Window Mount Antennas

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Window Mount Antennas

Postby super7cr » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:21 am

Ladies & Gents,
I'm looking for some advice about antennas for your vehicle that are not magnetic roof mount antennas.

I just bought a new truck, and having seen the damage these magnetic antennas can do to the paint on your roof over time, I'm looking for something that is completely the opposite. I've seen some window mount style antennas, and I'm looking for some people on this board that have used this style antenna to receive railroad communications in the past while railfanning.

This is one that I was looking at:
http://sector29.com/PRODUCT_PAGES/263/263-WSP1199.html

Any input that anyone on the board has would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:24 am

Not everyone is convinced that glass mount antenna's are good for transmission, but for reception I have had no problems.
I use a Radial-Larson glass mount for my GM300 VHF unit and have no problems in both modes.
The unit you show is a very general antenna wich probably needs to be trimmed for right band.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby super7cr » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:58 pm

I don't plan on using the antenna for transmission, just reception.

All of these antennas appear to be "all band." Obviously railroads use VHF frequencies in the 160-161 MHz range, but when you say trimming, what exactly do you mean? And how is this accomplished? This particular antenna, as well as this one

http://www.scannerworld.com/content/pro ... el/GM1ABNC

seem to be 25-1200 MHz. I'd have to study the difference between the above antenna and the one in my original post as well, quite a price jump.

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby EMTRailfan » Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:24 pm

I had a window mount for my scanner for the FD, and it sucked, but it could have just been the antenna. I actually took one of the RS magnet mounts and put the whip into a sprung loaded hood lip mount. You have to drill 3- 1/8" holes, but they hidden when your hood is closed. I picks up fairly well, but I use it for multi band, so it may pick up VHF better if you tune it specifically.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:43 pm

super7cr wrote:I don't plan on using the antenna for transmission, just reception.

All of these antennas appear to be "all band." Obviously railroads use VHF frequencies in the 160-161 MHz range, but when you say trimming, what exactly do you mean? And how is this accomplished? This particular antenna, as well as this one

http://www.scannerworld.com/content/pro ... el/GM1ABNC

seem to be 25-1200 MHz. I'd have to study the difference between the above antenna and the one in my original post as well, quite a price jump.

Thanks for the input.


The lenght of antenna determines the band its used in, the antenna should be shipped with a sheet that will tell you how much to cut off to make it for the right frequency.
as you see the basic antenna is good from citizens band all way to upper VHF, but needs to be tuned according its instruction sheet.
nothing fancy need ruler and pair of wire cutters.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby EdM » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:40 pm

transmission/reception same thing.... if i doesnt transmit well, it won't listen well. the only real differance is that if you use a poor antenna for transmitting you may damage your transmitter (the energy heads fer the lousy antenna and ends up heating up your final amplifiers, possibly creaming them)... thru the glass antennas suck, but are somewhat better than nothing.... there are good antennas and not so good antennas, what works , works. the reverse is also true.... transmission/reception same thing, it is somekinda proven theorum, universally accepted. ....Elsie Kay
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby EdM » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:24 am

I just updated my RV and found that the "new" RV has a fibreglass hood. (Sierria Hotel India Tango!!) Since the RV is high to begin with, a roof antenna is out of the question, besides, the roof is glass also. Much as I know they suck, I just ordered a thru the glass antenna, which I expect to be at least marginally better than the rubber ducky on the radio inside the vehicle. Ya gotta do what you gotta do... Elsie Kay
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby Mikejf » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:00 pm

I have had several through the glass antennae for about 15 years. All functioned ok. Location has a lot to do with it. The higher up on your vehicle you can get it, the better you are. I have used Radio Shack brand almost exclusively with no troubled. Follow the instructions and line things up properly and it's that simple.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby EdM » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:14 pm

they do work, at least slightly better than a rubber ducky inside the vehicle, I have used them over the years, but compared to a 1/4 wave in the center of your roof, well, I guess you could still call them an antenna, but they really suck. if one is starving in the middle of the desert, muddy water tastes great.... Ed
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby lakeshoredave » Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:16 pm

just buy the railcom antenna from railcom in memphis, tn....john focht is a genius for making such a product. to me its got good reception. i've gotten some good radio skips, and its tuned to the railroad band....i'll promote his product to anyone.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby Ken W2KB » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:14 pm

lakeshoredave wrote:just buy the railcom antenna from railcom in memphis, tn....john focht is a genius for making such a product. to me its got good reception. i've gotten some good radio skips, and its tuned to the railroad band....i'll promote his product to anyone.


I'm sure the Railcon works fine, but I suspect that Railcom does not manufacture the antenna. Probably buys them from Larsen or one of the other reputable manufacturers and has a private label applied. "Tuning" any brand antenna merely requires cutting the whip to a length specified for the desired center frequency in a cutting chart that comes with an antenna with a hacksaw. Doing one's own cutting saves one about $20 to $30 over the cost of a Railcom with equal performance.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby EdM » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:32 am

Good for you Ken,and tactfully too. I can't seem to get across to the guys that the differance between antenna manuf is a joke. There is no silver bullet, but everyone seems convinced that they have the best one... Whatever.... Elsie Kay
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby Mikejf » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:55 am

One thing I will say about through the glass Antennaes, if you can hear the crew talking, they are close. So if you are chasing a train and they speak, you will hear them. If you want to hear the train that is in tim buck two, then get the better antennae. I am sticking with my through the glass one.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby tree68 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:19 am

Another option is a body mount antenna installed on a simple stainless steel "L" bracket, mounted in the space between the hood/trunk and the fender. Your local commercial radio dealer should have some on hand for $5 or so.
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Re: Window Mount Antennas

Postby dummy » Fri May 07, 2010 1:12 pm

glass mounts are junk. its that simple. you would have better luck splicing into your FM radio antenna. what type of truck do you have? i have a silverado. i have a radio shack scanner magnet mount antenna with just the top section in the base, its 17 inches long. its under the tonneau cover and works fine. you can put a rag under the magnet because its out of the wind and weather.
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