What is best antenna for use with BCD536HP

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hydrasports

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I was wondering what is a good antenna to buy to use with the BCD536HP? Now I don't mean something that I have to mount to my roof, just different options to pick from that are known to work with this scanner.
 

cessna_172

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What is best antenna for use with BCD536HP
There is no "best" antenna per say as that is totally subjective. Any antenna will work with the scanner but how well will a particular antenna work? It depends on a lot of things and what your goals are. If your just wanting to hear things within a short distance of your location then in all likelihood the telescopic antenna that is included with the scanner will work just fine however; if your looking for something more, then an outside antenna would be the best choice. There are a number of antennas to choose from and some may perform better than others. There are just so many variables at play. Location, terrain, antenna height, feed-line choice, etc. I currently have an Austin Ferret fed with RG6 coax that works very well. Of course my location isn't the best but I'm pleased with the antenna's performance for my area. I have no problems hearing all of the surrounding counties and some beyond.
 

sparklehorse

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Antennas aren't scanner specific, they are band specific. So your first task in narrowing your antenna choices is to determine what band or bands are of interest to you.
.
 

sibbley

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The Diamond RH789 works well. It's a telescoping antenna that when adjusted properly does pretty well across all bands. YMMV, you need to find the best height for your situation. The antenna has an adjustment chart printed on it for different bands.
 

JamesO

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After MANY years and many different installations, here is what I having finally found is the simplest and most cost effective end game solution.

Most people will tell you to get the best outdoor antenna you can afford, get it as high up as you can and use the shortest run of low loss coax you can purchase. All in all good suggestions, but in the real world rarely practical or possible. I will go toe to toe with anyone that wants to question my setup. I have been dealing with communication systems for years and know what I am doing. I have installed systems in 6-12 story commercial building with hundreds of feet of cable and there is no way even the best coax and antenna would have performed even as close to what I was able to put together for far less cost and far simpler installation.

So for the moment I have an attic mounted antenna with about a 200 foot run of RG-6 coax feeding 8 radios through a number of splitters and a 2nd stage Amplifier.

What you need to understand is you need the lowest noise figure Amplifier at the base of the antenna. After this the coax and any other amplifiers is fairly negligible in the big picture.

My biggest challenge was the mulitiple FM broadcast towers within 5 miles of me transmitting up to 75kW!!! But after about 4 different FM broadcast filters, I finally found one that worked quite well for under $25 as I recall.

To get the most out of any radio it the house you want something other than the antenna mounted on the radio. Even some of the TV flat patch antenna mounted on a window can be better than a radio mounted antenna in the house.

Suggest you read this thread here and consider how you could possibly get at least an antenna in the attic and run some RG-6 cable to your listening location. I would bet once you work out the amplifier and any filtering, you would later move the antenna outside.

Even a smaller antenna mounted in the attic or outside with a decent amplifier will well outperform any antenna you would mount on the radio or on the same floor as the radio.

http://forums.radioreference.com/splitters-filters-multicouplers/343884-mini-circuit-low-noise-pre-amp-10-off-december-other-useful-rx-items.html
 

kc2kth

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I use this home brew tri-band. Works pretty good.
Just used a piece of flat metal for ground plane.

Built it with some No. 12 copper...Rip some romex apart. No 10 may be more sturdy.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/845071/SCANNER-ANTENNA
Second, these work great and the radials also can serve as legs for the antenna to stand on. I built a few of these for ham use too, 2m, 70cm. Granted it's not going to be a D130J kind of performance, but cut right they beat the stock antenna in most cases.
 

captainmax1

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For Decades, I have always got the best performance on my scanners with a Discone antenna mounted outside. The D130J is a great antenna and works great from 25-1300 MGz. This antenna with some high quality cable (I use LMR400) and you will have a great setup. These antenna's are also good for 2M, 70CM Ham Tranceivers also.
 

hydrasports

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SOFA_KING

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The problem with indoor antennas is signal blockage from the building you are in. Even the "best" antenna can't receive what isn't there. Sometimes putting the "right" antenna that's resonant on the bands you intend to receive near a window can help some from that one direction, but even that will have blind spots. And one important detail to know about any antenna is its radiation pattern and gain figure. You want the gain (if there is any) radiation lobe pointed at the stations you are wanting to receive. That's how antennas really work.

Sound complicated? Well, it is, to some degree. Not hard to understand if you do a little research. But the notion that some "wizzbang" antenna plugged directly into the back of your scanner with unsubstantiated claims of magical reception on all bands, without providing meaningful specifications to back it up, is plain hogwash. That telescopic whip that came with your scanner is about as good an antenna as you can get if you adjust it to the band(s) you want to receive, especially if you add two or three 19" ground radial wires underneath it (attached to the metal chassis of the scanner). 19" is a resonant quarter wave antenna at 155 MHz and a three quarter wave at 465 MHz. Shortened to 10 1/2" and it becomes a resonant 3/4 wave on 850 MHz. The pattern of a 1/4 or 3/4 wave antenna (both resonant 50 Ohm antennas) is fairly round all the way around (like the shape of an apple) . Dipole antennas of the same dimensions have a slightly flatter pattern (like the shape of a donut) giving you slight gain. But big gain antennas compress the pattern lobe to extend gain (hopefully) towards the horizon. Gain antennas usually work only on one frequency band, and usually don't cover an entire band...enpecially lower frequency bands. Multi-band gain designs have different patterns and gain on each band...that is if they publish those details. Most don't. Often you gain some here, and loose a lot elsewhere. So the properly adjusted telescopic whip (without bogus coils and other doohickeys) offers the widest bandwidth.

But nothing will make up for being inside an RF shielded building. So the answer is a good wide band antenna, like a Diamond Discone, out in the clear (no obstructions) fed with low loss cable. Being resonant and unobstructed will work wonders. And more height means more range. That's how it really works.

Phil
 

sparklehorse

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The Diamond Tri Band you linked to is a Ham antenna that does not cover 700-800 MHz. Not the best choice if that band is of interest to you. Plus you are paying for an antenna that covers the 220 MHz ham band, which is unlikely to be of interest even if you are a ham. The Tram 1410 might be a decent discone, but if you are going that route I would opt for a discone with an established reputation such as the Diamond D130 that someone mentioned earlier. Discones are good wide band antennas, but keep in mind their performance begins to degrade at higher frequencies. They do OK at 800 MHz, but if that band is your focus then a discone is not the best choice. Also if your focus is higher frequencies like 700-800 then you should definitely use low loss coax like LMR-400 as someone mentioned earlier. The Magnetic Indoor Base antenna you linked to looks like an expensive gimmick to me. If you just want something to plug into the back of the radio that will work a little better than the stock antenna (which is all that mag mount is going to do) then I would go with the Diamond RH77CA instead (though it also is not ideal at 800 MHz). You'll need a right angle BNC connector to make it work:

https://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Original-Dual-Band-Handheld-Antenna/dp/B00M1X73EA/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485709570&sr=1-1&keywords=Diamond+77+bnc

But as Sofa King and others have stated, you are not going to get significantly better results until you install an outdoor antenna, or at least something like a discone or J-pole mounted in your attic.

.
 
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W4EMS

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If you go with the attic idea check to be sure that your attic does not have aluminized layering over the roof. My last house had this and reception on upstairs was twice that of the attic with RG-6 and multiple checks for a short or other adverse connection. Current house does not have this and reception improved up there but as noted much better with an outdoor antenna.
 

hydrasports

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New London County, CT
That's a pretty cool link and antenna. I'll have to build one. Anyone have any idea what book this is?
I am surprised there is not something like this that covers most listened to scanner frequencies that you can set up say hanging from a window curtain rod that would help get better reception without having to try and run a cable outside or even up to the attic.
 
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