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Valor PDC64 antenna coupler

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tatanka01

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Has anyone tried one of these?

Valor PDC64 Car Antenna Coupler

I know it won't be optimal, but in urban areas, I'm wondering if it'll do. I'm planning to try this in an '07 Altima which is already a compromise due to it's built-in stealth (amplified) antenna.

Any experience out there?
 

popnokick

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I've got one installed on my Uniden BCT15, and it's about the third of its type I've had in various vehicles over the last few years. An external magmount works better... even a thru-the-glass works better. The attenuation (loss) is pretty severe. It also has some effect on the AM/FM radio reception (loss). Effectively, a major compromise. I have a direct comparison all the time because I have an Alinco DR-635T scanning some of the same channels, and it has an external Comet antenna mounted rooftop. The Alinco often hears things the BCT15 does not. BUT, you've got to ask yourself how far out do you want to hear things in your mobile? My primary interest is in car-to-car transmissions within a mile or two of my vehicle. This antenna handles that. And for high power sigs such as county fire dispatchers and repeater sites, it works fine. With the added advantage that it does not require adding any antenna to your vehicle, it may make sense for you. But it is a sub-par performer on both your scanner and your AM/FM radio. If there is some way you can get a separate scanner antenna outside the vehicle... or even a thru-the-glass antenna... go for it.
 

tatanka01

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Thanks popno -- exactly the kind of information I was looking for, and pretty much what I expected.

Seems like it's worth a shot (but with low expectations). I'm interested in stuff in a very RF-laden urban corridor, and maybe the attenuation will even help in this situation. Handheld scanner with a "rubber duck" antenna works fine here, so I don't think I need much of an antenna.

Will go external if this doesn't work out, but it looked like it might keep me from doing much work initially.

Thanks again -- will report back in a few weeks. Scanner hasn't arrived yet, and I'll need some indoor play time before putting it in the car.
 

popnokick

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You're right about the attenuation perhaps helping in a dense RF environment. I forgot to mention that the Alinco is more often affected by front-end overload from strong sigs than the BCT15 on the AM/FM coupler antenna. Part of that might be the Alinco itself... I know it is more susceptible to intermod and overload than other receivers I've had mobile.

While we're on the subject of compromise antennas... I have an uninstalled antenna that was included in the Uniden BCT8 I had a few years ago. It's basically a length of wire with some suction cups that you stick to the inside of the windshield vertically adjacent to the door pillar, then route the coax down to the scanner. I'm wondering if it will be any better than the coupler? Once I get a warm weekend here and some time, I'll put it in and try it out for comparison. Unplugging the coupler will at least have the effect of restoring my AM/FM radio sensitivity.
 

popnokick

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Yup... that's what I have. I'll post more after I hook it up and compare it to the coupler.
 

popnokick

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I installed the "suction cup special" antenna today. It is slightly more sensitive than the multicoupler. I tried it with the wire both on the windshield about an inch from the door post, and then tried it completely tucked behind the plastic trim between the doorpost and the windshield. No difference in signal, so I left it tucked in.

Maybe not a big difference signal wise for the scanner, but my AM/FM radio is now much happier! Once again I can pull in daytime AM groundwave sigs from WABC and WCBS in NYC. Those were gone with the coupler inline.
 

deadringer

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For what its worth, I bought one of these PDC64 units and took it apart... I haven't hooked it up to try it yet, but I will sometime soon... here are the pics - there's not much too it and you could probably build one pretty easily:







 

tatanka01

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Nice pics, deadringer! Thanks for that.

As luck would have it, the adapter was back-ordered and I won't see it for a few weeks. They had the 996XT, so lots to play with in the meantime.
 

tatanka01

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Hah! Well, in the "no good deed goes unpunished" department, my order for the PDC64 was just canceled. It appears this item has been discontinued.

Bummer, guess I now have to think about a real antenna.
 

deadringer

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I'm sure there's inventory floating around everywhere - I think I got mine from Universal Radio...
 

deadringer

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My results were similar...

definitely better than any antenna inside the car.

But not as good as my larsen 140/440/800

I get decent UHF and 800 with the coupler, but I found that VHF is a bit weak... I haven't listened to enough airband on it yet.
 

kd8omt

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this is alot better then the window cell type antenna i got from radio shack. but everything i listen too is close 10-20mile radius
 

BonziBuddy

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this is alot better then the window cell type antenna i got from radio shack. but everything i listen too is close 10-20mile radius
That's why in the video I used the NOAA weather broadcast. I couldn't use my county's fire/police because their radio tower is only a few blocks away, 500 feet up and 300watts.
I don't even need any antennas on my radios to listen.
 
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