100 that does not require a groundplane. It works better for me as a Low FM antenna than when it was used for the CB. The standard Wilson magnetic whip is OK, but the other two are great.

Dave Bertrand
 

intrepid97

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A guy could also trim a 102-108 inch CB whip down to the correct length to match the 42mhz range as well with very good results. :)
 

randytn

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intrepid97

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Mount the whip on a steel plate,buy a three holed mount like you would for a vehicle and it would hold up to almost anything you could thow at it.
 

gcgrotz

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intrepid97 said:
A guy could also trim a 102-108 inch CB whip down to the correct length to match the 42mhz range as well with very good results. :)
I have one of these on my truck bumper right now and it works great. I cut it for 48 MHz, it works on 6m ham band and fire on 46MHz (before they went 800). Power company uses 48 MHz around here. I also use it with my FT100 and a tuner on 20m and it is ok but not great. Also picks up shortwave pretty good driving around.

You might call a local 2-way shop and see if they have a used antenna cheap. Lots of Larsen and A/S coil/whip antennas in that range collecting dust in the corner in most shops. Put it on a file cabinet, or get the radial kit and put it up on a pole (better).
 

gcgrotz

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P.S.

a loaded CB whip is a fairly narrow band tuned circuit, don't know how well it would work at almost half its design freq. I had a friend with one, he took it apart and shorted out the coil and it worked well on low band, he was a fire volunteer.
 

prcguy

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I was going to recommend a surplus military VHF low band Discone that was recently sold cheap at an online camping store. The store ran out but someone has one Epay right now, see item # 290005209200. You would be hard pressed to find a better antenna that covers the entire 30-50MHz band and more without getting a current tactical military antenna, which would cost a lot more than these older Discones. I have a US version and it works about like a full size ¼ wave ground plane at all the intended frequencies. Looks very impressive also.
prcguy
 

intrepid97

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I still say go with the whip as it is easier than heck to trim it to the frequency range you want to monitor and it is pretty cheap to boot.
 
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