Mobile Scanner antenna & mount Loc. Q

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jassing

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My old scanner used a RS antenna with two loads (about 1/3 and 1/2 up) but this was from 15-20 years ago...

I also have a comtelco antenna, but it's limit is 800mhz.

Any suggestions on a mobile scanner antenna? Or should I just run with one I already have...?

Lastly, I'm installing this in a pickup truck. Mounting "top center" is impractical due to a couple of factors (one being I'd be too tall for parking structures and some business areas; the other is a roof rack)

That being said; Imagine sitting in the drivers seat, over your left shoulder, about 2" higher -- would that be an "ok" spot to mount the scanner antenna -- about the same height, but on passenger side is a cb antenna... or are the scanner antennas more picky about location for a good ground plane?
thanks

-josh
 

jassing

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Magmount isn't an option -- I can't stick it on the roof.... (there's a roof rack)
the only other options I have would be the hood, mirrors, or side of truck (ie: outside of bed or fender wells)
Mounting it on the back of the cab would yield a better height, but it wouldn't be center lined...
 

Rt169Radio

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Do you have a toolbox in the back of your truck? If you did you could drill a antenna into it or you could put a mag-mount antenna on top of it.Or how about on the left side of the front hood?
 

jassing

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I do.. it has the hinge against the cab; so it opens the wrong direction to allow a fix mount there....
And no mag mount because it's aluminium ....

I can do the front side of hood -- so that's better than than higher behind the cab?

Thanks
-j
 

jassing

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Thanks DDan... Would it help if it were back of cab, at the point it bends into the roof?
Or if I create a shelf at the same roofline?
Or is the fender an ok place to go? (off center, but with the hood all there)
 

LtDoc

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A receiver's (scanner's) antenna isn't as critical as some people think. Of course there are 'better' ones, or locations that might work better than others. If you've got the time, patience, and ability to find that 'best place' for mounting, then you're more fortunate than the rest of us.
The location you gave, behind and above the driver's head, would be a compromise antenna location. But, any location you pick is going to be a compromise (ruled out the 'best' one to start with). That 'best' location is also dependent on what you have available for whatever reason.
Antennas would rather be above metal than beside metal, and most of them don't like being under metals. That's a generalization, not always true in every case, but a fairly good way of looking at it from that antenna's point of view. Another one is that, especially for VHF/UHF antennas, the higher the better, and 'more' antenna is usually better than less antenna (size). There are limits to that, electrical and practical ones. You have to adapt things to your particular situation.
Do I have a specific recommendation for an antenna for you? Nope, sorry. This ought to give you some ideas though.
- 'Doc
 

jassing

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DDan: Yes, I know that part; thanks. I guess I don't have your insight as to applications...

LTDoc: Thanks; that's what I "felt" -- I would love to put it on the roof; but I'd be stopping too much to remove the antenna (when there was nothing in the rack)..
The "highest point" is where I thought behind the cab (would stick up about 16 " over the roof) the fender is a place I hadn't thought - it would be mostly "unubsructed" but lower...

Well; what hte heck; it's only sheet metal.. drill away eh... Someone has a tag line "Man up, and drill the hole" or something similar... I guess Im trying to hit my best shot off the bat.

Thanks for the thoughts.
-j
 

heliflyer3

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Hi Guys, noob here, but if I read this right you said you had a tool box behind the cab? Pop rivet a small piece of plate on that sucker and use a magmount...problem solved. Just my 2 cents
 
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jassing

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Hi Guys, noob here, but if I read this right you said you had a tool box behind the cab? Pop rivet a small piece of plate on that sucker and use a magmount...problem solved. Just my 2 cents
You did read that there is a toolbox, but missed where the hinge is against the cab; which means it opens so that an antenna on the top would prohibit the opening of said box....

thanks for the idea...

It seems that mounting it centerline, but lower than the cab roof vs off center and above the cab roof, is a wash vs. what's best...

I'm trying to locate a good wideband scanner antenna that I can add a spring so I can get it up nice and high ...

I'm considering cutting the over-cab part of the rack off and mounting on teh roof itself, if I can get it to be spring loaded....

Cheers
-josh
 

yorkscanner

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Just a note about placing an antanna. I had added a roof rack and basket to my 06 tacoma and the air turbulance it created caused my antenna to snap off!! The antenna started to spin violently to the point that it spun in a 3 foot cirlce and snaped off at the base. It was mounted about 18 inches behind the cab on the passenger side of the bed rail. I have since installed a new one on the front passenger side about half way from the front. Works great and stays stable at highway speed.
 

russellmaher

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Hi Josh:

I offer for your consideration the Austin "Spectra" antenna and you can look it up here on the wiki under scanner antennas and you can judge for yourself. I have used mine for over six years and am totally happy with the results. I use the nmo truck mount since I don't wish to drill holes in my cars and this works out just fine for me.

My current vehicle is a Hyundai Sonata with the Spectra mounted on the lip of the trunk near the rear window (center of the trunk lid) and it works quite well on all frequencies I monitor.

The suggestion made about mounting an antenna on the lip of the hood (which would be ideal for your type of vehicle since you cannot go on the roof) is just the solution I used when my last vehicle was a Chevy Trailblazer and needed another location to put the antenna. This spot worked out very well and the fact that it wasn't a truly perfect ground plane, it still performed to my satisfaction.

Hope this gives you something to think about and maybe give this a try. Good Luck.

Russell
 

ikarus280

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In my experience, I placed a mag-mount RS antenna on my hood (silverado), on the opposite side from the broadcast radio antenna, and it gave a me a lot of interference from under-the-hood components (a subtle but annoying "whine" that varied with the RPMs) and the reception went downhill..buut your experience may vary. I got mine on the rear part of the cab, with one load on, and it works great, but like you said- keeps me out of some low clearance areas. Just my input.
 

jassing

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I offer for your consideration the Austin "Spectra" antenna
Thanks for the suggestion -- If I am unhappy with the current choice (I have 2 here) I'll go with that. Originally I didn't get it because of price and it looked like it would be more fragile.
I don't care if I snap up a 10 or 20 dollar antenna being rough on it; but when I'm approaching 100 it could hurt. Do you fin it a durable antenna?

@asurnin -- Yes, I already discounted the engine area for that exact reason -- I get tons of engine noise from everything. (I relocated the am/fm antenna because I just couldn't get the noise to go away...)

Thanks !
-josh
 

popnokick

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The "whine that varies with the engine RPM" is most likely alternator whine, and it enters your radio via the 12VDC line... NOT the antenna. There are many filters made to remove alternator whine that go inline with 12VDC input connection. Don't waste time troubleshooting/moving the antenna. It's not the source.
 

jassing

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I didn't say I had alternator noise -- I had noise that moving the antenna resolved. as I move the antenna closer to the engine, I slowly hear more noise...
 

ikarus280

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Regardless of the cause, moving the antenna back onto the roof made the whine go away. Coulda fooled me, I guess.
 

ikarus280

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There is a thread on here somewhere (search for the topic were talking about), where someone had determined the cause to be somewhere in the spark plug/wiring harness department.
 
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