Need help on which antenna to get???

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DLM3113

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Hey guys, i was looking for a antenna for my scanner (BC346XT), i wanted to get a antenna for my car (one with a Trunk lip mount option) i was looking at the low profile Phantom or Maxrad antennas but not quite sure if it will work with my scanner.?? if some one can point me in the correct direction on what to get it would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
Dave
 

SCPD

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Dont waste your time.....I asked the same question ( see my posts) over a week ago and have over 180 views as of this reply. Still no contact.... I offen think why I even come on this site anymore.....:( If you are lucky and get a reply please let me know as I am still waiting.

MOP68AR
 

mmckenna

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Right, it's hard to say unless you give us some frequencies.

The Phantom style antennas are generally poor performers when used as a 2 way antenna. They have low gain and very narrow bandwidth. For transmitting applications, the only people I know that are happy with them are those that use only very specific closely spaced frequencies in a urban location where repeaters are close by. Everyone else tends to dislike them. The few people I personally know that have tried them have given up and replaced them with a more traditional antenna.

I can't imagine they'd make a good scanner antenna. About the only thing they have going for them is the looks, if you are into that sort of thing. They are a compromise at best.

An antenna specifically designed to cover the frequency or frequencies you want will easily outperform one of these. If you need low profile, go with a quarter wave antenna. You can get them in black, and they can blend in very well.

If you need a multi band receiving antenna, then get one of the Larsen VHF/UHF/800 whips.

Now I'm sure there is someone who will come along and tell you the Phantom style antennas are the greatest thing since sliced bread. My observations are from watching others go through the headache of trying to get those to work. Nothing but headaches and disappointment. Save your money.
 

W8RMH

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Dont waste your time.....I asked the same question ( see my posts) over a week ago and have over 180 views as of this reply. Still no contact.... I offen think why I even come on this site anymore.....:( If you are lucky and get a reply please let me know as I am still waiting.

MOP68AR
Members get tired of answering the same question every other day. Do a little research first before starting a new thread. One can search these forums or go to a supplier site such as ScannerMaster and look through their antennas. It is virtually impossible to answer the OP's question without knowing what frequencies he wants to receive.
 
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SCPD

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Members get tired of answering the same question every other day. Do a little research first before starting a new thread. One can search these forums or go to a supplier site such as ScannerMaster and look through their antennas. It is virtually impossible to answer the OP's question without knowing what frequencies he wants to receive.
Not to highjack the OP post, however since you did a quote on my post I guess a reply is needed. I can’t speak for most, just my own. I came here looking for knowledge by the experts of their hobby. I am new to the hobby for about a year now and I just now purchased my second scanner for the car and I am excited to find an antenna for my truck. I have looked at Scanner Master and Antenna farm as stated in my original post. However I am not looking for an opinion of someone who sells them. I want opinions of you the end user.

I guess I really dislike the comment of “we get tired of answering the same question” and “do some research on your own”. WHAT THE HECK is the forum for if new hobbyists can’t ask questions to the experts? Also this is a good place to find out tricks of the trade if you will. Placement of the antenna, using grease on the threads or not, which style of drill bit or hole saw to use and the like.

I will say this even with the fear of getting kicked of the site…..GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND TAKE THREE OR FOUR SECONDS AND ENTER INTO A CONVERSATION WITH A NEW GUY IF HE ASKS!!

Just saying, over 190 views on my post with not one reply....make a guy feel ignored you know.
 

SCPD

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C'mon guys. Unfair comments. Didj'a look for yourself? ScannerMaster https://www.scannermaster.com/Mobile_Antennas_s/26.htm that advertises on this Web site -- see the page top -- would be a good starting point. Here's another source: Scanner Antennas. Both very reliable, very good. HTH.
And again not to highjack, but to make a comment on the above quote. I don't think the OP or myself wanted to look at a website of pics of antennas and the price. The link provided above does not one thing on opinions of you the end user. Nor the tricks of the trade. Can't speak for the OP, but I am sure that is what they where looking for.
 

mmckenna

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This member, for one, doesn't get tired of answering the same questions over and over again. I disagree with the attitude that each question may only be asked once and then never again.

Unless we get to the point where we have to pay per post, I'll happily answer your questions. I love radio, I do it for a living, and I'll happily talk about it with anyone. I was starting out in the hobby/industry once, and I asked a lot of questions. Luckily no one ever told me to not ask a question that had been asked before.

Carry on with the questions, I'll happily answer.

Wow, the OP's first post and he's already been chastised. Way to make a newcomer feel welcome guys.
 
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I also get tired of the "we've already answered this question before" attitude. If I can help with something I always do. I would get annoyed if the same person kept asking the same question all the time but I have no problem trying to help others that are new to the hobby.

I'm actually curious about the phantom style antennas for 800mhz as well. I already have a 2m/440 antenna on a trunk lip mount and I was looking for something else to use with a scanner in my car for an 800mhz trunking system. If I had to I'd go with a conventional style antenna, but these phantom antennas are nice and discrete. I know they aren't optimal but it seems that at least for 800mhz they would work pretty good since the wavelength for 800mhz is fairly short as it is.
 

w2xq

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And again not to highjack, but to make a comment on the above quote. I don't think the OP or myself wanted to look at a website of pics of antennas and the price. The link provided above does not one thing on opinions of you the end user. Nor the tricks of the trade. Can't speak for the OP, but I am sure that is what they where looking for.
Since you choose to make a comment on my post, I'll finish my thinking on the matter. Ever heard the story about feeding a man or teaching him to fish?

I understood the thread's opening statements to inquire about mounts more so than antennas for which you made no reference to frequency ranges of interest. Nor did I understand that you had attempted any research on your own. I would suggest the Web sites and the customer sales reps would be able to make recommendations as to best sellers, cheapest available, best mounts for SUVs vs sedans vs trucks, whatever.

When push comes to shove, as long as you don't play whack-a-mole with garage doors, tree branches and the like, virtually any antenna from any obviously major manufacturer will work on receive. You aren't going to hear the difference between 1 and 3 and 6 db gain. As a test after installing my mobile rig, the difference between a shortie 6" dual band Comet B-6 and a Comet 5/8 dual band -- listening to a 2m repeater 90 miles away -- is the difference of lighting one LED (out of 5 or 6) solidly or having the one LED flicker. It's impossible to tell the difference by listening.

Personally I have a 1992-vintage A/S cellular magnet mount antenna (left over from the first MOT bag phone purchase) that more than does the job for the PRO-106. However, the scanner has such a good receiver in it I don't bother using anything but the rubber duck so long as I'm within 30-40 miles of home. The mag mount only gets used in the wide-open areas of upstate PA and central NY.

I've said enough... argh!
 

mmckenna

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I'm actually curious about the phantom style antennas for 800mhz as well. I already have a 2m/440 antenna on a trunk lip mount and I was looking for something else to use with a scanner in my car for an 800mhz trunking system. If I had to I'd go with a conventional style antenna, but these phantom antennas are nice and discrete. I know they aren't optimal but it seems that at least for 800mhz they would work pretty good since the wavelength for 800mhz is fairly short as it is.
They actually don't work too bad. About equivalent on to a quarter wave on 800MHz. Size isn't an issue on 800MHz, however on VHF, you really have to pack a lot into a small package with these phantom antennas.
 

questnz

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Just the idea ladies and gentelman, to avoid arguments between members. Yes some questions/requests have been ansered many times over and over, just by searching past answers looks like there are clear "winners" in some categories, coax (LMR 400, 240, RG8, RGx, RG6), antennas general (Diamond, Watson, Nagoya) 800 Mhz (Radioshack) Air (Watson, Maldol) antenna vehicle (Larsen, Laird, Austin Spectra), charges (La Crosse, Maha), batteries (Enelopes, Maha, Energizer), Scanners (Digital, Analog) Maybe just vote for current stuff still available on the market.
Admin could create separate forum on the members "preferences" we all can vote on the items. New members can acces this forum before asking additional questions. Maybe this have to be listed on top of other forums. Is this the answer ?!
 
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mmckenna

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Could be, or a specific area of the forum where new guys can ask all the questions they want, and those with a case of the crankys can just NOT go there so they won't be offended.

There is always the option of not clicking on a thread, or not hitting the reply button, or not getting on the internet, or as I was taught, not saying anything unless I had something nice to say.
 
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They actually don't work too bad. About equivalent on to a quarter wave on 800MHz. Size isn't an issue on 800MHz, however on VHF, you really have to pack a lot into a small package with these phantom antennas.
Thanks.

And another thing with using an 800mhz portable in the car is that the body of the car really cuts the signal down. Any antenna you can get outside of the car will help the receive and be better than the rubber duckie inside the car.

There may already be one on here, but I think a good forum to add would be one dedicated to reviews on different products by the users here themselves. Might be kind of neat. Plus people could browse through and maybe find reviews on things they're looking for.
 
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SCPD

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Thanks.

And another thing with using an 800mhz portable in the car is that the body of the car really cuts the signal down. Any antenna you can get outside of the car will help the receive and be better than the rubber duckie inside the car.

There may already be one on here, but I think a good forum to add would be one dedicated to reviews on different products by the users here themselves. Might be kind of neat. Plus people could browse through and maybe find reviews on things they're looking for.
I love the idea of a product review area.
 

N1BHH

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The antenna that I use for 2 meters and 70 centimeters is the Larsen NMO-2/70 mounted on the roof of my van. It does quite well for hamming as well as scanning in a pinch.

But your asking about an antenna for a scanner, which is confusing to me that you'd ask in the Amateur Radio forum. Don't take everything you hear as gospel, but study everything and when it comes to antennas don't scrimp and buy some $10 antenna that will fall apart in a week.

The two mobile scanning antennas I have used for quite some time and have had great success with are the Laird/Antenex ABSCAN and the Larsen NMO-150/450/800. Both of these work great all thru the spectrum, even low band signals can be heard with no problem. They may cost quite a bit, but they last a long time. I've had Larsen antennas for many years, one of them a 220 5/8 wave for about 20 years and still holding it's own.
 

BJ_NORTON

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Could be, or a specific area of the forum where new guys can ask all the questions they want, and those with a case of the crankys can just NOT go there so they won't be offended..
There is such a section on the forums, it's called the New User / Getting Started Forum The place for new users to discuss how to get started, and generally feel safe from the rest of the rabid technical community. and the only sticky in that forum tells everyone to be nice to new members asking questions there, or they get kicked off the boards.

As to MOP68ER getting upset that 200 people looked at his question and no one answered just keep in mind that the specific antenna you were asking about is kinda esoteric. This forum is great for general questions about the hobby, but when you ask about a very specific piece of gear, there are going to be far fewer people that have used it. I know what these phantom antennas look like, but I've never had any real world experience with them. I would have looked at your question and not answered too, because I have never used one before, and it's likely the other 200 people that looked at your question are in the same boat. I would suggest asking again in the commercial radio section; I think there is an antenna subforum there, and it's more likely that the guys who hang out over there have had some experiences, because a lot of those guys do radio for a living. And just be ok that not every question you ask is going to get answered, this isn't a question and answer service, it's just people trying to help each other out, and none of us may have any good ideas to offer for your particular situation.
 

roadranger

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I have decided...

...to skip all the other posts and answer your question. I use, and am happy with, Radio Shack scanner antennas for both the car and the house. Mag-mount for the hood, and dis-cone for the pole. Both will run you about $60 each, are available while they last at the local store. No waiting on shipping. Both are flat on 2m and can relatively tune on four or more Ham bands.
 

DLM3113

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Thank you for the input of the few that "guided" me in the correct direction it helped out in making my antenna decision, and for the others that told me to look and do research "myself" and call "reps" what do you think ive been trying to do i simply asked for INPUT no need to get mad (your just rude). if you don't want to help someone out in this thread don't post as simple as that
 
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