03 Aug Uniden BCD436HP – Scanning with a Cell Phone Antenna!
Alright, so here’s the story behind this antenna. For a while, I’ve been trying to get an antenna upgrade for my 436. The stock antenna is great, but some frequencies come through with static since it’s obviously not the best.
Last month, I was at a resale shop I’d never been to before in Naperville with my mom looking for a VGA cable and a wall clock, when I stumbled upon this old 800 MHz cellphone antenna. At the time, I had absolutely no idea what it was for or if it would work with my radios or scanner. Whatever type it was, it was only $2, and I just decided I couldn’t pass it up.
When I got it home, I realized the mini-UHF connector on it would not work with my Kenwood radios, not that I thought it would. After getting some advice on the RadioReference.com forums, I was able to track down a mini-UHF female to BNC male adapter for my scanner. I was also to figure out that it’s an old cellphone antenna, most likely from the 1980’s, and they said it could be a Motorola. There’s still some mystery surrounding this antenna. It’s magnetic, so it can easily stick to the top of a car and be removed quick.
Anyway, with the antenna connected to my scanner through the two adapters, it does a surprisingly awesome job. The people on the forum said it would work best on 800 MHz frequencies, but it also picks up VHF and UHF extremely clearly, as shown in this video. Heck, it even does great on CB, and I was picking up several trucker conversations with it. I can pick up Chicago Police very clearly, and heading out to Rockford with it mounted on top of the car, I was picking up stuff in Wisconsin.
All in all, this came out to be about $8. The antenna was two dollars at the resale shop, and the female mini-UHF to BNC male adapter was $6 at my “local” Radio Shack. Unfortunately, all the Radio Shacks in my area have closed down for good, and the nearest one we could go to to get the part was a good 25 minute drive from our house. Still, I’m very glad I put this antenna to good use. I’d still like a more portable upgraded antenna for my 436, but this is awesome for long car rides.