Need Advice With Antenna/Wiring

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Dec 16, 2008
Jefferson County, MO
Hello. I am looking for any advice or assistance with selecting an appropriate setup for my station. Currently, I have a Uniden BC780XLT scanner attached to a 3 ft Antennex whip (mobile) antenna w/coil base mounted indoors via 30 ft of RG-58A/U antenna cable w/PL-259 to BNC connection. Essentially this was the setup I had in my car when I had everything installed there. Now, its just sitting in the window. This works, but I know my reception could be better - much better.

I am considering the RadioShack Outdoor Scanner/Ham Discone Antenna (item # 20-043). But I'm not 100% certain on the mounting, cabling, etc. for this. Cost is also a big factor. I don't necessarily want to go the cheapest route. But what I get MUST be cost effective.

If it helps or makes any difference, I am in a mobile home. So, no attic or basement mounting is possible. But it does make for simple running of the cabling. Essentially I DO want it outside, but I'm just not certain on what I need to get going. So, the floor is open for feedback or advice that some of you may be able to give me.

Thank you in advance.


Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Mar 22, 2005
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
"But I'm not 100% certain on the mounting, cabling, etc. for this."
Not a problem, antennas come with instructions. Just a word of advice, for cable runs larger than a mobile (18' or so) anyone here including myself would recommend something better than RG-58U.

"I don't necessarily want to go the cheapest route. But what I get MUST be cost effective."
No problem there either, most would agree the Rat Shack antenna being of flimsy construction something along the lines of a Diamond would be recommended. The long and short of it is a one time expenditure is cost effective vs. replacement after the first storm has a go at it.

Now we come to the coax, RG6-QS (quad shield) used primarily in CATV installations being very low loss and dirt cheap at Wally Mart or Home Despot is as cost effective as you can get. You'll need a few doodads like adapters and don't forget quad uses a slightly larger than normal F connector so get the right ones and a coax stripper and crimping tool to go with them. If you don't care to have these tools hanging around in your toolbox for future reference you can always get someone to put the connectors on for you. I just happen to be a tool collector, I seldom use them but when I need them I'm glad I have them.

Last but not least be sure to wrap all outdoor connections tightly and securely with vinyl electrical tape to keep moisture out or you'll need those tools again and more coax sooner than you think. I just happen to have about 400 feet left on the spool, I'm a cable collector too. (;->)

Now go find yourself a pole and stick that antenna up there, just be careful where you stick it. If a neighbor asks what it is you can always come up with something, a friend of mine told his it's an old Polish charm to drive away evil spirits. The poor guy walked away with such a confused expression on his face but at least the neighborhood is safe, kids don't sit in front of the TV saying "They're heeeEEEeere."
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