Antenna For Stealth Scanning

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Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby cbehr91 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:38 pm

Living in Ohio, I am bordered by two states where scanners are illegal (Kentucky and Indiana) with a third a days' drive away (New York). Now, I have railfanned there in the past with a 40+" MagMount antenna on my car and have had no problems (didn't think I would). I'm asking if there is a decent window-mount antenna (either outside or inside). The easy answer would be "get a Ham license" but that's something I don't need to do. I know of through-the-window antennas that look like they are for an old car phone, satellite radio or GPS. My question is, are they any good? And how hard is it to tie a scanner into your car's built-in AM-FM antenna?
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby JLJ061 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:46 pm

I just got one of those antennas myself, since I live in Indiana, and so far it seems to work fairly well, and it only cost me $20 off Amazon!
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby cbehr91 » Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:54 pm

Did you mount it through the glass or another way? And does it permanently harm the glass?

I'd probably just get the one from Radio Shack, see how I like it and then maybe upgrade to something better.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby JLJ061 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:34 pm

It's just regular adhesive that sticks to the glass, doesn't harm it in any way.

Just remember to unscrew the antenna part before you drive thru the car wash, I forgot to do so one time and the !#&#!% thing got ripped right off the window, never to be found again! :P
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby justalurker66 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:41 pm

JLJ061 wrote:I just got one of those antennas myself, since I live in Indiana, and so far it seems to work fairly well, and it only cost me $20 off Amazon!

I almost got a "cellular lookalike" but at 40" it didn't look much like a cell antenna to me. And I didn't want a permanent mount. I got the 40" mag mount instead ... and after doing a little math decided to use just the top portion of the antenna (which was close to the right wavelength for what I needed). In testing the top 16" did just as well as the full whip. I didn't need the segments intended for other bands. I also bent it a little so I can get in the garage without taking the antenna off of the car.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby X4401 » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:44 pm

It may have less gain than an antenna that sticks above the grounded metal body of the car, but I have used a super stealth antenna that only uses thin gauge wire hooked to a BNC to Wire Lug adapter.

You cut a piece of wire to 1/4 wave length (Using the old 246/frequency in MHZ in this case:
246/160=1.5375ft then x12 inches = 18.45 inches total).

Then you can tuck the top of the super thin gauge wire (Like the stuff HO modelers would use to wrap a motor) into the top of the rear windshield weather stripping, the bottom can be taped, super glued, or tucked into something convenient. The wire should lay flat against the rear windshield. If done just right, it will look upon close inspection to be a part of a window defrosting system. Then run a BNC to Barrel Lug adapter off the antenna wire, ground the ground barrel lug, and run coax to scanner. Sometimes results can closely match a cheap mag mount (Using the non scientific mark 1 mod 0 ear decibel meter).
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:23 am

Why not get your ham license? You could use a 2m transceiver to listen to railroad frequency, and the cops can't do anything about it.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:02 pm

Even with a ham license it is sometimes desirable not to draw attention to oneself or one's vehicle.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby themallard » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:19 pm

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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby Backshophoss » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:37 pm

The link from Mr Mallard's post leads to a supplier used by Law Enforcement and the Military.
May not be able for private citizens to purchase these products.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby Gadfly » Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:45 pm

justalurker66 wrote:Even with a ham license it is sometimes desirable not to draw attention to oneself or one's vehicle.


But the point is that with the valid Amateur license, they cannot SEIZE your amateur radio while they could still "steal" (and that's what it is AFIAC) your scanner if they discovered that the disguise antenna was FOR a scanner. With the amateur license, and a regulation 2 Meter radio, there's not a ***** thing they can do. And if they TRY, you have legal recourse (see FCC's brief filed in 1991) 91-36. Both Indiana AND Kentucky got in some deep s*** when they pulled that caper a few years ago.

The technician ham ticket is easy to get, the equipment is relatively inexpensive, and it has other advantages as well. In addition to railfanning, you may find it interesting to reach out to fellow hams & and you might be surprised how many of them are rail buffs as well with whom you can now TALK and cooperate with.

It is well worth the small expense to know these jack-booted cops can't bother your radio!!!!!! :P

GF

PS. A 2 Meter amateur antenna usually has "gain" over the stealth antennas and will outperform them exponentially! :-D
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby justalurker66 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:31 pm

Gadfly wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:Even with a ham license it is sometimes desirable not to draw attention to oneself or one's vehicle.


But the point is that with the valid Amateur license, they cannot SEIZE your amateur radio ...


I was not suggesting that one operate any radio or scanner illegally ... only that a non-obvious (or "stealth") antenna may be desirable. As I CLEARLY STATED in my post: "Even with a ham license ..."

I suggest people get both ... whatever license the state in question requires to be able to listen to railroad frequencies and whatever antenna the user feels is appropriate to their needs.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby Gadfly » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:08 am

justalurker66 wrote:
Gadfly wrote:
justalurker66 wrote:Even with a ham license it is sometimes desirable not to draw attention to oneself or one's vehicle.


But the point is that with the valid Amateur license, they cannot SEIZE your amateur radio ...


I was not suggesting that one operate any radio or scanner illegally ... only that a non-obvious (or "stealth") antenna may be desirable. As I CLEARLY STATED in my post: "Even with a ham license ..."

I suggest people get both ... whatever license the state in question requires to be able to listen to railroad frequencies and whatever antenna the user feels is appropriate to their needs.


In some cases, I would love to have them mess with my radios!!! :P You see, A couple of them are part of a USAF communications protocol and were purchased with DOD funds. Let some Bubba cop seize them and see what kind of difficulty he would find himself in in the face of having it carefully explained to him it is NOT a "scanner', is licensed for USAF frequencies, is issued by said military affiliate, and that "certain" military personnel would be by to see him if he tries such a caper. And, yes, I sometimes use my radio to listen to my former employer (NS)!!!
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:36 am

A 2m antenna is not very long, and is close to the railroad band. I don't think the antenna would draw any undue attention. Many cars have extra antennas on them. Many companies have mobile radios for their businesses, in regular passenger vehicles. It is just paranoid to feel that an antenna would draw attention. I'm sure that there are hundreds, if not thousands of hams who live in the for mentioned states who have no trouble. I live in New York, and have never been questioned.
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Re: Antenna For Stealth Scanning

Postby Backshophoss » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:01 pm

You could ,when you get your Ham Radio license,spring for a "Vanity Plate" with your "call sign" for your ride.
Then the Antenna "farm" on the roof can be explained away easy enough.
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