Need advice on mobile antenna...

Status
Not open for further replies.

gakman

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
8
Location
Redmond, WA
Hi I am new to this forum and also new to the scanning arena, so please excuse me if I sound ignorant.

I just bought a Uniden Bearcat BCT8 Trunktracker scanner for my SUV and I want to install a permanent mount antenna in the middle of the truck's roof. I know I can use a magnetic mount but I can't stand that cable dangling outside the vehicle.

I read as much as I can on this forum and others for the "right" antenna but I cannot say I am getting it...

I need some recommendations on the best antenna to use for my needs -
1. I anticipate I will monitor the local police, highway patrol, and maybe the government bands when the president is in town ;) I live in the Seattle, WA area.
2. I would like the antenna to be as short as possible since I need to go in and out of underground garages a lot. And if I have to use a longer one (say 18"), the whip would have to be fairly flexible so it can take the multiple bending in and out of garages.

I have already purchased a Radiall/Larsen antenna (106119-000) but it is long and fairly stiff, and I have no idea if it is even a good scanner antenna??

Would anyone recommend something for me? Whatever I pick would probably be wrong....

Thanks in advance.
 

Attachments

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,843
Several questions need to be answered prior to giving you a correct answer. What frequency bands are you looking for (VHF Low - 30-50 MHz, VHF Air band - 110-140 MHz, VHF Hi - 150-170MHz, UHF - 400-470 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, etc.)? What type of mount? Cost? ...

The antenna you have is a 900 MHz single band NMO mount antenna. It would provide good results for the Puget Sound Energy system and a few other things, but limited results on much of the other systems in and around Seattle.

Without answers to the above questions, I would recommend that you get the Larson 150/450/800 antenna mentioned in the threads below. It's about 16" long and provides good coverage for the VHF Hi, UHF and 800 MHz, with pretty good coverage of the VHF Air, 700 MHz & 900 MHz bands.

http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=114220
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93866
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15356

I hope that this helps out.
 

gakman

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
8
Location
Redmond, WA
1. To answer your first question, I am a newbie so I am still learning about all the various bands and what they mean. But my goal is to monitor local police, highway patrols etc. and what I found on their specifics are not so much "frequencies" but "talkgroups" (don't really know what that means). As in this web page - Are they in VHF? UHF? I am not sure....
http://www.northwestradio.net/interceptnw/kcpd.htm

2. I plan on doing a permanent mount - drill a hole on the roof and use a NMO mount.

3. Cost is flexible. My scanner is a $200 scanner anyway so I probably don't need a $300 antenna.

Thanks for your help!!
 

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,843
The link you have only provides a bit of information you need to correctly program in what you want to monitor. This site most likely has all of the information you'll need. Start out here for the Seattle/Tacoma metro area http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?mid=25 and for what your link shows, this is the link you'll need http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?sid=604 (Seattle-King County Public Safety System).

Since I'm from Texas, I can't help much with your local sites, but if you ask in the Washington State forum, you'll probably get folks to help out quickly. Be sure to check out the links I gave as well as the other forums, wiki, and database since these will most likely contain the answers to most of your questions already.

Good luck and enjoy your scanner!
 

byndhlptom

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
390
Location
JoCo, KS (SoDak native)
Mobile antenna....

You've gotten started in the right direction with the NMO mount. It is probably the most universal mount out there.

A basic 1/4 wave VHF antenna does supprisingly well as a general scanner antenna (and it's probably the cheapest to!). Depending on your primary band of interest, you should experiment with whatever you have on hand. If you have friends in the area, ask to borrow their extra antennas and experiment. The best antenna for you may be very different from the next guy. Don't be afraid to try something different. good luck, welcome to the 'addiction'

tom
 

gakman

Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
8
Location
Redmond, WA
Can you connect multiple antenna in parallel to the same scanner? So you can one for the low, one for the mid, and one for the high, would that work?

***** never mind this post...I saw the sticky on "multiple antenna"*****
 
Last edited:

N3LLO

Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Messages
44
Location
New Ipswich, NH
One other tidbit which you may find helpful...

Some manufacturers (Diamond I know for sure, certainly some others), make "tilt over" antennas that you can simply bend 90-degrees. This would help you if the height of your desired antenna is just a bit too long for clearance going in/out of parking garages.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top