What antenna to buy ?

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STICKY1

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I have a bcd536 and want to put up a antenna in my attic what should I buy that will cover all the frequencies and not break the bank !!!! I will end up using around 60 feet of wire will I need a inline amp or something . thanks
 

JamesO

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Avery93

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I second the DPD Omni-X. It's a durable, excellent performing wide-band antenna, and DPD is a great company to work with.

From my experience It seems to work very well on VHF airband through UHF, with performance starting to trail off above or below that range. 7/800 MHz coverage is respectable, but nothing spectacular. From the limited VHF-Low use in my area, it seems to perform adequately for strong, local transmissions, especially considering it isn't designed for this range.

As for the preamp, you will be much better off investing in good quality feed line rather than buying cheap, lossy cable and trying to compensate. At 60', you will want a minimum of RG-8 type cable, such as LMR-400. If your primary interests are above 700 MHz, then 3/8" or 1/2" hardline would be even better.
 

STICKY1

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I see it says 7 to 800 MHz will it be good for the lower freq too like a universal antenna for a wide range of freq on the bcd536. Thanks
 

Avery93

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I see it says 7 to 800 MHz will it be good for the lower freq too like a universal antenna for a wide range of freq on the bcd536. Thanks
Yes, as I said it performs very well from approximately 118 through 470 MHz. At 7/800 MHz it performs well but don't expect it to receive very distant or weak stations. It will receive VHF-low (30-88 MHz), but it seems to only be adequate for strong, local signals.
 

davenlr

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Have any of you tried mounting a UHF bow-tie TV antenna like a channel master CM4224 for vertical polarity? It should cover approx VHF-Hi through 800 Mhz with some gain in the general direction its pointed. Im going to give it a try later this spring. Im trying to pick up a couple of the outlying P25 sites, and a UHF motorola system which is about 55 miles away. I can occasionally pick them up with an ST2 at night, and dont get a peep out of them on a Radio Shack discone.
 

davenlr

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Just for grins, I checked the NOAA weather radio channels to compare the ST2 and Discone. I could pick up two NOAA transmitters on the discone, but on the ST2, I was getting one NOAA station from West Plains, Missouri, a distance of about 175 miles. Pretty respectable for an Omni antenna.
 

davenlr

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The ferret is the best antenna I put on my bct15x yet. Does A.M VERY well. VHF is its strongest point. Austin Antenna Ferret Omnidirectional Multiband Base Station Scanner Antenna LMR 400 is the best too.
I was looking at those, but at that price, with a bold "Not returnable" on their web page, I would be real hesitant, as I really like the option to return an item if its advertising is all hype.

A review on eham.net from a professional monitoring service said this antenna worked no better than a discone, and was actually performing poorer on the 30-50 band.

Can you provide any comparisons to any other antennas, such as a discone, or ST2?
 

mainetrunk

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Well, all I can say in it's defense is last Sunday I ran a long AM search, heard from Bangor Maine to DC. If you check Google earth, from my local, it recieves 1/3 of Mass, 75% of NH, and because of Mt. Aggamenticeus,( in york maine ) limitted to signals from the North by northeast. My last discone from Scanner Master was good, but hard to handle on a roof. All those arms grabbing shingles, reaching out and down. My opinion, ferret is my choice, just cause I had the money, and I was there. I actually paid $240.00 plus $75 for a pro to do the ends of the LMR cable correctly. Cable was $10..Best thing about the Ferret, it slides onto the Radio Shack chimney mount like a glove, just uses up cable..
 

davenlr

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Im currently using an ST2, which works great. I was just curious if the ferret (which is obviously better made and more weatherproof) would be worth the extra $200. They are both of similar design (half wave elements for each band), so would suspect they would receive about the same. My ST2 blows the discone away in receive. Its just not built like it would handle a wind storm or getting hit with falling twigs and such (Im in the woods). The ferret looked to me like you could smack it into a tree and not damage it.
 

LIScanner101

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I've never seen such a diametrically opposed following demographic as the one involving the Austin Ferret. People either love it or hate it, with no middle ground. I've never been able to figure out what causes that.
 

LIScanner101

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Well, all I can say in it's defense is last Sunday I ran a long AM search, heard from Bangor Maine to DC. If you check Google earth, from my local, it recieves 1/3 of Mass, 75% of NH, and because of Mt. Aggamenticeus,( in york maine ) limitted to signals from the North by northeast. My last discone from Scanner Master was good, but hard to handle on a roof. All those arms grabbing shingles, reaching out and down. My opinion, ferret is my choice, just cause I had the money, and I was there. I actually paid $240.00 plus $75 for a pro to do the ends of the LMR cable correctly. Cable was $10..Best thing about the Ferret, it slides onto the Radio Shack chimney mount like a glove, just uses up cable..
Do you have any info on how it handles VHF low, VHF high and UHF?
 

dgruber

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i would go with the ST2. mine stood up against hail and 60+ mph winds! i have never had any problems with it.
 

n5ims

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Wondering if RG-8. Wire. Will work with the ST 2 antenna
It will, but not very well. The ST-2 is designed to have an impedance of around 300 ohms with a balanced output (like the typical TV antennas do) and use a 300 to 75 ohm transformer to match the impedance and convert the output to unbalanced (so coax can be used). Unless you go crazy in your coax length, you're probably better off using the supplied RG-6, which is optimized for use in the frequency range used by the antenna design.
 

STICKY1

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Yes I want to put in the attic but when I get the wire to the basement is ok all open run but then I have about 20 feet in the wall of RG 8 were I want to have the bcd536 in the liveing room I don't want to open up a wall to run wire !!!!
 

davenlr

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Who installed RG8 in the wall? That is very uncommon. In any case, you would be better off running the supplied RG6 coax from the antenna, and use an F to PL259 adapter to plug the RG6 into the RG8. The slight mismatch wont matter since the scanner itself would be a slight mismatch, and you are only moving the location of the mismatch :) You really sure that is RG8 in the wall? If its left over from an old satellite or cable install, its probably 75 ohm coax.
 
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