What Cable Type for long scanner antenna Run?

Status
Not open for further replies.

map_guy

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
46
I have an old Antennacraft ST2 scanner antenna I finally got around to setting up inside in the attic. I am using a whistler 1098 scanner and just looking to get good clear local signals, not looking to pull in far, far away signals. Just the extended local stuff, but the scanner is next to routers and computer equipment, so it might need shielding.

My house has some cable wire in the wall already and the wall plates for cable TV. i could use them to pull through new cable to the attic, the run would be about 75-100'. I also have a compression tool for putting the ends on the cable tv wire.

Can anyone recommend what cable and connections would be most economical for a ~100' run to go from the scanner to the antenna?

I'd like to use the existing wall plates if possible, just looking for a clean looking, painless install that will work better than the little antenna that came with the scanner.
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
9,751
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
Since the ST2 is set up to use TV coax with F connectors, a good choice would be CATV type RG-11 with compression connectors. The loss and cost are fairly low on RG-11 and it has dual shielding with 100% foil and tinned braid.
prcguy

I have an old Antennacraft ST2 scanner antenna I finally got around to setting up inside in the attic. I am using a whistler 1098 scanner and just looking to get good clear local signals, not looking to pull in far, far away signals. Just the extended local stuff, but the scanner is next to routers and computer equipment, so it might need shielding.

My house has some cable wire in the wall already and the wall plates for cable TV. i could use them to pull through new cable to the attic, the run would be about 75-100'. I also have a compression tool for putting the ends on the cable tv wire.

Can anyone recommend what cable and connections would be most economical for a ~100' run to go from the scanner to the antenna?

I'd like to use the existing wall plates if possible, just looking for a clean looking, painless install that will work better than the little antenna that came with the scanner.
 

popnokick

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
2,061
Location
Northeast PA
You have a golden opportunity on your hands to use the abandoned cable TV (CATV) or satellite coax wiring in your house.... and turn it into a distribution system for the ST-2 antenna you have in your attic! It is exactly what I have done with the old CATV coax in my house. No need to pull new cable... all you need is a CATV splitter-amp or multicoupler, and you'll end up with an antenna outlet for your scanner in any room of your house where there is a cable TV outlet!
I use this CATV splitter-amp for the antenna in my attic where I was fortunate to already have many runs of the CATV coax going to the bedrooms upstairs, as well as the point of entry into the house for the CATV coax itself (now disconnected from the street, of course) -
https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Ampl...&qid=1490371815&sr=1-6&keywords=catv+splitter
It's the PCT-MA2-4P splitter... and they have 2 and 8 port versions as well. If you buy a splitter, be sure it is "passive return". Connect the RF In port to the ST-2 antenna, and a CATV coax run that is already in your house to each of the other ports and outlets you want to be able to connect to a scanner. I have three scanners and one weather radio all running on my attic antenna and each of them benefits from the amplified signal... and isolation between each receiver.
The compression tool you have will work fine for RG-6 compression connectors. You may also want to get a CATV cable tracing tool so that you can positively identify which wall jack is connected to which run / coupler in your house. Like this one of many available -
https://www.amazon.com/Advantage-AD...=1490372242&sr=1-1&keywords=coax+cable+mapper
The tool will also serve to check your connections to ensure there are no shorts or opens in your finished connector-work.
 

map_guy

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
46
I can easily connect the antenna to the cable jack in the room by just connecting two cable wires together in the attic, but I was concerned about interference, that and I think the wire in the wall isn't even RG-6, but older cable wire.

So do i need the amp if I am not splitting the signal?
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,382
If you have the tools and fittings, try RG6. It's probably the cheapest coax you'll be able to obtain. The difference in loss between RG6 and RG11 is less than 1dB at 1ghz at 100ft. For local, relatively strong signals, that shouldn't be noticeable.
 

map_guy

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
46
If you have the tools and fittings, try RG6. It's probably the cheapest coax you'll be able to obtain. The difference in loss between RG6 and RG11 is less than 1dB at 1ghz at 100ft. For local, relatively strong signals, that shouldn't be noticeable.
Thats what Ill end up doing. My farther who laid the original cable wire came by this afternoon, an hour later after moving stuff and prying up the attic floor we"/he" found the cable wire to that room. I happened to have 100' of RG-6 lying around from an old project, so I fished that through.

I was just going to use it to fish something else through, but Im thinking it might be good enough. If Im unhappy with the reception I can change it, I know what Im up against now.
 

popnokick

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
2,061
Location
Northeast PA
I can easily connect the antenna to the cable jack in the room by just connecting two cable wires together in the attic, but I was concerned about interference, that and I think the wire in the wall isn't even RG-6, but older cable wire.

So do i need the amp if I am not splitting the signal?
If you're not splitting the signal to more than one jack in the house or to another scanner, NO you don't need the amplifier. Even if you split the signal to multiple outputs, you may still not need the amp. But I've had the best results using the splitter-amp I described earlier. If you put in an amp, be prepared to remove it if it doesn't help... or makes things worse by introducing FM broadcast interference or other undesirable side effects.
 

map_guy

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
46
Just an update....

Thanks for all the help, I got everything hooked up with RG6 and even bough a RG6 BNC connector for the scanner. Its all very clean.

I have no idea if I am loosing a lot of signal, but I am more than happy with everything I am picking up. So many more channels than the antenna that came with it was picking up.
 

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,382
Just an update....

Thanks for all the help, I got everything hooked up with RG6 and even bough a RG6 BNC connector for the scanner. Its all very clean.

I have no idea if I am loosing a lot of signal, but I am more than happy with everything I am picking up. So many more channels than the antenna that came with it was picking up.
Well then map_guy, if you're satisfied consider it mission accomplished. Just about any installation could have been done "better" but you need to consider your return on investment. If you're happy, grab your beverage of choice, turn on your radios and listen away! That's what it's about isn't it?
 

Ubbe

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
4,914
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
If you want to hear more local 700-800MHz systems and/or distant system you can connect an amplifier at the ST2 antenna and at the same time get a 20dB variable attenuator ($10) at the scanner that will give you the choice to only compensate for cable loss or have more gain if the scanner can take it without additional filtering. Having an amplifier to give a constant impedance to the coax are always a good thing, even if you can't take advantage of the increased gain.

/Ubbe
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top