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Old 05-03-2001, 04:42 PM   #1
PadreWRX
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Carrollton, Georgia
Vehicle:
2004 GTO 11.2 @ 123
Was 4EAT '02 WRX [email protected]

Post Antenna replacement AM/FM/CB/Scanner

OK, experts, need your help. As a going-away present, some friends (one's a cop, the other a HAM-radio buff) are getting me a CB Radio (the Cobra 75WX) and a scanner (the Uniden BCT7). My WRX is going to be totally wired. This will be great for my upcoming long trips out West.

But for aesthetic and security/ stealth reasons, I don't want a lot of antennas on the car. Don't want to tip off the thieves.

I found a splitter for the AM/FM and CB (FireStik), but I don't know if the scanner will work off it as well. So, a few questions:

1) Can the stock Subie antenna be replaced with a better one in its current location? If so, what are some good options?
2) Can this antenna be wired for both CB and radio? I think yes with the splitter, but what kind of performance am I looking at?
3) And what about the scanner? Do I need a separate antenna?
4) Any other issues I'm not considering?

Any help appreciated. Padre
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Old 05-03-2001, 05:28 PM   #2
Herbie
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Post

OK, couple o' things.

The "split" antennae, don't usually work very well. The AM/FM and CB bands aren't close, and antennae normally have to be tuned for the frequency you'll run them on. Even in normal car antennas, you have to optimize them for one frequency, and you suffer on others (normally we choose the center so you get equal performance on both sides).

The Miata spitter works OK for group runs, where the cars are close together, but the range is VERY impaired compared to a normal antenna. If you want to use it for finding speedtraps, you'll be at a real disadvantage since you'll only be able to hear/transmit to operators pretty close to you.

The off the shelf "dual antennae" usually suffer from the same problem. They're optimized for one or the other, or in the middle so both suffer.

If you don't want to bristle with antennae, I suggest one of these:

1) Get an "on-the-glass" CB antenna, they look just like a cell-phone antenna, only slightly longer.

2) Use a magnetic removeable antenna. Only put it up when you need it. Runs the slight risk of scratching paint, and you don't want to leave it up all the time, but that's the point.

3) Use portable antennae. Most CBs and scanners can use the "handheld" antenna. Your range will be decreased, but often that's OK. Usually even a handheld antenna is better than a "split antenna". Usually.

As for the scanner, again, you're on a different frequency band. See #3 above, this is your best bet unless you're REALLY serious about wanting good scanner performance. I think some of the Bearcat line have a removeable antenna that you stick onto the glass with suction cups that works pretty well.

Finally, one other tip. Whichever antenna you get for your CB, make sure you borrow or buy a Standing Wave Ratio meter (SWR) from someplace like Radio Shack and calibrate the antenna to the CB transmitter. If you don't, you won't have optimum range and you'll just be wasting transmitting power.

EDIT: Option 4, use a clamp-on or screw in/on antenna if you have a wagon with roof rails, or a trailer hitch, etc. I'm currently considering this for my implementation, since I don't use my CB everyday, but want a good strong (and electrically strong) mount that will allow me to use a REAL antenna.


[This message has been edited by Herbie (edited May 03, 2001).]
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Old 05-04-2001, 06:06 AM   #3
Jon [in CT]
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Unless you like to talk a lot, you might want to forego the CB radio, since your Bearcat can be set up to scan all 40 CB channels. Uniden sells a mag mount scanner antenna for the BCT7 http://www.uniden.com/docs/store/acc...cfm?item=AT002 for only $13.79 which is hard to beat pricewise.

Any antenna for your scanner will be a
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