Metal roof

inkjunkie

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New to the scanner world. Wife wanted a scanner. Went and talked to one of the safety crew at Spokane County Raceway, I am the "official photographer"...He had a Uniden BCD325P2 that he was no longer using. Being a SC Firefighter he had it programmed for pretty much everything in Spokane. Thing is we live in Stevens County. Found this site...bought the Proscan software and a subscription to here. Get zero reception in our building with a metal roof. Go out in the front yard and we pick up all sorts of Spokane County frequencies so I am guessing our metal roof has something to do with it. Don't really want to mount an antennae on the roof as we often get wet, heavy snow. Do have my now deceased Cellular Booster antennae on the side of the house...it is just a bunch of fence poles joined together clamped to a "t-post" concreted in the ground with some creative bracketry to make it somewhat stable. Also have a couple of old Directv/Hughsnet poles that are short.
Any/all suggestions would be appreciated...I have looked at Scanner Master...just unsure of what antennae will work...
 

kb7gjy

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Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Hello neighbor (kinda, I'm in Boundary County, ID),

An outside antenna is basically mandatory. Being that almost everything public service in Stevens County is VHF, that makes things a little easier.

You could mount an outside antenna fairly easy I believe. You could get a mobile VHF antenna and mount it on a standoff bracket at the peak of your roof and be fine. then run coax to where you plan to have the scanner.

Then you would need to reprogram the scanner for Stevens County. You will need a get a programming cable then program it with Proscan.
 

BC_Scan

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Inkj ,welcome to this site, I have succesfully used the base/arm mount of a sat tv dish to hold up a discone antennae, probably perfect spot is what you are reffering to, and if there is a unused Rg-6 coax running to your desired location even better. I agree with kb7, a wideband discone would give you best results as there should be lots to pull in in that county. Discones are discussed at nauseum around here. Pretty much best starting out antennae.
 

krokus

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Depending one the cellular antenna mount, you might be able to replace that antenna with a VHF option. Does that cellular antenna connect to a cable inside your house?
 

inkjunkie

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Inkj ,welcome to this site, I have succesfully used the base/arm mount of a sat tv dish to hold up a discone antennae, probably perfect spot is what you are reffering to, and if there is a unused Rg-6 coax running to your desired location even better. I agree with kb7, a wideband discone would give you best results as there should be lots to pull in in that county. Discones are discussed at nauseum around here. Pretty much best starting out antennae.
Only thing I am worried about with mounting it there is how close to the ground it will be. We have 5 dogs...and one of there paths they use is right next to the dish poles. Suppose added a piece to it will solve the problem...
Depending one the cellular antenna mount, you might be able to replace that antenna with a VHF option. Does that cellular antenna connect to a cable inside your house?
It connects right to the Signal Booster it self. Don't know if the booster has called it quits or if the cell tower I was using is down.
 

inkjunkie

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Next goofy question..a ground. One of the dish pipes has a ground wire, looks like it is running into the concrete of the pipe. Will this be sufficient as a ground for the antennae? The cell phone antennae had a fuse in it and am wondering if something of this nature is needed...
 

mmckenna

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Next goofy question..a ground. One of the dish pipes has a ground wire, looks like it is running into the concrete of the pipe. Will this be sufficient as a ground for the antennae? The cell phone antennae had a fuse in it and am wondering if something of this nature is needed...
If you live in the USA, the National Electric Code says that your antenna system needs to be grounded.

A couple of things...
1. I'd not trust anything you cannot see. If the ground wire disappears into the concrete, suspect that it's corroded or damaged.
2. Satellite TV installers are not always thorough with their installations.

Your antenna mount needs to be grounded, and that should include a ground rod directly below the antenna mount, and if that ground rod is separate from the house electrical ground rod, then the two ground rods must be bonded together.

As for a "fuse", that is a lightning suppressor module. You should have one installed where the coaxial cable enters the home. That needs to be grounded to the ground rod.
Your lightning suppressor needs to be designed for the frequencies and power levels you'll be using if you are going to transmit. If this is receive only, then it just needs to be suitable for the frequencies you are listening to.
 

inkjunkie

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If you live in the USA, the National Electric Code says that your antenna system needs to be grounded.

A couple of things...
1. I'd not trust anything you cannot see. If the ground wire disappears into the concrete, suspect that it's corroded or damaged.
2. Satellite TV installers are not always thorough with their installations.

Your antenna mount needs to be grounded, and that should include a ground rod directly below the antenna mount, and if that ground rod is separate from the house electrical ground rod, then the two ground rods must be bonded together.

As for a "fuse", that is a lightning suppressor module. You should have one installed where the coaxial cable enters the home. That needs to be grounded to the ground rod.
Your lightning suppressor needs to be designed for the frequencies and power levels you'll be using if you are going to transmit. If this is receive only, then it just needs to be suitable for the frequencies you are listening to.
Thanks for the info. Looks like this is going to wait. Live near Long Lake....we have a ton of rocks. Only way to get a round rod in is with a jack hammer. Dish poles are on the opposite side of the house in regards to the ground rods. Going in for surgery on the 4th. Don't think I am going to have time to deal with everything. A simple trip to town to rent a jack hammer is about 70 minutes each way. So just putting in the ground rod will take me an entire day...lol..
 

mmckenna

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Thanks for the info. Looks like this is going to wait. Live near Long Lake....we have a ton of rocks. Only way to get a round rod in is with a jack hammer. Dish poles are on the opposite side of the house in regards to the ground rods. Going in for surgery on the 4th. Don't think I am going to have time to deal with everything. A simple trip to town to rent a jack hammer is about 70 minutes each way. So just putting in the ground rod will take me an entire day...lol..
Ground rods don't need to go straight down to work. There are other ways to do it.

You can lay a copper cable a few inches under ground in a trench.
You can drive a ground rod in at an angle.
You can ground to a well casing
You can ground to rebar, if it's exposed.
You can ground to a metal water pipe.

As for installing it…
I used to use a T-post driver to run them in.
At a previous job, I had a demolition hammer with a ground rod driver attachment.
You can get rotary hammer ground rod drivers.
Or, if it's work related, give the new guy a hammer and tell them to get to work.
 

inkjunkie

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Ground rods don't need to go straight down to work. There are other ways to do it.

You can lay a copper cable a few inches under ground in a trench.
You can drive a ground rod in at an angle.
You can ground to a well casing
You can ground to rebar, if it's exposed.
You can ground to a metal water pipe.

As for installing it…
I used to use a T-post driver to run them in.
At a previous job, I had a demolition hammer with a ground rod driver attachment.
You can get rotary hammer ground rod drivers.
Or, if it's work related, give the new guy a hammer and tell them to get to work.
Just did some digging around the post I am planning on using, much to my surprise it has a ground rod next to it. So I am going to at least give the old Hughesnet post a try. I was mistaken thinking that it was the one one closest to the dogs foot trail....that was the original one that, after a few winters, developed an interesting angle.
When I ran the power to the garage I went thru a few ground rods using a sledge & a t-post pounder before giving up and renting a demolition hammer.
So I guess I will start rounding up the things I need....
 

WB9YBM

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Niles, IL
Get zero reception in our building with a metal roof. Go out in the front yard and we pick up all sorts of Spokane County frequencies so I am guessing our metal roof has something to do with it.
Well, a metal roof's like a giant shield. Beams & gurders used in commercial buildings (and duct work for heating & air conditioning) present problems, too. There's no way to get around the need for an outside antenna (sorry for the bad news).
 

inkjunkie

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Well, a metal roof's like a giant shield. Beams & gurders used in commercial buildings (and duct work for heating & air conditioning) present problems, too. There's no way to get around the need for an outside antenna (sorry for the bad news).
Thanks. For a while I had the antennae for our Sirius radio in one of the front windows. I built a lean to type of roof over the BBQ table and lost the signal...so I was expecting a problem. When I stand in the yard with the scanner I have no troubles picking up the bulk of the frequencies.
 
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