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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-04-2009, 8:19 PM
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Default Central Texas - Outdoor Antenna Help Needed

I need help designing and installing a combination TV / scanner antenna. A couple names of commercial antenna fabricators and installers would be great.

Here is what I posted on the Antenna Forum.

"Is there anybody in my area that can help me design or who will build and install a combination TV/scanner Antenna?

I have a guest a cabin that needs an antenna. The cabin has a metal hipped roof about 15' high at the top of the gable. I am thinking the antenna will be installed in the ground about 6 -10' from the structure and will extent up over the roof top about 5'. I dunno, does this sould about right.

The cabin is located on the Northwest side of Canyon Lake 2 miles South of Fischer, Tx at about at an altitude of 1000'."

Thanks,

Jerry
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Old 08-04-2009, 9:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry_M View Post
I need help designing and installing a combination TV / scanner antenna. A couple names of commercial antenna fabricators and installers would be great.

Here is what I posted on the Antenna Forum.

"Is there anybody in my area that can help me design or who will build and install a combination TV/scanner Antenna?

I have a guest a cabin that needs an antenna. The cabin has a metal hipped roof about 15' high at the top of the gable. I am thinking the antenna will be installed in the ground about 6 -10' from the structure and will extent up over the roof top about 5'. I dunno, does this sould about right.

The cabin is located on the Northwest side of Canyon Lake 2 miles South of Fischer, Tx at about at an altitude of 1000'."

Thanks,

Jerry
Jerry,
Not trying to discourage you by any means, but the signals used by television broadcast and those that are monitored by the scanning community are polarized differently. While you could put up an antenna that encompasses the frequencies desired, your reception on one band or the other (depending on which way you mount) it will suffer.

If you look at a standard outdoor TV antenna, on the roof of a house, you'll notice that it basically "lays flat", with it's elements spreading out more or less parallel to the ground (excepting that corner reflector some have for Uhf).

Now, look at this Scanner Beam antenna, sold by retailer Grove Enterprises. See how it mounts so that the elements are vertical instead of horizontal? As you can see, it resembles a television antenna. The difference is that the radials (the antenna elements themselves) are cut to different lengths than those of a tv antenna, for reception in the bands of interest for scanner users. I had an earlier model of this antenna. Worked very well for years, till a storm toppled a large tree limb onto it.

While a single antenna for both uses may not be satisfactory, there's no reason you could not use a longer mast, and put the two antennas on it, one above the other. I should point out that in some cases, televisions can interfere with scanner reception, so separation between the two antennas, as much as practical, could be desirable if that proves to be an issue. That would also be a drawback to trying to use only one antenna, splitting it's feed into a scanner & tv component. Any 'noise' or other electrical interference generated by the tv would have a clear shot to the scanner.

As far as what type of scanner antenna, that will depend on exactly what you are trying to hear. The altitude will help you as far as range goes, though some of the more distant signals, especially the 800mhz trunks & LCRA (900mhz) will be impacted by intervening hills between your location and any transmitting tower. I would imagine, that with a good antenna, you should get excellent range on any Vhf-high channels from the area.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:28 AM
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I would second putting a scanner antenna higher up on a mast above the TV antenna. This should let you monitor quite a bit, including the LCRA trunking system. The hills do play havoc with those signals, but I can pull in NBPD pretty well with the stock duck antenna on my PSR-500 down on River Rd(@Gilligans Island). I'd have to take my scanner to your area to tell you for sure though if you'd be able to get them out there, but I suspect there's a reasonable chance you would.

Also important since you were planning to make a combo tv/scanner antenna, when you go to run coax for the scanner antenna, don't just buy double the amount of cable you would use for the tv which is typically 75 ohms. For radio communications/scanning purposes you need to find some 50 ohm coax, which should only take a minute or so more of looking when you are buying parts at the hardware/electronics store for the antenna(s). If you were to use the higher resistance cable(75 ohm) for your scanner, the signal would be much degraded by the time it made down the line into the receiver.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:40 PM
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Default Scanner & TV Antenna Combo....points to ponder...

The previous post say it very well, relative to Scanner vs TV Antenna's....I would just experiment with a 'Wide Band Discone" type antenna. Your can search the net and several companies are good one's to use and I use them for an array of frequencies.

The primary note on the TV type antenna's (Horizontal) is they are very 'directional' in nature. Thus, the reason use have to know the location (azimuth) to 'point' the antenna for best reception of a specific channel.

One issue we have seen in DFW area (early on) in the Digital transformation is that some of the stations were using low-power on the new HD channels. thus some TV and certainly some Discone type antenna's in rual areas were having issues with reception. So folks had to re-adjust directional, add larger antenna's, move higher and add amps in some cases...

As stated in prior post, the higher you can safely get the antenna and use a quality antenna cable (75 ohm is best for TV and will also work with scanners, but cause some level of loss (receivers - not for transmitters)....but cable is cheap, al things concidered and do-not forget and grounding (Safety) and lighning-static protection as well...

If you have the time and extra money, I would opt for a small rotor and radio-shack TV antenna and a seperate Discone wide-band above (or seoerate from) the TV mast....with two (2) seperate cables (75 and 50 ohm) to the respective receivers.

The rotor will allow you to rotate around 350+ degrees on the compass to perhaps 'catch' some interesting long-distance channels perhaps and the Wide-Band-Discone will allow you to pull-in some great low and high band VHF, along with some Mil-Air that transits the area as well...

Best of luck and let us know how it goes......
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Old 08-09-2009, 9:48 AM
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Thanks to all for your contributions to this thread.

I am in contact with an installer of HAM towers. Our discussion has included a 35' tower attached to the cabin for a discone antenna, a TV-38 TV antenna and a Yagi antenna for wireless PC operation. We also discussed a rotor installed inside the mast for the TV antenna. At my house there will be a ROHN type telescopic mast attached to the house for a Yagi antenna for the PC wireless.

Hope I don't have to mortgage the farm to pay for all this. Savings are hard to come by having to live on a fixed retirement income. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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