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Help with an Apartment antenna.....

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bnn204

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Hello all,
I own a NIL-JON Super M Magnet mount and a R/S 20-032. Both are located on my deck off my living room. I am on the 3rd floor so I don't think elevation is a problem. The coax that is run for the super M is RG6 CATV cable. (sorry but that is what I had around when the coax broke on the super M). I am getting REALLY crappy Reception from it. If I upgrade to RG-6 Quad shield will that help? It isn't the NMO mount but the Larsen style stud mount.(which is REALLY crappy) sould I try to build my own base for it? I have been told and I have read that this antenna is supposed to be AWESOME. I am not seeing that and I have a hunch that it's the coax and the base that are messing things up. I am using a BC785D as a scanner.
Thank you ahead of time,
Chris
EAN335 - Emergency Acton Net
BNN204 - Breaking News Net
 

John_M

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A mag-mount needs a ground plane such as a cookie sheet. I have my mag-mount on top of my refrigerator and I am using an amplifier. I still need a 800mhz antenna though.
 

bnn204

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Anyone else....

I will try your suggestion...I also saw somwthing about a electrical box cover and a few radial off that for graound plains????? anyone with any other suggestions?
 

Blazer7112

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What are you trying to monitor? If 800 is the main then your in the service area or not. you can use a amp. but your also amping the noise. As far as the cable your using RG8 is a good low loss cable. but In my experiance with 800 MHZ the RG6U should be fine. Grounding your mag. antennas would help cut out interference. Find a cold water pipe or electrical ground (last resort) you usually get a 60hz bleed when you use your electrical grounding. Unless you had a good electrition that wired your house....... There are a few good omni scanner antennas if your trying to hit some lowerband stuff.. and even if your in a apartment as long as you have a temp install ex. on a tripod you shouldent have any problems.
 

bnn204

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Help with apartment antenna....

I monitor Vhf Uhf and 800....pretty much all public safety. I amin Central NJ close to Trenton. i need to know if that idea with the electrical box cover and radials coming off it will work.....I have a piece of 6X24 inch steel flashing out there and that only helps a little bit.

Thanks
Chris
 
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I am in an apartment just as bnn is, except I'm on the first floor, and the building is brick. Since my building is brick, I try to keep my mag mount on the outside, on a window sill or something of the sort. About ground planes, I notice my mag mound always has better reception when its on one, but what exactly is a ground plane, and why is one needed? Also, what do you guys think would give me better reception, my antenna outside on a concrete window sill, or inside a brick building on a cookie sheet or if I invested in some sort of steel sheet?
 
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bnn204

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Here's my Idea

Here's my idea involving the suggestions you guys have givin me.

It involves:

- 5 Gallon bucket
- Some sand or concrete
- 2 to 2.5 inch PCV pipe at 8 to 10 feet long
- a electrical box cover with elements off it at 45 degree angles
- 30 ft of RG 6 Quad shield coax
- My existing NIL-JON Super M Magnet Mount Antenna
 

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roadranger

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better grounds

I've seen and done many! If you are still using the mag, try sticking it to the top of an appliance, or file cabinet, as long as there isn't to much vynal glued to it. It works great for transmitting on also. Use an old coffee can. how about a metal bucket, trash pail, wash tub? Anything metal that the mag will stick to. Heck I've worked a local 10 m net with my r/s mag "upside-down" on a register from ventalation on my ceiling! Figure that one!
 

Al42

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Was it working better before you put the new cable on? If yes, I'd check how you installed the cable.

As far as going from RG-6 from a cable TV company to RG-6QS, you're probably better off staying with what you have. 1) It's probably better quality than most consumer-grade cable (stay away from Radio Shack cable) and 2) quad shielding does nothing as far as a scanner is concerned - it just adds to the price. (It doesn't do anything as far as a TV set is concerned either - it's designed for Sat TV installations.)
 

bnn204

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I give up.....help needed...again

Ok...I have given up on the NIL-JON.....as far as I am concerned it's not the antenna for me.. my R/S 20-032 seems to be better in audio and signal strengh over the Nil-jon.... I suppose if I had a better magnet mount and better coax that it would be a giant killer. But, I have the crappy (Cheap) Mount provided by grove. It has Cheap RG58 cable on it. So hear is my question. Can I build a mount for this antenna that will work. I have access to RG6QS cable for free so that is what I will be using for cable. How can I mount the antenna. Home brew typ of magnet mount is what I am shooting for. or do you guys and gals think there is a better way? I live in a third floor apartment with a balcony. I currently have the R/S antenna outside on a Huge piece of Stainless steel flashing that is 9"X24" and that is working well. I will be upgrading to a BIG cookiesheet or a piece of flat steel soon. Your opinions are oppreciated. As for my idea from an earlier post with the PVC and bucket. that was veto'd by my wife and the building manager cause they both thought it would be an eyesore.
Thanks and be safe out there,
Chris
BNN204
EAN335
 

dangitdoug

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I use a magmount in the windowsill. The framing is metal, so I get the good mounting surface for the antenna. Works great for me. I will probably do the same in the front room with my handheld GMRS. I have a suction cup wondow mount now, but wifey-poo hates that. "THERE'S TOO MUCH CRAP IN THE WINDOW!!"

Personnaly, I'd rather see my antenna than the neighbors.

Doug K
 

bnn204

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Why is it that i cannot get an answer to my question? I just need to know what I asked. Thanks for the input but I need answers to my questions.
 

kc2jfs

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Just a quick note. If you have a wall unit air conditioner it makes an excellent ground plane for a magmount. It is not worth the time or effort to build your own magmount. There are plenty of good pre-assembled ones at a fair price.
 

Napalm

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bnn204 said:
Why is it that i cannot get an answer to my question? I just need to know what I asked. Thanks for the input but I need answers to my questions.
Ok, you have a balcony - I take it there are railings on there? If they're steel, just plonk the magmount ontop of that, and hope for the best.

Alternativly, ask the building manager nicely if you can put a small antenna on the roof, and neatly put the cable down the side of the building and into your apartment...
 

kb2vxa

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Hi BNN and all,

"I also saw somwthing about a electrical box cover and a few radial off that for graound plains?"

That's gotta be me. (;->) What I described is just fine for trunk lip or NMO mounts but you overlooked the way it's mounted. I fastened it to an aluminium L bracket that's fastened in turn to a boom holding another antenna to the mast. I suppose it would work for a mag mount BUT you have to mount the box cover from the side rather than the bottom or the obstruction won't give the magnet anything to stick to.

One thing to consider is the "planing surface" whether you use radials or just stick it to a refrigerator, about 20" diameter around the antenna is OK for VHF and up but it gets sticky on Lo Band where at least 53" is required. When the going gets tough it can be "bent" as long as you have the required surface unbroken, a refrigerator is pretty big so it's easy to get 60" or more out of it, an air conditioner won't do for Lo Band.

"Alternativly, ask the building manager nicely if you can put a small antenna on the roof..."

That's the best idea yet, one way or another it worked for me. Using the word "roof" implies holes and leaks, best you ask where and how you can put it up and take it from there. You might get lucky and find a vent pipe or something useful already up there. One more thing, saying it's for satellite radio or some other subterfuge will get you farther than anything else. The manager probably is aware of the federal law preempting antenna prohibitions in cases of broadcast reception and a scanner is not a broadcast receiver. At the very least he's clueless and will disallow anything he has the slightest doubts about. Never forget that a little white lie covers a host of sins, or in other words a little BS spread thinly goes a long way.
 

kc2jfs

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"One thing to consider is the "planing surface" whether you use radials or just stick it to a refrigerator, about 20" diameter around the antenna is OK for VHF and up but it gets sticky on Lo Band where at least 53" is required. When the going gets tough it can be "bent" as long as you have the required surface unbroken, a refrigerator is pretty big so it's easy to get 60" or more out of it, an air conditioner won't do for Lo Band."


Just how low are you talking? Most descent sized ac's will work just fine for 50 Mhz and up. I know from actually using that surface as a sufficient ground plane to transmit and receive on.
 

bnn204

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Ac.....

Ok...my a/c unit is below the top of my deck. so it's not high up in the wall. more like knee level. is that still good??? the railings are all metal so I was thinking that those would cause problems....if not then I will tke the R/S 20-032 off the flashing I have and plop it on the a/c unit and then when I get the new base that I am ordering from tesco (unless you guys have a better place to order) then will put the nil-jon there. I swear I tried this when I first moved in and it didn't work as well. Does the metal plain have to be 40 X 40 or can it be 40 X 12 ???

Thanks,
Chris
BNN - BNN204
EAN - EAN335
IPN - NJY037
 

Grog

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kb2vxa said:
The manager probably is aware of the federal law preempting antenna prohibitions in cases of broadcast reception and a scanner is not a broadcast receiver.
I like your way of thinking, just because it's ineffective as a Tv antenna, does not mean you can't tell them that's what will be used for :D

When I 1st moved to where I am, I had a VHF 1/4 wave groundplane up within 24 hours, and I actually used it for my TV antenna when I was not using it for transmitting. It worked ok for my area.
 
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