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[How-to] Build an Antenna for Your X-10 Receiver


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#31 Rambler

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 08:51 AM

Thanks, Todd. I'll give it a try.

Bill

#32 huggy59

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 05:14 PM

Not to be a stick in the mud, but I've had excellent results with this $26 scanner antenna unit from Radio Shack, as it works in the correct frequency range of the X10 devices (310MHz). You could probably tune it a little by nipping off the tines, but it works very well for me here.

Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna
Model: 20-176 | Catalog #: 20-176

Covers 108-1300MHz with peak performance occurring in the 152-470MHz range.

#33 BrettS

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 10:47 AM

Well... apparently I'm getting into this game a little late, given that the original post was from 2004 and I've had my MR26A for longer than that... but it worked reasonably well in the small one story house that I moved out of. However in my new house which is larger and has three stories I'm having some range issues, so I'm looking for a better antenna.

I was going to try to build the antenna described in the original post, but due to a lack of time and the closeness of radio shack I went out and purchased the antenna huggy mentioned above.

Now, I know just about enough about antennas to be dangerous (or maybe not even that much), so I had a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone could answer.

First, I was going to try to trim the tines on the radio shack antenna to 9.5 inches, but then I measured them and realized that they're actually 19 inches. If 9.5 inches is a quarter wave antenna, then 19 inches would be a half wave antenna, and in my very limited understanding it seems that if a quarter wave is good then a half wave would be better. Is that the case, or would I be better off trimming them?

Also, due to the location of my homeseer computer I think this antenna is going to wind up being mounted on the first floor of my house. I realize that the attic would be a better option, but running a wire from the HS computer to the attic would be close to impossible. Now, given that the antenna is going to be mounted fairly low and I'll have signals coming from above it, I'm assuming that I should mount it with the single tine pointing up and the ground plane tines on the bottom. Is this the case or should I still mount it ground plane up as described in the original post?

Thanks much,
Brett

#34 drozwood90

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 12:04 PM

well, I'd say the Radio Shack Antenna is better.

I used the WHIP that came with my W800 for about 2 years. It did my ENTIRE house.
I did have to put a repeater in the garage. So, I wanted to eliminate that.

I bought the RS one, but due to job situation I haven't used it as my "production" use antenna.

I did Experiment with it though...

With the WHIP on my W800, in the position it was in (second floor center of the house, actually IN the office with the server since I hadn't been able to get to running wires into the attic yet), I was able to get ROUGHLY out to the NEAR edge of my property line on the front side of the house. That is maybe 40 foot long by 16 foot high (guess). Use some old trig and you get about 43 feet (rounded down).

When I went to the RS antenna, I had to place it on a chair (as it stuck out unlike the whip). So, it was sitting roughly 5 feet lower to the ground. I was able to get a signal from beyond my neighbors house (walking down the street, flipping my porch light on and off)!! I should also mention my street sloped down quite a bit, so again with the trig. and guessed numbers...
15 feet high (I went down 5 due to the chair...11 + 4 foot drop in the road at the distance I was at) and probably 360 feet (360-370 feet) away.

Give a little over 360 foot range, for an increase of 317 feet, compared to the STOCK whip.

Disclaimer:
All prices subject to change without notice, if reading these numbers makes your house catch on fire, I can't be held accountable...blah blah blah...
This is just what I experienced at my last house. Right now I have the whip in the attic of my new house (had it built, so I put a few future tubes in...I LOVE to run wire through the house now!!). Seems to catch everything...but to be certain I'm going to put the RS antenna up. I mean, I already own the thing!

I can only think it will get better! Besides, when you use a keyfob to arm the security, it's nice when you are backing out and remember to lockup...you just hit the button...even from the street!

--Dan

#35 BrettS

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 03:40 PM

Not to be a stick in the mud, but I've had excellent results with this $26 scanner antenna unit from Radio Shack, as it works in the correct frequency range of the X10 devices (310MHz). You could probably tune it a little by nipping off the tines, but it works very well for me here.

Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna
Model: 20-176 | Catalog #: 20-176

Covers 108-1300MHz with peak performance occurring in the 152-470MHz range.


Since I brought this thread back up last week I figured I'd bump it up once more. I just noticed that this antenna is now on sale at Radio Shack for $19.99 (down from $25.99), so if anyone is sitting on the fence about it, this is the week to go get one:) Now I've gotta find my receipt from last week and go and get my $6 back.

Brett

#36 rotech

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:11 AM

Brett

Did you ever get to cut off the tine on your RS antenna? I have a problem on locating the antenna. I have no attic in my home and its a first floor layout, my PC lives in a closet. my ceiling height is 8'. I would like to but the RS antenna, but Iam worried about the size.

Well... apparently I'm getting into this game a little late, given that the original post was from 2004 and I've had my MR26A for longer than that... but it worked reasonably well in the small one story house that I moved out of. However in my new house which is larger and has three stories I'm having some range issues, so I'm looking for a better antenna.

I was going to try to build the antenna described in the original post, but due to a lack of time and the closeness of radio shack I went out and purchased the antenna huggy mentioned above.

Now, I know just about enough about antennas to be dangerous (or maybe not even that much), so I had a couple of questions that I'm hoping someone could answer.

First, I was going to try to trim the tines on the radio shack antenna to 9.5 inches, but then I measured them and realized that they're actually 19 inches. If 9.5 inches is a quarter wave antenna, then 19 inches would be a half wave antenna, and in my very limited understanding it seems that if a quarter wave is good then a half wave would be better. Is that the case, or would I be better off trimming them?

Also, due to the location of my homeseer computer I think this antenna is going to wind up being mounted on the first floor of my house. I realize that the attic would be a better option, but running a wire from the HS computer to the attic would be close to impossible. Now, given that the antenna is going to be mounted fairly low and I'll have signals coming from above it, I'm assuming that I should mount it with the single tine pointing up and the ground plane tines on the bottom. Is this the case or should I still mount it ground plane up as described in the original post?

Thanks much,
Brett



#37 rotech

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 12:08 AM

How would you hang the antenna if the cable from the ceiling if it has the coax cable at its end?

#38 dremu

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:02 PM

How would you hang the antenna if the cable from the ceiling if it has the coax cable at its end?


This is something that stumped me; you'd want to use something non-radio-conductive, i.e. plastic or wood. One suggestion was to run the coax through a PVC pipe. You could also get ABS or acrylic from your local plastics house and make a bracket to suit.

I would NOT want to make the coax weight-bearing as that tends to be bad juju.

-- A

#39 dremu

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:05 PM

Also note that the F-to-PL259 adapter (which is actually an SO-239, but never mind) isn't stocked by all Radio Shacks; in my area, one out of five had it. Apparently "CB radio" parts are blase' any more ... actually I think they're mostly getting out of the parts business entirely. Wouldn't be so bad but the local Fry's didn't have one in stock either, grrr, so I had to drive some distance.

-- A

#40 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 03:44 PM

Even if you use non metallic conduit you do not want the coax cable going 'through' the antenna when you hang it upside down. You can use the coax connector as the load bearing weight as the antenna only weighs a few ounces and will not hurt the cable assembly at all.

Also, good tip on the PL259 connectors not being available. A user could always go with a type "N" bulkhead and then use an F-N adapter.

BSR

#41 Work2Play

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 08:58 AM

Thx for the alternative suggestions... I found my Radio Shack didn't have the right parts either... time to order!

#42 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:17 AM

Amazon has 72" of 1/16" brass rod for 68 cents!

#43 forcedfx

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:42 PM

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I was looking at buying the W800RF32A or W800USB and I will probably need to extend the range. Would I be able to build something like this using a connector like this one?

**EDIT: I can't post links**

But if you search eBay for
1X F male Straight Square Flange Receptacle Connector

It should be the only result. Sorry I can't just post a direct link. :(


It would eliminate two of the three connectors I would need.

Thanks

#44 BraveSirRobbin

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:17 PM

I can't get to EBay (at work), but I believe this is the connector you mean?

Posted Image

I don't see why that will not work, other than ensuring that the rods will fit in the solder center pin.

#45 JeffCharger

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:18 PM

I would think that this would be fine




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