Need antenna advice for roof

Status
Not open for further replies.

mlevin77

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
19
Location
Essex county, MA
I have a Uniden BearCat BC125AT, and live in Essex county of MA (North shore of Boston). My house has 3 floors, and I'm thinking of putting an antenna on the roof (if that's a good idea) and running a cable down into the 1st floor where it could connect to the scanner. Any suggestions - what's a decent commercially-available antenna for this kind of scenario?
 

triplef

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
11
Location
EASTLAKE
I would use a yagi antenna with a rotater attached to the antenna that way you can zero in on what you want to listen to.
 

popnokick

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
2,140
Location
Northeast PA
The AntennaCraft ST-2 is a very popular all-band (above 30 mHz) antenna. Antenna will depend on what you want to listen to and how far away the signals are. Best advice would be in this great RadioReference Forum (The RadioReference.com Forums > Topic Specific Forums > Antennas and Associated Hardware > Scanner / Receiver Antennas). If you look at other posts in the Forum you might find that at least one other person has asked a similar question. Some other research that would help in your antenna search is here: Category:Antennas - The RadioReference Wiki
After you've read the posts and the Wiki, you are likely to post a question such as "I listen to xxxx (frequencies) the most and some (xxxx freq or agencies). Will the xxx antenna work for that?"
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,571
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
If you want to be frustrated, get a Yagi and a rotor and spend the rest of your days figuring out where to point it while you miss calls.

Otherwise a Discone is a good overall antenna for everything except stronger 800 stuff. It will pick up the entire VHF air, VHF public service, UHF public service, UHF mil air and 2m, 220 and 440 amateur all equally well where other antennas will be tuned for just a portion of those bands.
prcguy
 

davedaver1

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
344
Location
Bedford, New Hampshire
Another vote for an AntennaCraft ST-2. If you decide on a discone and want good VHF-LOW coverage, be sure it has a vertical whip to extend the low frequency response.
 

Blackink

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
1,042
Location
Central Vermont
Here's a picture of my ST-2 Antenna

I have a Uniden BearCat BC125AT, and live in Essex county of MA (North shore of Boston). My house has 3 floors, and I'm thinking of putting an antenna on the roof (if that's a good idea) and running a cable down into the 1st floor where it could connect to the scanner. Any suggestions - what's a decent commercially-available antenna for this kind of scenario?
I've had this antenna up for about a year now, connected to my BCT15X and it pulls in frequencies from over 70 miles away!!

I used about 60' of RG 6 with "F" connectors.

This antenna should work good with your BC125AT!

The roof below the antenna is a metal roof but it doesn't interfere with the reception.
The metal pole it is attached to is 10' long and the ST-2 is about 35-40 feet above the ground.
 

Attachments

n5ims

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
3,843
My vote would be doing a little research to see what band or bands you need to monitor and get an antenna that's designed to cover those specific bands. If everything in your area is on one or more of the systems in the 700/800 MHz band, get an antenna optimized to cover that band. If you live in an area with mostly folks using the 150 and 450 MHz frequencies, get a dual band (2/70) ham antenna. Doing so will get you an antenna designed to do a good job covering what you listen to (and it should work OK on strong signals on other bands, but don't count on that, it's just gravy).

If you're one of those rare folks that actually need coverage in the VHF-Low (30-50 MHz), VHF-Hi (140-160 MHz), UHF (430-500 MHz), AND 700/800/900 MHz then you're probably stuck with a wide-band (but low performance) discone or ST-2 type antenna.

An antenna is designed for coverage over a set frequency range (or perhaps multiple ranges). Trying to extend coverage beyond that is somewhat like trying to use a light-duty truck to haul a heavy duty load. It may work a bit for a while, but if you over do it too much, you'll end up with bad results (like a blown engine and/or transmission in the truck or noisy signals on the radio).
 

teufler

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,365
Location
ST PETERS, MISSOURI
if you are in a home that still has a tv antenna up, that will work as a yagi. I have scanner friends that receive signals from 100 miles or more. It will work as a compromise antenna. The better your antenna, the farther is will receive and the more interference it will catch. If there are signals that you receive that don't have pl tones or dcs codes, be prepared to hear anything and everything because youi will receive multiple signals at the same time.
 

ranger821

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
644
Location
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
The BC125AT is a great little scanner. Mine is about 3 weeks old. I have mine on a Diamond X-200 up about 25 feet. Hear things 50-70 miles away. It's very flat down here so the signals are not disrupted too much. Get it as high as you can.
 

jim202

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
2,670
Location
New Orleans region
One major downfall with mounting an antenna on the chimney is that it will cause cracks in the mortar and over time you will find the whole top portion of the chimney has come loose from the bottom. Seems the constant vibration from the wind causing the antenna elements will be enough over time to do the damage.

Most people think that just because there is this big massive hunk of rock up there that it is free game to attach anything you want to it. Well, go ahead and do that, but don't come back to us asking how to repair the mason work up there on the roof.
 

popnokick

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
2,140
Location
Northeast PA
Agree with teufler- If you have an existing TV antenna on the roof, try it first! Depending on whether the feed line is 300 ohm or 75 ohm coax you may need a matching transformer. And you'll need an adapter to go from the F-connector from the antenna to the BNC on the BC-125AT. If you get some signals from the TV antenna and want to improve them, rotate the elements of the TV beam 90 degrees so they are vertical rather than horizontal. That will better match the polarization of the scanner signals you are trying to hear. TV antennas make very good scanner antennas since they overlap the same frequencies.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top