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Remote controlled scanner?

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#1
I'm reading a lot on this forum about the importance of using low loss cable and keeping the cable to the base antenna as short as possible. For me, it's tough to do this because my roof peak is tall and my scanner is on the first floor, a long way from the outdoor antenna. There's just no way of routing a short cable (less than 70 feet with lots of couplers) between the two.

I'm not sure how to say this.......Does anybody have a setup where a scanner is permanently located up high in the house, maybe up in the attic, just to keep the cable between the scanner and antenna as short as possible......(say 20 feet) .....and then some sort of a wireless interface / repeater lets you remotely control and listen to the scanner from the first floor?

Thanks

Chris Schilling

Midland MI
 

ka3jjz

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#2
I don't see why you couldn't get a 75 foot run of a good 9913 cable or similar, unless there are too many jigs and jogs to get the cable down to the first floor?

I suppose you could use a small FM transmitter, but it might not cover everywhere in the first floor where you want to listen.

Anyway there are a couple of possibilities here. Probably the best one would be to set up a scanner using ProScan (if it's one of those it supports) - though I would never put it in an attic with the heat that typically builds up in the summer, then connect it through a network to a PC somewhere else in your house. There are likely other ways to do this - using BuTel's software (EasyScanner?) but you want to be able to control the scanner as well as listen to it, so just working with Windows Media isn't enough. There's other remote-control scanner software out there, I'm sure- I just haven't heard of it....73 Mike
 
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#3
Thanks ka3jjz

I've been reading up on Scan Pro software for Uniden scanners

http://www.bc780xlt.net/

It looks like a great program...easy to do remote control with a PC.....and they also sell frequency logger software that looks like great fun.

My scanner is a Radio Shack 2096 and can't be run in remote control.....I'd need to buy another scanner to pull this off.

If I keep this scanner, it turns out I'd need about 90 feet of cable to make it to a rooftop antenna. Is the 9913 cable any better than the LMR 400 as far as loss on 800+ MHz trunking? Is th 9913 cable much stiffer than LMR 400 (which isn't too bad.....I have a 50 foot run of LMR 400 running out to a Diamond Discone mounted on the railing of my deck)

Anyway, thanks a lot.....I am enjoying the heck out of this hobby. This forum is terrific.

Chris Schilling

Midland MI
 

ka3jjz

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#4
Good Lord, stay as far away as you can from ScanPro. There are far and away much better choices then that POS. Our wiki for the 780 has several links...ProScan, Scan Control are just 2, but there are many more...and I see the wiki has the link for ARC-Easystream, which I mentioned earlier...

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/BC780XLT

To bring this back to topic, which is antennas - why can't you run a single piece of 9913 down to your scanner? Too many jigs and jogs?

If you still have your heart set on remoting your scanner, I think you'd probably be better off in the Streaming forum.

73s Mike
 
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#5
Right....as I read more I see many more options than the POS.

Frankly, I'm not so sure I want a remote. I like to keep it simple. The jigs and jogs arent that bad......but there's run of 90 feet of cable, and I'm concerned about signal loss....

I don't know much about the 9913 cable.....is it any better than the LMR 400 as far as loss on 800+ MHz trunking? Is the 9913 cable much stiffer than LMR 400?

Thanks
 
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#6
Why so scared?

My antenna is about 90' of cable away (Beldin 9913) and no complaints...I can reach everything I need in my area. All my listening is done in the vhf band though, no 800 systems..The main system I listen to is about 15 miles away, and I get that at full scale on both my 996 and my 780 using a multicoupler. On 800Mhz its about 1db loss @ 25' and <4 for 100'. I couldn't imagine having the radios in another room than my computer. Just my thoughts...
 
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#7
feel your pain

i am having the same problem down in flint..i also have a 2096 and just bought the 700-1000 MHz UHF LP from DPD Productions and after first day of testing it is not much better than the standard 800MHz i was using...as of now very disappointed after spending $136.00 for the antenna..i am only running maybe 60' of RG 6 and debating on spending another 60-$80 bucks on the so-called good coax..there is several debates about coax..and also the simulcast genesee co. sys...have also tried discone and base antennas to no avail..i am about ready to give up and just accept that if i want to listen to gen co it is gonna have to be off towers outside of the county and miss stuff
 

n5usr

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#8
100 feet of 9913 has 3.936 dB loss at 800 MHz,
100 feet of LMR-400 has 3.646 dB loss at 800 MHz.
No appreciable difference!

The only issue you might have with 9913 over LMR-400 is that it uses an air core dielectric (part between the center conductor and shield) and has a spiral-wrapped piece of plastic that holds the spacing. If your connectors aren't sealed well, you can get water in there and it will migrate clear down the entire length of cable - which usually ruins it, as it's very hard for that moisture to get back out again.

This can also be an issue to watch for if buying used or old 9913 that has been sitting on a reel for a while. If the ends of the cable weren't kept sealed (taped up, whatever) moisture from the air may have gotten inside.

The LMR-400 uses a foam dielectric, so it's harder (but not impossible!) for water to get into the cable. You still want to seal the outdoor connections well.

Both cables use a solid core center conductor, and as such are quite stiff, which can be a real pain to run. They also need to be used in settings where the cable won't move much / at all once installed. There is a stranded-core version of LMR-400 called "UltraFlex" which is FAR easier to work with, but it does have slightly more loss. I use Wireman "Super8" cable which is comparable to the UltraFlex.
 
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#9
suggestion

What if he used that real stiff cable with a lil 5ft jumper that is more flexible once it is out of the wall? like a wall jack...out of that to the scanner might be a more flexible cable...but in the walls use the better stuff? also...if you have the money and ability you might want to consider running it in conduit...EMT or something to that extent...might make the pull easier with a LOT less chance of snagging...just my 2cents...
JB
 
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#10
Thanks everybody for the advice. This forum just keeps on giving.


n5usr, I appreciate learning about the difference between the foam core and air core......and how this affects water penetration...

I also appreciate knowing there's much difference in dB loss between the 2 cables.

Phantom, I live not far from Flint, Michigan.......Midland Township. I drive through Flint a lot. What type of standard 800 MHz antenna did you replace with DPD Productions UHF LP? I'm thinking I might buy one of those....not sure if it would outperform my Diamond discone

My diamond is mounted on a 10 foot pole strapped to a deck outside. I'm itching to get it raised another 20 feet so it gets above the roof ridge. Its connected to 50 feet of LMR 400, which then connects to a switch.....on one leg of the switch is 20 feet of LMR 400 to a wall outlet in the living room.......the other leg of the switch is 20 feet of LMR 400 to a wall outlet in the bedroom. I carry my RS 2096 between the 2 locations. I use a 3 foot piece of jumper between the scanner and wall outlet. The wife thinks I've lost my mind.
 
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#12
commstar said:
<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/XoUjpKNjEoc&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/XoUjpKNjEoc&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

????:confused:
 
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#14
For a scanner, get yourself 100ft of quality RG6 cable, put the antenna where it needs to be and put the radio where it needs to be. Depending on the house, flexibility of the spouse you can run coax in lots of spaces. Through ceilings in a closet, return air vent in some homes is just a void in the studs, thats a good space, on the outside of the house. RG6 can be hidden behind baseboards, soffets, under siding, behind crown molding.

Just look around your home and look at what walls, closets and openings line up between your antenna and radio
 

n5usr

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#15
Just for comparison, 100 feet of RG6 at 800 MHz will have 8.709 dB loss!

That's significant, much more than you will have with the LMR-400 or 9913.

Another way of looking at it is power loss:
For RG-6, 100 watts in gives only 13.4 watts out.
For LMR-400, 100 watts in gives 43.2 watts out.

This is certainly valid for received signals as well, just the wattages are much much smaller to begin with.

Of course, if the signals you want to receive are strong enough in the first place, you may not notice the loss...
 
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#16
I appreciate the You Tube link. It looks like a great toy.

I wonder how "bug proof" (idiot proof....) it is.....

The guy on the video mentioned Linux. I wonder if I need a masters' degree in computer engineering to keep the thing running?

More and more of this technology will become available as more competitors enter the market. Its definitely a technology to watch.

My guess is this technology will eventually get cheap enough and idiot proof enough and user friendly enough that I'll want to use the shortest possible length of low-loss cable between my scanner and antenna.....and then listen to the scanner while walking anywhere plugged in to WI FI and blue tooth. Anywhere at home and away from home (that has WIFI)

Hmm.....my wife already thinks I tune her out too much because I listening to my scanner through a little earpiece. What a riot.
 

commstar

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#17
Having played with both Oddcast and Icecast, I would say pretty hard to screw up. Simple stuff. You can do this, give it a try, you might even learn something in the process. Then you can come back and tell us how well it works (or not).

Both Odd and Icecast support Windows. Linux is just a quick free pathway to a licensed, robust OS on a machine. Linux is not necessary if you have a working Windows machine to use for this application.

Why watch when you can play for free?- give it a try

It is FREE right now, just go and download. Did I mention that they do not cost anything?
http://www.oddsock.org/tools/oddcastv3/
http://www.icecast.org/

I missed what scanner you are trying to do this with, and if you have programming software for it already, but if it is a recent model, there is a pretty good chance there is some Free or at least Demo software you can D/L to test with before you commit $.

You can always get another wife, a great radio it really difficult to find (ha!).
 
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#18
thank you commstar

I will check this out.

sounds good.

My scanner is a rat shack Pro 2096. I have WIN 96 software.

I think I will need to upgrade to a better scanner to pull this off.
 

commstar

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#20
YES! I (wink wink) agree an upgrade is in order. Then again, upgrades are nearly always in order.

Tell her, no, INFORM her that you MUST upgrade or you will likely become a sullen and broken man. You M-I-G-H-T have turn to alcohol, loose women (perhaps even her crazy sister) and gambling to quench your sorrows if you do not immediately upgrade.

The ONLY answer is the swift and copious application of community monetary assets (and overnight shipping to bolster your claim of the emergent nature of the situation). The family can eat later, the baby does not like clothes anyway, and forget those new shoes- you need a new scanner my man.

Otherwise, what you have is likely fine- give it a try my friend.
 
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