Novice Question BCD996XT

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rick1205

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Hello All,
I am new to RR and I am a novice when it comes to the scanner universe. I have a question about an antenna for a scanner, specifically a Uniden BCD996XT.

My question - Is it possible for me to use a vintage TV antenna with a 996XT to pick up digital, trunked systems in my county?

My situation – I purchased the scanner for my mother so that she could listen to the Fire/EMS/LE traffic in the county. I am setting the scanner up to do a simple scan of the channels without using all of the bells and whistles this complex piece of machinery has available. I am looking to get the best signal I can without having to put out a lot of money for an expensive antenna. I’ve read about the small Radio Shack 800MHz antenna and that may be an option but I figure an outdoor antenna would pick up signals better.

So, can I rig the old TV antenna to work with the 996XT?

Any feedback or suggestion would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Rick
 

firerick100

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I never heard of a tv antenna being used for pick up 2 way radio communications ,this would be a first,but I would think it would not work because they are for tv signals ,but I'm not an expert maybe someone has a better answer for you. Good luck
 

rhaasjr

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It would work good enough for local frequencies. I once used an old ScanMaster scanner antenna to pickup over-the-air TV stations from Columbus (approx. 30 miles away).

Public safety channels and TV signals all use different segments of the VHF and UHF signal spectrum. While the TV antenna might not have elements cut to the exact length for the public safety segments, it would be close enough to work for local frequencies.
 

smithken

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If it's an old UHF antenna from when there were 83 TV channels it should work fine, channel 83 was 884 to 890 MHz. It also depends on how far you are from the system(s) you want to monitor, my 996T can receive a local system without an antenna, I'm about 4 miles from the transmit antenna.
 

wtp

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try anything

i have used a 12' tv antenna all the way down to a paperclip.
so give it a try 1
on one tv i have two antennas to a splitter (now combiner) to one tv to increase gain.
i can't get local ch. 11 with just one.
 

ab5r

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Like WP said, "Try anything." However, old TV antennas were horizontally polarized and most emergency frequencies are vertical. There can be a signal loss. Also, the TV antennas were 300 ohm and your radio is 50 ohm. You "might" need some sort of matching for best performance. Good luck.
 

DisasterGuy

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Maryland Shore
TV antennas are nice log periodic antennas and there is nothing at all wrong with them. Ideally it should be an antenna new enough to have a coax connection rather than twin-lead. If it does have a coax connection a fresh run of Rg-6 cable and you should be rocking and rolling. If not an outdoor 300 ohm to 75 ohm balun mounted at the antenna to some RG-6 will do the trick. A Stereotypical TV antenna is by definition a wide band high gain antenna.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

N1JGE

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Lowell, Ma.
Hello All,
I am new to RR and I am a novice when it comes to the scanner universe. I have a question about an antenna for a scanner, specifically a Uniden BCD996XT.

My question - Is it possible for me to use a vintage TV antenna with a 996XT to pick up digital, trunked systems in my county?

My situation – I purchased the scanner for my mother so that she could listen to the Fire/EMS/LE traffic in the county. I am setting the scanner up to do a simple scan of the channels without using all of the bells and whistles this complex piece of machinery has available. I am looking to get the best signal I can without having to put out a lot of money for an expensive antenna. I’ve read about the small Radio Shack 800MHz antenna and that may be an option but I figure an outdoor antenna would pick up signals better.

So, can I rig the old TV antenna to work with the 996XT?

Any feedback or suggestion would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Rick
As long as the connections are good and clean it will work great for receive only. I'm using an old three element 2 meter beam on my 996 and don't have anything less than four bars, mostly five.
 

rick1205

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Dec 4, 2013
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Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Not sure if the current vintage antenna has the coax connection, as opposed to the two wire, like someone mentioned so I'll need to check that out. I appreciate all the feedback and the ideas on things to try.

Now I just have to work up the gumption to go up on the roof if I need to. Not a fan of heights. :)

Thanks again,

Rick
 
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