What is wrong with this setup?

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krazzedkanuk

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I have a Whister WS1065 setup with 50' of RG6 receiving from a T601 Workman discone mounted 23' in the air above a shed with a metal roof. The WS1065 is setup to scan Bell FleetNet - Ontario Provincial Government Zone 1 Trunking System, Southwest Zone, Ontario - Scanner Frequencies for local police and EMS.

My problem is that the scanner misses a lot of transmissions. I know this because I have a BCD436HP that hits a lot more with its stock antenna inside the shed than the WS1065 does.

I originally thought it was the scanner or its programming so I brought it in the house, hooked it up to a Scantenna on the roof with 75' of RG6. The WS1065 was flawless hitting one transmission after another. So its not the scanner or its programming. It has to be the antenna or cable.

This weekend I replaced the RG6 in the shed with new RG6 with factory compression fittings. Still the WS1065 misses calls. Is the T601 Workman discone not up to job or could it be the metal roof on the shed?

I have attached a couple of pictures of the antenna and shed roof.

Thanks in advance.
 

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bhamilton930

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I see several trees and uhf/vhf is line of sight dependent. I would swap the rg6 for lmr400 since it resonates better with uhf and vhf and go up another 10ft or so. Also check your squelch on conventional frequency channels you have programmed in. It's curious though that a stock antenna is picking up more.

What band is the whistler scanner missing that the uniden gets more if??


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mmckenna

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Discones have zero gain, so comparing it to the scantenna probably isn't fair. Discones tend to be better on UHF and 700-800MHz when compared to VHF. You might have better luck with a dedicated VHF antenna. The scantenna will no doubt work better on VHF than the discone.

Coax cable labeled "RG6" tells you the rough size, but there can be great variations between manufacturers. On VHF frequencies, the loss for 25 feet of RG-6 is about 0.84dB. That's not bad, and likely not your issue. While LMR-400 is a better cable, it's going to have 0.37dB. While every little bit helps, the 0.47dB of difference would be hard to hear.

Any adapters, unnecessary connections in the cable?
 

prcguy

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I disagree on the Discone being better on UHF and 700-800MHz. For the typical scanner Discone that is about 30 inches tall like the Workman, RS, Diamond, etc, the native frequency range will be about 100 to 800Mhz. The radiation pattern from about 100Mhz through maybe 400MHz is mostly at the horizon, but somewhere above 400 or 500Mhz the pattern starts to point upward and at 800MHz the gain at horizon is down quite a bit.

If you measure the gain up at 20 or 30deg above the horizon you will find the Discone has about the same gain on 800MHz as the lower freqs, but the towers you are wanting to receive are more at the horizon and not up a very high angles. Therefore the common "scanner Discone" is not the best choice for distant 700/800Mhz reception.

Otherwise I don't see anything wrong at all with the setup in the pictures and the coax run is not excessive. Although I'm not a fan of using RG-6 coax in an otherwise 50 ohm system.

Sometimes when you get reasonable reception indoors with a stock rubber antenna and reception gets worse with an outside antenna, it could be a local high power station that is swamping the front end of your receiver and causing problems. Looks like much of your local channels are on the VHF band, are there any large towers near you that might have paging systems or FM broadcast, TV, etc?

Have you tried turning on an attenuator in your scanner when on the outside antenna to see if that improves reception?
prcguy

Discones have zero gain, so comparing it to the scantenna probably isn't fair. Discones tend to be better on UHF and 700-800MHz when compared to VHF. You might have better luck with a dedicated VHF antenna. The scantenna will no doubt work better on VHF than the discone.

Coax cable labeled "RG6" tells you the rough size, but there can be great variations between manufacturers. On VHF frequencies, the loss for 25 feet of RG-6 is about 0.84dB. That's not bad, and likely not your issue. While LMR-400 is a better cable, it's going to have 0.37dB. While every little bit helps, the 0.47dB of difference would be hard to hear.

Any adapters, unnecessary connections in the cable?
 
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krazzedkanuk

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Yes for adapters. PL-259 to f-coax at the antenna & f-coax to BNC at the scanner. I was planning on replacing the Scantenna on the house with a Diamond D-130 when the weather gets a little nicer because the Scantenna is missing a couple limbs now. Maybe I will hold off on that.

Thanks again
 

krazzedkanuk

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I am about 1 block from local fire hall, but it is not very active. If that was the case then should it also effect the house reception?
 

krazzedkanuk

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Also about 3 blocks from local phone company which has large dishes for tv reception. I do not think that they broadcast anything. Just for dsl ip tv.
 

jim202

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I see several trees and uhf/vhf is line of sight dependent. I would swap the rg6 for lmr400 since it resonates better with uhf and vhf and go up another 10ft or so. Also check your squelch on conventional frequency channels you have programmed in. It's curious though that a stock antenna is picking up more.

What band is the whistler scanner missing that the uniden gets more if??
What do you mean by "it resonates better" when referring to LMR400 coax cable? It may have slightly less signal loss than RG-6 coax cable.

It would be better to use the correct terms so you don't confuse some of the new comers to the groups here.

There is also a possibility that a strong signal near by is clobbering the receiver front end and causing it to go deaf. This is going to be dependent on what band your trying to listen to as to what kind of a signal might cause the problem. If your talking about an 800 MHz. signal, it could be caused by a cell tower near by. If your talking about a UHF band problem, it could be caused by a UHF pager transmitter near by.
 

krazzedkanuk

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I am not sure how to turn on an attenuator in the scanner. Looking through the manual now, also the software side. I used PSREdit500.
 

n5ims

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You might consider swapping out the zero gain discone with one of the typical gain 2 meter ham base antennas (or even a dual band 2/70 type that adds UHF and may be easier to find and even cheaper since they're more in demand). What you want to listen to is just below the standard 2 meter ham band so those antennas should work well for you.
 

trp2525

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...Sometimes when you get reasonable reception indoors with a stock rubber antenna and reception gets worse with an outside antenna, it could be a local high power station that is swamping the front end of your receiver and causing problems. Looks like much of your local channels are on the VHF band, are there any large towers near you that might have paging systems or FM broadcast, TV, etc?...
As an experiment I would try an inline FM broadcast band trap to see if that makes any difference. I use an inexpensive FM trap similar to this Radio Shack product (unfortunately discontinued by Radio Shack) on my outside scanner antenna feed line and it helps quite a bit with my scanner reception: New FM Trap Improves TV Picture Quality 75 Ohm Coax Connectors by Radio Shack | eBay

When you consider that you can have a 50,000-watt ERP FM broadcast band transmitter in your local broadcast area (like I have) and that you are trying to receive signals less than 100 watts on your scanner, you can see how an FM trap MIGHT be useful. I found the FM trap to be especially useful when monitoring the VHF-Air band from 118-136 MHz. YMMV

Seeing that you are using RG6 coax with F connectors and adapters, your installation of the FM trap with F connectors should be simple. Connect the F connector on the end of your current coax line to the "In" F connector on the FM trap and then use a short length of coax with F connectors on each end to go from the FM trap "Out" to your scanner. Finally use your F-to-BNC adapter as you currently do to connect to your scanner.
 

prcguy

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I agree an FM trap can make the difference between frustration and nirvana, but the OP should positively identify the problem and make the appropriate fix before blindly buying filters or upgrading coax or buying another antenna.
prcguy

As an experiment I would try an inline FM broadcast band trap to see if that makes any difference. I use an inexpensive FM trap similar to this Radio Shack product (unfortunately discontinued by Radio Shack) on my outside scanner antenna feed line and it helps quite a bit with my scanner reception: New FM Trap Improves TV Picture Quality 75 Ohm Coax Connectors by Radio Shack | eBay

When you consider that you can have a 50,000-watt ERP FM broadcast band transmitter in your local broadcast area (like I have) and that you are trying to receive signals less than 100 watts on your scanner, you can see how an FM trap MIGHT be useful. I found the FM trap to be especially useful when monitoring the VHF-Air band from 118-136 MHz. YMMV

Seeing that you are using RG6 coax with F connectors and adapters, your installation of the FM trap with F connectors should be simple. Connect the F connector on the end of your current coax line to the "In" F connector on the FM trap and then use a short length of coax with F connectors on each end to go from the FM trap "Out" to your scanner. Finally use your F-to-BNC adapter as you currently do to connect to your scanner.
 
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