Indoor antenna suggestions advise 800mhz

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humblegeo

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Any suggestions on a different type indoor antenna that would pull things in abit better for me. I am able to pickup the Harris Co,* Texas Huffman Tower just great but the Humble Tower is very hit and miss for me depending on where I have my radio in the house. Interior middle part of the house I will pickup nothing from the Humble Tower but near a window it does pickup some. Both these towers are about 5 or 6 miles away but Humble*tower 1225644 says elevation 29 structure height 35 range 12.*Huffman tower 1062885 says elevation 19 structure height 153 range 25. Is there another type antenna I can build that would help me out.

Appreciate suggestions and advise
Thanks
Larry Earl Gosnell



 

br0adband

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Being inside a structure = an automatic hit on the signal strength and believe it or not I use basically the same homemade type of 1/4 wave ground plane you've got there yourself - in fact I have several of 'em and use them if necessary. My primary monitoring antenna is an OCFD made from 1/2-inch copper pipe per the instructions and it's worked relatively well for me for a while now. Having said that my particular "monitoring position" is smack dab in the middle of the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area and this is a valley with many transmitter sites sitting on the mountains that form the "bowl" around us so I get great coverage because of my location.

If you're willing to take a chance, the antenna that prcguy mentioned in another thread about 700-800 MHz antennas (this antenna) might be worth trying. prcguy just posted his opinion of it in that other thread saying it was pulling in signals with good to full quieting (about as strong as you can get) and it was receiving signals that the stock antenna on his Whistler TRX-1 handheld wasn't receiving at all and declared the Shure one a huge difference.

I'm probably going to order one of those myself here soon as I can't imagine it can be worse and the design appears to have some advantages over typical duckies as well so again it might be worth taking the chance to get one.

As far as building something better that's always a possibility but the time and effort (and materials) you might put into something like that may not prove worth the effort. If you know precisely where the tower(s) are located (and 5-6 miles isn't that far even for 800 MHz signal propragation) there's always the option to build a Yagi antenna which is a beam antenna that will focus the signal gain in one specific direction aka it's something you'd literally point to the tower location and pull in the best signal. The one situation where that kind of antenna could be detrimental would be with a simulcast system with multiple transmitter sites obviously but even so if you can get a rock solid receive signal from at least one tower you should be ok.

Building a Yagi is a much more involved process than the simple 1/4 wave ground plane and there are plans out there for constructing them, here's one that's not too hard to put together (my opinion, of course):

http://forums.radioreference.com/build-your-own-antenna/125567-homebrew-850mhz-yagi.html

Old post but the basic principles at work are still valid and should work just fine if you decide to build something like that. Personally, if you have the ability and the funds, I'd say order that Shure antenna and see how it performs, if it turns out to be not up to snuff in your particular situation then look into constructing a Yagi.

Last ditch: mount an antenna outside, even one of those little 1/4 wave ground planes, or get it higher if possible. There could be some obstructions in the signal path between your location and the towers, and 800 MHz frequencies can be affected by that sometimes pretty strongly (trees, buildings, houses, etc) but even putting one of those just outside the structure you're in could make a dramatic difference in terms of reception.

Good luck...
 

bharvey2

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Humblegeo, I've never seen that used as a mobile antenna! Radio Shack used to make a 800mhz antenna that works very well. You might try Googling it, I believe another company is making a similar one now. It is a BNC mobile antenna that attaches directly to the scanner.

If you intend to use it in a stationary configuration, would you have a problem with an outdoor antenna? If you're listending primary to 700-800mhz, an antenna will be fairly small and not too easily noticed. Even the antenna shown in your photo at the corner of your roof with RG6 could work. Are you listening to just one system? A small yagi pointing to your primary site tower will probably do well. I have a very industrial yagi about 16" long pointing to my local site and it works great even installed on the ceiling inside my garage.
 

jonwienke

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First suggestion for improving an indoor antenna's reception is always to replace it with an outdoor antenna. No antenna will work well if the signal it is trying to receive has been absorbed or blocked by walls or other obstructions.

Indoor antennas can work OK with strong nearby transmitters, but are always going to suck compared to outdoor antennas for anything more than a few miles away.
 

popnokick

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Flat-panel, blade-type "leaf" TV antennas for UHF can work very well indoors when placed in a window... and sometimes that isn't even necessary. They are directional gain antennas designed for UHF-TV with broad frequency coverage into the scanner bands. Lots written about it here on RR. All you need is an adapter to go from the F-male connector from the coax on the inexpensive "leaf" / panel antenna to your scanner.
 

humblegeo

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Is this the same thing as the old rabbit ears type telescopic antenna with the 300 ohm transformer?

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

humblegeo

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Length of each leg is about 3.3 inches. I made a smaller one specifically for 1090 MHz sdr and works great for that. Good signal strength in RTL1090 almost 120-180.
 

cmdrwill

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Length of each leg is about 3.3 inches. I made a smaller one specifically for 1090 MHz sdr and works great for that. Good signal strength in RTL1090 almost 120-180.
Must be a really small scanner, I thought the radials and radiator were longer than 3.3 inches. But looking at the photo again, a great idea but UHF connector and adapters may be a problem at 800mHz..
 

br0adband

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The Radio Shack aka GRE aka Whistler scanners nowadays are actually quite small in size, especially that 688 the OP is using (GRE 1080/Whistler 1080). It's barely 5 inches tall and about an inch thick, about 2.5 inches wide. 800 MHz is considered UHF so that shouldn't be an issue there considering - adapter loss is like 0.01 dB or something similar to it so even having two or three of them if so required still won't affect things to any significant degrees.

They're easy to build antennas and I've made quite a few of them, was just teaching someone on IRC how to build one for the RTL-based stick he just got today in the mail so he's putting it together even now and could be up and running soon. Compared to the stock antennas that the cheapest RTL-based sticks come with - and he did get a proper pigtail as I told him he'd need - making one of these simple 1/4 wave ground planes is a learning experience and highly recommended since it's so cheap in terms of cost and materials and doesn't even necessarily require any soldering at all.
 

adcockfred

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Humble take it from Aldine. Make a bay with copper exciters 3.3 times 3.3 long. not to many adapters, and don't forget the reflector.
 
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