Is it possible to buy & hook up an HDTV television antenna to a public safety scanner

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CorwinScansNM

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Is it possible to buy & hook up an HDTV television antenna to a public safety scanner

I have a serious but interesting question/idea here that I would like to get some thoughts & feedback on before I attempt & make the effort to buy. I own a Uniden BCT15X Public Safety Scanner & may eventually upgrade to the new Uniden BCD536HP Digital Scanner if all else fails. I am thinking about & have been shopping online for not another scanner antenna but instead a television antenna to try in bring better clearer less static sound & reception signals in to my scanner as for many of the scanner antennas out there; I have already bought & tried with no real success in sound-signal clarity or quality coming into my public safety scanner. I have even tried hooking up my current AntennaCraft ST4 outdoor scanner antenna which I purchased about 4 months ago to the (AntennaCraft 30dB High Gain TV/FM Mast-Mounted Amplifier 10G212). Still not much luck at all in receiving my programmed scanner frequencies clearly like I wish to & without the annoying scratchiness that I hear all too often except in the 144.0000Mhz - 148.0000Mhz range which is not the range in which my scanner frequencies fall in that I want to hear & pick up clearly.

Therefore, I am wondering if purchasing an outdoor HDTV Television Antenna instead with a 35 to 50+ mile range would help me out any here & be better than a scanner antenna? I am pretty much really fed up with most of the scanner antennas out there that I have purchased & tried because they have all failed me for bringing in clear sound signals & reception to my programmed scanner frequencies as well as my chosen scanner frequency ranges that I scan which are 118-136Mhz 150-174Mhz & 450-470Mhz. I am willing to buy & try an outdoor television antenna & hook it up to my scanner if it would or might actually work better than the current scanner antennas that are floating around on the market right now. Most or a lot of the scanner antennas I have already tried except some of them that are made & designed overseas which are very expensive plus outrageous shipping charges to the US.

I wanted to ask my question here on Radio Reference first before I consider & proceed with trying this idea out for my scanner to get other thoughts suggestions & info on my idea.
 

W8RMH

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Use of a TV antenna is possible, just remember TV signals are horizontally polarized where public safety signals are vertically polarized.

Receiving signals on those frequencies from 50 miles away is really pushing it. You may just be too far away, depending on many factors such as, terrain, strength of those signals, antenna height, your antenna feed cable, RF between you and the source of those signals, etc.
 

gmclam

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I would not consider an (HD) TV antenna for this purpose, unless it was specific for the desired frequencies and mounted so as to be vertically polarized.

Rather than concentrate on "TV" or "scanner" antennas, look for something specific to the band you want to monitor from a distance (amateur radio antenna?). It sounds like you need it to be directional. Get the lowest loss coax you can find for a downlead, it makes a huge difference.
 

kibler

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Therefore, I am wondering if purchasing an outdoor HDTV Television Antenna instead with a 35 to 50+ mile range would help me out any here & be better than a scanner antenna? I am pretty much really fed up with most of the scanner antennas out there that I have purchased & tried because they have all failed me for bringing in clear sound signals & reception to my programmed scanner frequencies as well as my chosen scanner frequency ranges that I scan which are 118-136Mhz 150-174Mhz & 450-470Mhz. I am willing to buy & try an outdoor television antenna & hook it up to my scanner if it would or might actually work better than the current scanner antennas that are floating around on the market right now. Most or a lot of the scanner antennas I have already tried except some of them that are made & designed overseas which are very expensive plus outrageous shipping charges to the US.

I wanted to ask my question here on Radio Reference first before I consider & proceed with trying this idea out for my scanner to get other thoughts suggestions & info on my idea.
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"Is it possible to buy & hook up an HDTV television antenna to a public safety scanner?" Hello Corwin.......Let me tell you my story and I know most people on the forum has technical logic about this not being a good idea! First off, if your sole purpose was to use it as a scanner antenna! "No", I would not chance it??...My situation is that a few years ago I purchased a 150mile range all channel antenna (Don't remember the brand) just for TV watchin and the antenna works pretty good for TV but comes up a little short of the 150 mile range distance due to terrain and trees! Now, I bought a bcd996xt scanner a few months ago and due to my older scanner antenna being damaged by Ice storms, I hooked it up to the TV antenna. I gottan admit, my results were pretty amazing considering the antenna is Horizontal and the signals are vertical! I get conventional freqs that are 50 and 80 miles away! Thanks
 

KC8ESL

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Will it damage anything? NO. Will you possibly learn something in the process? I could only hope. If you have the parts on hand, go for it.
 

majoco

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A lot depends on what frequency band your HDTV transmissions are on. Here they range from about 600 to 850MHz so most of the antennas are folded dipoles with a corner reflector and a few directors - absolutely useless as a scanner antenna.

But wait, there's more.....

As we have recently gone to only digital TV, there are a lot of redundant VHF/UHF TV antennas around. Ours were on 60MHz Band 1, 200MHz Band 2 and 600 MHz Band 3 - all joined to one 75ohm feeder at the antenna. I cut down the Band 1 elements to suit the VHF aircraft band, put it up on my low mount and pointed it towards town - works well.

The 50+ mile range has nothing to do with your antenna when you consider that TV transmitters are usually on a high peak and poke out a couple of MEGAwatts!

Here's a pic of my antenna...
 
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majoco

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WHERE did you get the mast? I could use about 4 of those!
Pretty much standard fit on any NZ house! Quite cheap from any hardware shop. Here's another one on the far end of the longwire. The yagi is our 650 to 850MHz TV antenna.
 
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jack103

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I have a verticaly polarized Grove Scannerbeam antenna that works great as a scanner and HDTV antenna.
 

N8JJ

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I bought one that covered 700-900 Mhz. Flipped it around to vertical, pointed it at a simulcast tower and combined it with the omni. The amplified them both. Works fine. Cleared up the simulcast errors.
 

CorwinScansNM

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RE: Is it possible to hook up an HDTV television antenna to a public safety scanner

Hello & thank you all for your reply to my idea/question regarding trying out a television antenna for use with a public safety scanner instead of a scanner antenna. I have been reading all of your replies posted here on RadioReference while at the same time, I managed to find a website with some handy information on scanner antennas as well as my idea of possibly using a television antenna for a scanner antenna to my public safety scanner. I will share the link here below.

Guide to Scanner Antennas

I may not consider a television antenna for my scanner after all since I have read what they say about using a television antenna instead or in place of a scanner antenna inside the link above. I think that I am going to consider & purchase one of the 3 models of (Diamond) brand discone scanner antennas that Diamond has listed on their website which are all pricey from $89.00 to 119.00 plus shipping. They are supposed to be more durable, stainless steel, rustproof & possibly (Ultra-wideband design) unlike my current AntennaCraft ST4 scanner antenna that I am not hearing signals clearly with at all lately on my scanner. Thus, is the reason to my posted technical question here about trying a television antenna instead for use as a scanner antenna which I am talking myself out of I think.

Also possibly looking at & considering the SB-2 Scanner Beam II Antenna that is only $69.99 on Scanner Master's website.
 
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A lot depends on what frequency band your HDTV transmissions are on. Here they range from about 600 to 850MHz so most of the antennas are folded dipoles with a corner reflector and a few directors - absolutely useless as a scanner antenna.

But wait, there's more.....

As we have recently gone to only digital TV, there are a lot of redundant VHF/UHF TV antennas around. Ours were on 60MHz Band 1, 200MHz Band 2 and 600 MHz Band 3 - all joined to one 75ohm feeder at the antenna. I cut down the Band 1 elements to suit the VHF aircraft band, put it up on my low mount and pointed it towards town - works well.

The 50+ mile range has nothing to do with your antenna when you consider that TV transmitters are usually on a high peak and poke out a couple of MEGAwatts!

Here's a pic of my antenna...
what kind of antenna is that and where do you get it? looks cool. and what did you use for the mast?
 

majoco

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The masts are cheaply available in most hardware and electrical supply stores here and have various mounting adaptors to suit. Nearly every house here has at least one!

The discone is a commercial Deltec that found it's way into the back of my car when I refitted a country town control tower radio system, still works very well even though it's 30+ years old.

The other antenna is a cut-down TV antenna as I said in the earlier post.

Hanging across the top (the blue wires) is an OCFD for the HF bands, 66ft one side, 22 feet the other with a homemade transformer at the junction to 50ohm coax.
 

CorwinScansNM

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Hello & thank you all for your reply to my idea/question regarding trying out a television antenna for use with a public safety scanner instead of a scanner antenna. I have been reading all of your replies posted here on RadioReference while at the same time, I managed to find a website with some handy information on scanner antennas as well as my idea of possibly using a television antenna for a scanner antenna to my public safety scanner. I will share the link here below.

Guide to Scanner Antennas

I may not consider a television antenna for my scanner after all since I have read what they say about using a television antenna instead or in place of a scanner antenna inside the link above. I think that I am going to consider & purchase one of the 3 models of (Diamond) brand discone scanner antennas that Diamond has listed on their website which are all pricey from $89.00 to 119.00 plus shipping. They are supposed to be more durable, stainless steel, rustproof & possibly (Ultra-wideband design) unlike my current AntennaCraft ST4 scanner antenna that I am not hearing signals clearly with at all lately on my scanner. Thus, is the reason to my posted technical question here about trying a television antenna instead for use as a scanner antenna which I am talking myself out of I think.

Also possibly looking at & considering the SB-2 Scanner Beam II Antenna that is only $69.99 on Scanner Master's website.
Finally, I just happened to luck out & found out some really good true information on a website that sells high quality scanner antennas that are 100% made in the USA. Taught me a lot more than I ever knew about scanner antennas such as discones & directional scanner antennas. I will share the link below for all of you to read & look at as well. It is all quite interesting with some myths about scanner antennas that I never knew until now. ENJOY!! :)-)

DPD Productions - Online Business, Antenna, Coax & Connector FAQ Page
 

teufler

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ST PETERS, MISSOURI
The TV antenna will be an improvement over the inside radio antenna. Any outside antenna will be an improvement. Now how much, as compared to an antenna that is a specfic scanner antenna, will not be as much but you will see an improvement. If it delievers better reception than what you had, thats what matters. If what you want to listen too is 50 miles away, but the antenna delivers 100 mile reception, then you either turn up the squelch, effectively reducing reception, or mentally screen out stuff you don't want to listen to. The tv antenna will have some directional segnal strength but I have some contacts in Arkansas that have and are using tv antennas and reception is very good.
 
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