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So where do I put my listening shack?

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kc8qln

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Jul 9, 2006
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I sold my handheld, and have a base scanner & roof antenna being delivered, so I need to fix it somewhere. I have 2 options for my shack, and I can't seem to make up my mind. Maybe someone can offer some input.

I have a typical colonial house with the bedrooms on the 2nd floor, living areas on the main floor, and a basement with a nice big work bench.

I spend most of my time in my office (spare bedroom) which is on the second floor. My desktop computer is there, and it would be the shortest distance from the roof mounted antenna. It's where I listen most of the time. However, in the event of a tornado or disaster, I have to run to the basement, and would not have access or an antenna feed.

The basement has a huge work surface, and is basically all "mine", the family does not go down there so much. Occasionaly, I need to use a mitersaw, and I get sawdust, but I could cover that. It would be ideal for an emergency listening situation, but I am in my office 10x more.

I think I would get more recreational use from the office, but not able to utilize in an emergency, which is what it boild down to....

Thanks in advance for any tips.
Bill
 

Mstrfxit12

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Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
34
Location
Woburn MA.
I would go for the second floor. Most base/mobile units have a back of the set antenna with them so you could use that when you go to the basement and the good/normal/rooftop setup the rest of the time. I have a radio in my basement for when I'm working down there and it receives ok, not perfect but enough to keep me happy while I'm there...CHris
 

Woodstock

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Jul 6, 2006
Messages
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I also say go for the second floor if you are in your office more. I suppose if you have the money, you could put up a second antenna and run it to the basement or you could get a cheap handheld to have in case of emergency.
 

jrs71

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Joined
Jun 28, 2005
Messages
59
Location
Southern Illinois
I would also agree that you should have your scanner where you spend most of your time. You probably won't want to have your scanner attached to the outside antenna during a storm anyway and could use a back-of-set telescoping antenna during those times. If the scanner becomes an annoyance to other family members consider using a lightweight headphone. Good luck!
 

jmp883

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Jan 7, 2005
Messages
590
Location
Northern NJ
Agreed....set it up where'll you be spending the most time monitoring. Make sure it's comfortable and that everything's accessible.

Go to the 'Post Pictures Of Your Shack' thread for some ideas. You'll see everything from simple desktop setups to full blown 'comm center' wannabes.....

Along the lines of the latter, here's a link to my posting:

http://www.radioreference.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4105&stc=1&d=1153256903

5 scanners, 2 handheld scanners, 1 ham handheld and 1 ham mobile being used as my base station. The radios are all sitting on a shelf of my computer table. No interference from the computer comes through any of the radios, scanner or ham. Two external antennas take care of the receiving and transmitting duties. All in all it's a great place to hang out for a few hours a day! :D

Good Luck!
 

bonus1331

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Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
978
Location
Hogansville, Ga
In correlation to this thread; how are most people getting their coax into the house. I do most of my listening in a bedroom on the second floor. I currently take out a screen and run the coax through the window. I'm sure this isn't the most ideal way; however, I don't want to make holes in the side of the house in to a bedroom.
Suggestions?
 

Woodstock

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Jul 6, 2006
Messages
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I run the coax through the window like you except I have screens that slide up and down so I just open the screen and window a bit to let the coax through. I also have a strip of foam that is like insulation to cover the crack under the window. I don't know how else to do it without drilling holes.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
250
Location
NE Missouri
I vote for setting up you monitoring room where you'll be spending most of your time. Catching the most traffic and finding the most new frequencies involves spending time monitoring. The more time monitoring– The more success you'll have.

As for as listening in emergency you can either un an auxiliary coax lead from a multicoupler or just take your hand held with you. After all, tornado weather you're not going to wasn't that outside antenna hooked up anyway. You also could rig up wireless microphone of some sot to pick up the audio from your radios and transmit it downstairs.

Also make sure you have good comfortable seating and such in your office. Make it organized, comfortable and well lit.

In short, put your monitoring post upstairs, run an auxiliary coax lead down to the basement of you feel the need for extended use of your radios from there during an emergency situation.
 
R

Rayjk110

Guest
I live in a 4 story house higher up on a hill on the cauldesac and I basically live in the basement. Antenna is atop a 10' pole mounted on a standard tripod on the top peak of the house. Right now the top antenna is a Comet GP-3 and a Radioshack Discone side-mounted. Suprisingly enough, most of my handhelds still work OK in the basement. My XTS3000 works fantastic listening to local PS I programmed in.
 

2112

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Oct 28, 2004
Messages
340
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OK
FWIW, I agree with the second-floor location. Most of your time is spent there, so why leave the scanner you purchased to listen to regularly in the basement just so you can use it in the unlikely event of a tornado? Besides, if a tornado is about to strike your house, you'll have more pressing priorities than listening to a scanner, and you won't have to worry about access to a rooftop antenna that's about to blow away.

Being on the second floor also shortens your run of feedline, which will reduce loss.

Hope this helps! :)
 

Cokeswigga

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
20
I have another thought..

if you are headed for your basement, I'm assuming this is because you are in tornado territory, how likely is your antenna to survive a tornado?

I would have the antenna feed into the upstairs bedroom, and leave a small backup antenna in the basement. That way in the event of an emergency you can disconnect the scanner and take it to the basement with you and connect the small antenna when you get down there.

Or, get another scanner, and split your antenna feed, one to the basement and one to the bedroom.
 
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