Listening to Multiple Scanners

KI4GNX

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I'm going to set up a radio desk. I will have 4 or 5 scanners and at least 1 ham radio. I prefer not to use the speakers on the units as I have a hard time hearing detail. I prefer having an external speaker. I would like to be able to hear all of them at the same time to catch a transmission. I don't want to use a switch to select a unit. Is there any way to get around having half a dozen different speakers? Thanks.
 

AJAT

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Maybe a 6-channel audio sound mixer? Feed six signals into the mixer and output to one speaker. You should be able to control volume, treble, bass on each signal and then the combined signal as well.
I had a similar set up in my vehicle. I used a 4 channel mixer. Feed one VHF/UHF, one HF, and a scanner into one external speaker. It worked great. I was able to individually adjust the volume of each radio on the mixer as well as the radio. It cost me about 20 bucks on EBay.
 

KI4GNX

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A mixer sounds like a good idea. I could adjust the individual volumes and the volume controls would be together to make it easier. I'll wait to see if anyone has any other ideas.
 

TexTAC

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If you use a stereo mixer and two speakers you could actually control the stereo “location” of each scanner (far left, left, middle, right, far right, etc). :)

I had a mixer for my guitar, vocal microphone, and CD player that mixed into my headphones when I played music. I spent more time and had more fun playing with the mixer controls than I did actually playing music.
 

TailGator911

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I have a mish-mash of speakers here and a main studio monitor. My radio nook is in my recording studio, so they share power supplys and amplifiers, speakers and mics lol. I have a Mackie MIX12FX 12-channel mixer that I bought at Sweetwater for $129.99 free shippiing. I source my channels out to a Mackie SRM150 studio monitor, also @ Sweetwater for $279.00. Excellent for scanners and multiple audio sources, and the main studio speaker for my Tascam recording console. Some scanners I like better paired with the external speakers that I use. Yaesu, Bearcat BC20, Vertex, Prosound 2000, etc. Like I said, a mish-mash. Sometimes it's nice to have it all on one good speaker. I also have a TechPro AX2000 2000-watt audio amplifier in there somewhere that beefs up my output. That's my recipe for audio integration and good sound, it works for me :)
 

W0JOG

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As a life-long -- literally -- listener to scanners or other radio devices, I'll give you the life-long answer. It won't be what you want to hear, but it worked in my youth when Dad was teaching me what radios could do to further your intelligence and worked in journalism, free-lance reporting and corportate communications after that. Don't buy more gagets. Train your head. I have at least three scanners going 24/4 in a fly-over part of the world even now, at the age of 88. I don't expect technology to make up for what your head can do. I know, even when asleep, that if it is interesting, there will be more chatter on some un-cloaked frequency. And if it is really a big deal, you will hear the stress in the voices talking or trading orders or responses. Use your head. Few do any more, but that's where your filter is. It led me to a lot of leads on other reporters or questions to ask of sources for a life-time. You might invest in some of that now, if you're up to it. Use your head, not your pocketbook. It really doesn't hurt even though it is unpopular these days.
 

N7OLQ

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I have 12 scanners and 6 ham radios in front of me and usually 4 or 5 are on at the same time. I like separate speakers because when something interesting comes through the speaker I need to know which radio to look at. It doesn't work with everything coming through one speaker. I had them all side by side on a shelf but that didn't work. I moved some up and some down, so I have top, middle, bottom, right, center, left to play with. The sound location indicates what scanner (or at least direction) to look at.
 

KI4GNX

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As a life-long -- literally -- listener to scanners or other radio devices, I'll give you the life-long answer. It won't be what you want to hear, but it worked in my youth when Dad was teaching me what radios could do to further your intelligence and worked in journalism, free-lance reporting and corporate communications after that. Don't buy more gadgets. Train your head. I have at least three scanners going 24/4 in a fly-over part of the world even now, at the age of 88. I don't expect technology to make up for what your head can do. I know, even when asleep, that if it is interesting, there will be more chatter on some un-cloaked frequency. And if it is really a big deal, you will hear the stress in the voices talking or trading orders or responses. Use your head. Few do any more, but that's where your filter is. It led me to a lot of leads on other reporters or questions to ask of sources for a life-time. You might invest in some of that now, if you're up to it. Use your head, not your pocketbook. It really doesn't hurt even though it is unpopular these days.
I know exactly what you mean. I have been doing it all my life. I find improving the quality of the audio is less tiresome and helps me sort the pepper from the fly poop. I also want to remove some clutter on my desk.
 

KI4GNX

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iMONITOR

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I saw that one. I like it as it's not powered but don't like that it's open. Do you use this one? If so, what do you think of it?
Not yet but thinking about ordering one. Won't hurt anything by being open, no voltage present, unless you were to accidentally apply some, but that would be a very rare occurrence! It would be pretty simple to glue some plastic panels on the sides.
 

consys

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TexTAC has it right about the use of a mixer. If you have hearing problems I would recommend stepping up to one with at least 3 band (bass - mid - treble) EQ, as it can really be a help. Panable left / right on each input, as was mentioned is very helpfull as well for knowing which receiver is talking. I'm using a (discontinued) powered 12 channel mixer with bookshelf speakers at my desk- three radios, two computers and an old MP3 player. For the radios I roll down the highs, cut the bass so it doesn't go to the sub woofer. Works great.
 

majoco

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I have eight assorted scanners and receivers which all feed into a Behringer Rx1602 stereo line level mixer that has eight inputs. I can set it up so that any input can be positioned in a 'sound stage' with only two speakers. Works well. Was not overly expensive.

All in one box sml.jpg
 

iMONITOR

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I have eight assorted scanners and receivers which all feed into a Behringer Rx1602 stereo line level mixer that has eight inputs. I can set it up so that any input can be positioned in a 'sound stage' with only two speakers. Works well. Was not overly expensive.

View attachment 101239
I remember when you put that setup together, nice!
 

mass-man

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Ducking is when a signal diminishes some so another signal can be heard! Not sure where the term comes from...I heard it just last year when setting up an EAS receiver for a TV station. They wanted the TV audio to duck so the EAS could be heard. I always called it faded down a bit!!!
 

KI4GNX

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Ducking is when a signal diminishes some so another signal can be heard! Not sure where the term comes from...I heard it just last year when setting up an EAS receiver for a TV station. They wanted the TV audio to duck so the EAS could be heard. I always called it faded down a bit!!!
I learned something new today. Who said that they were too old to learn (I just turned 66)!
 
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