what antenna should I get for sdr?

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doughyi8u

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I'm new to ham radio and sdr. I managed to get a few fm stations on my pc using a nooelec r820t dongle. I figure a better antenna would allow me to receive more bands/frequencies but don't know what antenna to get. I'm in an apt and they won't allow antennas outside so it has to be an antenna I can keep in my apt I've been looking at falcon's dipole antennas but don't know which one to get. They advertise 2m 90 cm etc but like I said, I'm new to this. Which antenna should I get (I have about a $40 limit)? would I be limited to just the advertised bands the antenna advertises? Which antenna would be the most versatile?
 

jonwienke

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The antenna you get depends on what you want to listen to. Any antenna will pick up signals outside of the band(s) it is designed for, but the farther the signal is outside the designed band(s), the worse reception will be.

This antenna (Amazon.com: SCANNER ANT-BASE 30-1300MHZ 50'RG6 15ELM: Electronics) will receive a wide range of signals, but it is large--a little over 6 feet tall. I have one in my attic stairwell hanging from some nylon string, and it works very well. But it may take up more room than you want in your apartment.
 

rbm

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You can even try something like this:





It's an improvement over the antenna that comes with most of those dongles.
For just the cost of two adapters and a rubber band it will work 'almost' as well as a handheld scanner. ;)

It's best to use it on a USB hub (or USB extension cable) some distance away from the RFI your computer puts out.

Rich
 

doughyi8u

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What band would you recommend for someone new to ham radio? What is the best for a beginner that is just curious? I'd like to listen to police radio. I'm just having a hard time deciding what antenna to get.
 

The777

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You can even try something like this:



It's best to use it on a USB hub (or USB extension cable) some distance away from the RFI your computer puts out.

Rich
I am keen to know, if the USB dongle needs to be placed outside to receive better signals or just by having the antenna outside is enough?
 

rbm

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I am keen to know, if the USB dongle needs to be placed outside to receive better signals or just by having the antenna outside is enough?
Just like a hand held radio, outside would be better.
But it shouldn't be necessary in order to hear relatively strong signals.

Using a USB extension cable to get it away from the computer may help reduce any RFI generated by the computer.

Rich
 

popnokick

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