Apartment scanner antenna?

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ShorterWave

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l have a R.S. PRO-51 analog scanner. And have a telescoping antenna that mounts on top of it. ln the apartment, l can't receive much. Going outside helps alot. l was thinking of a glass mount scanner antenna mounted to a window. l know it's not the best option, but probably the only option. This apt complex is built like a hotel-no back patio or back door. And the front door opens to the hallway not the outside. Do you think a glass mount antenna would be better than the telescoping antenna inside?
 

popnokick

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A thru-the-glass antenna is not going to be much help, particularly if there is any tinting or metallic heat resistance in the glass of your available window. Without going outside, and assuming you have no roof access, your next best bets of something to put in the window are -
1) Homebrewed Off-Center Fed Dipole - The RadioReference Wiki Scroll down the RR Wiki page to see the all-wire version that you can hang in the window. You'll need an adapter to go from the F-connector on the coax cable to your PRO-51 scanner antenna jack.
2) Buy one of the flat "blade" or "leaf" type HDTV antennas at any home or hardware store. Or order online from multiple sources. They actually make flat versions that stick on to the inside of a window. Yes, it's a TV antenna but the things you usually want to hear on a scanner are covered by most of these inexpensive TV antennas. You may need to rotate the antenna on its axis to get it to work best (changing the polarity from horizontal to vertical which is where the scanner comms come in best). You'll also need an adapter to go from the F-connector on the TV antenna coax cable to your scanner.
 

bob550

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Just place the scanner by your window and see if your reception improves. As @popnokick states, certain window materials can block or attenuate signals from coming through the glass, but perhaps you'll be lucky. You can also try adjusting the length of your telescopic antenna for a specific band of interest using this handy calculator. For mounting on glass, there's this suction cup mount sold through Scanner Master. I've used one for several years and it works nicely. Also, you could consider a coax pass-through to enable you to mount an antenna outside the window. Because it uses F-connectors, you'd need appropriate BNC adapters, however. Lastly, also consider an allband magnetic mount mobile scanner antenna on a round baking sheet mounted inside by the window.
 

marksmith

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I have tried all of the suggestions and they all work to some degree better than nothing. Which ones work best for you depend a whole lot on the specific frequencies and systems you concentrate on, and the orientation of your window solution to that system. At one place I once stayed, a magnetic car antenna on a big metal cabinet was a fantastic antenna. Even away from the window. The magnet mount on the pizza pan is the most omnidirectional, but what you want to monitor may require one of the more directional solutions such as the flat TV antenna in the right orientation.

Your challenge is to try lots of things and see what works for the system you want to monitor and your specific location.
 

thomasbillman1

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get a pc of copper wire stick one end in the pin of the back of scanner, then the other end of the wire attch it to the screen of your window. the screen acts like an antenna. I have my bearcat hooked that way reception is great.
 

CcSkyEye

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I recommend the Ed Fong DBJ-1 (commercial) dual band base antenna. Cheap, reliable and easy to hide in your window or on your apartment balcony if that is a concern.
 

KK4JUG

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get a pc of copper wire stick one end in the pin of the back of scanner, then the other end of the wire attch it to the screen of your window. the screen acts like an antenna. I have my bearcat hooked that way reception is great.
That's fine of the screen is metal. Many are nylon or fiberglas and if that's the case, the copper wire will be the only antenna.
 

ShorterWave

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The screen is not metal, so that idea is out lol. About putting an antenna near the window, the metal blinds would probably be a problem. l'll try to mount something to the glass on the outside of the blinds.
 

Danny37

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Do you have a window ac unit? If so, you can try placing a mag-mount on it. I have one setup at my apartment and it works well for scanning.
 

ShorterWave

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Putting the scanner's antenna up to the window doesn't help on most frequencies. l'll probably just get a mag mount mobile antenna and go sit in the car when l want to listen to it.
 
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