Author Topic: Newbie help with antennas  (Read 52380 times)

Offline Qaldyari

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Newbie help with antennas
« on: September 21, 2016, 10:24:27 PM »
Ok complete newbie when it comes to scanners and radios in general so please be patient with me.
I have always had a love of flying and were I in a different situation in my life I would love to be a pilot. When I moved down to south Texas to be with my wife one of my joys has been that I now live about 3 miles from the airport (Klrd). I went ahead and decided that I wanted to volunteer to setup a feed since there are no feeds down here. I got a used scanner off eBay that currently just has the regular antenna. I know I am going to need to get an external antenna to clear out the reception.

For reference I am southwest of the main runway being 17R. Typical patterns are take off to the south and head back east circling up north or out east to Houston. So I have great reception indoors with flights leaving the airspace, can barely make out the tower (still on the little baby antenna that comes with the scanner), and badly broken signal for anyone coming in on approach.

I at that point am looking at two antennas and need as much expertise on making the decision as possible.
1) , VHF Air Blade Indoor Antenna, this one I am looking at based off price and convenience of just setting up out of the way indoors.
2) this one is a better price but I have no experience in mounting an antenna on the side of the house or roof so I am Leary on this. If I had more instructions on knowing how much to keep above roof vs can it be mostly on side, best way to mount, etc I might be more inclined for the j pole.

Main thing as this point is I want a reasonably clear signal say 10-15 miles out which should cover general approach, able to hopefully pick up the ground traffic and tower clearly. If I can get that then I am good to put it on a feed. Actually already tested plugging into my computer setup and using Vic streamed across network, so I know I'm started down the path at least.

Any wisdom you can impart would be deeply appreciated.

Offline FlightTracker2

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Re: Newbie help with antennas
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2016, 05:57:37 PM »
If you are looking for 10-15 miles coverage, just about any outdoor antenna would work, commercial or home made. You should try to keep away from the indoor ones if you are already having difficulty receiving some signals. If it ain't line-of-sight, it ain't going to work.

DPDProductions make good antennas, I use the outdoor one and coverage is up to 300 miles at FL350.

What you need is HEIGHT. Find some way to get your antenna up in the air, otherwise you'll only end up getting frustrated.

« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 06:12:18 PM by FlightTracker2 »

Offline Qaldyari

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Re: Newbie help with antennas
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2016, 06:42:20 PM »
Ok, single story house and I do have some trees that go up about 40 feet of so on neighbors property. No idea if trees will be an issue or not. Realistically what kind of height should I be aiming at to get that kind of range? I know I could probably find a way to mount it on the roof but I'm guessing that might only get me like 30 feet or so to top of j pole. Is this too low for what I am looking at?

Online Fryy/Avocadoflight

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Re: Newbie help with antennas
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 02:17:14 AM »
Best bet is to try the outdoor roof option. If you have a chimney try and mount an antenna on a pole to it. From there you can kind of gauge the height to better reception. Being 3 miles from an airport I would bet it would help reception. I live 15-20 miles from the airport I run, and my antenna is about 20-30ft up.