2 scanners on 1 computer.

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ffjsh

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I am looking for advice on running two scanners off of one computer. Im looking for the best options here. I have read the instructions about setup up two radios mono one in the L and one in the R. I dont understand it at all. Please could someone help me or give me step by step instructions and what i will need to make this work. I have also looked into the option of getting another sound card and installing it and running it that way. Let me know what is my best option and or the easiest way. I was also curious if there was a way of providing 3 feeds off of the same computer if i just kept installing sound cards? Looking forward to hearing back. Thank you in advance.
 

rbm

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I've gone with multiple sound cards in my computers. (Different vendors for each card.)
Sound cards can be found 'cheap'. I have at least 3 sound cards in each computer.

Some devices make it problematic to listen to stereo channels separately. (ie. some cell phone apps.)
I often have multiple apps running on my Droid so I can listen to multiple feeds.

I run 5 computers 24x7, with 3 feeds on one and 2 feeds on the others. (Most are also logging.)
They've been running flawlessly that way for years.
Rich
 

ffjsh

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so it looks like for each scanner i will need to have a seperate sound card? for the best and most user friendly operation
 

mike_s104

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so it looks like for each scanner i will need to have a seperate sound card? for the best and most user friendly operation
If you want them on the same feed, you will need to get some cables to allow the audio to be separate. You will need something like a 3.5mm audio plug to RCA for each scanner. Then, from the sound card, have the appropriate cable from the sound card (not sure what inputs you have) on one end and able to accept the RCA plug from the scanners. You'll use the right connector for one scanner and the left for the other. From the scanners, it won't matter which channel you use if they are stereo or you will need to use the left channel if they are mono (or use a mono 3.5mm to RCA).

If you want different feeds for each scanner you can look at some cheap $2-$5 USB audio adapters from eBay. I have a few and they work well. Of course you will need the correct cables for these too.

USB audio adapter | eBay
 

john_p_bowen

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If you want them on the same feed, you will need to get some cables to allow the audio to be separate. You will need something like a 3.5mm audio plug to RCA for each scanner. Then, from the sound card, have the appropriate cable from the sound card (not sure what inputs you have) on one end and able to accept the RCA plug from the scanners. You'll use the right connector for one scanner and the left for the other. From the scanners, it won't matter which channel you use if they are stereo or you will need to use the left channel if they are mono (or use a mono 3.5mm to RCA).

If you want different feeds for each scanner you can look at some cheap $2-$5 USB audio adapters from eBay. I have a few and they work well. Of course you will need the correct cables for these too.

USB audio adapter | eBay
Most of the USB sound cards are mic-in not line-in. I bought one of these and when I listened to my scanner on the PC it was mumbled because it was a mic-in and it was adding power to it, because it thought the scanner was a microphone.
 

datainmotion

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Most of the USB sound cards are mic-in not line-in. I bought one of these and when I listened to my scanner on the PC it was mumbled because it was a mic-in and it was adding power to it, because it thought the scanner was a microphone.
Which you can resolve by disabling the mic's AGC (Windows audio), which Windows turns on by default (in XP at least)
 

datainmotion

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datainmotion

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That info is listed in the wiki link I posted, FYI, but here's how to get to that setting in XP.

If you don't have the speaker icon down in your task tray, go into Control Panel, go to Sounds and Audio Devices, click the Audio tab, under Sound Recording, click the volume button and a window should pop up with a volume slider and an Advanced button at the bottom. Click on the Advanced button and uncheck the AGC or Microphone Boost box. Click close and x out out the volume window. You'll need to do that for each audio feed device you are using the Mic In on.
 

datainmotion

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Also, be aware, that sometimes Windows will show that box unchecked even with the AGC on. If you suspect that is the case, click it to put the checkmark back in the box and hit close. Then click the Advanced button again, un-check the AGC button and hit close.

Sometimes Windows is funny like that. Not like "haha" funny but rather "I'd like to throttle someone" funny. :wink::lol:

Hope that helps.
 

gmclam

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Streaming 2+ scanners

I am streaming two scanners from a single computer. I have had as many as 16 separate scanners on that computer, but it wasn't doing anything else. I also do not recommend the L & R approach of a single sound card.

I followed Lindsay here and bought many of those $1 USB sound cards from eBay. Each solution has its own challenges. Yes many sound cards only have MIC inputs, but that works fine. I also built my own isolation transformers which take the headphone out signal of the scanner, isolate it and reduce it's level before going into the sound card. Radio Shack sells a similar device, but they want ~$17 for them.

One challenge I ran into has to do with the type of scanner being used. Most of the hand-helds don't provide a ground on the headphone jack. If you're using a base model, they typically have an EXT SP jack and that works better.

Also, regardless of your solution, I highly recommend running a "digital level meter" to see the audio level you are sending out. I am using one from Darkwood (search on this site and you'll find the link posted).
 
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