This morning I headed over to the Electronics Flea Market at De Anza college and it was definitely worth the trip over. I arrived a bit “late” at 8:15, apparently this thing starts at 5 am and most of the “good stuff” is gone by 7 am. Even so, it was neat to see the assortment of electronics equipment, computers, disk drives, military rations, oscilloscopes, radios and antennas. I could tell there were some really good deals on some items, but the few things I did ask about were a touch overpriced, but with a bit of bargaining I’m sure they would have been acceptable.
I ended up not buying anything there, but then Mark and I headed over to Scanners Unlimited in San Carlos after seeing their ad displayed on Fire Dispatch. The owner of the shop was very helpful, it was great to see his collection of vintage scanners and radios, as well as take a look at some of the new scanners and transceivers on the market. He had obviously been around the hobby a long time and knew the answer to just about every question I asked him. After a brief discussion of the options available for magnetic mounted dual band antennas, I went ahead and made a purchase of a Larsen Antennas W2/70B whip with the NMO2/70BCO coil and a Maxrad Black Magnetic Mount w/12′ RG58A/U, PL259 Connector.
My old antenna was just not doing what I hoped it would and felt I wanted a bigger antenna to try to grab some additional signals, and it sure seems to have done the trick! I will do some testing later comparing my rubber duck, my old antenna, and the new Larsen, but I know as soon as I plugged it in I was getting more APRS packets than I knew what to do with, and as soon as I broadcast my own packet I got two copies back which is great news, recently from home none have been making it out. And I confirmed they did make it out to an iGate in the end, both FindU and Google Earth showed the packets I transmitted, looks like my APRS troubles may now be greatly reduced :-)