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Homemade Radio-Scanner Antennas

Updated July 20, 2017

An antenna captures electromagnetic waves and transforms them into electric current. If you want to listen to radio communications of fire and police departments or even air traffic control radio systems, a homemade antenna combined with a radio receiver capable of tuning in those frequencies can help you to do that. You can construct a UHF/VHF antenna from materials available at a hardware shop at a very low cost.

Antenna Composition

Use galvanised steel or aluminium for constructing the antenna's aerial tubing. These metals have good conductivity of electromagnetic waves. The other components required are coaxial wire, screws, insulation tape, a soldering gun and a wire cutter.

Diapole Construction

The antenna's aerial tubing should be constructed to form a half-wave dipole. Calculate the length of aerial tubing of the antenna by using the formula, I=486/f, where "f" is frequency in megahertz and "I" is dipole length. Connect both ends of a half-wave dipole shaped aerial tubing with one end of coaxial cable and the other end to the scanner radio.

Considerations

The quality of the scanner antenna is subject to interferences from local broadcasting channels and such other communication channels as mobile phones

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About the Author

Divyani Agarwal has worked as a freelance writer since 2009, covering environmental management, renewable energy, emissions and global warming. She is a chemical engineer and holds an M.B.A. in energy management.