Question about antenna

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Devildog7

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Hello RR community, first time poster here.

I'm new to the scanner world, I've been thinking about the "Uniden Bearcat BCT15X Police Scanner".
bct15x | ScannerMaster.com

It looks like a great entry level scanner for someone like myself who wants to see how I like them but I've run into a few questions. The scannermaster site is great, but I don't know anything about mobile antennas or mounts. I've been using their site as guidelines, but I am still somewhat confused. I own a Honda Insight which has a hatch, so lip mounts are out of the question (I think), I imagine I would have to use a mag mount. But I'm uncertain as to what antenna I should get and what mount I need, moreover when I do pick a mount what additional work is required to make sure it's place properly on the car. Of course, any feedback to these questions would be appreciated.

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Devildog7

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BCT15x came in the mail today, would be grateful if I got some feedback on both mobile antennas (for my car) and standard ones for my house.

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mmckenna

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It's got a BNC connector on the back, so that makes it pretty easy. While I'm personally not a big fan of magnetic mounts, it may be a good choice for you since it's easy to install.

I'd really suggest going with an NMO type mount for the antenna, as it will give you the most flexibility down the road. NMO mounts are very popular and there are a lot of antennas that will fit that. Being able to easily change out antennas down the road might be useful.

A multi band antenna will give you a good basic place to start. It'll give you overall good performance on several bands. Depending on exactly what you want to listen to, you may need a different antenna.

Multi-band antenna with NMO mount, $30 http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-800-1050.html

NMO magnetic mount with BNC connector, $30 http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmommrbnc-4522.html

That should get you started. Depending on your exact needs, you may decide to change the antenna down the road. The NMO style mount will give you a lot of options.

Good luck!
 

mmckenna

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Overall good multi band base antenna, $90:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/diamond-d130nj-5016.html

You'll need to provide a place to mount it, and that will depend on where you live and how much work you want to do.

You'll also need coaxial cable to connect the antenna to the radio. Coaxial cable varies quite a bit, and the exact type you need depends on the distance from the radio to the antenna and what your budget is. You can go cheap, but that results in less signal making it from your antenna to the radio. You can also go very expensive. What you need really depends on what the distance from the radio to the antenna, and what you budget is. Answer those two questions, and a recommendation can be made.
 

Devildog7

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Overall good multi band base antenna, $90:
http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/diamond-d130nj-5016.html

You'll need to provide a place to mount it, and that will depend on where you live and how much work you want to do.

You'll also need coaxial cable to connect the antenna to the radio. Coaxial cable varies quite a bit, and the exact type you need depends on the distance from the radio to the antenna and what your budget is. You can go cheap, but that results in less signal making it from your antenna to the radio. You can also go very expensive. What you need really depends on what the distance from the radio to the antenna, and what you budget is. Answer those two questions, and a recommendation can be made.
It depends on where the work in located and what I would need to do. I live in the city of Knoxville, TN I actually live in the heart of the city. I can usually pick up a lot of the on going chatter without an antenna BUT I would also like to pick surrounding areas also.

At home I had planned on having my scanner upstairs in my man cave with the rest of my electronics, I was thinking I would place the antenna on the roof, but I didn't know what models I would need to look into.

As far as mobile antennas go, well I drive a Honda Insight which by nature is inherently a small car, so I plan on sticking strictly to magnetic mobile mounts.

I know you get what you pay for so obviously I don't plan on going cheap, but in the same token I don't want to spend an arm and a leg if I can help it.

It's got a BNC connector on the back, so that makes it pretty easy. While I'm personally not a big fan of magnetic mounts, it may be a good choice for you since it's easy to install.

I'd really suggest going with an NMO type mount for the antenna, as it will give you the most flexibility down the road. NMO mounts are very popular and there are a lot of antennas that will fit that. Being able to easily change out antennas down the road might be useful.

A multi band antenna will give you a good basic place to start. It'll give you overall good performance on several bands. Depending on exactly what you want to listen to, you may need a different antenna.

Multi-band antenna with NMO mount, $30 http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmo150-450-800-1050.html

NMO magnetic mount with BNC connector, $30 http://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/larsen-nmommrbnc-4522.html

That should get you started. Depending on your exact needs, you may decide to change the antenna down the road. The NMO style mount will give you a lot of options.

Good luck!
Thank You! Ill look into them.
 
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W8RMH

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They also make Fender Mounts which would work on the front of your car and Lip Mounts which would work on your hatchback.

You may not even need a base antenna depending on what you are trying to receive. I monitor a trunked site some 10 miles away with a Yagi directional antenna for the clearest signal, on a BCT15X for my live feed, but I can receive all the local systems on the stock antenna.

Mobile, I primarily monitor 760-870 MHz. so I use a Laird Tech TRAB7603 760-870 MHz. Phantom antenna mag mounted with a BCD396XT. It does pickup VHF/UHF when I am in those outlying areas, however in your case I agree with the Larsen antenna suggested above.
 
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Devildog7

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They also make Fender Mounts which would work on the front of your car and Lip Mounts which would work on your hatchback.

You may not even need a base antenna depending on what you are trying to receive. I monitor a trunked site some 10 miles away with a Yagi directional antenna for the clearest signal, on a BCT15X for my live feed, but I can receive all the local systems on the stock antenna.

Mobile, I primarily monitor 760-870 MHz. so I use a Laird Tech TRAB7603 760-870 MHz. Phantom antenna mag mounted with a BCD396XT. It does pickup VHF/UHF when I am in those outlying areas, however in your case I agree with the Larsen antenna suggested above.
Locally speaking I can pickup everything with ease, I inquired about base antennas because the scanner master site asked what listening range I was interested in and I saw a few cities within the 35 mile limit (one that has an airport). I'm not sure what the max distance is, or if it's even capable of picking of Sevierville and Alcoa traffic.

As for mobile, yeah I had sense the trunk lip attachments. Wasn't sure how well they would do since I own a hatchback, but I may look into them.

Thank You
 

dmg1969

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Devildog7, take a good look at your hatch door when it's open. All you need for a hatch mount is about 4". I was worried about the same thing on the Subaru Crosstrek I just bought. With the glass going the whole way to the outside on the door, there is not a lot of metal to mount one to. But, at the very top, I had just enough straight metal to allow me to get it mount. You really want to stay clear of a magnetic mount if you can...especially on a newer vehicle. Here's mine and how it mounted. My mount is a Comet RS720, which allows adjustment on 3 planes.



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Devildog7

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Devildog7, take a good look at your hatch door when it's open. All you need for a hatch mount is about 4". I was worried about the same thing on the Subaru Crosstrek I just bought. With the glass going the whole way to the outside on the door, there is not a lot of metal to mount one to. But, at the very top, I had just enough straight metal to allow me to get it mount. You really want to stay clear of a magnetic mount if you can...especially on a newer vehicle. Here's mine and how it mounted. My mount is a Comet RS720, which allows adjustment on 3 planes.

Yeah I was kinda doing some research when the hatch mounts were mentioned, but my car, the Honda Insight has a weird back window. The whole hatch is a glass panel even the black outer edges are glass even though I can't see out them. I would imagine the section under the hybrid logo would be sufficient for the hatchback mount though.

 

dmg1969

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You could do that. If you can, I would mount it on the driver's side. I did because of clearance for trees, but my antenna is up pretty high. You may not have that problem depending on the antenna you'll be using.


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ChetsJug

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Hustler makes hatchback mounts that adjust to different angles. I have one with cork on the glass side. Also try a good CB shop that is willing to order ham equipment for you. most CB shops are duds and you might do better with a place like HRO (Ham Radio Outlet), located around the country. Also "Scrub" ebay!. I have seen weird old 70's hatch back stuff on both ebay and amazon. I picked up an Antenna Specialists hatchback antenna for my Cavalier for $25 just last week.
 

dmg1969

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