Originally Posted by swskf115
i am going to buy a ST4 Antennacraft Omni Base Antenna and mount that on top of my house. the question is i herd it would be best to mount nothing but base scanners "because they are made to handle that type of antenna or any type of mounted antenna". would anything happen to the scanners that i currently own. i own all mobile scanners, BCD396XT, BC346XT, and a radio shack VHF/UHF scanner, and in the future going to buy a BCD996XT, they all will be connected to that antenna. what should i look out for, buy, etc.
In addition to RCAs' notes, the question I’d like to ask is: are you intending to have all (or some) of these scanners/receivers connected to the antenna at the same time?
If that is your intention then a signal splitter is a wise investment – a little box with an antenna input on one side, some circuitry & components inside, and on the other side/end a bunch of coaxial connectors for your different receivers/scanners.
A 2min intro to basic points to keep mind regards splitters is the following (disregard if you have the points covered already).
They serve a number of purposes:
- isolates scanners/receivers from each other while connected to the antenna so that when monitoring different frequencies, running different scan functions etc etc … they do not interfere with or effect the performance of each other.
- ensure & maintain good signal path rf & electrical characteristics.
You can purchase an active splitter, or a passive splitter i.e. with or without a pre-amp installed.
You can purchase splitters with filters installed, dedicating specific outputs to specific bandwidths, or sections of the rf spectrum. These filters can be band pass in type, or band stop, or low pass or high pass.
While the addition of a pre-amp will add minimal cost, the addition of filters (at least good quality filters) can add hugely to costs.
My personal approach over the years when running multiple receivers off a single broad bandwidth antenna has been to use a passive splitter, adding pre-amps and/or filters to each output separately (when required). I say “when required” because filters & pre-amps are not essential components across the board i.e. the instances in which they are needed often represent a very small part of your overall listening/monitoring time, and as such, their cost may not be justifiable.
So – don’t go out and invest in these additional bits ‘n pieces, unless of course you wish to, or they are going to be essential. A good quality passive splitter should suffice for the majority of (if not all) general monitoring – and a good source for professional grade/quality splitters is eBay: type in “combiner splitter” and search under the Business & Industrial section – this will separate your choice from the 75ohm type TV signal splitters (TV type 75ohm splitters are not my choice, though many folk do use them and the argument that in a "receive only" setup they have little negative impact on signal quality is not without merit.) $20-$40 should buy you a decent used 4way or 6way splitter on eBay or similar sites.