picking up fire and police from another city

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jonboy11

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Oct 22, 2005
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Can anyone tell me how I might be able to pick up police and fire frequencies from my house to another city about 20-25 miles away. I have a roof mounted RS VHF-Hi/UHF antenna that covers 108-1300MHz. I can't seem to pick up traffic from that area of intrest with this antenna. Would a Yagi directional antenna do the job? Any suggestions helpful. Thanks.
 
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If what you are trying to get is in a specific frequency range, get a yagi antenna for that range and point at the transmitter. If you are trying to get vhf frequencies you may need to try attenuation. For distant VHF signals I must use attenuation, or all the RF noise washes the signal out and I get nothing. I am using that same antenna to pull in vhf signal from the next counties SO, and that transmitter is probably 35 miles away, and with the same antenna and attenuation on, I can pull it in with the good old 20-176 antenna 40' up and hooked up with LMR-400.
 

jon_k

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May 7, 2008
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Fort Worth, Republic of Texas
Can anyone tell me how I might be able to pick up police and fire frequencies from my house to another city about 20-25 miles away. I have a roof mounted RS VHF-Hi/UHF antenna that covers 108-1300MHz. I can't seem to pick up traffic from that area of intrest with this antenna. Would a Yagi directional antenna do the job? Any suggestions helpful. Thanks.
A Yagi and higher mounting are the only ultimate things to increase your reception distance if all else fails.

I've got a vertical whip that can pick up a city 32 miles away on my truck though. Of course your geography and location could present challenges in reception depending on physical RF barriers. Add a weak or poorly covered municipal radio system and you've got problems.
 
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SAR923

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Dec 19, 2002
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+1 on the attenuation on VHF if you're using a GRE radio. Desense will make it seem like the receiver is deaf when it's really being swamped by too much signal. Test this on the NOAA frequencies. If you hear them more clearly and hear more stations from further away with attenuation, you'll benefit from having every VHF frequency attenuated. The desense problem only seem to affect the VHF FM frequencies. UHF and 800 don't need attenuation.
 

key2_altfire

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Can anyone tell me how I might be able to pick up police and fire frequencies from my house to another city about 20-25 miles away. I have a roof mounted RS VHF-Hi/UHF antenna that covers 108-1300MHz. I can't seem to pick up traffic from that area of intrest with this antenna. Would a Yagi directional antenna do the job? Any suggestions helpful. Thanks.
Even a simple whip mounted on the roof (of your house, right?) shouldn't have any difficulty with VHF/UHF even for lower-power transmissions at 25 miles. Barring incorrect radio setup (attenuator, already mentioned) it's probably something with your coax or connectors. You can lose a lot of reception with bad coax and connections.
 
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