Portable Antenna

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jackj

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I got bored Sunday afternoon so I figured I might as well cleanup my work bench. I took my pretty new PSR-800 down in the basement with me. Now you have to understand that I have a very hard time cleaning up my work bench, seems like I get distracted easily. Sunday was no exception.

I hadn't gotten around to replacing the rubber ducky that came with my 800 and the scanner wasn't picking up any 800 MHz trunked systems. VHF Hi-Band was almost as bad, really noisy. I came across several short hunks of both RG-58 and RG-59 coax. One piece of 59 was about 10" long and had a BNC on one end. I looked at that coax and wondered if a 1/4 wave antenna would work better than that crappy dummy load they sell with the radio.

I cut about 3 1/2" of outer insulation off and scrunched the braid back. Only about 2" of the center conductor was exposed but I put it on the scanner. What-do-you-know...The radio started picking up our counties new TRS, it wasn't good but a lot better than the rubber ducky. Then I remembered an antenna I had played around with on 440 several years ago, I think it's called a coaxial antenna.

I chopped all but about 8" of coax off, stripped 3.5" of outer insulation off and carefully un-braided the braid. I folded the thin braid wires back over the lower insulation, found a piece of heat shrink (told you my work bench needed to cleaned up), shrank it down over the braid wires to hold them in place. This left me with 3 1/2" of insulated center conductor and 3 1/2" of grounded braid. The whole thing is about 8" long.

Stuck it on the scanner and HOLY SH-- IT WORKS! Not only could I pick up our county TRS but the state's TRS and the next county over as well. Total cost - $0.00.

Never did get the work bench cleaned up.

Jack
N8BSR

PS: If anyone is interested, I could take a picture and post it here.
 

jackj

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Jul 19, 2007
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1,548
Location
NW Ohio
Antenna

Here are a couple of pictures of the 800 MHz antenna I built last Sunday. It isn't pretty but it is cheap and it works. I suppose if you have to buy the BNC connector, RG-59 and heat shrink then it might be cheaper to just buy the Radio Shack antenna.
 

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FireDawgEMT22

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Now Dispatch just needs to use the TRS more often than they use the conv. The other day when I was working crews were calling on the TRS and the dispatcher was answering them on the conv.
 

jackj

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Jul 19, 2007
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NW Ohio
I think they had some problems with the system, FireDawg. I heard several FDs trying to contact dispatch on the TRS without luck. They could talk to each other and FCHC but not dispatch. A couple of hours later, everything was working. Cockpit trouble???
 
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