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Scanner / Receiver Antennas For discussion of any type of receiving antenna used by a scanner or receiver base, mobile or handheld.

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Old 02-20-2013, 11:29 PM
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Cool Need some advice on antenna setup

Ok I am going to be buying a homepatrol and while I am at it I would like to update my antenna setup at the house. I currently have a 396xt used for for my feed and would like to to use the items below for my antenna setup. So that I can use the homepatrol to scan and search and the 396 for the feed. The antenna will be 35 feet high. I am looking for the pros / cons also ideas about the items or anything else i might need. Would it be an ok setup or a waste of money. Thanks for any help.

Uniden HomePatrol Police Scanner Radio (with Extreme Update)

ARC Patrol Software CD

WBD-40 Discone Base Antenna

Lightning Suppressor

LMR-400 Coax Cable, 50', N Male & BNC Male

LMR-400 Coax Jumper Cable, 4', N Male & BNC Male (one for homepatrol / one for 396)

2 Way Splitter

Ramsey Wide-Band Pre-amplifier (used only to boost signals when searching with homepatrol)

K1CRA Radio Store - SMA Male / BNC Female Right Angle Adapter Details

RFA-8672 - N Female (Jack) to F Male (Plug) Adapter (total of three for the splitter)
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:17 PM
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Cool

After doing a bunch of reading i've decided to not to go with the 2 way splitter and some of the connectors and instead go with 4 Port MCA204M VHF/UHF Receiver Multicoupler - 25 MHz to 1 GHz to cut down on the signal loss. Now based on that would i see better reception on that setup. Is there anything else i may need to get. I currently have a Outdoor VHF-Hi/UHF Scanner Antenna : Scanner Antennas | RadioShack.com about 25 feet up and using RS coax cabel. Thanks again for any help.
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210XL - PRO58 - 70XLT
PRO79 - PRO97 - PRO82
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:20 PM
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The only thing I see as being a 'problem' would be those LMR-440 jumpers. That coax just isn't very flexible. At the lengths you're talking about the amount of loss from using something like RG-58 just aren't gonna be a biggy at all.
I have a personal prejudiced with 'right-angle' connectors. They are not all made 'equally', and because of how they make that 'bend' can cause problems at certain frequency ranges. The one's I've taken apart used a coiled spring like in a ball-point pen. The particular problem I had with them was when transmitting, they arched. In your particular situation that isn't going to happen so I doubt if it'd be a problem.
It ought'a work.
- 'Doc

(Getting the antennas higher would also be better! May not be possible/practical, but...)

PS - And after seeing your last post, the part that sticks out the most is that 'Radio Shack' cable. If you mean coax, I'd recommend almost anything but 'Radio Shack' stuff.

Last edited by LtDoc; 02-21-2013 at 12:23 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:48 PM
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I'll second Doc and add that it is better to put a signal amp at the antenna and then use a splitter to feed the radios. Using an amp at the radio also amplifies any noise on the coax run raising you noise ratio. I do not think it is a big concern with your short run of feed line but food for thought.
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Old 02-21-2013, 1:01 PM
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I agree with Doc. You want your jumpers to be flexible and 400 just isn't going to cut it as a short jumper. One major reason you want flexibility inside the room is to alleviate stress being placed on the antenna connectors of your radios. Plus, they're easier to route and tie together for a better and neater appearance.

Wide Band pre-amps in general are a bad idea for scanner listeners. They do not noticeably increase the signal to noise ratio of any particular signal. What they do is amplify both the noise and the signal by the same amount, so in short, you will get stronger signals, but the ones you had trouble understanding before will remain as such. Additionally, they amplify undesired signals, such as FM transmitters, pagers and other high powered nuisances. These signals, especially since they are not adequately attenuated by your discone, may overload your scanner's front end and reduce its sensitivity to desired signals. You may just find that you gain more sensitivity by filtering out these signals then by trying to amplify all signals.

What bands or frequency ranges are you scanning? All of them or just a few? If just a a couple of ranges interest you, you'd be better off getting an antenna specifically designed for those bands. That antenna will naturally help to attenuate signals that fall outside of those bands and may provide a little bit of gain to signals that are in your areas of interest.

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Originally Posted by n8zcc
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LOL!!

Last edited by Tweekerbob; 02-21-2013 at 1:06 PM..
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Old 02-21-2013, 1:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweekerbob View Post
Wide Band pre-amps in general are a bad idea for scanner listeners. They do not noticeably increase the signal to noise ratio of any particular signal. What they do is amplify both the noise and the signal by the same amount, so in short, you will get stronger signals, but the ones you had trouble understanding before will remain as such. Additionally, they amplify undesired signals, such as FM transmitters, pagers and other high powered nuisances. These signals, especially since they are not adequately attenuated by your discone, may overload your scanner's front end and reduce its sensitivity to desired signals. You may just find that you gain more sensitivity by filtering out these signals then by trying to amplify all signals. LOL!!
I think the OP's purpose for using a preamp was for feeding two scanners from the same antenna.
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Old 02-21-2013, 2:01 PM
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Nothing against ScannerMaster, but you can order the MCA204M with an N input for $195 directly from Stridsberg: Receiver Multicouplers, Passive and Active, HF to VHF/UHF and save yourself the trouble (and small signal loss) of buying and using one additional adapter.

I agree with the other poster. If you've got money for a pre-amp, you'll likely be better off spending it on a filter instead. Of course, you know your own listening environment best. You could wait, and purchase a pre-amp later if you find you're not getting enough signal from your new setup.

Stridsberg also sells BNC jumpers which are quite nice and work very well, but are somewhat expensive. Their cables are very flexible and won't put stress on your scanner's antenna connector. Another good source of BNC jumpers is the used test equipment market. You can often find quality BNC jumpers that are flexible with premium connectors for a good price at places selling used test equipment.

I love late winter and early spring. It means antenna season is just around the corner! Obviously, be careful erecting your new antenna. Think about grounding the cable and mast appropriately. But, most of all, have fun.
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