Scanner Antennas

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iceman977th

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I'm using a Radioshack multi-band mobile antenna at the moment for my Pro-106, but I'm planning on buying a truck soon, and doing an install in it with two scanners (probably a 996XT for general public safety/fire department, and a Pro-163 or equivelant for utility/rail/air monitoring. Public safety will mainly be VHF/UHF, while utility will consist of 800MHz for power (AEP EDACS), VHF for rail/air, & probably VHF/UHF for air. What's my best choices of antennas for each & for the least price? I like my $30 mobile, but if there's one much better for a bit more, that will work too.
 

n5ims

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For VHF/UHF get a dual-band ham antenna like the Larsen 2/70. It's optimized for the VHF-Hi and UHF bands and should give great results there.

For the other antenna, you sound like you want VHF/UHF/800 coverage so the Larsen tri-band scanner antenna should be a good choice there. If size is an issue for your mobile get two and let the second handle the VHF/UHF coverage instead of the 2/70 above.

Since they both use the standard "NMO" mount, you can easily swap them out or substitute other "standard" antennas as your needs change. What you might want to do is visit a ham fest and get several different NMO mount antennas and swap them out based on what you're doing at the time. A 5/8 gain VHF-Hi antenna will get you better range on VHF-Hi (including the near-by VHF Air band or rail band) when you're doing that part of the hobby. Switching out for the dual-band or tri-band for more general use as well. That's the advantage of using a standard mount type like the "NMO".
 

N8IAA

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I'm using a Radioshack multi-band mobile antenna at the moment for my Pro-106, but I'm planning on buying a truck soon, and doing an install in it with two scanners (probably a 996XT for general public safety/fire department, and a Pro-163 or equivelant for utility/rail/air monitoring. Public safety will mainly be VHF/UHF, while utility will consist of 800MHz for power (AEP EDACS), VHF for rail/air, & probably VHF/UHF for air. What's my best choices of antennas for each & for the least price? I like my $30 mobile, but if there's one much better for a bit more, that will work too.
The RS mobile antenna you are using will work well with the conventional frequencies and the EDACS sytem you are talking about. Since you don't post an area specific to what you want to monitor, it is harder to give you better answers. Since you have the 106, why do you want to go with the 996XT. Not saying it isn't a really good scanner, but.....
The 163 is a great scanner for what you want to use it for. I sold my 163 and bought a PSR-410. I was very disappointed with the sensitivity on the milair and vhf air bands. Did like the larger display and backlight better of the 410.
HTH,
Larry
 

N8IAA

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If you are looking for a good vhf/milair antenna, the Larsen tunable 1/4 wave, vhf nmo antenna is basically cut for 136MHz. It's usable for the vhf airband frequencies (118-137MHz), milair frequencies (225-380MHz), and believe it or not, 800MHz frequencies. Cheap and it outperforms the Larsen tri-band antenna, especially on 800MHz.
HTH,
Larry
 
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