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