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Recycling That Old Antenna
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Using the Antron-99 vertical base station antenna for a police scanner.

One day as your are playing on your ham radio gear you get to thinking of when you first started using radio back during the CB craze of the 70's and 80's. With the current solar conditions and the propagation you remember that old Cobra CB base station sitting in the basement and the old antenna and decide to hook them up and see if they still work.

Where did i put that darn thing?

As you stumble down to the basement you dig out that old radio and pull the antenna out from under another shelf only to find that the Antron-99 base station antenna has cracked and has a green moldy color to it. Is this antenna any good anymore.

So, what can you do with this old antenna and is it still usable on the 11M CB band anymore. You could test it with an MFJ-259B antenna analyzer to see if it is still resonant and intact, or you could re-purpose the old antenna for use with a police scanner.

The benefits of an outdoor antenna.

One of the benefits of having an outdoor antenna on your police scanner is the range that you can receive signals from your local police department. If you live out on the outer fringes of town like i do, one of the biggest issues is receiving signals from town. There are several hills that are in between me and town that block the desired signals that i want to hear. The funny thing i have noticed is that i receive signals from another county quite well but since these aren't the signals i want to hear, they are useless to me.

The first thing that i would have to do is to put the Antron-99 vertical base antenna on a short pole and see where it is resonant at, while making adjustments. The Antron-99 antenna comes in three fiberglass sections that screw together. The desired signals that i want to hear are in the VHF/UHF range (150MHZ and 460MHZ) so i would only use 2 of the three sections. I would put the antenna analyzer on it to see if it was even close to resonant for those frequencies since a bad outdoor antenna still beats a good indoor antenna, and since i wont be transmitting it will not harm the radio at all.

Testing the Antron-99 vertical antenna.

OK so i have the antenna on a short pole with two of the three sections put together and find that even though it isn't a perfect match, it is still below the 3:1 mismatch range for the desired frequencies. This is great because that means that it will receive the signals i want. I will still hear the undesired signals as well since the other county uses the same frequencies but now i have a much better chance of hearing what I want instead of the signals that are not relevant to what i want to hear.

Success !!!

OK the scanner is now receiving like a champ and I hear all my old friends from town being chased around by the police. It sure is great to hear what they are up to again. The Antron-99 vertical base station antenna has more than served its purpose for me, and it is one of the best purchases i have ever made even thirty years later. have fun.

Street Talk

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