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Mag mount scanner antenna

I tried searching the archives but didnt find anything with any good recent information, so I apologize if I missed something and am bringing up old news.

That aside, I'm in the market for a new antenna for my mobile scanner, preferrably magnetic mount. Any suggestions on a place I can find something online?
 
I got my mag mount at Radio Shack. I originally mounted it on the roof of my Saturn. However, every time I passed a semi (going the other direction) on a two-lane highway, it would blow off. I had it tethered such that it would only bouce around on the car (and not the roadway) until I could stop and remount it.

Now, I keep it mounted on the back of the car, with the base beneath the spoiler. It never comes off anymore. I know I am hurting my reception a little bit, but better that than having the base come crashing through the sunroof.

The good thing about the Radio Shack antennas is that they are relatively cheap (~$30), but like John said, the magnet isn't very strong.

Good luck,
TonyC
 
I bought a radio shack scanner a while back. I will never buy another one. I have never had any problems with the magnet, but with the spring that joins the sections of the antenna together. After meeting a few semi's the top part of the antenna is now bent at almost a 90 degree angle. It still works, though, but now I also am in the market for a new one.
 
Personal fav scanner antenna. I have both the RadioShack and this one and I think it beats the Radioshack just by a little. Not sure what the gain is on either antenna but signals seem better on the hustler. Also, the magnet on the Radioshack antenna is starting to crack and fall apart, the hustler is still in perfect condition.

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/scanants/1581.html

Hustler MRM to BNC
 
Thanks for the info guys... I currently have the Radio Shack antenna, but like others, mine is also bent at the springs and I'm not really looking to buy the same antenna only to have it occur again.
 
Sorry for the lack of knowing what the adapter is called but here is what I have in both my cars...

I guess you have to have the right antenna jack on your scanner. The 2 Bearcats I have have them. I take the antenna from the FM radio. Pull it out of the radio and plug it into a splitter that has the female end, which then splits to 2 male ends. Then its just a little cable to plug one of them back to the radio and the other to the scanner. This gives you your solution for a couple bucks and you have one less antenna to deal with. And for the record, the reception is great. I can get over 2 to 3 counties away at all times. Ill try to find some pics online of what I am talking about.

Doug Raflik
[email protected]

Bingo. This isnt exactlly what I have, but its better. I made mine from seperate adapters and cable, but this is all you need...

http://www.bearcat1.com/item0020.htm

Doug Raflik
[email protected]
 
the top part of the antenna is now bent at almost a 90 degree angle. [/b]

I had the same problem with these antennas, I had two of them. There are two rubbery-like plastic connectors that join the antenna rods together. These connectors will gradually bend backwards permanently after continued exposure to airflow at highway speeds.

I only had a few isolated problems with the magnets not holding, but the flimsy connectors are the main complaint. All that is needed is a single rod, why they chose to use a three-section rod joined with the rubbery connectors is a mystery.

My lightbar's magnets are rock-solid, so I thread all of the antenna wires under the lightbar. That way if an antenna magnet loses its grip, it can't fall off of the roof.

I plan to buy two single metal rods from Home Depot to replace the segmented rods. It should be an easy fix for an otherwise sufficient antenna.
 
Check out this antenna:
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/scanants/1190.html

It has had very good reviews, and the only drawback is that it will not work as well on VHF lowband (below 80 MHz). However, most scanner enthusiasts have been very happy with its performance and the low profile will prevent the "blow off" effect when you pass semis. You can go here for a complete list of scanner antennas (some mobile):
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/scanants.html

Personally, I prefer NMO style permanent mounts for antennas. They have better performance over mag mounts (argueable - but my personal experience) and if your vehicle is not brand new and you are not selling it in the next six months or so, what have you got to loose? The higher profile antennas will blow off the roof unless you have a very strong magnetic base, and this may require buying something besides the stock magnet mount that comes with the antenna.

There is no one antenna that will adequately receive every band within the public safety radio spectrum to the same degree. Figure out which bands you wish to concentrate on and then select one of the antennas that best fits your needs. I'm not a huge fan of RadioShack products, but if they have something that meets your needs go for it.

Check out this thread on the Radio Reference forums regarding mobile scanner antennas:
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32915
 
Most dual band ham radio antennas make good scanner antennas, Ive been using one for my scanner for years and it has great range. So hopefully thatll widen your search, specific scanner antennas are harder to find than a UHF/VHF dual banders, and basically anything OUTSIDE the vehicle increases your range much more that the duck or whip they come with. Ive even used the splitter that uses your car's AM/FM antenna, it worked good, great on my wife's Honda, it had a built in pre-amp, pulled in signals real well.
 
Yeah Tom is right!

He suggested me the Hustler MRM scanner mag mount antenna and I followed his suggestion. The antenna works great! It's just perfect!

Thanks Tom!
 
If you don't want to drill (Mom's car? ;)), and don't like the magmount, try a trunk lip? Thats what I use, and for my applications, its perfect. It's nothing compared to a NMO (mag, L-bracket, or lip won't match it), but it's pretty easy to install and works good for repeaters.

RR001.jpg

[/b]


Andrew,

Where can you purchase the trunk lips online?

Chad
 
The Radio Shack antenna works just fine. Unless you're the type that has to have "top of the line" everything, the easiest solution is head down to your local Radio Suck and get a $30 antenna. The easy way to prevent "blow off" from passing trucks is to "Kojak" it, that is to say, mount it on the side next to the door, where you can reach out the window and grab it. This keeps the coax short enough so if you do have a blow offf, the antenna will only fall a foot or so, allowing you to re-stick it without stopping. I've had my current antenna for at least five years (my last purchase was in 2001 and I already had two before then) and it works as well as it did the first day.
 
I had the same problem with these antennas, I had two of them. There are two rubbery-like plastic connectors that join the antenna rods together. These connectors will gradually bend backwards permanently after continued exposure to airflow at highway speeds.

I only had a few isolated problems with the magnets not holding, but the flimsy connectors are the main complaint. All that is needed is a single rod, why they chose to use a three-section rod joined with the rubbery connectors is a mystery.[/b]

Mystery solved! Those are not merely connectors. They actually house "loading coils" that allow the antenna to operate at a wider range of frequencies than a simple radiator the same size. The coil sizes and locations were selected to permit the antenna to double as a transmitting antenna for 6m/2m/70cm ham use, although these also generally work out for general scanner listening. You'll see these coils on all sorts of multiband antennas.

I used the rat shack model for several years and didn't experience any bending (quality may have varied over the production years on these) but I did see the weak magnet problem; solved that by zip tying the antenna to my luggage rack. Now I use an NMO type antenna (alternate between an ABSCAN, Larson and a Maxrad stubby antenna).
 
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