Tram 1411 placement on metal roof

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JRHill02

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After a long time of procrastinating I finally bought an antenna to best utilize my scanner. Now to figure out where to put it.... The basics:
- we are in a remote canyon with virtually no Am/FM/TV reception;
- it is a steel roof;
- have a SS chimney on that side of the roof where it needs to be mounted. 12' away. I can go higher but how much more if any? ;
- most of the reception would be opposite of the chimney. What if any is a consideration if any? ;
- the tuning legs of the antenna: are they directional? How should it be spun directionally? ;

Thanks in advance,
JRH
 

ko6jw_2

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Getting the antenna as high and in the clear as possible is the main issue. Use the highest quality coax you can afford like LMR400. Use good connectors. If you don't know how to attach the connectors get help or order already made up lengths. Discones are not directional and it doesn't matter how you orient it. The metal roof will not affect the antenna, but the higher the better. If you mount it on the chimney get it above as much as you can. Ground the mast with a ground rod.

Your location does not sound ideal. Perhaps consider a yagi or other directional antenna with gain and not a discone. Discones have no gain. That way you can point it in the direction of most of the signals.
 

Ubbe

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What you can do are to find out where you have the best reception and install the antenna there. It's easier to do with a portable scanner. Connect the discone with a coax cable to your scanner. If it's a mobile/base type then use a mains extension cord so you can have it close and hear the scanners audio.

Hold the discone at the position where you think you can install it and listen to the different systems you can hear, if any. Then move to another location on your house or property and do another test. Sometimes the best reception are not heard at the place that you initially though where the best. It's more difficult to evaluate a digital system than an analog, you hear the analogs noise when the signal are weak. But you can set a scanner to only listen in analog mode and you can probably listen to a control channels data signal and hear when it goes noisy, or set the squelch much higher and hear when it mutes the audio.

/Ubbe
 

JRHill02

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Finishing the install the factory set screw fell out of the cinch to the mast. Yup, off the roof and to never-never land. I've been up again and again with 10/24 and 32. Too small. Again with 1/4-20 and 28. Wouldn't thread. Duh, this is metric. Does anyone know the metric screw and pitch? This is not a comfy place to keep playing. Hah, I'm so close to plugging it in and then this BOHICA.
 

iMONITOR

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Finishing the install the factory set screw fell out of the cinch to the mast. Yup, off the roof and to never-never land. I've been up again and again with 10/24 and 32. Too small. Again with 1/4-20 and 28. Wouldn't thread. Duh, this is metric. Does anyone know the metric screw and pitch? This is not a comfy place to keep playing. Hah, I'm so close to plugging it in and then this BOHICA.
Most likely it's metric. ACE Hardware, Home Depot, ETC.
 

mmckenna

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Finishing the install the factory set screw fell out of the cinch to the mast. Yup, off the roof and to never-never land. I've been up again and again with 10/24 and 32. Too small. Again with 1/4-20 and 28. Wouldn't thread. Duh, this is metric. Does anyone know the metric screw and pitch? This is not a comfy place to keep playing. Hah, I'm so close to plugging it in and then this BOHICA.
If it's metric and the 1/4 x 20 and 1/4 x 28 didn't work and #10 was too small, try 6mm x 1. You can get those at most hardware stores. I'd recommend stainless steel if it's going outside.
 

prcguy

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For antennas like the Tram that don't come with a short mast and use a set screw to hold the mast I like to attach a permanent short pipe that extends beyond the radials about 6", then make a high quality male/female N connector jumper cable so you have an N female that sticks out of the short pipe, then put that all together and weather proof everything. Now you have a Discone with a short mast that you can simply hose clamp to another mast and never have to worry about the connector up inside the hub or dealing with the mast screw, etc. Most scanner Discones have a short mast like this anyway.
 

JRHill02

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If it's metric and the 1/4 x 20 and 1/4 x 28 didn't work and #10 was too small, try 6mm x 1. You can get those at most hardware stores. I'd recommend stainless steel if it's going outside.
You are correct. I found 2 matching screws in a junk box of that size and they fit. Not stainless but I did grind flats on the heads so I could cinch them with a wrench instead of a screwdriver and used NeverSeez. It'll work for now.

Hey, all, thanks for all the input. I hooked it up to my old analog scanner and it is a HUGE improvement. The antenna ended up 8' above the peak of the steel roof and well above the SS chimney. There are trees around our perimeter that are higher than the house by a fair bit but I can't compete with them. Now for the next phase: upgrading the scanner. I've been reading reviews but it's a bunch of information overload and doubting of the sources. Our basic priorities:

Because we live off grid in a remote canyon in the woods we are only wanting to monitor the RFD's, wildfire crews, sheriff's dept/EMS, etc. plus the Dakota Alert units (they are UV proximity alarms on the MURS channels). And during hunting season we get a good heads up from cheaters and poachers on the FRS and CB freqs. We want to scan specific frequencies input and at times include the ranges for the FRS/CB stuff. I don't need a huge bunch of bells and whistles. Because a lot of county/state stuff is now digital I need that capability - if not encrypted. I suspect some of it is. But I don't need internet capability or units with features that are attractive to people who scan as a hobby. I don't mind investing in a good receiver but just want one that will cover the basics per the above. Oh, and a handheld that can take the antenna connection when home would be cool. That way we can use the same unit with the stock antenna when in the rough.

Any input?
 
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mmckenna

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You are correct. I found 2 matching screws in a junk box of that size and they fit. Not stainless but I did grind flats on the heads so I could cinch them with a wrench instead of a screwdriver and used NeverSeez. It'll work for now.

Hey, all, thanks for all the input. I hooked it up to my old analog scanner and it is a HUGE improvement. The antenna ended up 8' above the peak of the steel roof and well above the SS chimney. There are trees around our perimeter that are higher than the house by a fair bit but I can't compete with them.
Good idea on the NeverSeez. Good stuff. I wish more installers used it.

Trees won't be an issue, so no need to try to compete with them. Getting your antenna outside and up above the roof is going to greatly improve performance.
 
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