Scanner antenna advice

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Scanner antenna advice

Postby LandingGearLaurie » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:03 pm

Hi guys
Need some advice. Will a Homebase scanner antenna improve the distance I receive?
I am thinking of either a Sirio or Scanmaster which are both around the £40 mark.
Can I expect better performance over a tabletop discone?
Any advice gratefully received!
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby m0lsx » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:53 pm

Height & the coax are what matters more than the antenna in some respects.
In general, it's the higher your antenna the further the horizon is & the fewer the obstacles, between you & the transmitter. Although that does depend upon where you live. As places like the highlands & Snowdonia for example would need massive height to get over the topography.
When budgeting for your antenna, do not forget you will need a bracket & pole to mount it on. Plus some decent coax, as there is no point in getting a better antenna & then loosing 50% plus of the signal.
RG-58 is not suitable for Scanner use, even on short runs. So budget around at least £150 for that antenna, bracket, pole, coax etc.
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby LandingGearLaurie » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:53 pm


Thank you so much for your excellent reply. Lots to go on there.
So with that said, assuming that I already have the bracket & 5ft alloy pole what antenna & coax would you recommend for distance?
Basically I have a Uniden Bearcat BCT15x which has a BNC connection and I basically use it for air and marine bands.
Appreciate the advice fella.
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby AndrewIrvine » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:35 am

Also factor in that if you especially live in a built up area, you will also be prone to pull in more interference / cross modulations.
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby ex vp8ckp » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:24 am

Hope you get sorted.I too am in the market for a base antenna though my indoor one works great. What sort of area do you live in? ie built up? countryside/hilly etc?
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby G4RMT » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:40 pm

Andrew - that's somewhat confusing advice without explaining it! I cannot think of any scanner user who has not benefited from a better higher outside antenna - If you live in an area with strong permanent signals from close to you - then they will be no doubt the strongest signal on a poor antenna too!

I fond your notion about pulling in more 'interference' a bit silly - sorry. The improvement from an outside antenna outweighs this many times. Interference at a location is the same with a rubbish antenna - signal to noise does NOT get worse with a better antenna because the signal goes up in the same ratio - and of course when the signal overall goes up, more distant transmissions come up too. Cross modulation, as in intermodulation products where two or more mix together to create a phantom new one only give the impression of more activity. If you get two that produce a phantom marine band signal in the UHF spectrum, then as long as you realise it isn't really there - does it matter.

If you live in a built up area the fact is you will have much more to listen to - compared to somebody in a rural or coastal area, where a large part of the compass dial is empty.

All the scanner users I know who live in busy towns with an outside antenna hear much, much more. In my location, an indoor antenna produces much more silence than activity and an outside antenna is the only real solution when you get bored with the four or five local close users.

Warning people they will pull in interference is, in my VERY humble opinion absolute hogwash. In nearly 40 years of sticking antennas of all kinds up, not once has a bigger, better antenna given worse results, and the notion of somehow being a hoover, sucking up loads of annoying noises is a bad and very wrong one to give.

Sorry - but you're way off the mark here. Jingle Bells. Merry Christmas and all that stuff - of course!
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby Chris P » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:25 pm

There are occasions when an outside wide band antenna such as a Discone mounted at a high level can cause a scanner with poor intermodulation , wide bandwidth front end and poor image performance to have worse performance than a indoor tuned (ie Narrow band ) antenna such as a dipole .

especially when the receiving location is close to a source of high signal strength such as a pager transmitter or similar
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Re: Scanner antenna advice

Postby barryk » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:25 pm

I am in a conservation area and I use a 2 metre 70cms dipole on my tv antenna
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