Yagi Antenna Install, Range, Height, Will it work?

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btritch

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I am thinking about buying a yagi antenna to point toward the Northwest..However, What I am trying to hear or would like to hear is anywhere from 110-120 miles away (This is as the crow flies, not by car), Is this even possible for a yagi to pick up that far, There is a small mountain range between here and there, well, actually hills, They are at a higher elevation also if that helps, What I'm asking though is this: Is it possible for me to purchase a yagi (big or small) and place it at about a 40-50 foot distance in the air on my tower and aim it to the NW if I will be able to pick up analog traffic on the frequency of 156-210 and 453.050 and possibly on 800MHZ, Much more on 156 and 453 then 800.. But what are my options here or is it even possible to recieve that far at all? I have never used a yagi before so it will be a new experience for me but can anyone shed any light on if any of this is possible and if so how? Any help will be appreciated, Thanks Again RR Subs!! For wonderful useful advice..I appreciate it..Any help appreciated, Thanks!
 

af5rn

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Ya know, even though I own beautiful property in Arkansas, the nightmares of radio (non-)propagation in the Ozarks is one big reason why I would never move there. :lol:

It's possible you may occasionally get a scratchy signal on the high band, but I think you are SOL on UHF and 800.

Are there any television or broadcast radio stations in the town you are trying to receive? If so, can you receive them on a TV antenna at 50 feet? If you can't get a 50kw radio or televison station at that distance, then you don't have a chance of getting a 100 watt police repeater.
 

btritch

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Ya know, even though I own beautiful property in Arkansas, the nightmares of radio (non-)propagation in the Ozarks is one big reason why I would never move there. :lol:

It's possible you may occasionally get a scratchy signal on the high band, but I think you are SOL on UHF and 800.

Are there any television or broadcast radio stations in the town you are trying to receive? If so, can you receive them on a TV antenna at 50 feet? If you can't get a 50kw radio or televison station at that distance, then you don't have a chance of getting a 100 watt police repeater.
No, Just the local station, and it's VERY LOW POWER, Just an in town station, Radio, Yes but it's like 12,000 watts tops...My TV antenna is not up that high, it's only about 20 feet, The closest I have is a scantenna or an antron antenna..I don't know that either of those will work or not BUT I WILL tell you what I'm trying to hear, I don't know just where your property is but I am wanting to hear the Baxter County Sheriff's Department on 156.210 and the Mtn. Home Fire Department on 453.050 and County Fire Channels on 154.965...Not a real big deal that I can't get them but I was hoping so, LOL, I'm not buying an antenna just to chance and HOPE It works though, I guess I could always aim it at something else though, LOL...Where is a good place to find a yagi antenna?

**Note: ON Clear days, I can ONCE IN AWHILE HEAR BCSO but it's VERY DISTORTED and HARD TO MAKE OUT, That was On My scantenna at 30 Feet!**
 
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af5rn

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My property is in Johnson County, near Clarksville, right in the hills. Baxter is just over 100 miles to my northwest, through the mountains, so I know I have no chance of hearing them.

If you want to try, I'd look for a good deal on a yagi on eBay. Clearance antennas get sold so cheaply there that it's worth it to try. Problem is, you'd pretty much need one for each band. You could get a multi-band yagi from DPD Productions and try for wider band performance, maybe even throw an amp into the mix. But I don't think you'll have too much luck. The good news is, you won't have much trouble selling the yagi if you end up not wanting it later.
 

Airdorn

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Occasionally the conditions will be right and you will get some signal, but it will be fleeting. If its just a typical public service system, then mostly you'll just get static, even with a typical commercial yagi at that height.

If it were arid, tree-less land like Arizona desert or some such, things might be different. But in my experience, it's going to be a crapshoot at best.
 

KC0QNB

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Don't think it is going to happen for you, that is a long way away even for vhf, there is hope but it may not be legal or cheap, remember radio especially UHF and 800 mHz are primarily LOS, and since the earth curves away at approx. 7-10 away from you at that distance you would need a real tall tower just guessing here something on the order of 200 feet tall minimum, then you factor in the hills then the height of the tower goes up even more, for example there is a so-so tv station about 40 miles away from me channel 2, 55.25 MHz
they run 100kW thats 100000 watts some days they come in ok but mostly not very good reception, and I receive them on cable (via an rx antenna pointed at them at a height of over 150 feet). So that being said it doesn't look good.
Here is plan B, find a place about half way between you and the stations you want to hear, find out who owns the land give him money and put up a tower with two 13 element yagis for each band, simply point one yagi at the source and one at your antenna. You have just made a passive repeater.

Plan C, Ok kick it up a notch add a preamp to the source antennas, and a 1 watt amplifier to the antennas pointed at you, in theory it would work but it may take several "repeater towers" to make it happen. Of course you may need a license to retransmit the signal as described in plan C, not to mention permission from the originating licensee. and don't forget your solar panels.

This sounds far fetched and I am not picking on you, I know this scheme works, for example I am sure you have seen the Wilson cellphone "boosters", there is a model that uses an antenna you put somewhere in your car or house, that little antenna picks up your cellphone signal, it is connected to the booster, the booster is then connected to an additional outside antenna.
refer to http://wilsonelectronics.com//ViewProduct.php?ID=131
there you go!
you know the easiest route is to talk to a buddy in the the other town, and have him set up a streaming system then you could monitor off the 'net, cheap easy and it works.
 

KC0QNB

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There is one other option, I have not read anything on using this on a scanner, but there are hams that are doing it, full remote control. In a nutshell they can't have antennas at their homes for various reasons, one of which is having an antenna will cause the property value to go down in the neighborhood, you know if my house was valued at $250K and this guy having his antenna caused my property value to go down, and as a result my taxes would go down, I would help him build the antennas, end of editorial.

Now back to the main subject, what they are doing is this they set up their radio gear etc. out in the country, so the antennas aren't in town and as such there aren't any restrictions, then they setup a computer at the remote site and connect to it from home via the 'net, the reports I have read so far indicate that the concept works very well., I have played with the demo BCT15 software and with it you can have nearly full control of the radio via your computer, Food for thought.
 
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Actually as someone pointed out, here in the open desert getting a signal from that distance can be possible ESPECIALLY when hills are in the middle. I have noticed reception due to the "knife edge" effect where radio waves must be making the downward bend over hills in order to hear them.

My prediction would be that beyond VHF there is no hope at all. But with VHF you may get some things in here and there, but it sure would be less than crystal clear, and probably not work all the time.
 
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