Outdoor antenna.

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Outdoor antenna.

Postby Maxiain » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:20 pm

Hi folks,

I've returned to scanning after a few years in the wilderness and it's great to be back. I've just treated myself to a Bearcat 125XLT. I've upgraded my antenna for portable use and would now like to consider either a loft or outdoor antenna to better receive frequencies.

Ideally, I would like to fit an outdoor antenna which will be fed into the loft and ultimately through my bedroom ceiling to my scanner. Could you folks perhaps offer suggestions on a decent antenna with a budget of around £50. I'm happy to go with either a discone or vertical mast but am unsure wether to go for an outdoor or loft type so any suggestions are most welcome.

I understand I'll need to consider buying proper coax and fittings etc and hope to cover that once i've settled on an aerial.

Thanks in advance.

Max
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Re: Outdoor antenna.

Postby Helix » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:48 pm

Hello and welcome to the forums

Maybe these previous threads may be of use for you:

http://ukradioscanning.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4320

http://ukradioscanning.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2761
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Re: Outdoor antenna.

Postby m0lsx » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:40 pm

First welcome to the forum.
Next £50 for the antenna is plenty. However you will need decent coax especially if the run to the antenna is say 5 meters or more. And you will need a method of mounting the antenna, so a bracket & mounting pole too.
Coax is around £1.50 to £2 plus per meter. And you will need a connector each end of the coax. One for the antenna & one for the scanner.
The main choices for antennas are a Discone.
Something like this, or similar.
Image

Or a amateur radio dual band collinear, often called a white stick.
Which looks similar to this.
Image


Personally I would say avoid anything which varies too much from the above & anything other than a discone which is for receive only is often a poor antenna, as it does not have to say where it works or how well it works.

A good choice for a plug & play option is a Nomad. It is not as good as some options, but it will hang in a loft, mount out doors if you want or hang in a window or a corner.
I have some home made variations of the Nomad & they are good antennas. But avoid the pre amp, as they are far from helpful to may people & can add in problems.
Image

Total cost for the above is £22 & it can make a great portable option for when out & about where you want more than a small whip.

http://www.spectrumcomms.co.uk/Aerials.htm
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Re: Outdoor antenna.

Postby Maxiain » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:37 pm

Thanks for your input guys and thanks for the welcome. It's great to get back into scanning again.

I think I may consider a discone mounted at the end of my roof. I'm lucky in that the mounting point is a foot away from my bedroom window so I expect to use no more than 3 metres of coax.

I've just found this discone while mooching around ebay. What do you guys think about it as a starter for me? It's priced at £34 including postage and i'll only need coax then.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MULTISCAN-DISCONE-25-2000MHz-Complete-with-mounting-bracket-/262681497099?hash=item3d29098e0b:g:sk4AAOSwLF1X9j0Q

I should hopefully receive my personalised scanning list this week. I only realised today when I registered that this site and the one I bought my list from are one and the same!

Thanks again.

Max
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Re: Outdoor antenna.

Postby m0lsx » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:31 pm

That is a modified indoor discone. I personally like the multi vertical discones & it is not a bad antenna, but it's not really a good antenna,size matters & thats a comprise antenna with short verticals.
Image


Edited to add. You will still need a mounting bracket & pole to get the antenna up, although a TV antenna pole would be fine. The pole with it, is designed to be mounted to a mast.
You will get away with something like Mini 8X for your coax at that length.
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Re: Outdoor antenna.

Postby Grahamerob » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:51 pm

I've had my 125 xlt a few months now and the antenna I ended up buying was the Scanmaster B1300-N off Nevada radio and I'm very happy with it. I have it in the loft at the minute till the weather improves then I will mount it on the gable end of the house. The coax I'm using is 5m of Aircell 5 and I'm picking up aircraft approaching Manchester and Edinburgh from my house in Newcastle.

I have no comparison apart from an old taxi magmount which was a vast improvement over the standard rubber duck on the 125. The Scanmaster wipes the floor with the magmount and it only cost £40 for the antenna and about £30 for 15m of Aircell 5 and the connectors to suit.
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Re: Outdoor antenna.

Postby m0lsx » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:45 pm

A friend of mine use to have a parish in Gateshead & if I remember correctly there are some pleasantly high spots both sides of the Tyne. If you are in a high spot, then with Aircell Coax, which is excellent stuff, you on to a winner. Getting the antenna outside will make a difference of several dB, I believe as much as 6dB is the claimed attenuation & with each 3 dB thats minus 50%, so up to a 75% loss of your signal or one S point on your signal meter.
The signal loss of being in a loft is going to be less clear cut than a set dB, as the materials used will decide the loss. But once the antenna is outside, expect to possibly hear a little more.
Strangely an extra 6 dB is not a massive gain. But it will make weak signals clear & bring others into what is called Anorak quality. However the loss of 6dB can loose you a lot as it can take a strong signal & sit it down in the noise.
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