Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baby monitor antenna fix

Our three year old son woke up early one morning this week. Before my wife and I were able to wake up, he had already somehow snapped the antenna casing off of his sister's baby monitor on the nightstand.

Through the course of the morning, the casing became lost in the shuffle. It's either in the garbage or somewhere in the house behind a heavy piece of furniture. I waited a few days to see if it would  turn up. For all I know it's on another planet by now. This morning I decided to make an attempt at covering up the fragile antenna wire. Some hot glue and an old pen seemed to do the trick. Here's a video of the fix:

Pretty much anything would have worked fine for fixing this, as long as it didn't conduct electricity. Conductive materials would attenuate the radio signal and decrease the range of the device. I had even considered hot gluing the antenna wire to a piece of wood, but I think this solution will make my wife happier.

This is the second time I've written about fixing baby monitors. In my other post about a different baby monitor I fixed a bad power port. The first fix was much tougher than this cheap pen trick.

If you've been following my videos or blog for a while, you might notice the antenna wire looks like a tiny coaxial co-linear. The size of the segments looks about right for the higher frequencies these monitors use. Here's an old video of me building a co-co antenna to capture ADS-B traffic. That was a fun project that worked, but I never ended up writing much about it. There's already great resources on the Internet about that if  you're interested in ADS-B and I didn't add much to what others have done.