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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009
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Scanner antenna for capped Ranger

Any suggestions on a antenna for my scanner? I have a 04 Ranger with a bed cap on it so no real place to put the antenna. I also have to meet a clearence as my parking area is 6'10" limit. For the time being I am using an adapter that allows you to use your radio antenna for the scanner too. Of course it is no where near perfect, but it works at least somewhat for now.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

FWIW I am running a Alon's CB antenna bracket as well and a 3' fire stick.
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Old 06-03-2009
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I hope you checked your state laws re: having a scanner in a motor vehicle.It is illegal in many states.
With that said , I have found that the older mobile cell phone antennas work reasonably well.They are designed for UHF but aren't too bad at picking up VHF highband , which are the two common bands is use.The only issue would be changing the coax connector to mate with your scanner , probably a BNC connector.But that isn't difficult.
Avoid the through-the-glass type.
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Old 06-03-2009
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TX state laws do not explicitly prohibit the use of a scanner in a vehicle. But either way I am a volunteer fire fighter and also will be getting my HAM ticket soon so either way you look at it I am in the clear.

No thru the glass as I have tint. I would prefer and antenna that has good pickup on the full range of freqs. especially 400 and 800 ranges but really all.

I was looking at the Austin Spectra Mobile at scannermaster.com but cannot come up with a decent mounting solution for my truck.
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Old 06-03-2009
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You have a cap and not a tonneau cover ?
How about a homemade antenna . Since you're getting your HAM ticket , build your own.
Here's an idea ,a little different , but may serve the purpose.
Take some 4 conductor telephone cable or CAT5 cable and strip outer insulation , leaving you with 4 insulated wires.
Cut three of the wires to length ,1 for VHF low,1 for VHF high ,1 for UHF.
Solder one end of these to your coax center.
Solder the coax shield to a short length of 14 ga. to connect to ground.
Now to mount it semi-permanently , use silicone caulk/adhesive,place a blob of it on the top of the truck cap front in the middle.
Place the end of the coax with the wires connected into the silicone (may have to weigh it down).
Stretch the individual wires ,spaced a few inches apart,toward the rear,and secure with another dab of silicone.
you may want to add another dab in the middle of the wires.

This is a cheap alternative , easily removable if it doesn't work to expectations ,and doesn't increase clearance needs.
Just stay away from automatic car washes.
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Old 06-03-2009
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I have a antenna for a 800 range on my high band radio it works well and i bent a piece of aluminum to screw down under a front fender bolt then comes up between the fender and the hood and turns out to mount the antenna. I'll try to post a pic of it tonight. it has served me well for about 7 years.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2009
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Sorry, yes it is a tonneau cover. I would like a single professional looking antenna for all bands. Like the Austin Spectra Mobile. I just need to find a way to mount it.

I have seen the hood mount kits. I would prefer to keep it towards the back of the cab or the back of the truck, like my CB antenna is, not on the front.

Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2009
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I used to have one mounted to my back window on the bottom left corner, but I too took it off because I got the cap. If you just have two doors, you could put it one the back side window. You could even out it on one of the cap windows and run the wire through the bed to the cab.
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Old 06-04-2009
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haveing a little trouble uploading pics

Last edited by fire ranger 18; 06-05-2009 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 06-04-2009
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You could try a mount like mine, it's a Firestik stake hole mount.

I got mine from Clay's radio shop for like $25 bucks with coax.

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  #10  
Old 06-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4LO 4.0 View Post
You could try a mount like mine, it's a Firestik stake hole mount.

I got mine from Clay's radio shop for like $25 bucks with coax.

What antenna are you running?
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Old 06-05-2009
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Old 06-05-2009
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^^^ trim that mount down and make it look cleaner
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrofallout View Post
What antenna are you running?
Radioshack 102". This pic ain't the greatest but here it is.

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I used to run a Firestik hood channel mount like the one above also, with a 5' firestik, but reception sucked.

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So I tossed it in my toolbox and got the stake hole mount.

Last edited by 4LO 4.0; 06-05-2009 at 10:37 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-05-2009
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A cell phone antenna is tuned for 800mhz, not UHF (440-470) where you would need. Any metal stick will work as a receiver antenna, it just won't work well.

Any really good scanner antenna is going whack the garage. I've been scraping the ceilings of parking garages for the last 10 years. If you don't want that to happen, you'll have to stick with a shorter antenna off the back of the cab or front of the bed. The L-Bracket up next to the hood works well also.
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  #15  
Old 06-05-2009
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In my hometown we are strictly 800 MHz on our public safety systems, but I do travel through Houston alot and they have many UHF channels.

Also it looks like alot of people are posting up CB antennas, I am looking for a multiband (100/400/800/ect antenna for my digital scanner.
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