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jakell

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I just bought an outdoor antenna from Radio Shack for my scanner. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... age=family
I hooked it up on the roof and followed all of the directions. I grounded it and ran the RG-58 cable in to the house and hooked it up using a BNC connector to the scanner. I am getting almost nothing now. I get a whole lot more with the little antenna hooked to it inside the house. Any suggestions?
 

georged4997

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are the pl259s tight , do you have it mounted on a mast? is something blocking it? did you solder the connections yourself? could you give us moe information.
 

georged4997

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thought that might be the problem. im not good at soldering, i have the radio shack antenna vhf -uhf
mounted on 12 foot mast to the side of the house, its 4 feet above the peak of the house, i live in a valley , large hill in back of me, baltic connecticut, and picked up fdny manhattan one night. 120 miles away. that antenna works excellent.
 

KC0QNB

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I just bought an outdoor antenna from Radio Shack for my scanner. http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... age=family
I hooked it up on the roof and followed all of the directions. I grounded it and ran the RG-58 cable in to the house and hooked it up using a BNC connector to the scanner. I am getting almost nothing now. I get a whole lot more with the little antenna hooked to it inside the house. Any suggestions?
if you have an ohm meter disconnect both ends put your probes on the shell and the other on the center contact it may be shorted it should show open between those points, now get both ends of the cable together, check center to center should be shorted (continuous)
do the same with the plug shells again it should show continuity, I guess you already installed/routed the cable. One should check the things I stated before routing the cable, it is a lot easier then.
 
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if you have an ohm meter disconnect both ends put your probes on the shell and the other on the center contact it may be shorted it should show open between those points, now get both ends of the cable together, check center to center should be shorted (continuous)
do the same with the plug shells again it should show continuity, I guess you already installed/routed the cable. One should check the things I stated before routing the cable, it is a lot easier then.
Someone showed me that a long time ago. It's excellent way to test for shorts. Though you didn't mention how to read continuity. I think it's a 0 if it's a short or a 1 if it is not. Is that correct?
 

kb2vxa

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No, continuous equals "zero" ohms and open equals infinity. I qualify the zero because there really is no such thing as zero resistance, only the top number of the scale (it reads backward). First off you should replace that crappy cable with something on the order of RG-213 which you can buy in pre made packaged lengths according to your need.

With that out of the way dig up some cable scraps and junk connectors and practice your soldering. You'll need the proper tools, thin solder of course, a small amount of rosin paste or liquid flux (don't trust the little bit in the solder core) and two soldering irons. For the heavy work like PL-259s a 100W industrial iron is best, one with a huge copper heat sink that won't go cool during the operation. Then a temperature controlled station with an assortment of tips for the light stuff like PC boards and components. Don't waste your money on a soldering gun, they're too hot for the small stuff and the little tiny tips go cold on the heavy stuff.

Now get this guys, I was professionally trained and the rule of thumb is if it takes more than one or two seconds to complete the job you're overheating the work and it is ruined. If your soldering iron goes cold you're using the wrong tool for the job and again ruining the work. Don't expect to get it right the first time, nobody ever did but practice does make perfection.

Now why did I choose that word? Because practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes mistakes.

Last but not least get a strip chart and assembly diagrams and learn how to properly prep the cable and assemble the connectors before you solder useless junk and find out you goofed the hard way and you try to take the mess apart again. The rule of thumb here is if you don't do it right the first time you'll have a booger of a time cleaning the used connector and toss it away in frustration. Even if it appears good it'll most likely crap out again being you overlooked a small solder blob or whisker, then it's "Oh no, it's shorted AGAIN???" Look down another thumb digit and you'll find Thumb Rule Subpart A: Cut it off and start again with a new connector.
 

swstow

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the ohms idea is good but its easier to use the ohms setting that has a sound
first set multi meter to ohms touch leads to gether make sure you get a buzz from meter
and as stated before one lead to each end if no sound bad connection if sound good connection
also check bnc itself
take one lead to center pole of bnc and other lead to out side of bnc if sound bad soldering if no sound good job

good luck
 

jakell

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I bought the cable with two BNC connectors on them and I had to buy a PL-259 adapter to fit it to the antenna. The other end I snipped to fit it in to the house and then I put a push on type BNC connector with a set screw. Could the 50ft of cable have anything to do with it. I even took the push on connector off to see if it had made contact and it did and the set screw even pierced the outer casing.
 

KC0QNB

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For pl-259 connector I use a 100/140 watt gun, have for years it works quite well, the heat is only applied for a few seconds.
 

KC0QNB

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I bought the cable with two BNC connectors on them and I had to buy a PL-259 adapter to fit it to the antenna. The other end I snipped to fit it in to the house and then I put a push on type BNC connector with a set screw. Could the 50ft of cable have anything to do with it. I even took the push on connector off to see if it had made contact and it did and the set screw even pierced the outer casing.
There is your problem push on bnc connector with a set screw, how is the PL-259 attached?
Where did you get the connectors and cable?
 
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jakell

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The cable I bought online it's 50 ft of RG-58 and the PL-259 is an adapter with the Pl-259 on one end and the male BNC on the other. The push on connector I bought at radio shack.
 

KC0QNB

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Push on connectors are ok but they have to be installed exactly according to the instructions, or they will fail, I bought a push-on pl-259 years ago I never did get right, tossed it and went with a "real" connector, my guess it is shorted try again, make absolute sure that there are no stray braid pieces floating around in there. after you are done check with an ohm-meter, if you don't have on you can get one at wal-mart for 20 bucks.
 

jakell

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Thank you all for your help I will try all of your suggestions and let you know how I make out.
 

andrewccm

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Definitely consider better COAX (especially if listening to higher frequencies and/or if your run is very long). I use RG6 on my ST2 and it works well in the attic. However, I use LMR400 with my 800 Yagi and get excellent 800-900 reception (even from inside the attic).

Good luck!
 

SAR923

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What kind of radio do you have? If it is a GRE or GRE made Radio Shack scanner, there may be nothing at all wrong with your connectors. GRE radios are well known for front end desense on VHF frequencies from about 120 MHz to about 175 MHz. The easiest test is to tune into the NOAA weather band. See what you can hear normally and then apply the attenuator to each NOAA frequency. If you can suddenly hear far away NOAA stations, desense is your problem. Just attenuate every frequency you listen to in the range I gave and you should be good to go. This comes up all the time and, although the coax or connectors may be the problem, the first thing to check is the weather frequencies for front end desense with a base antenna.
 

mrdinks

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its the coax, I did the same thing. 50' of crap and lost all my signal. get some LMR-400
 

k8mcn

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I have found two good tools to solder coax connectors

1--a small butane torch
http://www.amazon.com/Wall-Lenk-LPT-200-Pro-Torch/dp/B000GAUYEQ
Wall Lenk LPT-200 Pro Torch
you cant let it sit on the coax all day, but it gets it hot quick, works well in the wind, and is great for taking up on the tower or roof to do a repair. It is easily refilled, auto lighting and my favorite.

2-another good tool is a solder gun used for leaded/stained glass windows

http://cgi.ebay.com/Inland-100-watt...VQQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1638Q2em118Q2el1247

you just have to practice enough to know how to get it hot enough to flow solder but not hot enough to melt the insulation.

As mentioned, the ohm meter is your friend :)

and this tool really is the cats meow---

http://www.eham.net/articles/5071


it even makes a clutz like me look good
 
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