Scanner at home

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Kmont97

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I live on the water (Niantic, CT. 06357) and would like to get a scanner that picks up local police, fire, EMS as well as VHF (marine communications). Any advice is recommended. Looking for recommendations for scanner as well as antennae. Plan to mount antennae on peak of roof about 25ft high. Thanks in advance.
 

DPD1

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It depends greatly on what type of systems your local orgs use, and what frequencies they talk on. That can be found in the data section. But in my opinion, you'd be best to go with either the Uniden 996XT, or the newer 536HP. Both of those will do the newer P25 systems. Even if they don't have any of those in your area, they probably will. The learning curve on those will be pretty high for somebody just starting, so you could always get something simple like the 125AT, first. That isn't going to do the complex systems, but it will teach you the basics of radio stuff.
 

Kmont97

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CT
Any particular antenna you'd recommend to get emergency as well as marine frequencies? I plan to mount on second story roof which is approx. 28ft high.
 

dmg1969

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Your county has just about everything from VHF low band, VHF high, UHF and P25 Phase 1 and the CT State Police uses Motorola Type II Smartzone. My recommendation to cover all of that would be the Uniden HomePatrol (HP-1). As fas as an antenna, the Antennacraft ST-2 (Scantenna) is one of the favorites of scanner listeners. Hope this helps.
 

Kmont97

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Antenna st2 in attic

I was originally planning to mount this antenna on the peak of my roof however was wondering if I can somehow mount this in my attic in front of a window? Height of attic is 104in. Height of antenna antennacraft ST2 is 120in. My questions are:

Can I install the antenna on a slight diagonal on wall in front of window? I realize I may lose some reception this way but feel it will be easier to access and won't need to worry about lightning strikes. It would also be much easier to install myself.
Is this even feasible or worthwhile to tackle?
Has anyone done this before and will reception be significantly compromised?

Please advise. Thanks!
 

bob550

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Albany County, NY
Looking at your local area, you'd be best with a digital scanner. It looks like your neighbor to the east, Waterford, is running P25 digital. The Home Patrol is a good choice as you can get up and running faster and with less fuss than a 996xt or 536hp. That said, you've also got the nuke plant nearby. New London/Groton offers many possibilities with the Coast Guard Academy, the Sub base, and Electric Boat. Marine comms in the VHF high band should be plentiful, especially in the summer months. I spent several years working in New London and living over in Westerly, RI. I have many fond memories of monitoring my scanners while there and miss the area. I'm jealous!
 

dmg1969

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Newport, PA
Kmont, most antennas are polarized vertically and mounting them such is ideal. That being said, a slight angle should be OK. I have a homemade OCFD antenna and had that tilted at about a 45 degree angle due to space limitations and it picked up just fine for my purposes. That was my experience, but it was not the ST-2. I have heard of people actually mounting them horizontally due to space limitations, but that is certainly not recommended. Like you, I did not want to have to worry about grounding, etc., so the attic was my choice. Currently, I have a Hustler MOR-B mobile scanner antenna mounted up there and it fit right up to the ridge vent with nary a millimeter to spare.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

jonwienke

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VA
The Home Patrol is a good choice as you can get up and running faster and with less fuss than a 996xt or 536hp.
Actually the 436HP, 536HP and HP-1 all have the same "getting started" sequence:

1. Turn the unit on.

2. Enter your ZIP code.

3. Listen to local traffic from the internal database.
 

ofd8001

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Louisville, KY
I concur with the above recommendations, 996XT or 536.

If you want more features and a tab better performance with cost being secondary, then 536.

If you are a casual listener and cost being a big consideration, then the 996XT.

I use three discone antennas and am happy with reception. Two are roof mounts and the third is an attice mount. They are 44" high which fits with your requirements.

ST4 Antennacraft Omni Base Antenna

The "rules" for antennas are, mount as high as you can, using the best coax cable you can afford.
 
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