More VHF-Low Band Monitoring

Another post on the SIGINT blog.

Northeast Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Group - NESIG

Fire engine in Schenectady, New York. Photo by Dawn Endico. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Despite the migration to higher frequencies, there is still a fair amount of VHF-Low Band (30-50 MHz.) activity in the Northeast, especially rural and suburban fire departments. Depending on the locale’s terrain and receive antenna used, reception distances out to 50 miles are possible. More realistically, the average hobbyist setup should expect to see a reception distance of 30-40 miles.

The key to good VHF-Low Band reception is to have a proper antenna. When dealing with wavelengths of 6 to 10 meters, the six-inch rubber duck antenna that comes with the scanner will not work well. CB, 10 Meter, and 6 Meter antennas will do a good job. A CB or 10 Meter ham antenna will work better for 30-40 MHz. A 6 Meter ham antenna will work better for 40-50 MHz. There are dual-band 6/2…

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