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J-Poles for scanners?

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CanWoodsman

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Has anyone tried building or considered building a J-Pole antenna for their scanner? With Woodstock PD going encrypted most of my listening has dropped. I can pick-up Aylmer/St. Thomas police but quite often the signal is weak. I'm hoping to improve signal strength. I have researched on the net & have plans which I will try in the next few days. At worst it will be a learning opportunity. I plan to set up the antenna centered for about 142.5 mhz. Also the plans say there may be an increased signal in the 400mhz range which would be great. Without a transmit option I will go by the plans for tuning with leaving the option for adjusting the feed point for better reception. Hoping for the best.

Rick
 
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how far away is the agency you're wanting to monitor? A jpole does really well for scanners. I have 2 tuned for 146.000 and they do great everywhere, haven't tried 800mhz but Missouri HIghway Patrol 42.000 is excellent on the jpole. It all comes down to how high up you have it but yeah a jpole will work just fine for a scanner.

Oh and pour blue original flavor gatorade over the soldered joints to cool them off you'll see what I mean when you first hook it up.
 

CanWoodsman

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how far away is the agency you're wanting to monitor? ...... It all comes down to how high up you have it but yeah a jpole will work just fine for a scanner.
scannerboy: I live on a fairly high ridge compared to the surrounding area for quite a few miles. I'm trying to get a agency around 30 to 45 miles away depending on tower. I pick them up on my magnet mount mobile antenna(Watson WSM 1900) but they break-up at times. It would not take much of an improvement to pick-up regularly. Also at times I pick-up Sanlic County Sheriff's Dept.Mich.(about 80 miles away) but usually in the early morning & better during foggy times. An improvement here would also extend my reception times.

Rick
 
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exkalibur

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If you could throw the antenna outside, you'd be far better off.

A J-Pole isn't the answer to an ideal antenna solution. The reason they work so well is that they have the ground-plane built in, so it doesn't matter what you mount it to. All too often people forget about a ground system.

That said - I agree, a J-Pole is a very good antenna. I use one here on my radio and it rivals most of the other antennas I have.
 

CanWoodsman

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Finished it. Now to the test and comparison phase. Picking up ambulance traffic at least as good and maybe better. Was picking up a signal in the high 400's at 6 out of 10 that the mag mount didn't even find. Time for more testing. Will post picture tomorrow.

Rick
 

CanWoodsman

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Well so far after initial testing I'm pleased. I scanned through freq's. from 40 mhz thru 500 mhz and the 800 range(received very little in the 800's). When I found an active freq. I checked both the j-pole and mag mount to compare signal strength. When the j-pole hit its tuned area's the mag couldn't compare on weaker signals. At other freq's sometimes the j-pole was better & sometimes the mag mount. Quite often they were close with both being better at times. At certain freq's only one would receive usually the j-pole but this was not always the case. More testing to follow.

Rick
 
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moonbounce

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FWIW

I have been having problems all week with St Thomas, and I live in London on the top floor of a highrise.
It seems to go inn spells, some weeks are good and some are bad. I would swear it has to do with the atmosphere.

P.S. When I couldn't pick up St Thomas, Woodstock P.D. would also be out, of course that is when we used to be able to pick them up.

Moonbounce
 

Forts

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FWIW

I have been having problems all week with St Thomas, and I live in London on the top floor of a highrise.
It seems to go inn spells, some weeks are good and some are bad. I would swear it has to do with the atmosphere.

P.S. When I couldn't pick up St Thomas, Woodstock P.D. would also be out, of course that is when we used to be able to pick them up.

Moonbounce
I 2nd that.... Usually my reception in Strathroy is quite good but it's been very spotty the past few days. On my way into London this morning I could barely copy St Thomas PD at all. It definitely does seem to be weather related.
 

CanWoodsman

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Seaforth, On., Canada
Moonbounce: When Woodstock PD was still available I never had a problem receiving them. I haven't heard much yet from Alymer/St. Thomas on the J-Pole but what I have picked up has been a good signal. Also picking up Stratford & Woodstock Fire strongly. They are in the mid to high 150 mhz.

Rick
 
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moonbounce

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Just one other point, a St Thomas copper missed (in his words) a "hot call" this morning. He had to ask dipatch to rebrodcast. I am sure that when we have problems hearing them that they also might have some problems.

Moonbounce
 

pandaemonium

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St Thomas, Ontario Canada
Yup, St. Thomas has problems allot with weak signals, especially when talking with Eylmer. Inside the city, the problem is with handhelds on fringe areas of the city. The base is transmitting at 100 watts I believe, but the handhelds are around 5 watts. The city has expanded a great deal in recent years, and covers a greater area. Hell, with the recession, many of those new houses are now abandoned. If you become homeless here, you can move into your own abandoned house!

O.K. back to the topic. Yes, a J-Pole works nicely. I have one tuned to 142 Mhz, and it is a nice improvement over an internal. Just make sure you have a good placement. Get it up high if you can, and make sure you take lightening precautions if you do!

add:

I found a pre-installation picture
 

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CanWoodsman

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Seaforth, On., Canada
So far I'm quite pleased. Although Aylmer PD is not overly active on the air when they broadcast I get both sides of the conversation clearly with the J-pole inside the house. It is standing infront of an upstairs window on the side of the house facing toward Aylmer. Also Stratford, Woodstock and Middlesex FD's are very clear in the mid 150's. UWO police at 463.8625 is also far clearer than before. Most freq's are better than before some quite better. Only a few that are slightly weaker. Overall i'm very happy with the J-pole and expect when I get it mounted outside it will perform even better.

Pro Patria: Rick
 
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