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jkinzel

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I have been lurking on this sight off and on over the past few years gathering bits of information related mostly to railroad frequencies. I have always enjoyed trains and photography and the scanner took a lot of the guess work out of if and when the next train might show-up. I started off with a Realistic Pro 34 then a few years ago I purchased a BC72xlt that was better than the Realistic and much easier to work with.

A bit of information I got from these forums was the suggestion of getting an aftermarket antenna, specifically the Diamond RH77CA. I live in the lower Puget Sound area and I don't have the greatest reception, but this antenna has really increased the range and clarity on my BC72xlt. With the stock antenna even with a good signal some conversations could be very difficult to understand.

I have a lot of home work to do as now that I'm retired and no longer working at a paying job I would like to get involved with a more sophisticated scanner than my BC72, however, looking at the BCD396XT or BCD436HP, I might be getting in over my head. I have a few months to figure it out as I don't plan to do anything until the rainy season sets in.

Getting a bit long winded so I'll end it here. Thanks everyone for the amazing amount of information.

Regards
 

teufler

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any external antenna is better than the rubber duck antennas that the scanners come with. Rubber duck are pretty good for the local stuff but 10-15 miles they are alittle lacking. For an antenna, friend of mine uses an old outside tv antenna. Its there, not being used now that they have cable. He has been receiving stations up to 125 miles away. Realize that the antenna is horizontal polorized and what we listen to is vertical but it does pretty good. With a rotor, its even better but a fixed direction will suit you fine, assuming you have an antenna available. If not, there are scanner antennas for $50-$70 or higher.
 

Ed_Seedhouse

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any external antenna is better than the rubber duck antennas that the scanners come with.
Depends what you mean by "better". It will certainly pick up signals at higher strength, but if there is a strong signal nearby it may just overload the receiver front end and ruin reception altogether. So I'd say that it will be "better" maybe 99% of the time, but not all the time.

For instance at a Cafe I often frequent in downtown Victoria the 1/2 wave third party antenna just won't work because there's an antenna farm just across the road that overloads the front end and makes the radio useless. If I then go back to the stock rubber ducky at least I can get the main police/fire/safety trunk in town O.K.
 

teufler

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ed, I don't have that problem but you are right, too much signal can be as bad as too little. Either way, its hard to copy. A beam that rotates , you can point the beam away from the" antenna farm". Sort of defeats the benefits of the beam but its adaptable. It would be tough copying anything but stuff thats close by. Youi might even have to remove the antenna.
 

jkinzel

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Depends what you mean by "better". It will certainly pick up signals at higher strength, but if there is a strong signal nearby it may just overload the receiver front end and ruin reception altogether. So I'd say that it will be "better" maybe 99% of the time, but not all the time.

For instance at a Cafe I often frequent in downtown Victoria the 1/2 wave third party antenna just won't work because there's an antenna farm just across the road that overloads the front end and makes the radio useless. If I then go back to the stock rubber ducky at least I can get the main police/fire/safety trunk in town O.K.
I shouldn't have that problem where I live, it's all rural, even the cell phone signal is poor.
 

Ed_Seedhouse

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I shouldn't have that problem where I live, it's all rural, even the cell phone signal is poor.
I expect that's true. But you may visit downtown or you may move close to an antenna farm. And if you stay where you are others will be close to an antenna farm. As I said though, probably at least 95% of scanner installations will benefit from a high gain external antenna.

When I go to bed at night I connect my scanner to my dual band ham VHF antenna out on the back lawn and it certainly makes things perform considerably better. I can hear police activity on San Juan Island around 40 miles away.
 
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