Wire antennas for radio scanners do give an alternative for when there’s no option to put up a permanent outside antenna and can be of good use in a vehicle or when traveling.

The basic construction is a BNC, a length of coax with the wire antenna attached to the end. A good thick gauge wire will give much better results than some of the thin electrical cable types.

You could buy one of these antennas or make one yourself, most radio hobbyist have at least a few spare connectors and wire hanging about that could be used to construct one.

Buying A Scanner Wire Antenna

Glass Mount Radio Scanner Wire Antenna

Glass Mount Radio Scanner Wire Antenna
Click Picture for Full Details, Customer Reviews and Pricing

Its surprising how few of these there are about but their low price and the ease at which they can be constructed makes the potential pool of customers pretty small.

The antenna shown in the picture is more designed for use inside where its not going to receive that special attention the elements tend to save for the stuff we mount outside. The added bonus with a ready produced model is they come with the suction cups needed to attached it to glass.

Quick Specs

    Frequency Coverage 25 to 1300 MHz
    Antenna Section is 8 Foot in Length
    Complete with BNC Connector and Glass Suction Cups

Making A Scanner Wire Antenna

Slapping together one of these handy antennas is simple enough once you have the bits and pieces needed. Making your own also allows you to make changes that suit the way its used and where you want to use it. By using 8 foot (or so) of thick gauge plastic or enameled coated wire the antenna instantly becomes something that can be used out in the field as well as in the home.

For the connection where the thick gauge wire meets the core of the coax cable its advisable to break out the soldering iron and make a solid joint by wrapping a good length of core around the base of the antenna.

If your moving the antenna for place to place this joint will get a lot of movement and just hoping any tape is going to keep it in place usually leads to more repair time then is necessary.

Strip the coax screen right back to make sure its not going to create a short before sealing the joint with tape.

Try not to over do it with the length of the antenna section, scanners can be very forgiven with actual antenna lengths but if you give them too much it can seriously effect how it performs on the reception side.

Waterproofing For Outside Use

Some extra precautions should be taken if the antenna is being mounted outside with care taken over the seal not only where the antenna wire meets the coax but also sealing the end of the antenna itself.

You’d be surprise the damage moisture can do if giving the chance to run down inside a piece of coax cable. By using something from the range of Scotch waterproof tapes you get a lasting seal that normal electrical tapes just won’t give.

With enough coax attached you can sling the antenna up a tree while out and about to give that little bit of extra height.

Range Of Use

As must utility transmissions at VHF/UHF are sent from horizontal antennas getting your wire set in a straight up style will give some improvement depending on what your listening to. The strong signals sent out by trunking networks are designed to be picked up on receivers with less than ideal antennas and don’t usually present much of a problem for scanners even when using the stock helical supplied with the radio.

Any antenna setup inside a vehicle is always going to suffer to some extent from the sheer mass of metal surrounding it. By placing the wire antenna on a window it gives it a better chance of working by giving it the easiest route to the outside world.

One thing to keep in mind is if the antenna is arrange in a square shape around a window it will have a certain degree of directional to it similar to a single quad element. While this isn’t going to make any difference to stronger local signals it could be enough to tone down weaker signals coming in on the side of the antenna.

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditShare on TumblrDigg this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *