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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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Old 12-18-2013, 1:50 AM
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Default Increasing the distance

I currently have a Discone antenna mounted on maybe a 12 ft. mast. I know height can pretty much is the difference between static and a decent signal. I recently had a god forsaken squirrel try playing with the antenna and broke 2 of my Cone rods. Anyhow, back on topic. I want to ramp up my distance to listen to some public safety agencies (25 miles away) and MilAir (less than 10.) Back to the squirrel- with the 2 broken rods, does that impede on some of the reception?
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Old 12-18-2013, 8:04 AM
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Don't you just love those 'tree-rats'?? If you ever figure out how to keep them away from where they don't belong, please let me know!
Will not having a couple of those rods on your antenna make a huge difference? I don't know for sure. I know that it can make -some- difference but not if that difference will be critical. I think that increasing the present antenna's height would be the 'simplest' improvement. (Not telling you anything new, huh?) So would using several directional antennas all pointed at the appropriate fixed stations. (Yeah, right.)
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Old 12-18-2013, 8:44 AM
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What I did is removed all the trees in a 10foot area around antenna . Then go a few feet below try the mast abd put a piece of metal bent into the shape of a cone. Cone point facing up when the squirell tries ro jump I n it he won't be able to grab on
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:14 PM
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Okay, I give up. I now have it on a 30 foot mast and can receive FM (I believe it is anyway) Signals - 1 faint bar! - from Agencies 50-60+ miles away. These signals are actually legible; I can understand them quite easily. HOWEVER! The one I'm really interested in is only 20 or so miles away. The have upwards of 3 or 4 bars but they are so choppy and I can hardly understand them. The ONLY time it really works is when a unit is nearby (Sheriff) But the other part that grinds my gears is the CITY police is more legible than the County's dispatching. Anyone have any idea on what could be causing this and/or how to solve it? Thanks in advance

Info:
Ocala Police Digital P25, comes in quite decently most of the time.
Marion County Sheriff, Digital P25 VERY choppy and more of an annoyance
Flager (60 MILES AWAY) I believe this is FM, decent reception understandable communique most of the time
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Old 01-04-2014, 8:49 PM
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Sounds like you might benefit from an antenna with some gain, which a discone has none of.
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Old 01-04-2014, 9:00 PM
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No one seemed to mention the cable. Depending on the frequency (the higher you go, the longer the run, the greater the loss, as a general rule) you may be throwing away a good chunk of signal.

Before you buy an amp (always a last resort) or replace the antenna, do it right and get some quality RG6 or 9913 up there. You should change that cable every couple of years anyway, particularly if you suspect moisture has gotten in there. And being in Florida, I wouldn't be surprised at all...

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Old 01-24-2014, 10:52 AM
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So. After increasing the height, I've looked at other options. I've made sure the Attenuator was on, Priority off, etc. I get 4-5 bars all the time, but there seems to be interference of some sort. So, with all those options done on the scanner, I am forced to try a hand at making a yagi. I think a Yagi would help greatly in this instance because it seems to be a Simulcast issue. My only issue... I've looked for QUITE a bit; both on RR and abroad. I don't know, I guess it just isn't sinking in. I just cannot understand the Yagi-Uda principal. I've downloaded some shareware (4nec2) and it might as well be written in Japanese. So, here's what I've got. several pieces of my R.S. Discone Antenna that them !@%#^% squirrels have demolished, an old tv antenna, a 21 inch piece of that old antenna, and some RG6 cable... Now. what do?

Thanks in advance. It just does not make any sense to me.
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Old 01-24-2014, 3:21 PM
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I also feel obligated to say, that I have a rubber ducky that gets better reception than my discone.
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Old 01-24-2014, 3:49 PM
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My old RS Discone still worked fine with several of the rods missing. Up until the latest ice storm that finally killed it, there were two of the shorter rods (part of the disk) and one of the longer rods (part of the cone). Probably the saving grace was I used some LMR-400 as my feed line and what I generally listen to have good signals at my location.

I do agree that the RS discone is poorly made. Hollow rods with the connection screw barely crimped on doesn't make for a very solid construction. I swear that if a butterfly farts near the antenna it could cause a rod to break off. Once warmer weather arrives and the ice storm threats subside, I plan to replace it with one made with solid rods that should last even if a large group of butterflies finish off the bean dip carelessly left on the patio and decide to have an air race around my new discone.
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Old 01-24-2014, 3:59 PM
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Take Mike's advice, if it is poor quality cable or damaged from moisture that's probably why the duck seems to due better. You could due a simple test, disconnect the discone from its location and take the radio with the duck up in that area and see what happens.
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Old 01-26-2014, 5:57 PM
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My Radio Shack Discone after the recent ice storm. Not a pretty site.

Note, the mounting bracket and coax have been removed by me, the rest was done by the ice storm.
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