Antennae suggestion for Pro-96 Aircraft reception

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Marcopolo456

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Hi folks. I live about 5 miles from MPLS - St. Paul international and would think that I could pick up tower transmissions using my handheld Pro-96. I have both the stock and the 800 mHZ antennaes. Neither are acceptable for the cival aircraft band... Any suggestions? I've heard that the Diamond RH77CA would work. What does everyone think. Thanks for any input/advice you can offer.

regards,
Mark
 

N8IAA

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Hi folks. I live about 5 miles from MPLS - St. Paul international and would think that I could pick up tower transmissions using my handheld Pro-96. I have both the stock and the 800 mHZ antennaes. Neither are acceptable for the cival aircraft band... Any suggestions? I've heard that the Diamond RH77CA would work. What does everyone think. Thanks for any input/advice you can offer.

regards,
Mark
Mark, 5 miles from the tower is a long way for the tower frequencies to be heard by a scanner with a rubber duck. This is because the tower transmits on very low power. You can hear the planes, which use low power too, because of their being high enough off on the ground. It is all simplex air to gorund, and ground to air, with no repeaters like in public service. You could invest in a gain VHF yagi antenna, put it on the roof, and point it towards the airport. It may help, it may not.
HTH,
Larry
 

Marcopolo456

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Thanks. Larry. I appreciate the info. I learned something today... I went to Radio City and bought a MFJ-1717 High Gain Dual Band 144-444 MHz antennae. Was told it might work for Aircraft. It doesn't. BUT, it works better on 800MHz P25 system than the RS-800 mhz bnc or the stock ant that came with my Pro-96! Isn't that wierd!
 

N8IAA

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Thanks. Larry. I appreciate the info. I learned something today... I went to Radio City and bought a MFJ-1717 High Gain Dual Band 144-444 MHz antennae. Was told it might work for Aircraft. It doesn't. BUT, it works better on 800MHz P25 system than the RS-800 mhz bnc or the stock ant that came with my Pro-96! Isn't that wierd!
Not really, the antenna acts like a 5/8 gain antenna on 440Mhz, so......it would be like having a super gain antenna on 800Mhz:)
Larry
 

Marcopolo456

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You guys are a wealth of knowlege! I wish I understood the concepts of "gain" etc better. I need to sit down and do some serious studying of the WIKI!

Thanks, again,
Mark
 

Alliance01TX

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Howdy

The prior post is spot-on, as in the DFW (Dallas, TX) Airport you are hard pressed to hear Tower freq's outside a couple of miles....Using a Air Band Yagi (cut to center freq around ~125.0 mhz) mounted high up is likely the best solution, and you will have to get the proper azmith heading from your location to the tower transmit anntenn's, which are-not always located at or on the tower per se to get the best signal....

I would experiment with a normal wide-band antenna (up high) first to see if that helps at all, as many factors can limit the reception & you might look-up how to make (homebrew) a Yagi using simple wire & wood...it's easy, but you will need to connect the coax and that takes soldering skills as well...

Also you might do some drive-testing to figure out the antenna location as well....

Keep us posted & good luck!

Thx

Bill
 

iMONITOR

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Hi folks. I live about 5 miles from MPLS - St. Paul international and would think that I could pick up tower transmissions using my handheld Pro-96. I've heard that the Diamond RH77CA would work.

regards,
Mark

You heard right! The Diamond RH77CA performs very well on both commercial, and military aircraft bands.

You can buy it here:
Diamond RH77CA Amateur HT Antenna
 

Marcopolo456

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OK, iMonitor... So you are saying that with the Diamond RH77CA (which looks, costs and specs very similar to the MFJ-1717 I just spent $23 for), that I would be able to hear KMSP tower from a distance of about 5 miles using my Pro-96? I don't understand how it can be that much better than what I just purchased, and what I just purchased is worthless for Civil Air... Doesn't work any better than the stock RS one...

(Oh, the quandry... Is Alliance right, or is iMonitor right???) hehe
 

N8IAA

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:lol:
(Oh, the quandry... Is Alliance right, or is iMonitor right???) hehe
I made the mistake years ago buying the MFJ 1717 for the scanner. It sits in the antenna cup for occasional use:( No where near as good as my old trusty RH77. But the RH77 is good for strong VHF/UHF signals. As mentioned by two of us, tower frequencies are limited by signal power, actual height of the tower in comparison to your monitoring station (remember all signals are limited to line of sight), I personally use commercial and ham antennas for most of my monitoring. In the house, being on the second floor, I use magmounts on metal filing cabinets. Not as good as my monitoring station was back in OH where I had gain antennas mounted on the roof:) Homemade yagis are fun and easy to make. Just Google and you will see. Up as high as you can get is the way! On the mobile, 145Mhz quarter wave antenna, (uncut which makes it almost the correct frequency for VHF air) mounted on the roof will make for better listening. It will work fine for whatever else is programmed into the scanner:lol:

HTH,
Larry
 
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