Mobile Antenna ScannerMaster

Salvatorejrc

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Jun 9, 2020
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Morris County, Nj
I am looking to buy a mobile antenna from scanner master for my sds100, and most of my area has VHF and low band UHF.
and
It seems that the cheaper one has a larger mHZ spectrum than the expensive one, is there a reason that I am missing on why the other one is much more expensive? Or is it just based on the quality of the product?
 

W9WSS

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I have them both. The “cheaper” one works just fine for scanning most bands. When I bought the “expensive” one I paid less than 1/2 of the posted price from a different vendor. The expensive one has warning stickers and a caveat in the instructions to remove it from the vehicle before going through the car wash. Although it seems pretty sturdy to me, I never took the chance and always removed it from my vehicle. Of course the magnetic antenna would be obliterated in the car wash; That’s a no brainer removing ALL magnetic antennas before entering a car wash.
 

Salvatorejrc

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Messages
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Morris County, Nj
I have them both. The “cheaper” one works just fine for scanning most bands. When I bought the “expensive” one I paid less than 1/2 of the posted price from a different vendor. The expensive one has warning stickers and a caveat in the instructions to remove it from the vehicle before going through the car wash. Although it seems pretty sturdy to me, I never took the chance and always removed it from my vehicle. Of course the magnetic antenna would be obliterated in the car wash; That’s a no brainer removing ALL magnetic antennas before entering a car wash.
So the price has nothing to do with scanning performance?
 

mmckenna

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So the price has nothing to do with scanning performance?
That Laird is designed for multiband transceivers. Way overkill for scanner use. And they are monsters.
There's a couple of better options based on your needs:
Larsen NMO-150-450-800 https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-800-1050
Larsen NMO-150-450-758 https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-758-8932
Or, if VHF and UHF is your only area of interest, this one would be a good option:

Larsen is a professional antenna company and I've owned some Larsen antennas for 30 years now. It'll likely outlast your car.
Laird is equally well respected.

It's easy to spend way too much on an antenna. But you do get what you pay for. The Laird you linked to in your original post is overkill and WAY overpriced.
You can also go too cheap. Some of the low buck scanner antennas are pretty crappy, and you can easily do better. Don't buy a $500+ scanner and hook it up to the cheapest $20 antenna you can find and expect it to work like a $500 scanner. Your antenna is the most important part of your system. I'd rather have a halfway decent receiver and a really good antenna than a really expensive radio hooked up to a cheap antenna.
 

Salvatorejrc

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Morris County, Nj
That Laird is designed for multiband transceivers. Way overkill for scanner use. And they are monsters.
There's a couple of better options based on your needs:
Larsen NMO-150-450-800 https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-800-1050
Larsen NMO-150-450-758 https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-758-8932
Or, if VHF and UHF is your only area of interest, this one would be a good option:

Larsen is a professional antenna company and I've owned some Larsen antennas for 30 years now. It'll likely outlast your car.
Laird is equally well respected.

It's easy to spend way too much on an antenna. But you do get what you pay for. The Laird you linked to in your original post is overkill and WAY overpriced.
You can also go too cheap. Some of the low buck scanner antennas are pretty crappy, and you can easily do better. Don't buy a $500+ scanner and hook it up to the cheapest $20 antenna you can find and expect it to work like a $500 scanner. Your antenna is the most important part of your system. I'd rather have a halfway decent receiver and a really good antenna than a really expensive radio hooked up to a cheap antenna.
Thanks you caught me right before I purchased a most-likely crap antenna
 

mmckenna

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Thanks you caught me right before I purchased a most-likely crap antenna
The spectrum force would have worked, and they seem to get good reviews from scanner owners. But they are a low cost basic scanner antenna and you can do better if your budget allows.
 

ke6ats

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FWIW, I have used an Austin Spectra for 15+ years. It cost me around $160 & I had to wait about 5 weeks for it to arrive (apparently the manufacturer was swamped with government contracts at the time). IF you want to spend that kind of money, I would highly recommend it. I have used it on 3 different vehicles with mag-mount and body mount configurations with no issues. Great reception on VHF-Lo up too 900 MHz. I have had no experience with the particular Laird & Larsen models mentioned above. Just my 2 cents.
 

mmckenna

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Would this, connected into the Larsen NMO 150/450/758, be able to connect my sds100 without an adapter?

Any one of the three antennas (EXCEPT THE TRAM! - cheap connectors) will work fine.
Or the adapter cable. Ideally you want to avoid using adapters if you can since they are a weak spot. They do introduce a negligible amount of loss, but it's best to avoid them if you don't need them.

Ideal situation would be to do an actual permanent mount dead center on the roof of your car, that'll give you ideal performance.
 

BushDoctor

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Dec 19, 2002
Messages
122
Location
Strasburg, Va
I am looking to buy a mobile antenna from scanner master for my sds100, and most of my area has VHF and low band UHF.
and
It seems that the cheaper one has a larger Mhz spectrum than the expensive one, is there a reason that I am missing on why the other one is much more expensive? Or is it just based on the quality of the product?
Way back in the 1950s to 1964 I used an automobile antenna to receive lowband extended fullu up that i tan to a metal box with a switch and connectors and it worked excellent for low band then when they started going high band in the mid 1960,s I used a 3 db gain antenna specialists antenna mounted on my right rear quarter panel just to the right of my trunk opening it worked well for highband maybe a little better then the fu;;y extended AM radio antenna but I tried running the high band Regency TM-H2 to my 2 meter motorola NMO 19 1/4 inches on the center of my roof and the 2 meter did just about as well as the 3db on the right rear quarter panel I think since 18 inches of the 3db gain antenna was shielded by my rear window and the antenna was only but now 4 crs later I find that with so many repeaters on high mountain tops here in virginia My PRO 96 works excellent just with the rubber duck and the PRO-96 sitting in the door armrest covering the whole state 7 divisions well as long as i am in the division I am monitoring. However my 450 pRO 84 I have on the shelf just behind the clock and time panel with a 6 inch antenna works well since it is just slightly above the bottom of my windshield and maybe 10 inches from it. As for listening to skip on lowband I use my 6 meter Motorola low band antenna length is just 56 inches on left rear outside wall of trunk just between rear bumper and gas filler sometimes i use an old CB mag mount but with skip my 6 meter one works well. When I worked for Motorola we gave these antennas away to hams and newsmen who wanted to listen to monitors so i am sure they still do since we no longer use any of these anymore
and when we do removals to upgrade customers we trash them as well as give radios away. All my antennas that I have were free from removing older radio equipment now just very few lowband users. I hope this helps u as well as other scanner users.
 

Salvatorejrc

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Jun 9, 2020
Messages
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Location
Morris County, Nj
That Laird is designed for multiband transceivers. Way overkill for scanner use. And they are monsters.
There's a couple of better options based on your needs:
Larsen NMO-150-450-800 https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-800-1050
Larsen NMO-150-450-758 https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-758-8932
Or, if VHF and UHF is your only area of interest, this one would be a good option:

Larsen is a professional antenna company and I've owned some Larsen antennas for 30 years now. It'll likely outlast your car.
Laird is equally well respected.

It's easy to spend way too much on an antenna. But you do get what you pay for. The Laird you linked to in your original post is overkill and WAY overpriced.
You can also go too cheap. Some of the low buck scanner antennas are pretty crappy, and you can easily do better. Don't buy a $500+ scanner and hook it up to the cheapest $20 antenna you can find and expect it to work like a $500 scanner. Your antenna is the most important part of your system. I'd rather have a halfway decent receiver and a really good antenna than a really expensive radio hooked up to a cheap antenna.
Is the only difference between the Larsen NMO's durablilty? And I know they both do vhf but they claim to start at 150mHz, is that to say that they can't receive as low as 40-105mHz?
 

mmckenna

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Is the only difference between the Larsen NMO's durablilty? And I know they both do vhf but they claim to start at 150mHz, is that to say that they can't receive as low as 40-105mHz?
They'll receive something in the 40-105MHz range, but not well. They are not resonate anywhere near there, and far too short to work on low band. But, if there is a strong enough signal nearby, it'll probably work. I'd not use it as a low band antenna, though.
 

Salvatorejrc

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Morris County, Nj
They'll receive something in the 40-105MHz range, but not well. They are not resonate anywhere near there, and far too short to work on low band. But, if there is a strong enough signal nearby, it'll probably work. I'd not use it as a low band antenna, though.
So it's basically the all in one besides that for most common frequencies
 

mmckenna

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So it's basically the all in one besides that for most common frequencies
Yeah.
Really, if you want low band, you'll do better with a low band specific antenna. Diplex them together and you'll have a good setup. There's just no way to jamb a low band antenna into a 20" whip.
 

Salvatorejrc

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Messages
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Location
Morris County, Nj
Yeah.
Really, if you want low band, you'll do better with a low band specific antenna. Diplex them together and you'll have a good setup. There's just no way to jamb a low band antenna into a 20" whip.
Why does the cheaper one ($39) claim to reach 940 mhz but the $50 dollar one claims to only reach 800 mhz?
 

Whiskey3JMC

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Does it absolutely have to be from Scanner Master? I recommend the Hustler MRM from HRO. Much more durable of an antenna than the SpectrumForce, only $2 more. Yes I realize it's terminated with a BNC connector so I use an SMA to BNC adapter with my SDS100 and it works like a charm
 

Bob1955

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Dec 20, 2016
Messages
647
Location
Eastchester, NY
I am looking to buy a mobile antenna from scanner master for my sds100, and most of my area has VHF and low band UHF.
and
It seems that the cheaper one has a larger mHZ spectrum than the expensive one, is there a reason that I am missing on why the other one is much more expensive? Or is it just based on the quality of the product?
That first one is way over-priced at $159.95 so your best bet is a Hustler Magnetic Mount with BNC but I think it is also available with a SMA connector. It is great on low band, high band, and UHF. The 2nd antenna that looks like a cell antenna has repots of NOT doing well on VHF-hi band. Yes, it is true to spend more money on a SpectumForce looks junk and reported to NOT be good on VHF hi band and it is $19.95
 
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