The Paper Clip Antenna

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rk911

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out of curiosity...howz it do on other parts of the band? sometimes the unlikeliest of things make incredible antennas. on the digital TV in my shack i'm using an old 1/4-wave UHF ground plane cut for 440Mhz and it pulls in virtually all chicago channels. go figure.
 

KC0CSE

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with the "paper clip" antenna VHF is better than UHF....VHF still comes in from 30 miles away....it work great on the our P25 ......it's worth the try nothing to lose....

PRO106
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KE4NYV

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If you are listening in the 700-900 MHz range, the paperclip idea is really not that far fetched. It comes down to the fact that it's probably fairly close to a 1/4 wavelength near that frequency range.

1/4 wave @ 700 MHz = 4.0"
1/4 wave @ 800 MHz = 3.5"
1/4 wave @ 900 MHz = 3.1"

Keep in mind, this is a NO GAIN antenna, so it's referred to as "unity gain". Probably a good option where the overload is a problem and you really don't want to "pull" in the signal :eek:
 

ampulman

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My wife and I take a weekly trip to the mall. She shops, I sit in the car and scan. On these trips, I pack my 396T, 800 mhz antenna, and extra batteries in a handy little carry bag.

Horrors! I opened the case and discovered that my antenna didn't make the trip. I hurried into the mall entrance of JCPenney, went to the nearest register, and asked the clerk if she had a paper clip.
She gave me one of the thick kind. Works great.

Now, I have a paper clip hanging from the shoulder strap of my bag, just in case.

Works well for all my listening.

Amp
 

KE5MC

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Fyi

I alway cringe a little when I see paper clips used to probe socket contacts. They are bigger than the pin on the antenna side. Easy to spring the socket open and have intermittent connection when returning to use the antenna.

I have replaced many socket contacts for that reason. Usually I don't get to find out who so I can work with them to use something different. I do have the privilege to replace them.:(

Mike

Addendum:
What is the size difference. Measure a solder on BNC pin at .0535 and a paper clip at my desk at .0325. I was surprised at how much smaller the paperclip is. Hopefully smaller is common for the benefit of all. Eating a little 'crow', but not much.
 
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Rt169Radio

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Interesting idea,but does it do any damage to the antenna plug?
 

KC0CSE

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No it does not....don't jam it in......I have been using the "clip"...for 5 months now....no problems....only in house only....out side I use the 800meg....alot of house interference...wifi so on...other ham radio gear on....most of the interference is frount end overload from the p25 system....

PRO 106
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kuiper

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If you are concerned about damage get a BNC to F connector. That way any damage will be isolated to the connector.
 

dbdoc

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If you are worried about damage to the radio's jack, like I am, use an F to BNC adapter or a 2-piece crimp style BNC plug to be the interface between paper clip and radio jack. The adapter and plug for RG-58 work well with large or small clips. I haven't tried the clip antenna on my Pro 106 yet though.
 

n5ims

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Interesting idea,but does it do any damage to the antenna plug?
The damage it may or may not do is totally related to the size of the paper clip used and force applied to insert it. Use a big fat paper clip and jam it in and you'll generally spread the pins over time, if not the first time. Use a thin one (hopefully one you compared to the connector pin and size matched) and insert it gently and you probably won't have any issues. As you probably guessed, the size I'm talking about isn't the length of the clip, but the gadge of the wire used to make it.

Another thing to watch for is some are painted or coated with plastic, which you'll need to remove at least in the area where you insert it into the connector. Failure to do so may cause damage to the connector and will nearly certainly cause a high-loss connection.
 

Johnnydollar2

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The Paper clip Antenna

Yes, it works well when you're right under a tower too. It works well on Phase II signals when I'm traveling around, I have it on a window bnc window clip outside the vehicle. My guess is it's just close to the right sized length of the 800mhz antenna like you see on the back of police cars. It's not perfect all the time, but it helps if you're surrounded by a ton of towers. I am here. I saw some guy's recent post about Simulcast tower maps and now see why my WS1080 wasn't working as well as my 15 year old Pro96. Too many signals fighting all at once. It's all location. The same scanner with ducky antenna works perfect to my west where 3 different sites come together, but there's not nearly as many towers as here at home. I'm still looking at the Unication G4/G5's though.
 
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br0adband

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Holy thread necromancy, Batman!!! :D

Almost 5 solid years between posts, impressive. But scanners do have attenuators in 'em nowadays, is a 20 dB reduction in signal strength still not enough for some systems? Seems like that should pretty much kill any chance of overload unless you're literally within a mile LOS of a transmitter, if even that much.
 

n3obl

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I recommend the race scanner stub antenna that radio shack used to sell. they work perfect for an area with simulcast distortion.
 
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