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I live in the centre of a seaside town in the UK. Because of lack of space I have a random wire antenna in the loft of a small house, and pick up a lot of noise on the top band Sunday morning CW ragchew. I am about twenty hilly miles from most of my friends and the noise overwhelms many of their signals. I have a Maplin "Super Scan Mk2" all band vertical antenna with a built in amplifier chip, which I have never used. I would like to try mounting the Maplin antenna on a pole a few feet above the roof to see if I can cut down the noise on reception. Normally I run 25 Watts on transmission.

My rig is an Elecraft K2 with KPA100, which has a separate dedicated receive antenna socket, so no RF will be transmitted directly into the Maplin antenna.

So, my question is: is the RF from my own transmission into the loft antenna likely to damage the nearby Maplin antenna internal amplifier chip during my tests?

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this question is answerable. We can't know how good the antenna coupling is, or how much power the Maplin can handle without damage. Some devices (professional devices, made to operate on towers with many other antennas) are designed to work in this sort of environment. Many devices are total crap and can't handle a sneeze. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Dec 2 '13 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you both for the answer and comment. Since I just want to get better reception I will first do some experiments with the active antenna in position, without transmitting. Only if it is much better will I consider going further into solving the problem. $\endgroup$ – Harry Weston Dec 3 '13 at 16:21
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Generally speaking you should not place an active antenna near a transmitting antenna unless you know the active antenna can handle the power. Some can, but most, particularly generic wideband scanner antennas, aren't intended to be used near transmitting antennas and the input stage may be easily damaged with a powerful transmission.

Specifically discussing the antenna you mention, reports online indicate that this active antenna is sensitive to nearby transmitters:

Unfortunately the Maplin Superscan Mk II is no longer available, or at least it wasn't when I bought one of their last two in the country a few years ago. I'm now on my third (having blown the first two by transmitting too much power too close to them) and am treating it very carefully.

(source)

Other accounts suggest it's otherwise a very good wide spectrum active scanner antenna. Were I in your shoes I'd look for other ways to resolve the noise problems and save the active antenna for more appropriate and safe uses.

If you have details on the type of communications you're trying to receive, and the type of noise you're experiencing, ask another question and we may be able to help you solve your issue without putting your Super Scan Mk2 in harm's way.

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