Antenna question

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Jul 13, 2009
Hello all.

I have a question regarding an antenna for my setup. I am going to add a scanner to my patrol vehicle so i have the ability to hear any relevant radio traffic wherever I'm working.

I also use a MiFi hotspot for internet for my MDT. The service for the carrier that I use is spotty in some locations so I would like to use one of the external antenna ports on the hotspot to boost my signal strength.

With the amount of antennas already on my patrol vehicle, adding two more is not ideal. is it recommended to use one antenna for both of these functions, or should I look into other options. The scanner is receive only but the hotspot is obviously send/receive.

The antenna will be a trunk lip mount.


Explorer of the Frequency Spectrum
Premium Subscriber
Oct 25, 2008
Southern California and sometimes Owens Valley
There are combo antennas available. The issue will be with the frequency coverage and response of your scanner. Scanning a single band such as VHF high or UHF shouldn't present a problem. Multiple bands (especially low band VHF) may present performance issues if you are in a low signal strength area.


I ♥ Ø
Jul 27, 2005
I'd strongly encourage you to go with dedicated antennas.

The MiFi unit is going to be transmitting in areas of the spectrum removed from where you will be scanning, but there is usually a bit of "out of band" emissions that might cause issues with your scanner. Since some LTE cellular happens adjacent to the 700 and 800MHz public safety radio spectrum, you could have issues with antennas located too close together. If the agencies you want to listen to are on VHF low band, VHF or UHF, then it may not be as much of an issue. The issue comes from the scanners and their extremely wide open front ends. That can let a lot of extraneous noise in that you don't need to listen to.

As ladn said, there are antennas that will do both, but they have separate feed lines with separate antennas in one housing.
Depending on where the agency is you want to listen to, this may not be your best choice. Also, they sometimes require a non-standard mounting hole. Not saying you won't be able to do it, just that it might be easier to install dedicated NMO mounts.

With two separate/dedicated mounts, you can chose antennas that will work best for what you need. An antenna specific to the bands the cellular carrier uses and a dedicated scanner antenna.

Now, for the scanner antenna, you can go with a multi-band antenna that will let your scanner work well across most of the spectrum. On the other hand, if the local agencies you want to listen to, and that's all you are going to listen to, are on one band, then you may get better performance with a band specific antenna.

Either way, it's going to work. Just depends on what the end product is. Usually when people say they don't want external antennas, extra holes, etc. they have to give up some performance. On the flip side, if your job really depends on the radios, then you need to be dedicated in doing this correctly. That means the right antennas, the right installs, the right tool for the job.

Maybe if you share some more details we can point you in the right direction.
Band(s) you want to listen to?
What other radios you have?
Who your cell carrier is?
What your budget is?
What your comfort level is doing installations yourself?
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