Years ago, I gave dad my Radio Shack PRO-2052 Scanner because I could not pickup broadcasts despite programming the proper frequencies used by our local Police and Fire Departments. I knew dad still lived in an area where the local municipalities still used analog. At the time I visited our local Radio Shack and they confirmed that I would need a new expensive scanner to receive digital Police and Fire broadcasts in our area that they were only too happy to sell me.
My dad passed a couple years ago and I reclaimed the PRO-2052 scanner while helping mom sort through dads things. For the heck of it, I decided to once again program the proper frequencies used by our local Police and Fire before committing the scanner to my pile of obsolete electronic equipment. After a few seconds it came to life with a Fire broadcast! Apparently many of our local Fire departments still use analog while the Police departments moved on to digital. While if would be nice to receive both Police and Fire broadcasts, I am still pretty happy with Fire broadcasts only. My Radio Shack PRO-2052 Scanner proves its usefulness again!
The Dreaded CC&R
More neighborhoods these days come with home owner associations with restrictive CC&Rs. A CC&R (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) are limitations and rules placed on a group of homes by a builder, developer, neighborhood association and / or homeowner association. A CC&R could restrict the color pallet of the exterior of the houseor the mounting of an external Amateur Radio or Scanner Antenna. My neighborhood does not have a home owners association or CC&Rs in place but sometimes it is a good idea to conceal antennas to keep nosy neighbors from blaming everything from television interference to global warming on you antenna installation! Hellloooo....a Police and Fire Scanner Antenna only receives radio signals, it does not transmit them! Naturally, this Hub would be a good read for someone that does live in a neighborhood with restrictive CC&Rs
I chose the AntennaCraft ST2 Scanner Antenna with 15 elements and a Frequency Range from 30Mhz to 1300Mhz. I matched the Frequency range to that listed in the my Scanner Specifications. It comes with a matching transformer, 50 feet of RG-6 Coaxial Cable, and a F to BNC adapter so it will fit the antenna connection of most Police/Fire Scanners. The ST2 antenna does not indicate if this antenna would work well for Digital Police/Fire signals although I believe it would not matter as long as those signals were in the Frequency Response of the antenna. I am using an older analog scanner with this antenna. The ST2 retails for about $50 on Amazon, since I am subscribed to Amazon Prime it arrived on my doorstep two days later. Unfortunately, when it arrived the rectangular box it was shipped in was slightly V shaped bending several elements. Fear not, the ST2 antenna elements are made of soft aluminum and can be bent back into position with care. Once the ST2 is unboxed, you must expand and snap the elements in place in their plastic clips. You may want to wait to do this until you drag the antenna into your attic as you want it as compact as possible. The ST2 construction is reminiscent of television antennas I remember helping my dad put on our house in the 1970s. It is all aluminum construction to make it lightweight an corrosion resistant. The plastic clips that hold the elements seemed to be made over sized most likely to bolster their toughness. The ST2 antenna is made in the USA!
Scanner Antennas on Amazon
Attic Mounting the ST2 Antenna
My vintage house has ample space in the attic for installing the ST2 antenna. We never store anything in the attic as it is difficult to carry things up the folding attic stairs. I collapsed all of the ST2 elements, like it was configured for shipping, so that it was easy to transports up the attic stairs. The ST2 instructions specify that for best reception that the Center Main Boom Elements be perfectly vertical in orientation. Upon expanding all of the elements to the proper configuration I determined that it was not possible to mount it with the Center Main Boom Elements perfectly vertical. I reached out to AntennaCraft support via e-mail and they specified that a good compromise would be to slightly angle the antenna up with the Center Main Booms as close to vertical as possible. I used a block of wood to attach the antenna to one of the roof trusses. I only used a couple dry wall screws to hold it in place as I do not have to worry about wind. A small matching transformer connects to the front main boom elements with wing nuts. I secured the matching transformer to the boom with a tie strap.
ST2 Antenna Wiring
All of my amateur radio equipment is located in the basement. This is where I am going to place my PRO-2052 Scanner as well. My house is a ranch so it was pretty easy to route the RG-6 wiring from the attic to the basement. I simply drilled holes in the ceiling and floor of a linen closet and fished the cabling down to the basement. The 50 feet of RG-6 coaxial cable included with the ST2 antenna has F connectors installed on each end. You connect one side of the RG-6 cable to the matching transformer on the ST2 antenna and the other side connects to your Scanner. The RG-6 coaxial cable was just enough to reach the back of my scanner located in my basement Amateur Radio Shack.
Connecting the ST2 Antenna to a Scanner
The ST2 Antenna comes with a F to BNC adapter. This worked perfectly as my analog scanner has a BNC connector for an external antenna.
Low Profile (Stealth) Antenna Books on Amazon
My new ST2 Antenna works great! I am picking up Fire broadcasts on my scanner that I was not picking up with the built-in telescoping antenna.The ST2 Antenna was very easy to assemble and install. Maybe my Hub will give you ideas to mounting your own stealth antenna?
Who Writes This Blog?
John is an IT professional from Cleveland, OH who enjoys amateur radio, ham radio, metal detecting,
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