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I have four Aristo 75 mhz receivers and they all came with different length antennas. One is very long, about three times the length of my Mikado's boiler. The others are considerably shorter. The longest one seems to give me the best range. It's taped the the inside of the Mikado boiler shell.

The other two (I have a 4th awaiting installation in a Thomas the tank engine I'm making for my daughter) are maybe 1/3d that length, and I seem to get better range when I run them outside the boiler shell. You can see the antenna twisted along the handrail in the photo below.

First, am I wrong to think that it would matter if the antenna is inside or outside the shell?

Second, is there a better way to do this? I thought of gluing the antenna to the handrail, or maybe stripping the insulation from the antenna and soldering it to the handrail. Maybe I should just tape it to the inside of the boiler?

I have a Bachmann "annie" to which I did the same thing--ran the antenna along the handrail

I should note that range is not a huge problem, I have a small layout and it's generally fine. Sometimes I have to extend the antenna on the TE transmitter, but otherwise it's fine

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