Will I still receive frequencies outside of the "tuned" frequency for a mobile antenna?

Amaxonor

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Hello everyone,
yesterday I had the good fortune of finding an SDS100 for $500 in my quest to setup a scanner inside my car. I'm currently looking at antenna options and for my vehicle I'd really love to find something that is a low profile antenna. I'm in the north jersey area so I listen to NYPD and bergen county systems, NJICS etc. After looking at the frequencies I see much of what i listen to is in the 150MHz and 470-510MHz range with a small amount in the 800 area too. I was looking at scannermaster and see that there are options for ultra low profile antennas such as the Maxrad 450-512, however if I went with something like this would I likely miss a ton of stuff outside of that frequency?

I don't know if there are any other good suggestions for a wide band antenna thats low profile that maybe I'm not seeing? Form factor is a big selling point for me but not if I'm going to seriously compromise on function and listenability across the whole spectrum.
 
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jhooten

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I use a 16" whip. It receives strong low band signals, not that there are many of those in use anymore, VHF high, UHF, and 700/800/900 signals as well as the multi-band radio shack scanner antenna it replaced.
 

Hit_Factor

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It might work just fine. Here in Berrien County, Michigan I can pickup all towers without an antenna mounted (take it off for car wash etc.) If the 800 system has good coverage, and they pay big bucks for good coverage, it could be satisfactory.
 

Ubbe

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Come back later and tell us how it worked out for you. The SDS100 are focused on handling simulcast transmissions and it's receiver works good in the 800 range but 400Mhz have some issues and VHF-Hi have all sorts of intermod and blocking going on in the receiver chip. It would be interesting to know how your reception ends up to be in your car.

/Ubbe
 

mmckenna

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Any antenna will 'work'. Even a stripped back piece of wire...
The difference is how well it'll work. Using a short UHF antenna and expecting good VHF performance may lead to some disappointment. Antennas designed for the frequencies you want to listen to are going to work best. "Low profile" and "VHF" usually don't go together very well.

But, many public safety radio systems are designed around a handheld radio worn on the belt. That's one of the worst places for a radio. So, adding just about any kind of external antenna is going to provide some performance.

If it was me, I'd skip the 'low profile' antennas. They'll work well enough on higher frequencies, but tend to really be poor performers on lower frequencies. A 1/4 wave VHF whip will work very well on VHF, and will act as a 3/4 wave antenna on UHF. Or, try something like the Larsen NMO-150-450-800 antenna. The 1/4 wave whips blend in really well, just a thin radiator that really disappears. The coil on the multiband antenna will stand out a bit more, but that antenna will have better performance for your application.
 

Amaxonor

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Come back later and tell us how it worked out for you. The SDS100 are focused on handling simulcast transmissions and it's receiver works good in the 800 range but 400Mhz have some issues and VHF-Hi have all sorts of intermod and blocking going on in the receiver chip. It would be interesting to know how your reception ends up to be in your car.

/Ubbe
So far I've got the remtronix on it that came with it. The simulcast in my area comes through crystal clear, obviously. Everything else I've been listening too has also been coming through really well surprisingly. I also have an SDS200 here at home that I hooked up to a Diamond D130J super discone and obviously that really boosted the range and clarity over the small teloscoping antenna that came with the 200, but given the small 6" remtronix on the 100 right now I'm pleasantly surprised
 

Amaxonor

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Any antenna will 'work'. Even a stripped back piece of wire...
The difference is how well it'll work. Using a short UHF antenna and expecting good VHF performance may lead to some disappointment. Antennas designed for the frequencies you want to listen to are going to work best. "Low profile" and "VHF" usually don't go together very well.

But, many public safety radio systems are designed around a handheld radio worn on the belt. That's one of the worst places for a radio. So, adding just about any kind of external antenna is going to provide some performance.

If it was me, I'd skip the 'low profile' antennas. They'll work well enough on higher frequencies, but tend to really be poor performers on lower frequencies. A 1/4 wave VHF whip will work very well on VHF, and will act as a 3/4 wave antenna on UHF. Or, try something like the Larsen NMO-150-450-800 antenna. The 1/4 wave whips blend in really well, just a thin radiator that really disappears. The coil on the multiband antenna will stand out a bit more, but that antenna will have better performance for your application.
I think I'm gonna go ahead and order the larsen you mentioned. I see no point in sacrificing usability just so that the antenna is small. I think you're correct that the small diameter will allow it to fade away into the background. Only thing that sucks is it's 2-3week till it ships from everywhere right now :rolleyes:
 

kb3isq

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I think I'm gonna go ahead and order the larsen you mentioned. I see no point in sacrificing usability just so that the antenna is small. I think you're correct that the small diameter will allow it to fade away into the background. Only thing that sucks is it's 2-3week till it ships from everywhere right now :rolleyes:ay
Ebay has the antenna (without the spring) which says you would receive in a week
 

mmckenna

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I think I'm gonna go ahead and order the larsen you mentioned. I see no point in sacrificing usability just so that the antenna is small. I think you're correct that the small diameter will allow it to fade away into the background. Only thing that sucks is it's 2-3week till it ships from everywhere right now :rolleyes:
You'll be happy with that set up.

Bonus points if you do a permanent install.
 

Amaxonor

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You'll be happy with that set up.

Bonus points if you do a permanent install.
Hahaha the permanent install makes me a little nervous. I like your signature lol I was checking out Diamonds K400S lip mount, I assume this would work pretty well for this setup if i don't drill. Maybe just add an additional ground strap?
 

iMONITOR

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If you believe the claims of Dr. Jack this would be ideal. There is a thread on RR discussing this antenna. Might want to check their return policy prior to purchasing. Some swear by it, other swear at it. :cautious:

COMPACtenna SCAN III

Designed by Dr. Jack Nilsson N8NDL, is 9.5 inches tall, yet has wide VHF/UHF range covering 100 - 1500 MHz. It is optimized for 136-174, 378-512 and 750-960 MHz. The small, rugged, receive-only antenna provides high performance as a result of its unique electric/magnetic field diversity design. The patented design uses the the latest science to provide revolutionary performance in NLOS (Non-Line-Of-Sight) obstructed environments such as behind buildings, in garages, behind other vehicles and in valleys. Nominal gain +3 dBi. It features an NMO base.
This antenna requires an NMO type vehicle mount and coax which are not included. Please see table below for typical mounting methods. One year limited mfg. warranty. Made in the U.S.A.

86339
 

mmckenna

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Hahaha the permanent install makes me a little nervous. I like your signature lol I was checking out Diamonds K400S lip mount, I assume this would work pretty well for this setup if i don't drill. Maybe just add an additional ground strap?
It would probably work.
But in my experience, Diamond is consumer grade stuff. Larsen, Laird, Maxrad, all better products.
 

iMONITOR

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Personally, I think that antenna, as well as some of the other "magic" antennas that hams seem to love, should come with a self adhesive, laminated "Kick Me" sign. Around the holidays, include a strip of masking tape to wrap around your glasses, just for good measure.
I agree, that's why I advised to proceed with caution and confirm the option to return it if not satisfied. But as I said some people seem to like it. The specs seem to be inline with the OP's needs. Maybe not the lowest profile, but I don't think there is a good low profile wide-band antenna made.

Note: Replace masking tape with duct tape, it last longer! :D
 

JoshuaHufford

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What kind of car is it going on?

I have a compactenna on my Subaru Outback, it is towards the back. I removed the sharkfin antenna and use the existing hole for an NMO mount. With the roof rails on each side of the roof the antenna which is about the same color blends in well and unless you know what you are looking at doesn't really draw much more attention than the sharkfin does. I've had it on there for a few months now and not a single person has commented on it or asked what it was. I went with it because I can pull into my very low garage without taking it off, I only have about 1 Ft. of space between the top of my car and the garage door, it is a very low garage.

And I could care less if other people think I'm a dork because of the antenna on my car. If someone gets some enjoyment out of making fun of something I do that I enjoy, I'm glad I could improve their pitiful life.
 

mmckenna

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And I could care less if other people think I'm a dork because of the antenna on my car. If someone gets some enjoyment out of making fun of something I do that I enjoy, I'm glad I could improve their pitiful life.
Well, don't take anything I said personal. If it works for you, that's all that matters.
 

iMONITOR

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And I could care less if other people think I'm a dork because of the antenna on my car. If someone gets some enjoyment out of making fun of something I do that I enjoy, I'm glad I could improve their pitiful life.
o_O No one said anything about you or to you or thought you were a dork. We were not knowingly making fun of anything you enjoy. We didn't even know you had a COMPACtenna on your vehicle until you brought attention to yourself.

mmckenna and I were discussing and joking back and fourth about the antenna because it's had some mixed reviews. Someone ran some formal test on it and it's not all it's cracked up to be, especially for $115.00.
 
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