HELP Please with Dual Scanner Set Up in Vehicle

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austexdude469

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Hello :)

I have a BCT15X and plan on buying a BCD996XT. I want to mount them both in my vehicle.

Here is my issue... I have a classic conversion van with fiberglass extended roof so I cant mount magnetic antennas there. It's amazing that it's such a huge vehicle and not an inch of space to mount a magnetic antenna properly unless I want it sticking sideways horizontal looking like some kind of goofball.

A. Do they make a dual antenna bracket to hold 2 antennas that can be connected to a ground plane?

B. Do they make some sort of splitter so I can use one antenna for both a conventional and digital scanner? If so do they work well or just so so?

C. Any other options I did not think of?
 

DJ11DLN

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Hello :)

I have a BCT15X and plan on buying a BCD996XT. I want to mount them both in my vehicle.

Here is my issue... I have a classic conversion van with fiberglass extended roof so I cant mount magnetic antennas there. It's amazing that it's such a huge vehicle and not an inch of space to mount a magnetic antenna properly unless I want it sticking sideways horizontal looking like some kind of goofball.

A. Do they make a dual antenna bracket to hold 2 antennas that can be connected to a ground plane?

B. Do they make some sort of splitter so I can use one antenna for both a conventional and digital scanner? If so do they work well or just so so?

C. Any other options I did not think of?
A. Not that I ever heard of but it might exist.
B. Yes, it's called a multicoupler and they work very well though good ones are a tad pricey.
C. You can create a ground plane beneath the fiberglass by using a sheet of thin metal. It needs to have a radius from the mount of at least 1/4 wavelength from the mount and should be electrically grounded to the chassis. This can even be done with foil and adhesive...I've done some tractor and combine cab mounts that way and they worked just fine.

More info -- i.e. the frequencies you are interested in and how much distance you expect -- would be helpful.
 

jonwienke

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Your best bet is to have a single antenna, and use a splitter or T connector to feed the signal to both scanners. Dual antennas will interfere with each other unless they are separated--not something you can do with a single bracket.

Magnetic mounts should not be used as permanent installations. Runnning the coax through a door or window will damage the coax and/or the weatherstripping over time.

Best performance would be a NMO mount antenna and a piece of sheet metal sandwiched in the mount for a ground plane. Drill a 3/4" hole in the middle of the sheet metal, another 3/4" hole in the roof, and run the mount through the hole in the sheet metal and then the hole in the roof and tighten it down so the mount is securing the sheet metal to the underside of the roof. Once you have the mount installed and weather sealed, you can attach a variety of antennas to it.

Another possibility is a window mount antenna. It won't work as well as a NMO, and won't work at all if the window is tinted. But if you have an untinted window along the roofline, it is easy to install--just clean the window and apply the antenna to both sides of the glass like a decal.
 

austexdude469

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A. Not that I ever heard of but it might exist.
B. Yes, it's called a multicoupler and they work very well though good ones are a tad pricey.
C. You can create a ground plane beneath the fiberglass by using a sheet of thin metal. It needs to have a radius from the mount of at least 1/4 wavelength from the mount and should be electrically grounded to the chassis. This can even be done with foil and adhesive...I've done some tractor and combine cab mounts that way and they worked just fine.

More info -- i.e. the frequencies you are interested in and how much distance you expect -- would be helpful.
I think after thinking this out it will require more... A light bar!

OPTION D. If I mount an aluminum LED light bar across the top of the cab that is hard screwed into the rain gutters I can put a scanner antenna at each end of it. It will actually look great and should work well too.
 

madrabbitt

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if its a classic conversion van, you should use old school KC's though.

But yes, that should work.
 

DJ11DLN

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Still won't have much of a ground plane that way but hey, it's your project and you're the only one who has to be happy with it so knock yourself out.:wink:
 

jonwienke

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I agree, not much of a ground plane. A single antenna centered in the middle of the bar would probably work better, even if the signal is split 2 ways. The proposed design also does not address how the coax is to gain entry into the vehicle from the outside.
 

jonwienke

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Which is not specified, either. With the NMO mount, you have a weather-sealed passage for the RF signal.
 
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