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Thread: Question about aviation band antennas

  1. #1

    Default Question about aviation band antennas

    First time ever on the forum and novice with radios, please don't flame me.

    I'm working on getting my private pilots certificate and currently I can't do any lessons because of COVID. My instructor recommended that I get a radio receiver, for the aviation freq range, which I was able to get from a friend. The model that I have is a IC-R10. I'm able to pick up the right frequencies for aviation with it, but I need to be within about two miles of the airport for the signal to be clear. From my basic understanding, antennas are designed for a specific frequency range and when you have a broad frequency antenna like I have with this, it's not very good at picking up certain frequencies. The aviation range is from 118 - 137 mhz, but I need to be able to receive 150mhz as well.

    Do you expects have any antenna options which are more powerful than this basic one that I could easily mount in say a window and would be comparable with this scanner / receiver? I have no idea what the standard is, but it's not COAX. My price range is basically below $20, up to $30 if required.

    This question will really make me look like an idiot, but here we go. If I were ever able to get a radio that could transmit on these frequencies, would I need a different antenna? (Don't worry, I have legal permission from the FCC to do so, can elaborate for admins if need be.)

    Thank you guys for helping me out.

  2. #2

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    You can buy air ban verticals you will probably find them online, I had one years ago. Or you can get a 2 meter “base” antenna for receive only. Both are going to be maybe 150-300 dollars.
    Good luck on your project and your PPL ! 25 year commercial pilot here, retired.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AC5PS View Post
    You can buy air ban verticals you will probably find them online, I had one years ago. Or you can get a 2 meter “base” antenna for receive only. Both are going to be maybe 150-300 dollars.
    Good luck on your project and your PPL ! 25 year commercial pilot here, retired.
    So I was just looking at amazon (By the way I figured out I need a BNC male antenna), would something like this work?
    https://www.amazon.com/Bingfu-Scanne.../dp/B07X2LJ4HB
    It's $10, much less than your 150-300$, is there something in the spec that I am missing? It has the frequency range that I'm looking for, and most of the negtive reviews are because of the weak magnet on the base, which isn't a concern for me as it would be mounted in a windowsill.

    Thanks!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Not quite sure what you mean by window? Car window, window on a house, what do you expect if you don't have the right antenna and are trying to receive inside of a building?

    Just guessing I would guess you live in an apartment building - steel reinforced concrete - which is hopeless

    The easiest antenna to deploy is a Discone, a discone is multibanded.

    You need coax, enough to go from the antenna to the receiver, and you need the proper connector for each end - I would guess the Discone would have a PL connector, so you could go with a RG 58 or Mini 8 type coax - check with your local cb radio shop for cable.

    Since you aren't transmitting on this antenna it doesn't matter if the coax is 50 or 75 ohms.

    If you can get the proper adapters - you could use rg-6 tv cable.

    The key is to get the antenna outside and higher than everything else in the neighborhood, even the walls of the building, trees etc can block signals..

    Your best bet is to get some sort of mast pipe, mount it to the side of the house / building. DIscones requires a special mount, I've used satellite dish J Pole mounts with no issues. A discone antenna doesn't weigh much, but you do need to be able to run the cable inside of the mast that holds it up.

    An amateur radio antenna - like the Diamond V2000 would also work, but will cost you in the range of $150 American..

    You can buy a TRAM if you want to cheap out. I doubt if you are going to use it very long, and im not familiar with the model of scanner you have.. It would have helped if you posted the manufacturer..

  5. #5

    Default

    The antenna for the higher frequency is only 2 inches shorter

    Sent from my 5049Z using Tapatalk

  6. #6

    Default frequency do airplanes use

    The standard handheld aviation radio range is of a civilian band, which is from 108 to 136.975 MHz in RX and from 118 to 136.975MHz in TX frequency.

  7. #7

    Default Aviation band frequencies

    Aviation band transmitters use AM. Most every other service, Police, Fire, etc, uses FM. This won't matter to anyone monitoring Aviation, only if you are transmitting. As far as receiving aviation transmissions, any scanner antenna will work.

    In general, antenna length, coax type, connectors aren't a significant factor if you are listening only.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueScope819 View Post
    So I was just looking at amazon (By the way I figured out I need a BNC male antenna), would something like this work?
    https://www.amazon.com/Bingfu-Scanne.../dp/B07X2LJ4HB
    It's $10, much less than your 150-300$, is there something in the spec that I am missing? It has the frequency range that I'm looking for, and most of the negtive reviews are because of the weak magnet on the base, which isn't a concern for me as it would be mounted in a windowsill.

    Thanks!
    If you’re still around, I missed your reply back in July. I misunderstood you I was thinking a base antenna, yes you can get a much cheaper mobile antenna. You said that you were having trouble receiving aircraft a few miles away, that’s happens because small aircrafts antennas are not very high when they are on the ground and they transmit 8 watts. A ham VHF antenna will receive air band ok.

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