I have often wondered about making or buying a 'better' antenna and putting it outside but because of where I live, I don't know whether it would make much difference. My house is in the middle of a housing estate near the top of a hill and although there's a clear view of the sky to the North, there are houses slightly higher than mine that partly obscure our view of the sky to the South.

I made a few antennas of different designs and spent ages tweaking and moving them around in the loft to get the best signal. The one I am currently using is a rather crude homemade ground plane type, which sits in the centre line of the roof right up under the ridge tiles.

I currently get an average of about 80 NM and, unfortunately, very little of that is from lower than about 10000 feet in any direction.

For mobile use, I use an equally crude homemade full wave dipole, which I plug straight into another tv stick.

What seems odd to me is that, if I sit in my bedroom with my laptop with the dipole plugged into the tv stick I get only slightly fewer planes than the RPI gets with the loft antenna. However, when I replaced the dipole type that was originally in the loft with the ground plane one, the difference was like night and day.

Anyone have any thoughts about what I can do to improve things (apart from moving)?