Need a good 800-mhz antenna for my pro-197 in Palm Beach County,FL?!?!?

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spdfile1

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Jul 3, 2009
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West Palm Beach,FL
Loaded up the 197 with a bunch of 800-mhz trunked systems in my area of West Palm Beach,FL. The stock antenna works great but I am having problems picking up a good signal from Delray Beach & Boca Raton. They are 20.7 miles & 28.5 miles (respectively) away from me to the south. I see Radio Shack's $19.99 handheld 800mhz whip antenna, but I'm wondering if I should get an 800-mhz antenna with some gain (if one is even made). I also want to pick up the Martin County to the north of me and possibly Broward County to the south. Any suggestions?!?!?!?!
 

kf5qgf

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Feb 12, 2012
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Location
Olive Branch, MS
Go external if you can, a decent ground plane should have the coverage you're looking for, and you can usually purchase those for about $40-$100. I'm not sure if you're in an FAA protected area, but here the rules are external antennas can be mounted up to 20' above the highest point of your house. Higher is always better, remember as well to ground the antenna according to local electrical codes, generally using an 8 ft ground rod driven 7 1/2 feet into the ground with 12 gauge bare copper wire to the antenna, as few bends as possible, as short a distance as possible.
 

spdfile1

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Jul 3, 2009
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West Palm Beach,FL
Go external if you can, a decent ground plane should have the coverage you're looking for, and you can usually purchase those for about $40-$100. I'm not sure if you're in an FAA protected area, but here the rules are external antennas can be mounted up to 20' above the highest point of your house. Higher is always better, remember as well to ground the antenna according to local electrical codes, generally using an 8 ft ground rod driven 7 1/2 feet into the ground with 12 gauge bare copper wire to the antenna, as few bends as possible, as short a distance as possible.
The only catch is I live in an apartment. However I live on the third floor which helps me in terms of height. I could maybe get away with mounting something outside but probably not. Plus they just recently screened in our porch so know I can't mount anything on the metal railings on there anymore :-( I do have a ham shack set up in the spare bedroom were my scanners (and ham radios) are and I have a metal cabinet in there. So what i'm thinking is if I get a mag mount 800mhz antenna with some gain and plop it on top of the metal cabinet that should work pretty well. It should make for a decent ground plain (in theory). I went onto scannermaster.com and found a couple mobile 800mhz antennas with anywheres from 3.5 db gain on up. However the base station 800mhz antennas are mostly directional and i'm looking more for a omnidirectional model. I know directional will perform better then omnidirectional but in my situation omni will fit the bill.
 

ecollins11

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May 22, 2010
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Location
Ada, Oklahoma
I got a 800/1900 Wilson dual band omni antenna at the local cell phone store an I have it sitting on top of the computer hutch I live in a upstairs apartment. The antenna has a pigtail with a f female connector and uses 75 ohm coax an works really good I get great reception on the towers 50-60 miles away ,
 

W6KRU

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Nov 20, 2008
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Oceanside, CA
Sometimes you can find good deals on cell phone antennas that cover 800 MHz on ebay. Just be aware of the connector needed. I got a Maxrad omni and a yagi for less than $25 each shipped.
 
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