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wes910

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Hi, Im a newbie to this hobby and I picked up a uniden bct8 scanner. I like just east of dallas in mesquite tx. Im wondering whats the best broad range antena for this area?...also where I can pick one up..
 

hiegtx

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Hi, Im a newbie to this hobby and I picked up a uniden bct8 scanner. I like just east of dallas in mesquite tx. Im wondering whats the best broad range antena for this area?...also where I can pick one up..
Hi Wes, & welcome

The antenna you choose will depend, a lot, on what you want to listen to the most. For a general listing of antennas, check out this page in the Wiki. Don't forget to spend a little time scrolling through the antenna forum here on the site for more ideas.

If you're looking for a broad range, as in all-around, antenna, there are a number of options. Remember that an antenna that performs best at one frequency range will not do as well at a different frequency. So, if you're in Mesquite, I suspect that for one thing, you'll be listening to Mesquite's trunked radio system, which is in the 850mhz range. Garland is also in that same range. But what else do you have in mind? Dallas PD & FD is in the Uhf band, 450-460mhz, as is the Rockwall trunked system. Seagoville, Balch Springs, and Dallas County, among others, are in the Vhf-high band, 150mhz or so.

I have a couple of these antennas up. Good all around coverage, work well for Vhf-high & Uhf, and also for 800. There are better antennas for specific bands, but these are pretty good overall. The link provided is for one source. The antenna is sold under both the name "ST-2" & ScanTenna, by a number of dealers. As the link indicates, it comes with coax cable. Here's another dealer with the same antenna. This is a tall antenna, 102". Mounts on a pole vertically.

Some people prefer a discone antenna as their choice for an all-around antenna. This is one of the most popular. Here's that same discone antenna at the same dealer as one with the ST-2.

Other than, possibly, a ham radio store, your best bet, once you decide which antenna you want, is to order online or by phone, which is what I did.
 

wes910

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i bought a SCANTENNA ST-2 off ebay....mesquite would be nice also dallas to...but as far as mounting this thing....i have a tv antenna on my roof already is it possible to extend the mast...and hang the scanner atenna on top?
 

hiegtx

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i bought a SCANTENNA ST-2 off ebay....mesquite would be nice also dallas to...but as far as mounting this thing....i have a tv antenna on my roof already is it possible to extend the mast...and hang the scanner atenna on top?
Sure.
The ST-2 would cover Mesquite & Dallas easily. Both are very strong signals. You'd also get Garland & some others if you want, i.e. Dallas County, Seagoville, Balch Springs, some of the Rockwall & Kaufman County agencies. Note that with the BCT-8, one you would not be able to get is Texas DPS. They are using digital now, and that scanner is not a digital capable one.

The antenna, while quite tall, is very narrow & light. Depending on what type of mast you current antenna is, you may be able to get something like this, which is made to allow two or more to be coupled together for greater height. The ST-2 (ScanTenna) mounts to the pole using a stand-off bracket at the center of the antenna. To minimize interference between the tv & the scanner, you would want to separate the two antennas as much as practical on the pole.
 

wes910

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So i got the st-2 installed but having some problems with reception. May be a problem with my install i attached a pic of it...also is it ok to zip tie the cable line to the pole???...I have the mesquite and garland truck systemes programmed in...and it keeps picking up these awful noise's
 

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texasemt13

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I'm not a Uniden guy, but nasty noises sound like you might be pausing on control channels. Are you sure you have the frequencies programmed as the proper trunking types?
 

hiegtx

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I'm not a Uniden guy, but nasty noises sound like you might be pausing on control channels. Are you sure you have the frequencies programmed as the proper trunking types?
I'd say you're probably right.

I'm not a BCT-8 expert; never owned that model. But taking a look at the manual online, you have to both enter the trunk system frequencies while in trunking program mode, and also scan in "trunking" mode, otherwise you'll hear the control channels, which will be a constant, loud, rumbling sound.
 

SCPD

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I never use Cable ties nor do many others. It cinches your coax and can cause breaks. Good Ole 3M electrical tape works just fine for me.
 
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