Thinking about this antenna setup. Please comment

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habsfan70

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I'm trying to go low cost hear. Need an antenna for 4 Uniden scanners (various models). Monitoring mostly 400-800 mgz public safety.

antenna- MP Super M Classic
4 port signal amplifier
30ft of rg6 with appropriate connectors

I know rg6 is not optimal but I am working under a spouse imposed budget. I am a bit concerned about the amplifier. Any and all comments and opinions are appreciated.
 

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allend

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I'm trying to go low cost hear. Need an antenna for 4 Uniden scanners (various models). Monitoring mostly 400-800 mgz public safety.

antenna- MP Super M Classic
4 port signal amplifier
30ft of rg6 with appropriate connectors

I know rg6 is not optimal but I am working under a spouse imposed budget. I am a bit concerned about the amplifier. Any and all comments and opinions are appreciated.
So I am going to give you my honest opinion since I have worked with a lot of different types of antenna's. I know you are on a budget but you will get what you pay for.

I have had one of these antenna's before and they seem to work really well on the bands you are looking for. It's not the greatest antenna but it will work. Make sure you put it up on a mast or a pole as high as you can or bury it up in a tree. Another good option is the Diamond D3000N or the Diamond D130J. Great all band discone antenna's which work awesome but on unity gain. But for scanners its a great antenna.

The issue that you will have with this antenna is that the connector on the ground plane comes with an N connector female. So if you are going to use this antenna with an RG-6 amplifier then you will need to buy an Male N to F female adapter which will work just fine for your needs. The adapter is cheap.

https://3gstore.com/product/856_n-male-f-female.html?country=US&gclid=CPi3zvXO29ECFY2JaQodSTkCkg


Make sure your wire or feed line does not exceed more than a 100 feet of RG-6.

Make sure you buy a box of RG-6 double shielded coax or a box of 500 feet at Home Depot or so. Its no more than about 40 bucks. Make sure you buy compression connectors. Make sure you do a real clean job and use the proper crimping tools and compression connector tools for the job. If you use good coax cable or feed line and good connectors you will minimize any loss.
 
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allend

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Also keep in mind that I am using LMR-400 50 ohm feed line and it works great but my other feed line which is a 100 feet of RG-6 tends to work better on my other radios. Go figure. It just might be the placement of where the antenna's are in the house attic.

Antenna placement sometimes is science project most of the time depending on where the signal is coming from and the band you are trying to bring into your home to the radio
 

ScanMaine

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RG6 is great cable, I use lots of it! It's all in what you have for money. I had a big budget and I keep going back to RG6 every time!
 

jonwienke

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Indoor antennas are always going to be a crapshoot regarding placement, because of reflections and signal blockage from structural items in the house. A location that picks up one signal well may not pick up another signal from a different direction at all.

The best thing is to get the antenna out of the house and above the roofline and nearby trees and hilltops.
 

popnokick

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I use the PCT splitter you pictured with an Off-Center Dipole in my attic. The PCT splitter-amp is connected to the old cable TV runs in the house that are no longer being used. They all terminate in the attic, which was the old feed point for the cable TV in the house. I feed two scanners and a dedicated weather radio with the setup. All I have to do is connect an RG-6 jumper from the cable TV wall outlet to each radio. The PCT works great with all three radios on one antenna. If you are planning on an outdoor mast-mounted antenna yours should do fine. Just pay close attention to putting on the RG-6 connectors correctly (assuming you are doing your own). Also, ensure you use a protective ground with the outdoor antenna. It's pretty much a non-issue with an attic antenna, but as soon as you stick an antenna on a rooftop mast you have just created a lightning rod on your house.
 

lmrtek

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That antenna works well but is way over priced
You can buy a hustler dcx discone for under 25 bucks
And regardless how much you spend, a discone is a discone

Rg6 coax is great for scanner antennas and you can buy BNC compression connectors
To avoid using adapters.

A mast mounted preamp would be best

Many TV amps tend to attenuate the frequencies a scanner wants to hear so make sure they actually work from 115mhz to 470mhz and 700mhz to 1000
 

captainmax1

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I use a discone on a 25 foot mast with LMR400 cable and a 4 way multicoupler to feed 4 scanners. I have used discone antennas for decades and get great results for anything within 25-1300 range including scanners and UHF/VHF Ham Transceivers. For HF I use Dipole antenna. And remember, what we spend on our radio equipment stays to ourselves. Lie to the wife if you have to but don't skimp on cable.
 

prcguy

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In my opinion the MP Super M Classic is a joke for what it costs. A Discone from any of the major mfrs is an actual wide band antenna that will present a good match to the radio from about 100MHz to over 800MHz and you can transmit on it. The radiation pattern on the typical size scanner Discones is not that great above about 500Mhz and 800 will suffer compared to the 100-500Mhz range.

The Super M Classic thing is an over hyped coat hanger. There are some commercial/military antennas (Bicones) that look similar to the Super M thing but they are much larger for the same frequency range and have complex matching network to make them work. The Super M is exactally and only what you see, 3 stingers sticking up connected to the coax center conductor and 3 sticking down that are connected to the shield. Nothing magic and it should not cost very much.
prcguy
prcguy
 

Russell

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The RG6 does real well for receiving. I use a similar distribution amp for my receiver setup and I'm very happy. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with results using that amp. I've not used that antenna but use the trusty old RS 20-176 in the attic (wind took out my roof antenna earlier this year and haven't replaced it, yet). Overall, I think you'll be satisfied but tell your wife the you'll struggle through with this setup and that you really "need" a better antenna. :) Of course, height is everything.

Russell
 
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habsfan70

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Thanks for the replies. After reading your posts I am going to upgrade the antenna to the Diamond D130nj on 10ft of mast. I'm going to stick with the rg6 and the multi coupler amp. If that doesn't get the results I'm looking for I'll consider switching to LMR-400 and the Stridesburg multi coupler. I heard it's good but it's just so damn expensive.
 

mmckenna

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If the signal is there, and you don't have any high power transmitters nearby, then that should work fine.

The discone has 0dB of gain, but it'll cover the UHF and 800MHz band just fine.
30 feet of RG-6 shouldn't be an issue. It's used for satellite TV, cable TV, etc and it works fine over longer distances than that.

The minor increase you'd get from going to LMR-400 probably wouldn't be noticeable. We're talking fractions of a dB, so low that you'd need some good test equipment to even tell.

If it still doesn't work, and you know the signal is there (confirm by going on the roof with a handheld scanner and either connect directly to the antenna or use the stock antenna), then you could try upgrading to a Yagi antenna pointed at the site you want to hear.
 

gmclam

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1) All RG-6 is not created equal. Look for stuff that has the lowest loss at the highest frequency you want to receive.

2) An amplifier can be ideal to compensate for the loss of splitting one antenna signal to 4 receivers. A bad amplifier (such as one with high noise figure) can be worse than no amp.

I have a discone feeding into a multicoupler and it works fine for me. But I am running an LMR-400 equivalent from the antenna to the amp. I also had to add a filter to remove AM & FM (88-108MHz) broadcast signals so the amp isn't overloaded. I use high quality low-loss RG-6 from the amp to the receivers but those runs are more like 10 feet each.
 

Rred

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WRT compression fittings: If you are not familiar with the fittings and the tool (and they often have to be from the same maker to really work well) you can expect to throw out the first two or three that you put on the cable. So leave enough slack to allow for lopping off the end if the compression doesn't quite go right. With any cable and fittings, good fittings are important. If you need ten...buy at least 12.
 
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