Attic Antenna

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Metrofire31

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I would appreciate any guidance on what might be the best performing base antenna for attic installation. Approximately 98% of my listening is 800 MHz although I would listen to more VHF/UHF if I had a better antenna for DXing.
 

af5rn

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How tall is your attic? If you've got 8 or 9 feet of headspace, stick a $30 dollar Scantenna up there and feed it with quality coax. If you have less than eight feet, then get a mobile antenna and either mag mount it or hole mount it to the air conditioner unit for ground plane. That would be your second best choice. You could go for a nice, high quality, high-gain (5db) 800mhz antenna to cover your primary band best, and get "okay" performance everywhere else. Or you could get something like the Austin Spectra all-band antenna (around $90 bucks from Scanner Master) and cover all the bases, but with less 800 performance than a dedicated 800 antenna.

Pretty much most everything else is either too big or not good enough performance, so those are your serious choices.

Not sure what you mean by "DXing", as there really is no such thing with an attic mounted antenna, lol. Not in the UHF and VHF bands anyhow.
 

andrewccm

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I am interested in this as well. I put up a Scantenna ST2 and in general it is doing pretty well, but would like something a little more powerful on 800.. Is there something directional that would work better? I am about 25-35 miles from a couple of the systems I'd like to pick up better.

I do listen to a lot of 400 as well (Dallas PD).. The ST2 is doing well there except for one sector (NE).

Thanks for your help!
 

N1BHH

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Depending on height and width and electrical wiring and ductwork, you could have so many antennas in the attic and have a blast. I once had dipole for 10 thru 20 meters that worked well for me, despite being only 15 feet above ground. I had a few simple ground planes, one for 2 meters, one for 70 centimeters and a couple beams as well and all worked fine. The beams were fixed in one direction out of the fact that there was no room for a rotator and I only needed it aimed in one direction anyway. There are endless possibilities with an attic, let your mind wander.

Here is an article on eham you could look at: http://www.eham.net/articles/1074
And another article: http://www.hard-core-dx.com/nordicdx/antenna/wire/atticloop.html
Arnie Corro wrote and talked about them: http://www.radiohc.org/Distributions/Dxers/scripts/99-1218.html

Just try your imagination, you will find there are so many antennas you can put up there in the attic. Have fun doing it, too.
 

Metrofire31

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Thanks folks for the thorough responses. I think I'm going to head in the direction of a 5db 800 MHz antenna since that is the overwhelming majority of my home monitoring. Now, what about the coax - do you run it out of the attic thru the soffet (sp?) and back through the window or wall downstairs? I've ordered one of those under-the-window coax connectors.
 

Jim41

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Coax Routing

Metrofire31 said:
Thanks folks for the thorough responses. I think I'm going to head in the direction of a 5db 800 MHz antenna since that is the overwhelming majority of my home monitoring. Now, what about the coax - do you run it out of the attic thru the soffet (sp?) and back through the window or wall downstairs? I've ordered one of those under-the-window coax connectors.
I prefer to route coax from an attic antenna through the ceiling of a closet and then out under the closet door and along the baseboard.

I put a small hole (just big enough for the coax connector) in the ceiling of the closet near one of the corners.

Jim41
 

delta_p

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andrewccm said:
I am interested in this as well. I put up a Scantenna ST2 and in general it is doing pretty well, but would like something a little more powerful on 800.. Is there something directional that would work better? I am about 25-35 miles from a couple of the systems I'd like to pick up better.

I do listen to a lot of 400 as well (Dallas PD).. The ST2 is doing well there except for one sector (NE).

Thanks for your help!
I use a Wilson Yagi 301111 for 800 Mhz monitoring from the attic. It is highly directional though so you'll need to aim it toward the tower. I have a scantenna I also use which does pretty well also but the yagi has good gain.
http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showpost.php?p=727845&postcount=1

I'll probably end up with an antenna farm up there in the attic.


PP
 

delta_p

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Metrofire31 said:
Thanks folks for the thorough responses. I think I'm going to head in the direction of a 5db 800 MHz antenna since that is the overwhelming majority of my home monitoring. Now, what about the coax - do you run it out of the attic thru the soffet (sp?) and back through the window or wall downstairs? I've ordered one of those under-the-window coax connectors.
I ran my coax from the attic vertical down through the wall. Cut a hole in the sheet rock wall board for the coax and drilled a hole throught the two 2x4's to get from the attic into the wall hollow. I have three lmr-400's with N males on them so the hole I cut is about 2 inches or so. Then I closed it out with a nice plastic grommet from an office desk cable gromet. I used string with a washer tied to it to feed down through the wall and pulled it out through the hole. Then I tied off the other end of the string to the coax and used it to help guide the coax while someone up top feed it down through the wall and I reeled in the string.



PP
 
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andrewccm

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Good info here....I appreciate the help too..

I think as soon as my LMR400 comes in Friday, I'll do the attic through closet trick. I got a 75ft cable and will only probably need 30ft. I guess I could cut it, and use it for 2 runs...

Scantenna and Yagi.....Now that is an idea...wonder about putting a rotor on the Yagi to easily position to various locations..

Thanks again.
 

andrewccm

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Just to follow-up.. I got my LMR-400 in today... Not sure when the Yagi and rotor will arrive...but hoping Monday...

Time to start punching holes in the closet ceiling.. LOL
 
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