Car and Rooftop Antennas

Car and Rooftop Antennas

Post by Kevin Sutherlan » Sat, 04 Aug 2007 12:31:57

Hi everyone,

I have a Radio Shack Pro-97 scanner, a Radio Shack 800MHz antenna, and
a Diamond RH77CA antenna. I have been getting more and more into
scanning as I have learned how to more efficiently operate my scanner
to find broadcasts and discovered what I can receive with it.

I am looking to extend my scanner's capability with either an antenna
mountable on a car or the roof of my house, or both. Its difficult to
know which antennas will work well and which ones are a good value for
the price, so I thought I would post here to get some of your
opinions.

As far as a car antenna goes, I do not want to drill any holes
anywhere, and I am not sure I want a magnetic mount, since that might
scratch the car. From what I have been reading, many people recommend
magnetic mounts because of their superior reception quality, despite
their potential to damage the car. I do like the idea of an antenna
like the ProComm JBC290WC found at universal-radio.com:
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/scanants/0466.html This antenna
has a clip that mounts on the window by clipping on the top of the
window and then closing the window. I don't see how a magnetic mount
antenna could be superior to this since it has a solid connection.
However, the antenna is not very big, and maybe a magnetic mount would
be superior  due to its size. I would appreciate it if anyone could
share their opinions about car antennas in general, their experiences
with the ProComm mentioned above, and any recommendations they have on
specific models of car-mountable antennas.

As for a rooftop mountable antenna, I have been interested in possibly
getting a discone mast-mountable antenna. I have not really found a
model that I would definitely consider buying, so I would like to see
some recommendations from other users as to which antennas work well
and don't cost too much. I wouldn't mind spending under $100 for the
antenna (not including any other parts necessary for mounting,
additional cable, or connectors), but would have to seriously consider
anything that costs more than that.

I greatly appreciate any one's comments, suggestions and
recommendations on these types of antennas. Thanks!

 
 
 

Car and Rooftop Antennas

Post by Zed » Sun, 05 Aug 2007 00:19:34


Kevin,

I use a Larsen NMO style magnet mount that allows me to use a variety of
scanner and ham antennas on the same base. So far I have an Austin Spectra
and a Larsen 150/450/800 and find good performance from both. A variety of
manufacturers make products with this type of mount so it would be easy to
find antennas dedicated to specific bands if your interest eventually went
in that direction. A final benefit is that should I ever want to drill into
the car I could get a permanent NMO mount and still use all of the same
antennas. They easily***on/off so that the same freedom of choice is
preserved. Larsen sells rain caps and spare gaskets, etc., so that you could
remove the antenna and leave the mount in place. Look at Ham Radio Outlet,
www.hamradio.com.

What a magnet mount accomplishes technically is a coupling to the car for an
RF ground that will probably perform better than the roll-up window mount.
Not to knock the Procomm, but it's not tuned to the public service bands
like both the Larsen, Austin and others. Depending on your listening desires
and geography it may provide adequate performance, none the less, but you
sound like a serious listener interested in high performance.

As for a home antenna, look at the Diamond discone with an "N" style
connector ($99). I don't own one but reports I've read are good without
exception. The Radio Shack discone ($72) is a similar design but I've read
mixed reports of its durability. N connectors have lower loss at high
frequencies. Consider RG-6 coax for the same reason. By all means avoid the
thin RG58; it's losses at higher freqs are too great.

Good luck and let us know what you choose and how it works out.


Quote:> Hi everyone,

> I have a Radio Shack Pro-97 scanner, a Radio Shack 800MHz antenna, and
> a Diamond RH77CA antenna. I have been getting more and more into
> scanning as I have learned how to more efficiently operate my scanner
> to find broadcasts and discovered what I can receive with it.

> I am looking to extend my scanner's capability with either an antenna
> mountable on a car or the roof of my house, or both. Its difficult to
> know which antennas will work well and which ones are a good value for
> the price, so I thought I would post here to get some of your
> opinions.

> As far as a car antenna goes, I do not want to drill any holes
> anywhere, and I am not sure I want a magnetic mount, since that might
> scratch the car. From what I have been reading, many people recommend
> magnetic mounts because of their superior reception quality, despite
> their potential to damage the car. I do like the idea of an antenna
> like the ProComm JBC290WC found at universal-radio.com:
> http://www.redwaveradio.com/
> has a clip that mounts on the window by clipping on the top of the
> window and then closing the window. I don't see how a magnetic mount
> antenna could be superior to this since it has a solid connection.
> However, the antenna is not very big, and maybe a magnetic mount would
> be superior  due to its size. I would appreciate it if anyone could
> share their opinions about car antennas in general, their experiences
> with the ProComm mentioned above, and any recommendations they have on
> specific models of car-mountable antennas.

> As for a rooftop mountable antenna, I have been interested in possibly
> getting a discone mast-mountable antenna. I have not really found a
> model that I would definitely consider buying, so I would like to see
> some recommendations from other users as to which antennas work well
> and don't cost too much. I wouldn't mind spending under $100 for the
> antenna (not including any other parts necessary for mounting,
> additional cable, or connectors), but would have to seriously consider
> anything that costs more than that.

> I greatly appreciate any one's comments, suggestions and
> recommendations on these types of antennas. Thanks!

 
 
 

Car and Rooftop Antennas

Post by Kilgore Trout Jr » Sun, 05 Aug 2007 09:25:37

I've been using one of these discones for many years and have been very
satisfied with the results. Don't have snow & ice in my area, but this
antenna is subjected to substantial winds almost every day and so far hasn't
lost a single element. At $40 including shipping and handling, you'll be
hard pressed to find a better deal on a broad band scanner antenna. Use a
quality coax feedline such as RG-213 and keep it as short as possible for
best results.

http://www.antennawarehouse.com/Scanner/Discone.htm

The main advantage of a mag mount mobil antenna is that it uses the car body
as a ground plane. (ie. the other half of the antenna.)
The 30" Radio Shack classic with two loading coils works especially well for
the vhf frequencies used by many highway patrol services.


Quote:> Hi everyone,

> I have a Radio Shack Pro-97 scanner, a Radio Shack 800MHz antenna, and
> a Diamond RH77CA antenna. I have been getting more and more into
> scanning as I have learned how to more efficiently operate my scanner
> to find broadcasts and discovered what I can receive with it.

> I am looking to extend my scanner's capability with either an antenna
> mountable on a car or the roof of my house, or both. Its difficult to
> know which antennas will work well and which ones are a good value for
> the price, so I thought I would post here to get some of your
> opinions.

> As far as a car antenna goes, I do not want to drill any holes
> anywhere, and I am not sure I want a magnetic mount, since that might
> scratch the car. From what I have been reading, many people recommend
> magnetic mounts because of their superior reception quality, despite
> their potential to damage the car. I do like the idea of an antenna
> like the ProComm JBC290WC found at universal-radio.com:
> http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/scanants/0466.html This antenna
> has a clip that mounts on the window by clipping on the top of the
> window and then closing the window. I don't see how a magnetic mount
> antenna could be superior to this since it has a solid connection.
> However, the antenna is not very big, and maybe a magnetic mount would
> be superior  due to its size. I would appreciate it if anyone could
> share their opinions about car antennas in general, their experiences
> with the ProComm mentioned above, and any recommendations they have on
> specific models of car-mountable antennas.

> As for a rooftop mountable antenna, I have been interested in possibly
> getting a discone mast-mountable antenna. I have not really found a
> model that I would definitely consider buying, so I would like to see
> some recommendations from other users as to which antennas work well
> and don't cost too much. I wouldn't mind spending under $100 for the
> antenna (not including any other parts necessary for mounting,
> additional cable, or connectors), but would have to seriously consider
> anything that costs more than that.

> I greatly appreciate any one's comments, suggestions and
> recommendations on these types of antennas. Thanks!

 
 
 

Car and Rooftop Antennas

Post by David L. Wilso » Sun, 05 Aug 2007 10:17:38



Quote:> I've been using one of these discones for many years and have been very
> satisfied with the results. Don't have snow & ice in my area, but this
> antenna is subjected to substantial winds almost every day and so far
> hasn't lost a single element. At $40 including shipping and handling,
> you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal on a broad band scanner
> antenna. Use a quality coax feedline such as RG-213 and keep it as short
> as possible for best results.

> http://www.antennawarehouse.com/Scanner/Discone.htm

...

Not the best discone to try to put on a car.  I use this one that works very
well which which was designed for mobile use and makes a good desktop one
also
http://www.rfparts.com/diamond/d220.html
It runs about $100 though.