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Author Topic: Best Way Forward  (Read 9043 times)

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sasa1000

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Best Way Forward
« on: May 12, 2010, 08:44:13 PM »
Just wondering if anyone could advise me on the best option re my Radar-Rama antenna. It is in the attic just now connected with Westflex etc, all the right cabling, and as you can see by my polar diagram there is room for improvement. My house is approx 10m above sea level and height to roof peak is approx 25-27 ft. i have a hill line to the se of me which is approx 132m high, this summit is prob 0.5 km away. NW of house hills peak about 103m and are about 1.5 km away and the rest of the hills are fairly distant and lower. My question is, would I gain much by putting Radar-Rama outside (prob gain another 6 ft in height) or would it be better to go down amplifier route or even try supplied antenna in attic. Please accept my grovelling apologies for such a long winded post.

Sandy

DaveG

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 08:50:59 PM »
looks like your range is okay(ish) with current setup as sw shows this.  Other directions could simple be down to those hills.

Putting the ariel as high as possible will "always" help, it can never be too high.

Also how long have you ran the system to develop the polar, as over time some of the gaps will/may get filled as aircraft pass through them.  Other thing to look at is flight routes, polar will only show where its picked up local hardware aircraft flying, if nothing flies for example to your east then polar will never extend that direction.

i'd reconnect first get the ariel outside and high.
Cornwall, UK

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 09:09:29 PM »
Hi Dave, thanks for your reply. I have had the box running 24/7 with the Radar-Rama antenna since Fri 30 April, so coming up for 2 weeks now. I never expected to get very far east due to the close proximity of the hills but I was hoping for a bit better coverage elsewhere. This I know is due to the geography of the isles and is not the fault of the RB, as I am really impressed with the coverage down to north of Scotland.
Just want to try and make sure the gains from mounting outside will be worth the effort (and grief from wife) before I do it.

Sandy

RodBearden

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 09:15:36 PM »
Sandy - I'm sure DaveG is right - the general maxim is "height is might", and pre-amps should come a long way down your list of priorities. We've had several reports that pre-amps can cause a LOSS of signals because of the noise they can generate.

Rod
Rod

CoastGuardJon

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 09:24:34 PM »
Hi Sandy, I'm sure you'll find you get vastly better results by siting antenna outside. Personally, I'd say only go for a pre-amp to overcome long co-ax downlead run losse.   If you can site RB in loft with active USB lead extender - may better than pre-amp.
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 09:25:04 PM »
Thanks for that Rod, I would hate to buy a pre-amp and find out it did no good. Incidentally I would probably attach an earth wire to the mast if mounting outside, so would mounting it to mast suffice or is it better to actually attach it to antenna?

Sandy

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 09:28:56 PM »
Once again Jon, thanks for the advice. I think I will rule out the pre-amp and go for outside option (just annoying I had a mast up a few years ago and took it down) I have 10m Westflex on antenna just now, mostly coiled up till I get final site & length required, along with this I have 2 active USB extenders as I intend trying to get them down behind the plasterboard  when antenna is permanently sited.

Sandy

CoastGuardJon

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2010, 09:29:38 PM »
The antenna to mast clamp will act as the connection , but a lead from antenna to mast to earthing would be belts and braces, and could dissipate static better as weather will cause some corrosion and higher resistance.
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 09:47:42 PM »
Will start looking in to this at the weekend, was wondering about telescopic masts as I have seen lightweight ones on the net that clamp to the house, anyone know if these are any use? Just that I may be able to gain a few more fett with one of these.

Sandy

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2010, 09:48:43 PM »
As for belts & braces Jon, it may be an idea to go down that route as it is certainly a cheaper option that cooking the RB.

Sandy

CoastGuardJon

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2010, 05:19:17 PM »
Hi Sandy, rather than a lightweight telescopic, I'd suggest you go for an aluminium scaffold pole, still comparatively light, but much sturdier and a bit more expensive than the standard TV poles, standard length of 20 feet.
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2010, 09:50:02 PM »
Are the scaffold poles not too heavy then Jon? I had given them some consideration but thought they would need a few clamps to secure them to the house. Not sure if I will go down the telescopic route yet, will probably end up with mast about 10 ft and aim for 6 ft above roof line.

Sandy

CoastGuardJon

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2010, 09:58:21 PM »
Hi Sandy, aluminium scaffold poles are a heck of a lot lighter than galv. steel, they don't bend and are the standard outer diameter

http://www.scaffoldingsupplies.co.uk/products/details/1872.html

You can get s/s fittings (or car exhaust type clamps if you're a cheapskate!) to secure them to a wall, a local welder would be able to make up stand off brackets, you'd be able to get about 10 feet above roof ridge if you've got a gable end to use.    It depends how close/vulnerable you are to salty air and strong winds.
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

sasa1000

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2010, 10:22:33 PM »
Going to look in to this at the weekend Jon, only problem is the wind as we do take quite a battering. One of the highest recorded broke the recorder at the RAF early warning station at speed of just over 200 mph (also blew the radar domes away) Our usual round about the house would be gale to severe gale.

Sandy

tarbat

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Re: Best Way Forward
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 07:07:51 AM »
.......only problem is the wind as we do take quite a battering.

That's the one reason why I still have my antenna mounted in the loft.  We also get winds >100mph, and most people around here avoid anything mounted externally.  It's worth moving the antenna around in the loft - sometimes you can get much better coverage just by moving it to a different position.

For info, here's my coverage from the loft.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 08:06:38 AM by tarbat »