If you are looking for the best mobile scanner antennas, then this article is for you. We will review the 10 best antennas that are reliable and have good quality. The best part about these scanners is their compatibility with both analog and digital signals. They work well in weak signal areas as well as urban environments where there might be a lot of interference from other wireless networks.
Here Are The Top 3 Mobile Scanner Antennas To Check At A Glance If You Are In A Hurry:
Top 10 Best Mobile Scanner Antennas Reviewed
Buying Guide For The Best Mobile Scanner Antennas
1. Length :
Well, obviously the length is important because it will be attached to your radio. Obviously, the longer it is then the better…right? Nope. While that may seem logical, in terms of performance it can actually make matters worse particularly if there is any type of metal (such as a steel roof) between the receiver and transmitter portions of your radio. This can cause detuning which decreases performance or even cancels out the signal altogether! The best length for an antenna for your mobile scanner depends on a variety of factors, but this is a good place to start. Typically, you can find the best match by dividing your radio’s output frequency in MHz by 4.
2. Width :
In terms of scanner antennas, width is not typically as critical as length because there are no significant spaces between each band segment to detune the antenna. Width simply helps to minimize wasted space and maximize antenna performance within a particular size window. Wide-band scanners have fewer issues with detuning, so having a wide antenna on these models would be ideal even if it were longer than optimal for frequencies that aren’t used all that much. On an 800MHz trunking model, however, where channels are very close together (typically 25kHz apart), then being too wide can cause detuning. Generally, the best match for a mobile trunking scanner is 1/2 of your radio’s output frequency in MHz so that it matches both bands without having to add unnecessary length (like on an 800MHz band).
3. Number Of Elements :
The number of elements is extremely important with regard to antenna performance. As stated above, antennas operate by launching and receiving the electromagnetic waves across their element(s) when transmitting and receiving signals respectively. More elements result in more surface area which in turn allows for better reception and transmission resulting in higher performance. There are some notable exceptions where fewer element antennas like stubby or rubber ducky types outperform larger 2-4 element panel styles but this typically applies to higher frequencies only.
4. Gain :
Antenna performance is not solely based on element count but also antenna design. The more elements an antenna has, the greater it’s surface area which leads to better reception and transmission performance. However, there are other factors that affect these attributes as well such as element spacing, the material used for conductors (of which most are now aluminum), the number of ground plane layers/purchases within the physical structure of the antenna, etc… All of this affects signal strength/quality and efficiency. This is measured in decibels (dB). As with most things, the higher the number the “better” it is however do not let this be your sole basis of comparison when trying to select between two antennas. As alluded to earlier, however, there are exceptions to this where certain frequencies will actually require less gain than others due to the signal propagation characteristics of that particular frequency.
5. Type :
There are many types of scanner antennas including but not limited to base, mobile, mag mount, rubber ducky, stubby, etc. Well, which one do you choose? Well, again it depends on your usage scenario and preference. Of course, if you have an antenna farm somewhere you can just install several types at once for ultimate selection power! But if space &/or other limitations apply then consider your use case first. A base or home antenna should only be used when you have ready access at all times, to begin with, so that goes without saying. Mobile is obviously great for portability and ease of installation as long as you can deal with the trade-offs such as added voltage drop due to the longer cable/whip length needed (which would reduce transmit power output) or reduced range if using a shorter antenna. If space isn’t an issue then go with a mag mount, especially if you are stationary for extended periods of time like at home where this type of antenna typically will outperform any mobile option in terms of reception & transmission performance due to its highly optimized design which includes elements that are 1-2 wavelengths long or more! It may not be ideal however to have it mounted on your car exterior because these antennas usually do not include lightning protection features unlike their base/home counterparts or at least offer them as an option. Rubber ducky and stubby types on the other hand perform similar to a mobile antenna in terms of portability but typically do not include mounting hardware, which is fine if you already have something suitable on your own vehicle (like my truck) but otherwise, they may be more difficult to install without having access to a drill & bits plus they don’t leave enough room for any additional accessories like radar detector/laser jammers, etc.
3 Benefits Of Mobile Scanner Antennas
1. Decrease Antenna Blind Spots
Mobile antennas help solve the problem of ‘blind spots that plague traditional wireless antennas. Blind spots are common when land is at a premium and cell towers or base stations need to be situated high in order to cover as much territory as possible. This means certain areas will have the antenna placed far away from where it’s needed, causing coverage holes in areas directly below the tower/base station. The further a signal has to travel, the weaker it becomes over time – which leads us to point 2.
2. Increase Data Throughput And Improve Signal Strength
Signal strength decreases exponentially over distance. To give you an example of how fast this works, if we assume a -75dBm signal (the edge of usable cellular service) required 3.5 watts to reach the receiver, doubling this distance would mean your -150dBm signal would need 1/32 of a watt reaching it in order for it to be usable. It’s simply not feasible to send enough power over such great distances when you are starting with a very low signal in the first place, hence why line-of-site towers and base stations are set up high where they can send their signals further (and more efficiently).
3. Avoid Interference And Boost Signal Quality
The FCC regulates wireless frequencies in order to prevent interference between different brands, carriers, and technologies. For these reasons, cellular service providers must purchase blocks of the available spectrum from the FCC before turning them into cell phone towers or base stations. Other factors which affect quality and performance include weather, tall structures, trees, or even physical obstacles such as large trucks or cars.
We hope this list has helped you find the perfect antenna for your needs! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below.