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Scanner / Receiver Antennas For discussion of any type of receiving antenna used by a scanner or receiver base, mobile or handheld.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 07-21-2012, 3:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vagrant View Post
You noted having multiple receivers (4). I use the EDA-UG 2402 splitter. I picked it up for $10 on Amazon and it delivers +0dB, so it doesn't overload the front end of the receivers. With four outputs, it would seem to be the right solution for you to share that single antenna. You'll probably need some F/BNC adapters and a few runs of cable.
That looks like a really cool splitter, yet I can't find it for any less than $50.

Also I noticed something weird about my RH77CA setup.

I currently have it on a mini-mag mount where it's at the top of my window and the BNC cord running down.

Yet it seems for receiving 15+ mile away 453.xxx channels it doesn't seem the placement of the RH77CA it self matters, it seems more where I place the BNC cord. Depending on where on the window you place the cord makes all the difference.
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Old 07-21-2012, 6:14 PM
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You know, I thought that price I purchased it for was too good to be true and I ordered two at the time for the other antenna. I thought they would cancel my order, but it was fulfilled. (When it looks too good to be true, buy two!) I also wondered if they were junk and I would have to return.

Let me check and see who the seller was...CableTVamps. That seller now has them listed for $40. I wonder if it was a fluke, or just some kind of sale. There were only nine available when I saw them for $10. I had that splitter on my wish list and I think I just happened to be looking on Amazon for other stuff.

I'd get onto Amazon and add that splitter to your wish list. I couldn't be more pleased with that splitter, especially with +0dB out.

Regarding your coax, I wonder if you have a short. Well...if it works, leave it alone. If you recently purchased it, you may want to exchange it.

Happy that you found some sort of solution. I wasn't able to have an antenna outside for over 15 years. Just about killed the hobby for me. Fortunately this thing called the Internet came along when my receivers went deaf.
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Old 07-21-2012, 7:49 PM
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Default Hmmm

vagrant, thank you again.

I guess it does matter somewhat where the RH77CA is located after all.

I said well if it's with the window, put the RH77CA in the window instead of up top near the window but with the wire basically in the same alignment.

The reception got bad you could barely make out a single word.

So I guess in my case it depends where the 77 and the wire both are, it's like they are working together, one can't be off, LoL.

For some reason the room the scanner is in, it's very picky with reception, like one window gets better reception than the other, if you aren't near a window, then the signal is very lousy. It's like trying to find a perfect sweet spot like you are trying to get free WiFi or cell reception.
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Old 07-22-2012, 5:12 AM
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vagrant, you are starting to really have me wondering if my Mini-Mag Mount is having a problem.

For no apparent reason after receiving very well until 12PM yesterday, I was having reception issues, then eventually I decided to just try putting the Diamond directly on to the scanner, and it seemed the issues were cleared up.

Just hopefully I can get the exchange process done easily.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:51 PM
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Default DRuhe's antenna

Actually I am trying the antenna that DRuhe mentioned, the portable version of the cooper-tube antenna and at first I only had speaker wire available but that did not work too well.

But I finally found the type of wire mentioned in the wiki and it seems that it's actually beating my RH77CA at least with receiving 453.200MHZ or CentralNorth in my area.

The RH77CA always seems to have a background of static to it even if the voices are clear, yet this antenna seems to get voice and remove the static background for the most part.

EDIT: I adjusted the antenna a little bit more on my window and would like to say thanks again so much DRuhe, I'm getting signal better than I can ever remember.

I just laugh how simple it was to make such a good antenna. Just one TV Balun, 2 pieces of bell wire, 2 push-on RG-59 cables, 2 F-connector couples, and a F to BNC adapter. Other than the F to BNC I had everything else in my closet.
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Last edited by RedPenguin; 07-23-2012 at 1:31 PM..
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPenguin View Post
Actually I am trying the antenna that DRuhe mentioned, the portable version of the cooper-tube antenna and at first I only had speaker wire available but that did not work too well.

But I finally found the type of wire mentioned in the wiki and it seems that it's actually beating my RH77CA at least with receiving 453.200MHZ or CentralNorth in my area.

The RH77CA always seems to have a background of static to it even if the voices are clear, yet this antenna seems to get voice and remove the static background for the most part.

EDIT: I adjusted the antenna a little bit more on my window and would like to say thanks again so much DRuhe, I'm getting signal better than I can ever remember.

I just laugh how simple it was to make such a good antenna. Just one TV Balun, 2 pieces of bell wire, 2 push-on RG-59 cables, 2 F-connector couples, and a F to BNC adapter. Other than the F to BNC I had everything else in my closet.

The bell wire should work fine for you. My favorite is to use the 12 ga wire from romex electrical cable. I've also used 300 ohm twin lead, and 1/2 inch copper pipe encapsulated in pvc. All have work great.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 07-24-2012, 1:52 PM
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The bell wire should work fine for you. My favorite is to use the 12 ga wire from romex electrical cable. I've also used 300 ohm twin lead, and 1/2 inch copper pipe encapsulated in pvc. All have work great.

Yea I have it hanging from the window at a right angle just like the cooper-tube one is and the feed cable kinda makes another right able but that wasn't planned.

It blows away all other antennas, RH77CA, Radio Shack Whip, Radio Shack Rubber Duck, and the BR330T stock antenna.

Only thing is it still seems to have issues on 453.200, at least to where officers sound like whispering but you can usually hear Dispatcher. I guess it's very hard to pickup CentralNorth from the city. Yet 453.475 comes in almost crystal clear and it's repeater is not too different of a location than 200's.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:53 AM
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My balun must have went bad for some reason, I suddenly stopped receiving and tried even a different feed line and suddenly changing the balun seemed to work.

Not sure what causes one to go bad or how you normally tell on is bad, but I guess it happens.

But the first balun must have been bad to begin with because the signal sounds even better than the other one ever did as I don't seem to have any background noise now really at all. Odd since both baluns are of a cheaper nature, LoL.
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Last edited by RedPenguin; 07-26-2012 at 11:22 AM..
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:37 PM
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Off Center Fed Dipoles are pretty amazing as scanner antennas.... As anyone who has made one will tell you. Even if you have to spend another $6 to replace a bad 75 to 300 ohm transformer/balun ;-)
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Old 07-26-2012, 1:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedPenguin View Post
vagrant, thank you again.

I guess it does matter somewhat where the RH77CA is located after all.

I said well if it's with the window, put the RH77CA in the window instead of up top near the window but with the wire basically in the same alignment.

The reception got bad you could barely make out a single word.

So I guess in my case it depends where the 77 and the wire both are, it's like they are working together, one can't be off, LoL.

For some reason the room the scanner is in, it's very picky with reception, like one window gets better reception than the other, if you aren't near a window, then the signal is very lousy. It's like trying to find a perfect sweet spot like you are trying to get free WiFi or cell reception.
Try not to use it near windows with aluminum frames. Wood framed windows work better in this case.

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2012, 2:00 PM
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Off Center Fed Dipoles are pretty amazing as scanner antennas.... As anyone who has made one will tell you. Even if you have to spend another $6 to replace a bad 75 to 300 ohm transformer/balun ;-)
Definitely, i just laughed a brand-new in packaging balun from my closet dies less than a week.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 08-20-2012, 8:46 AM
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Default Baluns die due to static?

Does anyone know if TV Baluns are prone to static or something when used to make an OCFD?

After at least 2 weeks of receiving with 0 problems, I randomly stopped receiving today until I replaced the balun again.
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Old 08-20-2012, 5:56 PM
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Weird. Mine has been in my attic for 6 months and several thunderstorms. Cheap 300 to 75 ohm balun. And just added a simple TV cable splitter to feed a 2nd scanner on the nightstand (main in kitchen). All working great. Could your static be some other RFI source besides a fried balun?
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 08-20-2012, 6:29 PM
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Perhaps you have some sort of intermittent problem with the cable or connectors that heals itself when you move things around as you change the balun.

Just a wild guess, but you definitely have something strange going in.
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Old 08-20-2012, 7:59 PM
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Weird. Mine has been in my attic for 6 months and several thunderstorms. Cheap 300 to 75 ohm balun. And just added a simple TV cable splitter to feed a 2nd scanner on the nightstand (main in kitchen). All working great. Could your static be some other RFI source besides a fried balun?
Sorry didn't mean I received static I just get no signal until I change the balun.
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Old 08-20-2012, 8:02 PM
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Default Hmmm

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Originally Posted by WA1ATA View Post
Perhaps you have some sort of intermittent problem with the cable or connectors that heals itself when you move things around as you change the balun.

Just a wild guess, but you definitely have something strange going in.
Well I was using cheap RG-59 push-on cables with a couple in the middle because they were not long enough.

But on a backup OFCD I made, I'm using an 8ft or so screw-on RG-59 cable and it seems the audio is WAY better sounding even though the antenna was placed in virtually same location and made out of the same wire, balun, everything except the wire described above.

Though I think I will try my old antenna again just to double check, but I just threw my backup on because I had to leave and I didn't wanna not receive anything all day.
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Last edited by RedPenguin; 08-20-2012 at 8:08 PM..
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2012, 9:52 PM
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Default Agreed

Yes it appears that it most likely was not the baluns or anything afterall.

It looks like after changing the feed line to screw-on adapters and making sure all connections were appropriately tight, the antenna sounds better than it ever did.

For about 6-days straight so far it has brought in basically no static just extremely clear signal which even my RH77CA didn't seem to be able to do.
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Old 09-01-2012, 6:14 AM
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Default another idea

I know amplifiers can be frowned upon but I have had great results building a 1/4 wave ground plane into the output f connector of a tv amplifier! using coat hanger as elements, the center radiator fits right into the f connector center hole and I simply made 3 radials bent at a small right angle at the base and connected them to the threads of the f connector with a very small hose clamp. The difference between amplified and non amplified is dramatic! I put the whole thing on a window sill and run about 10 feet of rg 6 cable to my scanner with an f to bnc adapter. I have no problem with amplified noise in my area and great coverage over about 40 miles or so.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:13 PM
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Default Hurricane Sandy seems to have helped.

You know, obviously I'm not saying this to make fun or anything of Hurricane Sandy in anyway, it was a horrific event.

But I'm seriously beginning to think that a local tree or something was really causing me to have signal issues, and the storm got rid of whatever it was.

My signal since the storm has gotten so much better it's like I'm receiving somebody down the street only.

I always thought my signal was weird because I have heard of people in my area contacting Ebensburg (20 or so miles away, higher elevation) or other near areas from my neck of the woods better than I ever got in signal.
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