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Old 02-14-2013, 2:57 AM
   
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: India
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Lightbulb Antenna help needed

Hi All,

I am new to the world of scanners and recently got my first one. Before this I was actually listening to online scanners but they had nothing for my country. (fyi, I am from India).

Please read the brief desc first :- (correct me if i am going wrong anywhere)

I have got a Uniden BC75XLT scanner. As this was a cheap and relatively new in there product line so i picked this one. (not sure if i made any mistake, please pour some views on this). Now i am back in india and to start with I want to hear some civil AirBand. So i turned on my scanner did a search, but it found nothing. Then i checked the SQL and turned it down to 00 from 02 (default value, Max value 15). Now when i enter frequency manually i head a loud hiss sound and a very weak ATC communication I can also hear pilot voice but can copy nothing. For ATC voice also it is very hard to copy. BTW ATC is 30 miles from house, i even tried scanning the same frequency when on Terrance (around 6 stories up from ground). Can hear Pilot a litter better and ATC i can copy easily now. But the hiss sound is still around.

Now my question:-

1. Did i choose a wrong scanner?
2. Should i buy an antenna (HT, as i want this unit be with me where ever i travel or drive)?
3. Please suggest antenna (my prime objective is hear AirBand) and other bands too (if i can get good hold signals).
4. I read several founds and was thinking if i can make a booster of some sort. For example. I will make a yagi and place it on my roof top (6 storries above) and then have a feeder cable connected to another piece of antenna down at my home. The idea is that yagi will receive the frequency and then send it to my home antenna. From where it can emmit it back and then my handheld can receive the same using the rubber duck antenna. I know whatever i said above might not be correct, but this is what i thought. Please comment if this doable, if yes then guide me how.

I am very new to radio communication so I might have written something which might be irrelevant; please accept my apologies for that and educate me to correct direction.
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Old 02-14-2013, 4:46 PM
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W-901 Airband Portable Antenna
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Old 02-15-2013, 1:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dostidilse View Post
2. Should i buy an antenna (HT, as i want this unit be with me where ever i travel or drive)?
If your prime objective is to monitor airband with a duck, then use a duck that comes with commercial airband HT's, like the Icom FA-B02AR antenna. (bnc mount - fits perfectly on Unidens) It is resonant in the center of the band (125mhz), and unlike conventional helically-wound ducks, this one is end-loaded making it far more efficient, and HI-Q narrow. Because of this, it is easy to detune by touching the end, or placing next to metal objects - but this is a good sign.

Essentially for hams it is the difference between the efficiency of a hamstick and an end-loaded coil or top-hat vertical.

At any rate, it is still just a duck and is no guarantee of massively improved reception. And, even if you are only a few miles away from the transmitter, on airband that is no guarantee you will hear ground comms.

If you are serious about airband comms, then the FA-B02AR would quickly become a favorite duck.
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Old 02-15-2013, 1:33 PM
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Re: the W901 antenna. You may want to check the resonant frequency of these gainers. The unit I had was labeled as an air-gainer, but when checked for resonance, it turned out to be a 2m amateur duck instead resonating at 144 mhz.

I'm not sure if they mislabeled it, or perhaps repurposed it as being close enough.
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Old 02-15-2013, 1:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dostidilse View Post
So i turned on my scanner did a search, but it found nothing.
back to the 75xlt - which is a great conventional scanner, so you made a good choice. Searching on air-band can be quite hit-n-miss since the comms are typically very short. Thus I find that searching the airband in it's entirety at one time is missing a LOT.

A better idea is to set up a custom search with upper and lower frequency band limits, perhaps only 1 mhz difference between them. Monitor for an hour or a day and log the hits. Then set up another custom scan limit 1 mhz in spread just above that and repeat the long monitoring. This will take awhile, but is usually faster than searching the whole band with short comms going unnoticed.

Knowing the frequencies of use beforehand is a life-saver. In the US, sites like Airnav . com can save a lot of frustration, and of course listing here on RR. You may want to visit the airband subforum here for additional international info.

Last edited by hertzian; 02-15-2013 at 1:41 PM..
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Old 02-15-2013, 2:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dostidilse View Post
Now my question:-
Hello dostidilse, welcome to the site.

1)You should have no problem picking up Aircraft with the BC75XLT. You should find out the designated frequencies for your area, and make a scan list, that will help you greatly.

2)Yes, a well tuned antenna like Hertzian suggested would work much better in almost all situations, and for portable use.

3+4)If you can get a Yagi, or Ground Plane, or Discone antenna on your roof, you can connect any of these antenna's directly to your scanner, by running coaxial cable (RG-6 at least, LMR / 50 ohm types would be better) down from the antenna and hooking it to the Scanner antenna mount with a BNC connector on the cable.

I would suggest a Ground Plane or Discone antenna to start, because they will receive in any direction which is typically better for air traffic that goes over head, where as the Yagi would only receive in one general direction, which would be less beneficial depending on your situation.

I'm not sure what you meant about a "Booster" but, once you have an antenna and coaxial cable run, you could ad an Amplifier, if needed, to "boost" your signal, and push it down the coaxial cable to your scanner, but try things out without an amplifier first, and determine if you really need one or not. There would not be 2 antenna's involved in the process, which is what I think you were suggesting.

Hope this helps.
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