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Scanner Radio Shopping

Nobody has been doing it longer or better than Scanner Master, which is why they are the first item in our Resource Page.

I've personally been buying scanners from Scanner Master since getting into the hobby.   They are very knowledgeable about scanners, programming, information, and anything else scanner related.    I highly recommend them!

** AUGUST 2018 ** Use Coupon code “SCANNERSCHOOL7” at checkout to receive free shipping on any order over $200


Scanner Radio Software

BuTel software is probably the first commercial software I purchased for my scanners 15+ years ago.

Since then, I've purchased pretty much every piece of software they have released for every scanner that I own.  No other piece of software makes it as easy as cut and paste from a spreadsheet to your scanner.   I love this software!

BuTel software works with most Radio Shack Scanners, GRE, Whistler, and Uniden.  Including the BCDx36HP and new SDS100 Scanner radios!

As the name implies, FreeSCAN is free software that can program your DMA (Dynamic Memory Allocated) Uniden Scanners.

This software is limited to just the Uniden SC230, BC246T, UBC3500XLT, BR330T, BCD396T, BC346XT(C), BCD396XT, BCT15X, BCD996XT, BCT15 and BCD996T, BCD996P2

ProScan software is what I use to stream my scanners to the internet.  For every scanner connect to my computer that this software supports, I have a window open for frequency logging, audio recording, and desktop control.

Websites

Radio Reference is probably the world's largest Scanner Radio community.    With their community driven frequency database, their large wiki, and the massive forum section, nobody compares to the amount of data that is available on Radio Reference.

 


Mark's Scanners

If you are looking for an easier to read scanner manual, look no further than Mark's Scanner.  Mark rewrote the book when it comes to learning how to use your new scanner.


Hardware

Antennas

 

I love Diamond antenna products, and the Diamond D130NJ Super Discone Antenna will be the next antenna to go up.

Special Features:

  • Ultra-wideband design 25 to 1300 MHz receive, 50-1300 MHz transmit (6m tunable for transmit)
  • Compact and lightweight design enables antenna to be installed on balcony railing at an apartment or condominium
  • Ideal for 2m, 1-1/4m, 70cm, 33cm and 23cm amateur bands
  • Excellent “shop” antenna for testing various transmitters on a single coax
  • Can be made further compact and lightweight by removing the top loading coil if 25-50 MHz reception is not required
  • Gain dBi: 2 (nominal)
  • Height: 5.6′
  • Weight: 2.2 Lbs.
  • Connector: N-Female

 

The Diamond RH77CA (BNC Connection) or the SRH77CA (SMA Connection) is probably the best antenna you can throw on your portable scanner if you weren't concerned with the massive size of this beast.  Measuring in at 15 inches, it is reported to have 6dB of gain, which is quite impressive.

I have several of these antennas in my collection, both BNC and SMA flavors.

Using this antenna will help you pull in some weaker signals that you can't get with the stock scanner antenna.

The Diamond RH519 (BNC) and SRH519 (SMA) antenna is one that I throw on all of my scanners that accept an SMA Connector.  (Except for the Uniden SDS100 and you can find out by going to www.SDS100review.com)

This antenna is made to transmit on 144 MHz and 440 MHz, and has a nice wideband receive on it as well.

According to the diamond website, this antenna has a gain of +3dB and measures in at 7.75″

This is my go-to antenna for my scanner radios.

The SpectrumForce Wideband Antenna with Mag Mount has been my new favorite for mobile environments.   These wide band mobile antennas are perfect for your vehicle or on a rental.

The strong mag mount base will keep the antenna where it belongs.

Measuring at only 17″, the antenna comes with 12′ of coax.

  • Covers 25-1300 MHz -Height 17″ including base
  • Includes 12′ of RG-174 coax with SMA connector to fit most scanners
  • Unique 5 prong mini-magnet base. Grips the antenna to your car even at high speed
  • Easy-on, easy-off. Small size makes it perfect for traveling, rental cars and more
  • Great for placing outdoors to improve home/office scanner reception

Available in both SMA and BNC ends to match your scanner's antenna connector

 

Pre-Amplifiers

Many have asked me about my thoughts on Pre-Amplifieres.

I think they may be beneficial if you are operating from a remote location or are using a portable radio.   Pre-Amplifiers may be more harm than good if you are using them in an urban environment.

The Jim M-75 has BNC connectors on both sides so it should work with most handheld radios that use BNC antennas (or use SMA to BNC adapters).

A variable gain dial allows you to up the gain without overloading the front end of your scanner.  The band selection also makes sure that only the band you are interested in is brought through the gain circuit.

The Jim M-75 operates on a 9v battery.

Coaxial Cable

Next to your scanner radio, the most expensive investment will be your coax.  But – this is where all the money you spend (or don't spend) can be the most noticeable.

The coax is the main piece of the puzzle between the radio and the antenna, just like your tires are the only piece of an vehicle that touches the road.   You wouldn't go rock climbing on racing tires, just as you wouldn't feel safe driving in the rain or snow on bald tires.

LMR-400 is the best value for the money when it comes to coax.  LMR-400 has the least amount of loss through the widest area of frequencies, which means it has the highest effective value when compared to other common coaxial cable.

You can purchase LMR-400 pre-made in various lengths and terminated in a variety of connectors. (N or BNC being the most popular)

We have a great chart that breaks down the dB (decibel) loss and the Effectiveness of each coax run at 100′

Lightning Arrestors

Lightning can destroy your scanner radio setup in a second.

Adding proper grounding and installing lightning arrestors only takes a few minutes and can potentially save your setup.

The TerraWave Lightning Arrestor covers DC – 3GHz and has N connectors on both sides.  If you are using LMR-400, this would be a great lightning arrestor to put in line.

Other lightning arrestors I would recommend are by Alpha-Delta and Polyphaser

Multicouplers

The correct way to share your antenna with multiple receivers is with a multicoupler.

multicoupler isolates all of the output ports from one another so that the radios on your receiving network do not ‘talk' or interfere with each other.

An active multicoupler also replaces any losses due to the splitting of the signal with a small pre-amplifier.

By using a multicoupler, each radio will operate like it is the only radio connected to your antenna and as if it was directly connected to the antenna

Multicouplers have several different configurations, and I would recommend an active multicoupler that covers at least 25MHz – 1GHz such as the Stridesberg MCA204M or MCA208M

Learn more about Multicouplers here


 

 

We are continuing to add more resources to this page. 

Please be sure to check back for more resources or subscribe to our mailing list.

 

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