Magnetic trunk mounted 246T antenna recommendation

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af5rn

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1. What bands/frequencies do you listen to and which is most important to you? Different antennae are appropriate for different bands.

2. What distance are you usually from the transmitters or systems you are listening to? If you live in a small town or rural county and don't listen to anything else, your needs are different from those who listen to large areas involving several counties.

3. What is the terrain around you? Lots of hills, mountains, or thickly wooded areas potentially blocking signals, or flat prairie land?

4. Do you care if the antenna is big and ugly? Will your wife kill you if you put anything ugly or longer than 12 inches on the car? Will it get hung up on your garage door if it is over 6 inches tall?

5. Is it going on the roof or on the trunk?

6. Are you sure you want a mag mount? They limit the antenna's performance and they scratch up your car. As well, they scream out to everybody who walks past, "Temporary installation! No special tools needed to steal this radio!"

7. Any chance you'll ever need the antenna to transmit with, like if you get a Ham licence?

8. Is money an object for you? Or are you after the very best, regardless of price? What is your price range ($20 to $150 dollars, give or take).

9. Are you too terrified of your credit card number being stolen to order online, meaning you are limited to whatever you can find at the local Radio Shack?

We should actually build this list of questions and post it as a sticky for everybody to read before they ask for antenna advice! :lol:

Sorry for my cynicism, but half the people who ask this question just argue with us when we try to give them advice.
 
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ka3jjz

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While I'd reword those questions (and tone) somewhat, a wiki article wouldn't be a bad idea....73 Mike
 

bernemannt

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Thank you for the advice regarding trunk mounted magnetic antennas. I was referrred to this bulletin board by Scanner Master. Maybe someday I will be as knowledgeable as the rest of the posters on here.
 

andy404ns

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Thank you for the advice regarding trunk mounted magnetic antennas. I was referrred to this bulletin board by Scanner Master. Maybe someday I will be as knowledgeable as the rest of the posters on here.
Well you need to tell us what you want to listen to, not what you want to listen with. the scanner doesnt really play a role in what type of antenna you need, other than telling us what bands you have the ability to listen to. So just tell us what you want to listen to, or, if you don't know yet, where you live, and we can help you out.

Oh and that was a well formulated list I thought. I didn't detect any cynicism or bad tones...

edit: oh and whatever you buy, don't buy it from scanner master
 

SLWilson

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Mag Mount...

Thank you for the advice regarding trunk mounted magnetic antennas. I was referrred to this bulletin board by Scanner Master. Maybe someday I will be as knowledgeable as the rest of the posters on here.
Mag mounts are fine. Don't let anyone scare you away!

But, there ARE a few considerations though. I had a 1981 Pontiac Grand Prix. I had a scanner and a CB mounted in it. I never wanted to drill any holes. So, I used mag mount antennas. They worked OK.

But, after a time, I began to notice that the metalic paint underneath the magnest was beginning to "fade" or something.

It eventually began to rust. (I'm talking after a few years though....)

Another thing to check....The car you are wanting to use a mag mount on, DOEST it have a metal trunk lid? Many, many of todays model cars DO NOT have metal hoods OR trunks. A mag mount is useless!!!!

I still carry a couple of NMO mag mounts in my truck. Even though I have drilled holes & bolted antennas on it, you never know when you just might need another one on short notice.

Not trying to scare you out of a mag mount, just trying to help.

Steve/KB8FAR :roll:
 

jon_k

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Mag mounts are fine. Don't let anyone scare you away!
Or don't let anyone steal 'em!

I honestly don't know how much truth there is to the performance -- but some antennas do work MUCH better with a ground plane. The antenna does have to be electrically connected to the "ground plane" you want in some fashion. It forms the other half of a dipole. I can see how with some antennas this will greatly increase performance. You wouldn't cut your dipole in half would you? That's what you're doing with a magmount with some antennas.

If it is at all possible in any way shape or form to connect the antenna physically in some fashion to form a proper ground plane, it should be encouraged always.

---

Mag mounts in my opinion are temporary things. They work great if you have a rental car or borrowing a relatives car for short-mid term. Also work well if you need to add an additional antenna to your vehicle for a short period.

Long term, as in years? If you keep your vehicle for YEARS the trade in value will plummet because of your millage more than an NMO mount could ever drop the value.

To avoid doing damage to my truck I am adding antennas to the side of my toolbox using the lid of the toolbox as a ground plane. They are secure, they have a ground plane, and they look good in that area. I may add a single NMO mount in the center of my truck at some point for the primary antenna, but I'm unsure at this point.
 

N1BHH

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Don't worry about grounding with a mag mount antenna. The mag mount inductively couples with the body/frame of the vehicle to create a ground. I have used mag mounts for many years with the only hassles being the connector inside the car becoming frayed over time. I don't worry about it, I just take it off and put a new connector on.
 

jon_k

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Don't worry about grounding with a mag mount antenna. The mag mount inductively couples with the body/frame of the vehicle to create a ground. I have used mag mounts for many years with the only hassles being the connector inside the car becoming frayed over time. I don't worry about it, I just take it off and put a new connector on.
I have another HAM friend who got me into this hobby actually who says the same thing. Magmounts everywhere on his jeep. He only has 1 antenna mounted via trunk lip clip.

I came here and af5rn and others were in threads with "GOTTA DO A MOUNT!" Per their advice, I did a real physical mount and have no regrets. I'm about to the point of being willing to cut a hole in my roof.

However, I can't say anyone has inductively coupled a dipole antenna. From what I understand when you have a ground plane, you have a balanced antenna, with the groundpoint being the other half of the antenna. This would mean you have twice as good as an antenna to work with. (Or in the case of a mag mount you could say you have 50% performance. I'm not sure which way I would explain that.)

I'd love some HAM who has been around 60 years to pipe in with some crazy physics explanation on the matter, but I don't know any to have them weigh in. Magmounts may work no worse than a proper mounted antenna. I don't know. However, I do like the security of a permanently mounted antenna, and it does look nicer on the vehicle.
 

senduhelp

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So, you're just going to toss that bomb out there without backing it up?

What specifically did you find irrelevant in my questions?

6. It is clear the person asking the question is interested in a mag mount from their question. No need to cast doubt and cause more in your words "arguements.

7. The question posed was asking about a scanner not a ham radio.

9. Don't see where asking about a credit card number is relevant. Just assist with your knowledge and let the person asking the question make their own decisions.

While I appreciate all of the help you have given me with selecting my mobile antenna, since you asked I did find these three questions a bit irrelevant. It sounded like bernemannt was a bit taken back by this response and I can understand that. One day those of us asking these questions may be providing the responses thanks to the knowledge we have gained from others. Never be afraid to share wisdom.
 

af5rn

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6. It is clear the person asking the question is interested in a mag mount from their question. No need to cast doubt and cause more in your words "arguements.
The guy already has doubts, or he wouldn't be asking for help. You don't think it is important for him to consider all the factors before dropping fifty bucks or more on an antenna? Lots of people think they are sold on a particular antenna or item until they get some more information. I don't see how by offering that information I am somehow offending him. If he thought he already had all the answers, he wouldn't be here.

7. The question posed was asking about a scanner not a ham radio.
Intelligent men always think ahead, and don't just live for the moment. I was taking into consideration that our OP might be an intelligent man. Again, I don't see how that would be insulting.

9. Don't see where asking about a credit card number is relevant. Just assist with your knowledge and let the person asking the question make their own decisions.
Because it would be a waste of our time to spend two pages discussing options for the guy, and then him come back and do what others have done here before, which is to blow us all off and say, "No, I just want something I can buy here locally". Why give the guy a bunch of recommendations he can't use?

Never be afraid to share wisdom.
My point exactly. But if we don't tailor our responses to his needs, it's not wisdom. It's just ratchet-jawing to boost your post count. I'd like to actually help the guy, not just post a lot of pointless chatter. By giving him some things to think about, hopefully I achieve that. But every single one of those questions come from someone before him shooting down our antenna recommendations based upon one of those factors, so they are definitely not irrelevant questions. If you think they are, you need to post less and read more.
 

senduhelp

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I don't believe your responses were insulting, I just feel they were overwelming considering the question that was posed. If there is concern with price that will be dealt with by the person asking for the help. Sometimes simple questions deserve simple answers and then go from there. We aren't here to provide financial planning assistance when picking out an antenna. Just provide the resources and he can make his own decision on purchasing or not. When someone, like myself, and new to picking out antennas for scanners sometimes the simplest answers that do not ask a bunch of additional questions are the most helpful. Not here to pick a fight just provide some insight.
 

af5rn

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The problem is, it was NOT a "simple question". If this question were simple, it would not always result in two pages of responses. He asked for recommendations. I recommend he consider all those factors I listed rather than just take some stranger's unqualified recommendation to "buy the rat shack maggie". You don't like my recommendations? Tough. It wasn't you that I was giving them to.
 

senduhelp

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The problem is, it was NOT a "simple question". If this question were simple, it would not always result in two pages of responses. He asked for recommendations. I recommend he consider all those factors I listed rather than just take some stranger's unqualified recommendation to "buy the rat shack maggie". You don't like my recommendations? Tough. It wasn't you that I was giving them to.
Thanks for understanding the way a "newbie" looks at this hobby. I wonder who you are referring to when you say "some strangers unqualified recommendations"? Nonetheless, I appreciate your knowledge even though you do not always appreciate the questions and others responses.
 

af5rn

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I wonder who you are referring to when you say "some strangers unqualified recommendations"?
Ah, sorry for the misunderstanding. I wasn't referring to anyone here. Certainly not you. It was just a general observation that many of the responses to this sort of question are nothing more than, "buy the rat shack maggie", and don't really qualify as the kind of advice that someone can use to make an intelligent and informed decision from. I dunno, maybe I just think more about my decisions than others, but if it were me asking for the advice, I'd want carefully considered and fully informed advice, so I was hoping to set that tone from the beginning. Again, sorry if I came across as less than sincere.
 
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