How to Build Base Scanner Antenna

Written by billy brainard
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Scanner antennas, when connected to a base scanner, will allow you to monitor the police, fire, air traffic and rescue events taking place in your local area. This can be used to be alerted to crime in your area or road closures for evacuation routes. Trimming a few pieces of copper wire and attaching them to a connector will have you up and monitoring the airwaves in no time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Soldering gun
  • 5 copper coat hangers
  • Wire cutters
  • Sandpaper, 200-grit
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Measuring tape
  • SO-239 connector
  • Vice
  • 4 stainless steel bolts, #6 size
  • 4 stainless steel nuts, #6 size
  • Screwdriver
  • Flux
  • Solder

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  1. 1

    Plug in the soldering gun and allow it to heat up.

  2. 2

    Cut the heads off of five copper coat hangers with wire cutters. Straighten them out so there are no bends in the copper wires.

  3. 3

    Sand two inches off of one end of each of the five wires with 200-grit sandpaper. Bend a small loop in the sanded end of four of the wires with the needle nose pliers. Using the measuring tape and wire cutters, measure and cut each of the wires to 20 inches long.

  4. 4

    Clamp the SO-239 connector in the vice so that the tip of the male connector is facing up and you have access to the four holes in each corner to mount the wires. Insert a bolt through each of the loops on the four wires, and run the bolts through each of the four holes on the connector. Tighten a nut down on each bolt to hold the wires firmly in place. Using the needle nose pliers, bend each of the copper wires, from the edge of the connector, down until they form a 45-degree angle to the connector. Tighten the nuts and bolts down, using the screwdriver and needle nose pliers.

  5. 5

    Place a small amount of flux on the sanded end of the remaining copper wire. Insert this end into the hollow tip on the SO-239 connector. Solder the copper wire to the connector with the preheated soldering gun, using just enough solder to hold the vertical wire in place.

  6. 6

    Unplug the soldering gun. Allow it and the soldered wire to cool. Connect the coaxial cable from the scanner to the female plug of the SO-239 connector> Turn on the scanner on test for reception.

Tips and warnings

  • Position the antenna as high as possible for the best reception.
  • Avoid applying too much heat from the soldering iron to the tip of the connector, as this could melt the plastic insulator inside the connector.
  • Building a scanner antenna for the purpose of monitoring police activity to commit crimes is illegal and against the law.

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