• antenna in a tree?

  • Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.
Discussion related to railroad radio frequencies, railroad communication practices, equipment, and more.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  by dummy
im going to put the traintenna up in the tree at my house. my question is, does it need to be sticking out above the top to get good reception ? or is it good to just be 50 ft. off the ground. will the branches steal radio waves away?
  by Aa3rt
Branches shouldn't really be a concern, however at certain frequencies leaves, especially wet leaves, can attenuate a signal.

If the tree sways in the wind this could negatively affect reception as well.

Unless you're trying to hide your antenna from the restrictive covenants of a nosy "homeowners association" I think you'd be better off finding an alternative location for your antenna.
  by dummy
heres the problem. everything is one story. the trees are the only thing with any height to them. there is no homeowners association. i could put it in a tripod at the peak of the roof but that only gets me about 25ft off the ground. i wanted more height. i cant afford a tower or i would just do that. i just thought the 50ft tree would be a better idea.
  by dummy
is 20 or 25 feet going in antenna height to make a big difference in reception? or is 25ft off the ground a good height?
  by Aa3rt
It depends on your location and what you're trying to monitor. Looking at a CSX timetable, it appears that you're somewhere west of Rochester. As I recall from a couple of trips through that area on the Lake Shore Limited, the area is fairly flat and an antenna mounted on your roof via a tripod should be more than sufficient.

Remember that most FM signals are "line of sight" and 50 miles is probably at the outside limit of what you're going to be able to receive. Train radios are lower powered, thus the transmission range is going to be much shorter.

I'm assuming that your main monitoring target is CSX (ex-NYC) and Amtrak. If that is wrong, let me know what you are trying to monitor and also a little about the geographic area.
  by dummy
youre right, its pretty much flat around here, im about 15 to 20 miles west of rochester and i am monitoring CSX. im just looking to get as much distance as possible. thats why i was wondering if there would be much of a difference between 25ft off the ground or 50ft off the ground as far as line of sight fm goes for reception. id love to get 40 of 50 miles in each direction.