New antenna help

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ECXTD

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I am looking to get a new antenna for my scanner, mostly used for railroading. I read on a post from 2006 that the Diamond RH77CA is the best for railroading but I was wondering if there is a better magnetic car roof antenna. Any input would be appreciated.
 

ECXTD

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Those are over my budget for one. Is the diamond MR-73B a good one for railroading
 

AronDouglas

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The DiamondRH77CA is a good dual band antenna specializing in 144 and 440 mhz. From what I've read and heard about Diamond antennas, you cant go wrong with them. Dual band antennas (140mhz & 440 mhz) are what you need for common railroad monitoring (rare occasions they use other frequencies).

Here is a list of dual band antennas. http://www.theantennafarm.com/catal...al-band-450/high-gain-dual-band-antennas-453/

No one can say for certain that 'this' or any antenna is best for you. Thats the frustrating and fun part of scanners/receivers, you have to figure out what works best for you. There is no one perfect antenna, if there was we would all strive to have it.
 

ECXTD

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Yeah they mostly do use those frequencies but there's is a 400mhz that makes a noise not sure why but someone said it is when a FRED passes a mile post on certain railroads. Is the diamond mr 73b better than the diamond rh77? Or better range?
 

vagrant

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I have found that a magnet mount antenna on the roof of a vehicle performs better than a whip antenna on a handheld. I own a Diamond RH77CA and use it on handheld and receive only radios. It works well for my portable needs. That being so, I would prefer a magnet mount antenna on the roof over that handheld antenna for receiving.

An antenna outside of the vehicle is what you want. Whether you use a magnet mount, or use a mount that will allow you to attach a RH77CA so you can use it either on the vehicle or the radio itself is something you will need to consider based on your needs.
 

ECXTD

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I have found that a magnet mount antenna on the roof of a vehicle performs better than a whip antenna on a handheld. I own a Diamond RH77CA and use it on handheld and receive only radios. It works well for my portable needs. That being so, I would prefer a magnet mount antenna on the roof over that handheld antenna for receiving.

An antenna outside of the vehicle is what you want. Whether you use a magnet mount, or use a mount that will allow you to attach a RH77CA so you can use it either on the vehicle or the radio itself is something you will need to consider based on your needs.
I use a portable scanner so if I go railroading I can get it and take it out with me. I wanted something with more range so if I am driving, or at home as I live near a rail yard, I can pickup something if a train is coming sooner so I can get to a crossing.
 

LtDoc

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The 'best' option (sort of) is to have an outside antenna as high as you can possibly get it. A 'longer' antenna will receive more than a shorter one will. Think of that 'longer' in terms of wave length and maybe more than one 'element'. None of that is going to be very 'handy' with a portable radio, but... what'cha gonna do?
- 'Doc

(If it ain't big and ugly, it just ain't gonna be very good. That's one'a them 'radio sayings' you know. It isn't always correct, but it is most of the time. :))
 

prcguy

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Look for a used Larsen VHF 5/8 wave NMO mag mount on Ebay, they sometimes go for $10 or $15, especially if they are cut for commercial freqs, which don't attract ham buyers. You can then cut the whip shorter for the 160MHz range and probably have the best mobile RR freq antenna you will find.

Other companies like Antenna Specialists, Maxrad and Antenex/Laird have similar NMO 5/8 wave NMO antennas that will work fine when cut for the RR band. Beware of amateur band antennas, they can be severely degraded on the RR freqs if not specifically tuned for RR.
prcguy
 

vagrant

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I use a portable scanner so if I go railroading I can get it and take it out with me. I wanted something with more range so if I am driving, or at home as I live near a rail yard, I can pickup something if a train is coming sooner so I can get to a crossing.
okay, keeping to your budget is important to you, so get a magnet mount antenna as you already have a rubber duck antenna that came with the scanner. While neither may be specifically tuned to RR frequencies, which would be best, they'll work.

Your particular hobby is an interesting one and perhaps someone with the same interest will chime in on the transmit power and antennas used by the RR. It appears your interest is to hear the chatter and spot the train. If their signals are strong, you may hear them with plenty of time to get to a crossing.

I have a $15 wideband magnet mount antenna that beats the pants off that Diamond 77CA because it's on the roof of the car. You could use the mag mount indoors as well, but put it on the top of the fridge or an oven pan so it has some sort of base as a radial. Experiment with it in different spots, but that is a reasonable solution you can use at home or in the car. Prcguy provided good advice about a tuned antenna, but if you are uncomfortable with that, get the Diamond mag mount and have fun.
 

ECXTD

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okay, keeping to your budget is important to you, so get a magnet mount antenna as you already have a rubber duck antenna that came with the scanner. While neither may be specifically tuned to RR frequencies, which would be best, they'll work.

Your particular hobby is an interesting one and perhaps someone with the same interest will chime in on the transmit power and antennas used by the RR. It appears your interest is to hear the chatter and spot the train. If their signals are strong, you may hear them with plenty of time to get to a crossing.

I have a $15 wideband magnet mount antenna that beats the pants off that Diamond 77CA because it's on the roof of the car. You could use the mag mount indoors as well, but put it on the top of the fridge or an oven pan so it has some sort of base as a radial. Experiment with it in different spots, but that is a reasonable solution you can use at home or in the car. Prcguy provided good advice about a tuned antenna, but if you are uncomfortable with that, get the Diamond mag mount and have fun.
So I should get a magnet mount. What would be better a Diamond MR 73b or the one that you have? I never though of putting a roof mount antenna on top of the fridge that is a good idea for me as my refrigerator is in the part of my house that is closest to the railroad. Thanks
 
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So I should get a magnet mount. What would be better a Diamond MR 73b or the one that you have? I never though of putting a roof mount antenna on top of the fridge that is a good idea for me as my refrigerator is in the part of my house that is closest to the railroad. Thanks
I use a mag mount on UHF and it works great. It is a Laird UHF mag mount. I know it does not deal with VHF just saying it works great. HTH.
 

vagrant

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So I should get a magnet mount. What would be better a Diamond MR 73b or the one that you have? I never though of putting a roof mount antenna on top of the fridge that is a good idea for me as my refrigerator is in the part of my house that is closest to the railroad. Thanks
I have never compared the magnet mount antenna I mentioned with that Diamond MR73B, so it is an unknown.

It is an unknown if any antenna you get will work by providing the range you need. Everyone's situation, location, equipment, operating conditions are different. All we can provide you here is what we feel may be a solution given your parameters. prcguy provided you with the best advice.

* Please also note that when you improve the antenna, you may also improve the reception of unwanted signals as well. This is why an antenna tuned specifically for the frequency range you want to listen to is best. The only way for you to find out is to try using your equipment at your location. Keep the packaging, as you can re-sell the antenna if it does not work to your needs.

Have fun
 

reconrider8

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i also run a 5/8 wave larsen nmo150c tunes to 160.59 and i get great results bought mine from theantennafarm they are a great comp to buy from never had a bad thought with any of my orders
 

ECXTD

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The MR 73-B has roof mount magnet is smaller than all the other magnet mount antenna would that be a problem being on the roof of my SUV?
 
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