Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

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Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Southwales » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:17 pm

Hi, As I live quite rural the only time I get to make use of my scanner is when I am out in the car and drive to more built up areas, only thing I have ever picked up at home is the odd aircraft or farmers using pmr channel 1, even that is unclear because of the 500mw output on there handsets, is there a budget option for an antenna to go in my attic to give me some height, was even thinking a mag mount on a large metal tin may be an improvement over the stock antenna. Even these mag mounts on amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Centre-Loaded- ... na+scanner get get good reviews, could I put one in the attic on a large biscuit tin and then extend the cable down into my bedroom which is down stairs. Or would it work just as well attached to a radiator? I also have a spare cb moonraker mag mount I could put in the attic if that would work better.

I don't think it will be worth me spending to much on something expensive as I am surrounded by hills so never going to get more channels but hopefully just improve the clarity of the odd 446 pmr signal I do get.
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Minus1 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:10 am

I have a Dressler ARA500 active antenna in the loft which is very good at UHF and does not suffer too much from interference from strong signal sources.
Problem is that Dressler no longer manufacturer such antennas. :sad:

I also have a Active Nomad antenna, which does suffer from too much interference in my suburban location, (not far enough away from a main BBC TV & Radio transmitter).
It's reasonable (better than the supplied antenna) with the active part switched off.
Recently purchased, I've yet to test it in a quiet rural location (which is what I bought it for - being very portable).

My Diamond discone in the loft is quite good across the whole VHF/UHF spectrum, but does not pull in weak UHF signals like the Dressler does.
It is much better than a few home-made antennas that I have cobbled together from bits of old CB antennas and ground planes.

Your best option depends upon:
- What strong signals there are that might overwhelm any amplifier.
- How high you can get the antenna (higher is always best).
- Local topography (are there hills all round, or just in a few directions?)
- Good cable (depends on how accessible the loft is, and whether you want to drill any holes in ceilings or walls!)
I reserve the right to ignore people who have made no attempt to the read the manual, and expect others to do it for them.
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Southwales » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:10 am

Hi, there are quite a few large hills so all I think all I will achieve is improving the air and pmr446 frequencies, that's is why I would rather just try something in a budget first. What cable do you recommend? Would prefer something thinner if that is possible, Is it easy to fit your own bnc plug? Thank you for your help.
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Minus1 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:23 pm

It's years since I fitted my own connector - but it was just a bit of fiddling with a soldering iron.
I did use a thicker cable (I forget exactly what it was) at my old house with N connectors, but in the current house it was always too much hassle to get a thick cable down under the rafters from the loft with twists and turns, so I use a bog standard RG58 cable.
I reserve the right to ignore people who have made no attempt to the read the manual, and expect others to do it for them.
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Southwales » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:55 am

Minus1 wrote:It's years since I fitted my own connector - but it was just a bit of fiddling with a soldering iron.
I did use a thicker cable (I forget exactly what it was) at my old house with N connectors, but in the current house it was always too much hassle to get a thick cable down under the rafters from the loft with twists and turns, so I use a bog standard RG58 cable.



Hi, do you think this would work for the cable if I cut one end of to connect to antenna, 20m for £8.99 with bnc already connected. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RG58-BNC-Coax ... o23ge1G2RA would just need to but an antenna.
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Chris P » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:35 am

RG58 is almost as good as wet string at UHF as you can expect a 30-40% loss on a 10m cable run . You could try Mini 8 sometimes call Super 8XX which is smaller in diameter than the usually recommended cable for UHF ( such as RG213). Alternatively Satellite cable such as WF100 would be fine for receiving antennas( the 75 ohm to 50 ohm impedance mismatch being somewhat irrelevant as any wideband antenna will not be a 50 Ohm match over its range) , it is readily available from TV shops and much cheaper , you can usually get screw or crimp on F type connectors from the same shops and F to BNC adapters on e-bay or on line .

As regards antennas a bowtie seems to be the favourite and is wideband and very cheap to make being constructed from two 80cm lengths of suitable stiff wire bent into a V shape and connected into a bit of choc block or a suitable bulkhead type connector ( so239 shown in the photo )at the apex of the Vs

Image
Regards Chris aka G8FFF nipper or tazmin88
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Chris P » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:11 am

The choc bloc version looks like this with the open end of the Vs 34cm wide


Image
Regards Chris aka G8FFF nipper or tazmin88
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Southwales » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:05 pm

Chris P wrote:The choc bloc version looks like this with the open end of the Vs 34cm wide


Image


Hi, would cooker wire be suitable as the wire to make the bowtie? If I use the electrical block as in the image, do I the connect the centre core of the coax cable to say the brown wire and the ouer core to the blue, is the idea to never short the wires or is that only important on transceivers?

For the coax would rg59 be any good or is that worse?

Also on my baofeng uv5r that I also use as a scanner, I have it set to narrow, is that correct or would wide be better?
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Chris P » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:21 pm

I use stripped 2.5mm twin and earth cable and you connect the outer coax screen to one V and the centre coax core to the other they should not be shorted. The convention is to connect the coax core to the upper element but it may not make much difference if you have it the other way up . cooker cable is often multi stranded and not so easy to bend and connect into the choc bloc.


RG59 is no better than RG58 at UHF the loss figures are similar unless you have semi airspaced cable ( foam type inner insulation) . RG59 is often used for CCTV and is 75ohm impedance RG58 is 50 ohm

Hope this helps ,cant advise re the bandwidth setting on the baofeng I suggest you try both
Regards Chris aka G8FFF nipper or tazmin88
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Re: Budget antenna for my attic, rural location

Postby Chris P » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:45 pm

my loft
Image


with a bicone in the foreground which is a 3d version of the bowtie and a couple of home brew log periodics behind
Regards Chris aka G8FFF nipper or tazmin88
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