Low-Pro Vehicle Antenna

emsflyer84

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Mar 22, 2012
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Central NH
Hey all, I'm looking for a low-pro solution for my leased SUV, something I can install myself without drilling a hole in my roof. I know a roof mounted antenna is ideal, but I'm just looking to improve over the rubber duck antenna on my handheld scanner I keep in the car. Something I can just plug into the scanner when I want to use it. I thought about the through-glass window antennas but I hear they don't work well and are basically useless with VHF, which is basically all I listen to.

Any creative ideas out there are welcome. Thanks!
 

900mhz

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May 13, 2005
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Hamden CT
Hey all, I'm looking for a low-pro solution for my leased SUV, something I can install myself without drilling a hole in my roof. I know a roof mounted antenna is ideal, but I'm just looking to improve over the rubber duck antenna on my handheld scanner I keep in the car. Something I can just plug into the scanner when I want to use it. I thought about the through-glass window antennas but I hear they don't work well and are basically useless with VHF, which is basically all I listen to.

Any creative ideas out there are welcome. Thanks!
best bet is a 1/4 wave...best bang for the buck, especially if you encounter hilly terrain.
 

900mhz

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you could look for a dual band ( VHF-hi/UHF) antenna. I used one on a work vehicle for years utilizing a mag mount (it also covered 800 MHz as well). Don't skimp on a cheapo Amazon antenna. I got mine from a reputable dealer, and over 10 years later, it works like new. I retired and still use it on my beater vehicle (has a real 4 wheel drive transfer case).
 
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mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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From the land of sky blue waters!
Mostly VHF - high. A small amount of UHF.
NMO quarter wave with an NMO magnet mount right in the center of the SUV roof. No Tram/Browning, Chinese crap or hammy antennas. Get a name brand like Larsen, Laird, EMWave.

A 1/4 wave VHF will act as 3/4 wave on UHF. It works well, and it's inexpensive (even for the name brand stuff).

You could do a commercial dual band antenna (not to be confused with the ham radio dual band antennas) and it'll work well also, but cost more.

1/4 wave VHF EMWave antenna, $16.95:

Larsen VHF/UHF/800MHz antenna, will work well with your scanner. $39.95:

And get a good NMO magnetic mount:
PCTel/Maxrad NMO mag mount with 12 feet of cable and SMA connector installed. $29.95:

Pay careful attention on how you get the cable inside the vehicle. Damaging the coaxial cable will let water in and corrode the conductors. Don't buy cheap Chinese antennas or the knockoff stuff.

I've never had any issues doing permanent NMO mounts on leased vehicles. They don't care. When they get traded in, they go to a broker sight unseen. Put a rain cap over the NMO mount and call it done. Much better for the vehicle than scratches/paint damage from a mag mount.
 

cbehr91

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Jun 22, 2010
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I was going to make a thread about these, but this thread is perfect for sharing that there are two new COMPACtenna models: LMR-1 and GMRS-1. I no longer see the SCAN-III model in their eBay store. It appears the GMRS-1 is replacing it, and the LMR-1 is a new design since there was not a model designed for transmit across the whole VHF band. Either model would be a perfect low-profile scanner antenna for the popular bands. Lots of testing and other reviews on this site.

LMR-1: COMPACtenna "LMR-1" RADIO ANTENNA- BUSINESS-COMMERCIAL-SAFETY 2 WAY | eBay
GMRS-1: COMPACtenna GMRS-I Radio Antenna for MURS/ GMRS/ FRS Applications | eBay

The dual-and-tri-band hamster models appear to still be in production as well.
 
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