scanner antennas

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LFRA03

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I just bought a new uniden 996 xt, It was shipped to me without a antenna which is being sent out to me now, I tried using a old style antenna from my uniden 340. I cant pick up anything on my new scanner. I used software to program in all my trunking frequencies. So im thinking my programming is rite, and hoping its just my antenna issue. Would appreciate any info on the matter. IM trying to pick up trunked frequencies from about 20 miles away.
 

ka3jjz

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Well let's start with the programming first. Programming your 996XT is totally different from a conventional bank type scanner. You didn't mention what software you were using, but there are 3 that are popular; FreeScan, ARC-XT and ProScan. Why you're not receiving anything could be any one (or combination of) a number of things, from locked out systems to quick keys not allocated/enabled properly. Without more info, further diagnosis is not possible.

It would also help to know what system(s) you are trying to hear, and where you are (county/state is fine). Choosing the right antenna begins with knowing what you are trying to hear. Go to the blue toolbar under the site title, float your mouse over Database, select Frequency Database then use the various pulldowns and maps to get to your state. C'mon back with the URLs of the systems, and we'll see what we can do.

Another question - can you put something outdoors, which is far and away preferable to doing something inside?

HTH....Mike
 

ridgescan

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I just bought a new uniden 996 xt, It was shipped to me without a antenna which is being sent out to me now, I tried using a old style antenna from my uniden 340. I cant pick up anything on my new scanner. I used software to program in all my trunking frequencies. So im thinking my programming is rite, and hoping its just my antenna issue. Would appreciate any info on the matter. IM trying to pick up trunked frequencies from about 20 miles away.
Are you talking about trying to get trunking stuff in the 800megahertz range? If so, IMO 20 miles in the 800mHz band is a tall order even for an outdoor antenna. Here in SF with its hills, I cannot even get Oakland 800 off my discone on the roof at 15 miles. Just my experience here. I think you need a yagi.
 

LFRA03

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TO mike

Hey thanks for the reply, Im in harrison county, ia, and im trying to here pott county. Its is a 800 mhz trunked system i believe. I work for the state of iowa, and we have many of these scanner we use, most of them mounted in patrol cars, and all of them are a excellent system. Im using the freescan system to programm the scanner, I have a database that im going off of, that has worked in other 996xt scanners, I dont know if im missing something obvisous in the setup of it or whats going on. I have put the frequencys into the scanner with freescan and they all stuck, But cant get much out of it, Sometimes cant even get it to squelch. I take it out in my pickup, and i show 3 or 4 bars on it for signal in places, but still not getting anything out of it. I can hear conventional stuff i have put in from harrison county, but still is kinda of chopy at times, or i even miss the hole transmission. Remeber im a first time trunked scanner owner, .
 

LFRA03

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hey mike, i replyed to you yesterday, dont know if you read my last post.
 

ka3jjz

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And be aware that folks are working, so they can't always post immediately...

I have no idea why you would end up being 'stuck'. As another person has already posted, 20 miles on 800 mhz is kinda pushing it, but if you're getting 3 or 4 bars, you should be able to trunk it, albeit it might very well be choppy at times.

I'd still like to know what system(s) you are trying to hear, as mentioned in my original reply. If the system is using a protocol scanners can't handle (like Pro-Voice or Open Sky), no matter what you program it won't work - there are some trunking protocols that can't be trunked by a consumer grade scanner. It's also possible that the wrong system/site type was programmed, or you need to set up some quick keys (a common mistake a lot of folks make). It might also be helpful if you compressed (zipped) your .996 file using one of the popular zip utilities and posted it - that way other FreeScan users (like me) can see what the programming looks like. Without that no one can really validate the programming.

Once the programming is validated (a not very expensive thing to do), we can then move onto antenna issues....best regards...Mike
 
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