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Opinions needed on cable choice

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wabelita

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Everyone has an opinion. Since I’m doing this for the first time I’d like to hear as many as possible before I do anything.

Background:
I just purchased a ST-2 antenna and installed it on the roof. The 50 feet of RG-6 cable is not long enough. I need about 80 feet for the total run. I started listening to the scanner temporarily with the supplied 50’ cable and I can get system as far as 30 miles away. Most systems I listen to are in the 400 & 800 MHz range. I would like to try and get NYC which is another 10 or so miles. Current reception is very weak.

Question:
The antenna is as high as I can get it. I need an additional 30 feet of cable and would like to extend the range another 10 or so miles. Will cable with a lower loss then the supplied RG-6 accomplish this? I’m not going to ask, “What’s the best cable?”, but since I need to run new cable anyway I might as well get something that helps with reception.

Thanks…
 

Al42

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wabelita said:
Question:
The antenna is as high as I can get it. I need an additional 30 feet of cable and would like to extend the range another 10 or so miles. Will cable with a lower loss then the supplied RG-6 accomplish this?
Sorry, but I doubt it.

Try this: Get a short (5 feet) piece of RG-6 and a long extension cord. Run the scanner near the antenna, so you have almost no cable loss. I doubt that you'll get the signal improvement you want. You need either more height (if NYC is over your horizon) or more antenna gain, or both.
 

kf4lne

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If you are able to hear what you want to hear using the scanner at the antenna you may try using a mast mounted receiver amp, it may be enough to overcome the loss in the coax so you can hear the signal, but it may also amplify strong local signals and cause serious desense or intermod.
 

wabelita

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I took AI42’s advice and got a 6’ piece of RG-6 and scanned from the roof. I can hear the systems with the 6’ piece of RG-6 that I couldn’t using the 50’ length of RG-6 that came with the ST-2. The signal strength is good with hardly any static. So, the big question is…

What cable will give me the least signal loss in the 800 MHz area? I was thinking LMR-400, Belden 8213 or if I can find some Andrew Heliax LDF4-50A?

Anyone know where to find LDF4-50A?

Thanks,
Wayne
 

kb2vxa

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Hi Wab and all,

"Everyone has an opinion."

Oh boy, here we go.

"Since I’m doing this for the first time I’d like to hear as many as possible before I do anything."

The more opinions you get the more confused you become so why ask for opinions when what you want is facts?

OK, the fact and basic rule of thumb is use the cable with the least loss your budget can afford. Only you can determine what based on your needs and "what's in your wallet" after having set your wants aside.

"I need about 80 feet for the total run."

And the survey SAYS... Times Microwave LMR400 is adequate and won't break the bank at Monte Carlo.

OK guys, am I right or am I right? (Uh oh, here comes the tomato barrage.)
 

Yokoshibu

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Feb 8, 2005
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depends on the freq... for my 4 ghz stuff I went with LDF4-50 but like you said its mostly limited by your wallet!
 

wabelita

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So the question is LDF4-50A or LMR-400? LDF4-50A is about twice the price and the loss is 1.5 DB less. The problem with LDF4-50A is getting a BNC connector and some F-type connectors that fit it. Anyone know where I can get a crimper for either cable type online?
 

Yokoshibu

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ldf you wont find a crimper..... the connectors you would be lucky to find a used UHF conector for 20$ (just 1 connector runs between 10-45$)
For the lmr I would run with the standard UHF pl-259 connector and then plug it into a bnc adapter... I dunno if ther is a bnc direct to lmr-400 but I wouldnt be surprised if there is!
 
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