Mobile Antenna

jasoyeom

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I'm looking for a good mobile antenna for my mini-van. I had an antenna coupler that split the feed from the am/fm antenna to the radio and a scanner but I can't seem to find it. I'm looking for something inexpensive but also works well. I've seen these ones on Amazon: Scanner Mobile Antenna with BNC Type Connector,High gain 4" 3dB Wideband Scanner Mobile Antenna Radio Scanner Antenna high Strength and Durability: Amazon.ca: Electronics

I don't think it would be too great for a rural area but I could be wrong. I can't use a mag mount because of the height of the van doesn't leave much room for the garage door. I'm located in Canada.

I had a window mounted antenna but it fell off the window after awhile.

Thanks.
 

cpfinlay

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I know you stated inexpensive, but wanted to give you an option you may find worth the extra $$.

When I had a mini-van, I used a couple of Diamond K9000 motorized mounts. One had a NR770HBNMO 2m/70cm ham radio antenna and the other had an Antennex tri-band scanner antenna (on the far side in the below picture). This allowed me to have them up high, but push a button on the dashboard to lower them as needed for garage parking, etc. It was not cheap, but that setup worked VERY well for me for the 12 years I had the van. Something to consider....


88989
 

sflmonitor

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I had a similar issue with my van. I decided to install a VHF 1/4 wave on the inside of the rear side window. It works surprisingly well and I never worry hitting the garage or other low structures. 95F3291A-0A23-4F18-BDC6-0A7FB15F3D50.jpeg
 

W9WSS

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Typical installation of unmarked government vehicles. We had them mounted inside the rear window draping the inside of the glass. No serious coverage issues on VHF or on our 800 MHz conventional repeater(s).

Sti-Co makes excellent undercover/disguised antennas but at a serious price. I believe we spent over $1000 for two Sti-Co undercover antennas with combiners on one of our undercover vehicles.
 

trentbob

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So my recommendation for the o p would be the Larsen tri-band antenna. You'll see it mentioned here a lot and I've used one for decades.

It's an NMO mount. It's a good performer. They just came out with a new model last year with a spring and a sturdier mount but it's the same exact antenna. I converted over to that one. You could still get them though without the spring for about 30 bucks.

The in NMO mount and coax will be more but you're really not going to get cheaper than that for a good overall performer. I personally don't prefer a magnet Mount or lip mount and for best results you should really drill a hole.

That would be my recommendation, it's a winner.
 

sflmonitor

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Typical installation of unmarked government vehicles. We had them mounted inside the rear window draping the inside of the glass. No serious coverage issues on VHF or on our 800 MHz conventional repeater(s).

Sti-Co makes excellent undercover/disguised antennas but at a serious price. I believe we spent over $1000 for two Sti-Co undercover antennas with combiners on one of our undercover vehicles.
yep, that’s where I got the idea from, specifically the Sti-co Rear Deck antenna. But at $300+ each, I decided to fashion one with supplies that I had on hand. Of course I don’t transmit but reception is pretty good.
 

KK4JUG

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If it's for a scanner, you don't need to spend the big bucks. It will be receive only and placement is not nearly as important as it would be for a transmitter.
 

jasoyeom

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I'm located in a small town with systems around me some 15 mins away some 40 mins away. As long as it picks up better than having the handheld antenna would be ideal. The window mount I bought at Radio Shack years ago when I was in the US but I transferred it to my current vehicle and I guess the double-sided super tape I bought either let go or someone just ripped it off my window. It was an external antenna that looked like a mobile cell antenna. It didn't work too bad.

I have a small mag mount that is similar but the magnet is very weak and I can't drive the speed limit with it falling off. I guess I could buy some flat super magnets and mount it on top of my roof.
 

cpfinlay

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There are good magnetic mounts out there.... Are all of the systems on 800mhz? If so, a proper quarterwave on a mag mount (or even better, a hole) will not topple in high wind or get in the way of parking. I would recommend not using use cell phone antennas. They just won't perform as well as a purpose-made antenna tuned to the band(s) you want to monitor.

I'd also recommend that you find a way to mount it on top of the vehicle with a tilting mechanism either in the mount or the antenna. While it may not matter for the close-in systems, it will make a big difference on the more distant systems.
 

W9WSS

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Just for your info, don't be too disappointed in the performance of this "transit-style" antenna. I discovered that they work just a little worse than a typical 1/4 wave whip tuned to the frequency you wish to monitor. We had them on a few of our vehicles and reverted back to 1/4 wave whips then they worked just fine liked they did in our previous vehicles. Just be aware of less than superior performance.
 

jasoyeom

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I'm second guessing a window mount. I could get a mag mount and mount it on my hood of my van or use a trunk mount on the lip of the hood instead. Probably be better than a windows mount? There are so many to choose from and I'm currently looking at Radioworld.ca since they are in Canada.
 

hill

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The text in the sales website says 30-1200 Mhz, but the if you look at the antenna on the base it shows only shows to 470 Mhz. This low profile antenna won't do much on low band. Going forward I wouldn't spend any money on this type of antenna.

Since I just want to improve my 700-800 Mhz reception I have ordered a quarter wave antenna for this band and it's only around 3.5" didn't go with a muti-band antenna, since all public safety in my area are in these bands.
 
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