Aerial (coaxial) signal detector

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by joshs.213, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. joshs.213

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    18
    0
    Hi all,

    I would like to create a signal detector for use with coaxial cables - so that if I position an aerial somewhere, I can tell if it is picking up a signal.

    Basically, for my coursework I would like to build a device that does this, and when a signal is detected illuminate an LED and sound a buzzer. It needs to be powered by a 9V battery.

    I am, however, fairly new to electronics, so anyone who could help me with the components required and a circuit diagram - it is much appreciated.

    Thanks very much!
     
  2. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    6,357
    718
    An antenna?

    Or are you trying to trace the location of coax cable by injecting a signal into it, then putting a probe near different points to see if the signal is on the cable you are looking at?

    Or <other>?
     
  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,261
    6,774
    Looking for leaks in the cables that run from pole to pole?
    Maybe you're looking for a broad band field strength meter?
     
  4. joshs.213

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    18
    0
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm basically wanting to build a signal meter detector, but with less of the meter bit. Just a detector, that illuminates an LED and sounds a buzzer if a signal is present.

    I already a DVB signal meter, however, as I need to construct a circuit for my coursework, would like to make the detector.

    The intention of it is, to position a TV aerial, then connect the aerial to the detector, to see if a signal is present or not - if that makes sense - so when the aerial is pointing in the right direction, the buzzer sounds and LED illuminates. As a bonus, I guess this could also be used for testing for a signal through a cable - but the main intention is as described above.

    Any ideas?
     
  5. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    9,411
    896
    A signal?
    You do not say where you are.
    In my part of Canada there are about 50 AM radio stations, 50 FM radio stations, 30 TV stations plus police, fire dept., ambulance and hundreds of microwave signals.
    A simple detector will detect most of them all at the same time.

    In my city there is a communications tower where most signals come from so turning an aerial is not necessary.

    You need a complicated radio circuit with many tuned circuits to select only one of them.

    One signal is extremely weak which is why a radio circuit has many amplifying stages.
    Then you must design a circuit that will illuminate an LED and sound a buzzer if a TUNED AND AMPLIFIED signal is present.
     
  6. joshs.213

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    18
    0
    I'm in the UK. Okay I see what you mean. Maybe then, if I could create a detector, that when I inject a signal into the cable, it detects it at the other end? I could relate this to a scenario as I have lots of aerial cables all close together and I do not know which ones go where, so this could be useful. So, in theory then, I need to create two devices? One that will inject the signal into the cable, and another which will detect it?
     
  7. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
    9,411
    896
    We are not a free design service for electronics students.
    We do not find circuits in Google for students.
    Instead we discuss circuits and help somebody who has a problem with a circuit.

    Your teacher wants you to beg, borrow or steal a design then solder it together.
    Then you are simply learning how to solder?
     
    jaygatsby likes this.
  8. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    6,357
    718
    Fluke Digital Toner (Fox and Hound) Has a coax connector.

    I've used it, but it also traces through 1 splitter. 2 splitters for only sync light and no tone, 3 splitters and no signal (-6dB or more). Traces cables behind walls, up to 3-5 feet away in distance mode. Digital tone is a lot more powerful than the traditional "Fox and Hound" used in telephone systems. The big advantage of the higher power is that a dead coax can be followed until the signal stops if a cut is suspected. Cat5 Cable gets the signal on multiple pairs, so it will not show a single broken pair, but a cut wire is obvious. The sender unit also detects if there is a phone line, 2 phone lines, or an Active Ethernet network when it is plugged into a jack. Toner WILL Work on active Ethernet cables (Fox and Hound won't). Video (Click on the sub-videos in virtual demo, they compare Digital toner with Analog Fox and Hound)


    Here is a cheaper one That is digital, doesn't trace. It works excellent for labeling RJ45 or Coax jacks that weren't labeled when installed, but doesn't allow "following" the path of a wire behind a wall, both ends must be accessible and un-broken. Video from Fluke demonstrating these

    Much cheaper one for Coax Only ID Both ends of wire must be accessible, no tracing.

    Analog Fox and Hound Designed for telephone systems, can be used on inactive networks, possibly coax if a DIY RJ11->Coax connector is made, but function wouldn't be anywhere near what the digital toner provides, Fox (probe) needs to be in contact with the wire, rather than near it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
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