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Stupid question - Tuning telescoping antenna?

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UFEMTFF

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Hey, this might seem like a stupid question, but I'll ask anyway. I have a scanner set up listening to only 800mhz systems. If I use the standard telescoping antenna that came with my scanner, would I get best reception by shortening it to it's smallest size?

Or would that not matter at all?
 

kf4lne

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Usually a 1/4 wave for 800MHz is around 3-1/2 inches long, most scanner mounted antennas wont go that short but if it does then by all means use it. If not "tune" it to about 7 inches to be 1/2 wave in length. Either way, use what works best for you.
 

UFEMTFF

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kf4lne said:
Usually a 1/4 wave for 800MHz is around 3-1/2 inches long, most scanner mounted antennas wont go that short but if it does then by all means use it.
Does this mean that if my antenna doesn't go that short, then I might as well have it to full length, because it won't make a difference?
 

kf4lne

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Try it at 7 inches, thats close to a half wavelength or even about 10 inches for a 3/4 wavelength antenna
 

KT4HX

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UFEMTFF said:
Hey, this might seem like a stupid question, but I'll ask anyway. I have a scanner set up listening to only 800mhz systems. If I use the standard telescoping antenna that came with my scanner, would I get best reception by shortening it to it's smallest size?

Or would that not matter at all?
That's what I do on any scanner that uses a telescoping antenna and when listening to 800 MHz. Granted I listen to my own county on 800 MHz at home, so I could put it at any position and get them. But I suppose optimum reception would be better when it's at the shortest position.
 

W4KRR

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UFEMTFF said:
Does this mean that if my antenna doesn't go that short, then I might as well have it to full length, because it won't make a difference?
Why don't you try it and see??? Experiment and determine the best length. Generally, the longer the better for the lower frequencies (VHF low and high), and shorter for UHF and 800 MHz. But that doesn't mean that you can't find a length somewhere in between that gives you good results.
 

ReceiverBeaver

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Replacement accesory scanner antennas are not that expensive. You can get a tuned 800mhz antenna for cheap. Smiley Antenna Co. offers an extensive line of tuned 5/8 duckies for just about any frequency and any connector for around $20.00

http://www.smileyantenna.com

There are many other brands and umpteen places to buy handheld antennas. They're silly all over the place.

Keep your telescopic for uses on other frequencies. You never know when you may want to listen to something else or go on a trip ect....

I find out exactly where my telescopics are tuned at by using an Antenna Analyzer such as an MFJ 269. Then when the meter reveals the optimum lengths for a desired frequency range, I mark the length adjustment with a fine line of enamel paint. Your chick's fingernail polish will do the same.....or you can use your own polish :) ect... Or a piece of tape can be used if it doesn't interfere with the sections closing.

good luck
 
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