How well do these splitters work?

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mrkelso

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I need to feed 2 scanners from one antenna in the attic. I found this at ScannerMasters and would like some input before i purchase.

Thanks
 

pdfdems286

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my personal experience only. other's mileage may vary. after trying 2 splitter's and not being very happy with the signal loss <not to mention spending probably about $60 on them> i decided to go with the stridsberg 4 port multicoupler. while it is not cheap, about $200.00, it did the job for me. they make them in 8 port also. around $400.00. available from the good folk's at scannermaster.
 

jackj

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That looks like a standard resistor-type splitter. They work but the loss will be over 3 db and there won't really be more than 3 db of isolation between the ports. You can buy them at Radio Shack for a couple of bucks except the RS ones will have F connectors on them, not the BNC's your picture shows. Also, the RS ones will be designed to terminate a 75 ohm line but that won't have much, if any effect on a scanner. I would recommend that you buy an amplified splitter, your port isolation will be much higher as will your cost. You need the port isolation to get rid of the birdies.
 

kennyblues

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my personal experience only. other's mileage may vary. after trying 2 splitter's and not being very happy with the signal loss <not to mention spending probably about $60 on them> i decided to go with the stridsberg 4 port multicoupler. while it is not cheap, about $200.00, it did the job for me. they make them in 8 port also. around $400.00. available from the good folk's at scannermaster.
I'll second that. One of the best scanner accessories I have ever got . It's been working well here for the last 6 years.
 

jpmn4ayv

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Go with amplified splitter

I'm confident you won't be happy with a passive splitter. A two-way splitter will have at least 3db loss for each port and you stand a strong chance of getting birdies and other interference products between the receivers.

I use a 4-port Stridsberg active coupler. Best decision I ever made! There's virtually no interference between each receiver I have connected to it. The only thing I've ever noticed is the S-meter of my ICOM R-8500 "dancing" to the beat of my Uniden analog scanner as it scans each channel bank. This only occurs on certain frequency ranges, but there is no effect on receive audio.
 

mrkelso

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Ok I will rumage around on the grove site and see if they have the stridsberg

Thanks for the Feedback.
 

Turbo68

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I been using 2 Stridsberg-MCA204M vhf/uhf multicouplers for over 3 years and i have actually connected 8 radios on one with a T piece and the performance is the same as the one with 4 radios with no signal loss at all and there not cheap but worth every cent.

Regards Lino.
ALINCO-DJX2000/AOR-3000/AOR-3000A/AOR-8200MK3/GRE-PSR500/ICOM-RX7/ICOM-R3/ICOM-R20
ICOM-R75/ICOM-PCR1000/ICOM-PCR1500/ICOM-PCR2500/PALSTAR-R30A/REALISTIC-PRO2035
UNIDEN-245/UNIDEN-396/UNIDEN-780/YAESU0VX7R/YAESU-FT8800R/YAESU-VR500.
 

NYRHKY94

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FYI - You might also want to consider the Electroline EDA-UG series of drop amps. Several of us here are using them with great success and no signal loss across multiple scanners. They have a 4-port & 8-port version (that's the one I'm using). They run anywhere from $35 to $80 on EBay. There are multiple posts on this site of folks using these, as an alternate to the more expensive Stridsbergs. Just a thought......

Electroline, Micro Node, Mini Node, DOCSIS Transponder Drop Amp, Adressable Tap, Clearpath
 
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hvscan

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This has been a great thread for me, as I am also in the market for a solution to run multiple scanners off the same antenna. Thanks for the informative posts!
 
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N_Jay

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Drop amps usually have terrible noise figures to be used as pre-amps.
 

jackj

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A 'Drop Amp' isn't a pre-amp N_Jay. They are used to feed several receivers from the same antenna. Their purpose isn't to boost a weak signal, it's to make up for the loss in the splitter. They are usually used in a strong signal area so their higher noise figure isn't really a problem. If you check their specs you will find that the overall system gain is usually zero. I might also add that they are usually used to distribute an over-the-air or cable TV signal to several apartments or motel rooms.
 
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N_Jay

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If the first active component is an amplifier than it IS the pre-amp, and its noise figure sets the noise figure for the entire receiver.

There is nothing magic about setting the through gain to 0 except in cable distribution systems.

If the signal is strong you don't need an amp, just split the signal.

My guess is most people who like these things either switch from a bad set up, or never tried a GOOD passive splitter.
 

n5ims

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Just remember that there are two types of 'drop amps'. Those for Cable TV that take a strong signal and add just enough gain to make up for the splitters (and possibly coax drops). These are nearly useless in low signal applications such as scanner use, but are generally quite inexpensive. Their noise figures are quite bad, but due to the strong signal to start with this really doesn't matter.

The other type are for weak signal use (such as from an antenna) and add just enough gain to make up for the splitters (and possibly coax drops). These generally have very low noise figures and are quite expensive, but would work well for scanner use.

What you need to watch out for are folks that are selling the strong signal drop amps for weak signal use. They often will raise the price (and profits) to make you think that they're the weak signal kind, and may even play with the numbers to make it look like they're low noise as well. I've seen some advertise that they add "less than 1% noise to the signal" without mentioning that this was measured with a very strong signal to start with.
 

jackj

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If the first active component is an amplifier than it IS the pre-amp, and its noise figure sets the noise figure for the entire receiver.
Ok, you are right. It is the first amp in the system so I guess you could call it a preamp. As all active devices generate noise, it does contribute to the overall noise in the system. But when most people think of a preamp they think of an amplifier that deals with very weak signals (<0.5 uv) and boast that weak signal up to a level strong enough so your scanner can detect it. Drop Amps don't work that way, they take a fairly strong signal off the air (>100 uv) or a very strong signal from a cable TV system (>10000 uv) and split it to feed many receivers while isolating them from each other.

There is nothing magic about setting the through gain to 0 except in cable distribution systems.
But that is the job of a Drop Amp. I fail to see why you think a system gain of 0 means anything more than the fact that the amp has just enough gain to offset the splitter loss. Also, what is magical about cable systems?

If the signal is strong you don't need an amp, just split the signal.
Ever hear of birdies? Spurious signals generated by digital electronics? You need to isolate two or more receivers so they don't interfere with each other. The port isolation of a Drop Amp does this, weak signal or not.

My guess is most people who like these things either switch from a bad set up, or never tried a GOOD passive splitter.
The discussion here isn't that a Drop Amp is the answer to a maiden's prayers but it is a solution to a problem caused by the combination of today's electronics and yesterday's splitters. Will a splitter work? Yes, but so will putting a T in the antenna feed and running both scanners from the same line. A Drop Amp is a good solution to their problem.
 

mrkelso

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How about this 4 port? This way i can have room for more radios down the road.

MC204
 

pdfdems286

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my personal experience only. other's mileage may vary. after trying 2 splitter's and not being very happy with the signal loss <not to mention spending probably about $60 on them> i decided to go with the stridsberg 4 port multicoupler. while it is not cheap, about $200.00, it did the job for me. they make them in 8 port also. around $400.00. available from the good folk's at scannermaster.
same multicoupler that i recommended in my post above !. it will do the trick. if you can afford it,go with the 8 port.
 

mrkelso

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same multicoupler that i recommended in my post above !. it will do the trick. if you can afford it,go with the 8 port.
Thank you for your help. I will look at the 8 port and see if i can swing it.
 
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