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Best Antennas for Police Scanner Radios

Hopefully, any scanner comes ready with an antenna with wide coverage. These scanners usually come with antennas that can cover up to 30 miles (around 48km). However, if you want wider coverage or your antenna happens to break, there are some trusted options on the market to look at. We trust police officers to keep us safe, and part of them being able to do that is with police scanner radios. These nifty gadgets allow the cops to receive or send distress calls promptly. Clear reception, wide range, and hopefully being made with good materials are important things to look for in an antenna.

7 Best Antennas for Police Scanner Radios Reviews & Comparison

1 – Onlineservice-USA A Pair Telescopic Antennas

A telescoping antenna is an awesome option. You don’t want a long object sticking out of a scanner that could potentially fit in your pocket. The total length of the antenna measures approximately 5 inches when tucked in and at about 16.5 inches when fully extended.

The range of frequency of these antennas is about 25-1300 MHz (MegaHertZ). For those of you that don’t know, this is the unit of measurement for the frequency of transmissions in radio devices. Both antennas are compatible with both analog and digital radio scanners so you won’t miss a transmission.

So if you have a sound/voice machine, a PA system or a VHF or UHF wireless system that needs a new antenna, this is a good choice.

PROS:

  • The telescoping design allows you to extend the antenna as needed without it getting in your way.
  • The fact that it’s both compatible with analog and digital scanners puts them at a higher advantage.
  • Their MHz level is considered average to high. You will be able to send and receive transmissions quickly.
  • Two for the price of one! You get two antennas with your purchase.
  • Lastly, the affordable list price makes this option the best deal.

CONS:

  • The reception might not be better than a rubber antenna.
  • Many consumers claim it does the job mediocrely.

Click Here For Best Price

2 – Procomm Scanner Radio Mini Magnet Mount Mobile Scanner Antenna

This Amazon’s Choice product is the best antenna for police scanner or receiver. It is a wideband scanner antenna with a compact design. Society prizes smaller and more portable objects nowadays, and the Procomm mini scanner antenna is the perfect definition of convenient.

The transmission frequency of this antenna is slightly lower at 25 to 1200Mhz for you to send and receive clear transmissions.

Procomm is a trusted brand when it comes to electronic devices and their parts. This antenna is three times pricier than our first suggestion, but you get a genuine package with good customer service.

In every box, you will receive a mini magnet mount for stability and 12ft of RG-174 cable.

The design is a perfect fit for scanners with an SMA connector jack.

PROS:

  • The compact design doesn’t make it a cumbersome replacement for your original antenna.
  • The sending and receiving frequency of 25-1200MHz is impressive for a small antenna.
  • The mini magnet mount included will make sure the antenna sits upright on most metal surfaces.
  • The antenna is compatible with both digital and analog devices, not limiting you to anyone kind.
  • Proven to improve reception compared to the original antenna.
  • A lot of antennas don’t work so well indoors due to the architecture and structure of buildings, but this one is exempt.

CONS:

  • The wire frays easily at the connector piece.

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3 – Fosa 30MHz-1200MHz Wideband Scanner Mobile Radio Antenna

For people who aren’t well versed in technology, one that is easy to install and use is preferred. This one is just that with strong signal and reception at 30MHz to 1200MHz.

Since you would probably often use this with a handheld device, it needs to be compact in design and lightweight, making it easy to carry around. It’s easy to pocket this mobile radio antenna until you need it, much like the more expensive Uniden BCD325P2 (full review HERE). Not only does it connect to handheld devices, but it also works with cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats.

A glass mount is included with adhesive tape to keep in place. The sticky adhesive needs to have enough strength to support it, and that isn’t difficult with the lightweight antenna.

PROS:

  • Something easy to install and use is always better than purchasing a product that requires tons of reading and testing to get it to work.
  • The compact antenna is easy to carry around and used anywhere.
  • The strong adhesive tape can hold the glass mount securely as you use the antenna.
  • This design comes with a BNC connector and is compatible with most vehicles.
  • For such a versatile antenna design, the list price is very reasonable.

CONS:

  • Might have poor reception sometimes.
  • The adhesive tape is so strong once you mount it’s nearly permanent.
  • Flimsy material and loose wiring in some.

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4 – Tram 1411 Broad Band Discone/Scanner Base Antenna

You know you’re getting the top of the line quality with Amazon’s choice products. As you’ll notice, the two Amazon’s Choice antennas are sold for higher prices.

You get what you pay for with the wideband reception with a transmission speed of 25-1300MHz.

The entire structure is made with stainless steel, which is almost necessary since this large antenna will mainly be used outdoors and outside the confines of your car. Stainless steel will protect the antenna from harsh weather.

It is quite large, measuring at 33.8”x4.8″x2.2″ and weighs around 2.85 pounds. It’s not meant to be carried around, but rather give you a strong signal.

PROS:

  • This Tram antenna is meant to boost and ensure the strongest radio signals. Isn’t that what is most important about an antenna?
  • The frequency of 25 to 1300Mhz is considered standard and the most optimal range.
  • Tram takes the outdoors into consideration by producing an antenna with stainless steel. This will keep your new antenna best safe from corrosion.
  • For such a large structure, it’s quite light, still making it easy to carry around.

CONS:

  • The spokes at the bottom of the antenna break off easily if you aren’t careful.
  • No assembly instructions come with this purchase, so we would advise seasoned users to buy this product.

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5 – BingFu HF VHF UHF 7-Sections 115cm Telescopic BNC Male Antenna

This antenna is compatible with many different radios including scanners, CB, 2-way and ham to name a few. With a frequency range of 25MHz to 12MHz, you should have clear and good quality transmission.

The utilization of the product is easy and smooth. The connector fits well and everything holds together well with the telescoping element. You can angle the antenna in any direction you wish and it will still hold securely.

PROS:

  • The high compatibility of the BingFu radio antenna makes it multifunctional and will most likely fit with your radio. The product details list all the different devices its compatible with, so make sure you give it a good read.
  • You can even see a real officer’s testimony claiming this option works great with his scanner.
  • The signal of this antenna is extremely strong and transmission very clear and picks up new frequencies easily.
  • The grip and hinge are very strong and holds the antenna securely.

CONS:

  • It can be quite long in length fully extended (115.3cm).

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6 – Anteena TW-999BNC BNC Male Handheld Antenna

Be aware that this option is not a CB antenna, but a telescopic BNC one. The frequency measures at 20-1300MHz and the max power are 10watts.

It’s quite a long antenna when not retracted, measuring at 127cm at full size and 18.6cm retracted. The size is still small enough for you to slip it into your pocket or keep it in your glove compartment. The antenna is compact, easy to use and very well-made, hence worthy of being an option in our best police scanner antennas review.

PROS:

  • This antenna improves reception by a mile due to its long design.
  • You will be able to pick up more stations and frequencies and enhance the existing ones. The reception is great even while retracted.
  • The collapsible design makes this antenna easy to carry with you everywhere.

CONS:

  • The long design makes it more susceptible to breakage. Don’t use it with the windows down in bad weather.
  • Some claim the fully extended antenna is over 4ft long and very inconvenient.

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7 – Ant32 Uniden Bearcat Motorola Type Telescopic Scanner Antenna

If you like the telescopic design but want a much shorter version, then we have one that measures at 7’’ collapsed and 26” fully extended.

The original design is a trademarked product of Scanner World USA and Amazon’s Choice product.

You can use this object with base, mobile and other compatible scanners that are listed on the product page.

Connect it to the back of certain Uniden Bearcat Base and mobile scanners.

PROS:

  • If you have a Bearcat scanner, the antenna a simple plug and play installation.
  • The signal is strong and picks up various frequencies, as a traffic officer, you don’t want to miss out on an important call.
  • If used with compatible models, this telescopic antenna fits perfectly.

CONS:

  • Doesn’t work with every model, so make sure you read the listing carefully to be sure it fits.
  • Some claim the connection is a little bit loose on compatible scanners.

Click Here For Best Price

There aren’t too many options for top police scanner antennas out there, and it’s very easy to make the wrong purchase. You have to make sure it’s compatible with your device model, and whether it fits analog, digital or both types of scanners. If you still don’t have a clear choice in mind, we have a suggestion for you.

Our Top Pick

Procomm Scanner Radio Mini Magnet Mount Mobile Scanner Antenna

Being an Amazon’s Choice product and one from a reputable company puts this best antenna at the top of our list.

The frequency range is pretty standard at 25-1200MHz.

The size is only 15″, making it a great size for storage and portability. In each package, you get a magnet mount, which is better than the adhesive alternative as that can pull off the paint on your car and be hard to remove.

It’s a low-profile design that gives you clear transmission so you won’t miss out on any broadcasts.

What to Look for When Buying a Police Scanner Antenna

Frequency

The standard broadcasting frequency is anywhere from 25-1300MHz, and that’s the baseline you should settle for. Without a high frequency, you won’t hear clearly, miss out on transmissions, etc.  (US Frequency Allocation chart: https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/2003-allochrt.pdf)

Compatibility

Of course, you need to find the quality antenna for a police scanner that best matches your device. Most products will state the sort of connection, whether it’s male or female (best options are usually a SMA connector and BNC male connector), and if it’s analog or digital device compatible. Without making sure if it works with your device, you could just be buying a piece of metal with no use at all. You can also get an external BNC male connector or SMA connector and other types for your device.

Material

Stainless steel is a good material for your antenna or any other material that is heavy-duty and weather resistant. Handheld or mountable antennas might be used outdoors sometimes, and since we can’t control the weather, there is no telling when it will rain. It’s better to be safe than sorry, knowing that a little precipitation won’t harm your new antenna.

Telescoping

A telescopic design means it’s retractable and easy to store. This makes it easy to take with you without having a long and inconvenient rod.

Mount

Antennas for handheld scanners might not always have the best mount, but ones that do come with either a suction, magnet or adhesive mount. Suction mounts are the easiest to move around, while adhesive mounts can be semi-permanent if the stickiness is strong enough. This is important to ensure before programming your police scanner.

Conclusion

As police officers, it’s your job to pick up on quality transmissions and keep citizens safe. Or if you are just a person in possession of a scanner, being able to hear clearly and pick up multiple channels and being band flexible should be pretty high up on your priority list. The defining factor of your best scanner being able to do so is a well-functioning scanner antenna. Aside from all the factors we listed above, you must make sure it meets all your needs as well. Ask yourself questions such as what you will use it for, where you will use the scanner, and how frequently will you use it for. This will help you narrow down your choices even further.

William

This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.
William

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