Newbie Question About Antennas and Programming

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Jmoore06

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Hello Folks.

Just purchased a Uniden BCD996p2 scanner along with a key to Proscan. I have been successful with getting county traffic, but not having luck listening in on fast food restaurants, and other local businesses that use 2 way radios. I am looking to purchase a multi-frequency vertical antenna and mounting it on the roof. I live in a dense urban area.
1. Any thoughts on a good 15 foot antenna?

2. How do program the fast food restaurant frequencies in proscan when none of them show on the RR website to import. Not sure what type of system they use.

Any suggestions would be great!
 

marksmith

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Most fast food restaurants use itinerant or very low power signals. It does not take much power to reach the drive thru order window from inside.
Unless you live next door to a fast food restaurant it won't make much difference in your antenna selection. They are basically all simplex vhf high or UHF low power signals. Unless you are sitting in the parking lot you won't pick them up. Even if you do, you can imagine the exciting radio traffic involved.

Search under licenses for McDonald's.

Other businesses will be things like taxi services or tow trucks. They use similar types of systems and you should be able to hear them in dense areas. The traffic is just as exciting as the fast food restaurants.

If you are in a dense urban area, using a 996p2 you probably don't need any external antenna to receive anything significant public service systems, since they generally are multiple tower systems meant to penetrate buildings etc.
 

Jmoore06

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Thanks for the help. What about picking up aviation traffic. Will an antenna on the roof help. I live 6 miles from a small airport and 16 miles from a huge airport.
 
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CT
Will an antenna on the roof help.
An antenna on the roof will help.

Anything you can do to help your antenna "see" the transmitting antenna better will help.

Elevation clears more ground obstructions.

Also outside antenna will do better than inside antenna.
 

hiegtx

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Thanks for the help. What about picking up aviation traffic. Will an antenna on the roof help. I live 6 miles from a small airport and 16 miles from a huge airport.
As far as antenna goes, the higher the better, for the most part , presuming either quality coax used, or as short a run as practical.

For aircraft, a rooftop antenna would help. You should be able to hear planes at altitude from quite a distance. But hearing the tower and other transmissions on ground level is a different matter. The antennas used at the airport itself are mounted low. While you should be able to hear aircraft approaching or taking off from either airport, even hearing the tower at the closest airport could be problematic. Unless everything was 'just right,, I'd be somewhat surprised if you could hear the tower 16 miles away.
 

a29zuk

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SE Michigan
With an outside antenna I have heard the fast food restaurants a little over a 1/4 mile away. That was using a BC780XLT in the service search mode years ago as I live close to multiple fast food joints. That is about the max, though.

Jim
 
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