Author Topic: How to Make a Scanner antenna  (Read 5129837 times)

Offline moto400ex

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How to Make a Scanner antenna
« on: August 28, 2007, 10:06:42 PM »
What is the best way to make a scanner antenna for indoor use possibly outdoor.  Ive seen some small ones with pvc pipe just wondering what is inside that pipe and how to make one to achieve the best range. How much better range can I  achieve with an external antenna.



Offline MathFox

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 06:09:34 AM »
The main reason to use an outdoor antenna is a better Signal/Noise ratio; you lose signal attenuation by roof and walls of your home and are farther away from the in-house noise sources. You can gain on range by placing the antenna higher (don't forget lightning protection!).

I would recommend to go with a full sized outdoor antenna; a quarter lambda ground plane antenna is only 2 feet high and can be made pretty easily if you have basic soldering skills. You might want to look at other antenna designs (J-pole) too; if you're pretty far from the airport a directional antenna helps to pick up tower and ground, an omnidirectional antenna is better for receiving overhead traffic.

Offline Lezam

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 08:28:12 PM »
The main reason to use an outdoor antenna is a better Signal/Noise ratio; you lose signal attenuation by roof and walls of your home and are farther away from the in-house noise sources. You can gain on range by placing the antenna higher (don't forget lightning protection!).

I would recommend to go with a full sized outdoor antenna; a quarter lambda ground plane antenna is only 2 feet high and can be made pretty easily if you have basic soldering skills. You might want to look at other antenna designs (J-pole) too; if you're pretty far from the airport a directional antenna helps to pick up tower and ground, an omnidirectional antenna is better for receiving overhead traffic.

A cheap and good way of doing this is do build a jpole as MathFox said. You can find many tutorials on the web about this, and it requires only a basic knowledge of welding. If your not the handy type of guy, they are sold online and on ebay. I recommend the jpoles from ebay, I bought mine there and never regret doing it.

Offline dave

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 09:33:12 PM »
It's not welding - it's sweat soldering copper plumbing tubing.  Minor correction.  So you don't need to be a welder.  ;-)

Offline MathFox

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2007, 08:03:50 AM »
It's not welding - it's sweat soldering copper plumbing tubing.  Minor correction.  So you don't need to be a welder.  ;-)
Copper pipe is a convenient material, easily worked, easily available and reasonably durable. Other materials are regularly used too (aluminium, metal wire, etc.)

Offline Biff

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2007, 09:22:32 AM »
I ran my feed off a homemade half wave dipole for the first year or so.  It's absolutely the simplest and cheapest antenna to make and it worked like a champ.  I literally just threw it up in a tree outside my window.




Offline Lexxx

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2007, 08:49:36 AM »
This antenna I use gives excellent results, was very inexpensive to build, but belongs in an attic. It's not sturdy enough to be mounted outside, but if an attic installation is feasible, here is the antenna I built.

Peter
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Offline Sasquach

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2007, 05:40:56 PM »
This antenna I use gives excellent results, was very inexpensive to build, but belongs in an attic. It's not sturdy enough to be mounted outside, but if an attic installation is feasible, here is the antenna I built.

Peter
www.ykf.ca

That's what mine looks like too for KHSV.  It's hanging in the attic

Offline moto400ex

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2007, 08:40:12 PM »
I live in an apartment building and I have a portable scanner that picks up planes and ocassionally tower at night.  I would like to set up a feed if its good from grand forks north dakota.  Mostly training traffic which leads to alot of funny radio transmissions.  " Grand forks tower soiux xx ready for blast off at 17R"  I was wondering which type of antenna I could  put either in my window of out my window that would help increase the range.  Im only about 4 miles from the airport.

Offline Lezam

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2007, 09:27:15 PM »
I live in an apartment building and I have a portable scanner that picks up planes and ocassionally tower at night.  I would like to set up a feed if its good from grand forks north dakota.  Mostly training traffic which leads to alot of funny radio transmissions.  " Grand forks tower soiux xx ready for blast off at 17R"  I was wondering which type of antenna I could  put either in my window of out my window that would help increase the range.  Im only about 4 miles from the airport.

Do you want a perminent solution like a jpole or a simple antenna?

Offline moto400ex

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2007, 09:31:52 PM »
Deffinelty not perminant just something simple

Offline moto400ex

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2007, 08:12:39 PM »
I tryed out a portable scanner antenna today and saw no better results than my regular scanner antenna.  Do the jpole antennas work well if they are small?  Any other antenna options that work better than the one i have tryed?

Offline dave

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2007, 09:37:49 PM »
Your best bet is to try and get something outside.  Indoor antennas are extreme compromises and generally do not work very well.  Not because of the antenna, but typically because of noise sources (computers, monitors, light dimmers, etc.) that interfere with VHF reception in the airband.

Dave


Offline moto400ex

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2007, 10:34:48 PM »
I have an Ac unit just out my window i could put an antenna on.  But it cant be too big.  Would a small jpole or discone antenna work?  If so which one would i recieve the best results with?

Offline Lezam

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2007, 11:32:44 PM »
To be honest, they would both work. Your best bet would be to go with a small discone if you want a discreet option in my opinion. Its easy, just go into your local radioshack and pick one up.

Offline MathFox

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Re: How to Make a Scanner antenna
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2007, 07:31:58 AM »
I have an Ac unit just out my window i could put an antenna on.  But it cant be too big.  Would a small jpole or discone antenna work?  If so which one would i recieve the best results with?

If you already have a horizontal metal plate outside your window a simple 1/4 wavelength antenna on a ground plane is a good option too.
An issue with all antenna's is that large objects in the neighbourhood of the antenna (walls and windows in your case) influence the direction sense of the antenna. Don't be surprised if moving your antenna a few inches horizontally makes the difference between noisy and clear reception.