Found a killer scanner antenna

Discussion in 'Ham Radio, SDR & Police Scanner Technology' started by Comptech, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Comptech

    Comptech Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Pro

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    So, I have a new OTA antenna waiting for weather to break so i can get it on the roof. https://www.newark.com/stellar-labs/30-2476/deep-fringe-directional-antenna/dp/71Y5462?st=antenna I mounted it vertically today and ghetto rigged it ito my deck. Unbelievable results! this thing brought my SDRPlay and my whistler 1098 to life. Never heard rail traffic here as the closest is 30 miles from here and picking up analog from 60 miles away. Also, being directional, my local palmetto P25 system has lost it'd simulcast problems. Killer scanner log periodic antenna.
     
  2. N6BY

    N6BY Geek
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    Thats great. If you're like me you'll want one for TV and one for scanning on your roof. I've got 450 and 900 MHz vertical Yagis installed on a rotor on my roof for scanning (in addition to a log periodic OTA antenna).

    A couple of years ago I wrote an SDR program - "DR Processor". It has basic SDR functionality along with tone squelch, a wide spectrum display mode, and primitive frequency scanning capability. It's downloadable at n6by.com . It just needs an Extio DLL for your SDR.
     
  3. KE4EST

    KE4EST SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
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    I still use Dr. Processor and hope one day Bret regains interest in expanding it. :)
     
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  4. Inclined Orbit

    Inclined Orbit SatelliteGuys Guru

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    That antenna is rated 174 to 230Mhz, which is probably stretching its limits to some extent by their marketing dept. And its not a log periodic, its just a Yagi with a folded driven element.

    Anything public service will be way out of band for that antenna and it just happens railroad freqs are near the top end of the VHF band but still over 10Mhz out of range for that antenna. What this means is the performance is down quite a bit on the RR band and waaaay out on most any other public service freq you might want to monitor compared to if the antenna were actually tuned there. In other words, if you are happy with it now, you might actually pass out with excitement f you used a similar antenna that was operating within its rated frequency range.

     
    #4 Inclined Orbit, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  5. Comptech

    Comptech Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I guess the 5 bars all lit up on signal meter from a county almost 60 miles from me at 460.550 MHZ is just my imagination! And by the way. Been using a ST-2 and a DPD productions Omni x for years and this is just as good. Also reading comprehension would help you a lot. Reread my post and notice it was just a experiment.
     
  6. cpalmer2k

    cpalmer2k SatelliteGuys Pro
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    Designed for it or not this antenna and it’s smaller cousin are both very strong in the UHF range. I’ve got the smaller version and it receives most of the UHF stations here in our area without any kind of pre-amp. I can just hold it up in my living room and lock some in that are 60 miles away on my TiVo. They’re both really nice antennas for the price!
     
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  7. N6BY

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    When I'm using my Yagis on a rotor, the aim does not matter a lot for strong fire / police transmissions. Almost any piece of metal on the roof would get them. But for local businesses using 500 milliwatt handy talkies in their stores the aim has to be fairly close. ... There are so many retail stores around me I rarely know which one I am hearing. The only clue is the antenna direction. (And a majority of them are not in the FCC license directory).

    I'm going to start working on it tonight. .... First up is to find out why it crashes sometimes on my laptop.
     
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  8. N5XZS

    N5XZS SatelliteGuys Pro

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    I got Sam Clubs and Walmart nearby be can't figure out their freq, most likely in UHF band more than anything else.:)
     
  9. Comptech

    Comptech Topic Starter SatelliteGuys Pro

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    154.600 is the most common Walmart one.
     
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  10. N6BY

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    In my area I get a lot of analog FM business around 461-464, and 467 MHz. I find digital radio in the 450's. There are many that don't transmit very often and are easy to miss.

    By far the most active around here are the Indian Casinos using unencrypted DMR (MotoTRBO).
     
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  11. n0qcu

    n0qcu Supporting Founder
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    Actually the most commonly used frequency by Walmart/Sams is 154.570 since that is "channel #1 in their radios".
    Channel 2 is 154.570
    Channel 3 is 154.820 NB D131N
    Channel 4 is 151.880 NB D131N
    Channel 5 is 151.940 NB D131N
    Channel 6 is 154.570 D131N
    Channel 7 is 154.600 D131N
     
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  12. spongella

    spongella SatelliteGuys Pro
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    That antenna should also pick up the LoJack signals on 173.075 pretty well. Listen for the periodic data bursts. Sounds a bit like APRS.
     
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  13. N5XZS

    N5XZS SatelliteGuys Pro

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    Is Walmart using PLL tone that you mentioned D131N?:)

    Just wanted to make sure.:)
     
  14. n0qcu

    n0qcu Supporting Founder
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    Yes on the channels I mentioned.
     
  15. N6BY

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    Thanks, that sounds like it would be interesting to monitor and decode. I just looked it up and its unencrypted FFSK modulation at 1200 baud. "SDRTrunk" has a decoder for it here: DSheirer/sdrtrunk

    Doesn't look too hard to do. Will see what I can get.
     
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  16. Wireless Engineer

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    Check out the Fracarro model LP345 LPDA antenna.
    It covers 165-240Mhz and 450-900Mhz And it's very compact.
     

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