I don't understand most of the antenna balancing instructions I read; for one thing they virtually all seem to assume the antenna is being used to transmit. In my case I am only interested in receiving. I do not want to transmit with the antenna. Basically my goal is to be as sensitive as possible and make the received signal as pure as possible.
For example, one setup I have uses a wideband antenna that looks like the following and can supposedly receive signals anywhere from 3 MHz to 800 MHz:
The antenna is on a mast off the porch. I connect a coax cable to it and it goes about 20 feet to my receiver. Sometimes I connect it to an antenna switcher. It seems to work ok, but I have no idea how to optimize it to make it more sensitive.
I presume that some optimizations would be frequency-specific and others would help increase sensitivity at all frequencies, but I have no idea how to make these adjustments. I have an SWR meter, but the instructions for it assume that I am transmitting, which I am not.
To quote from one of the answers below:
When your antenna impedance matches the cable and receiver impedance the signal power is optimally transfered... Some antennas have an impedance matching adjustment on them. This should be adjusted to match the cable and receiver impedance. Matching impedances for a receiver only system can be difficult as there is not enough power to drive an SWR meter. Sometimes the manufacturer will mark approximate locations on the adjustment component that will indicate the impedance settings. Without any guidance it would be necessary to tune your receiver to a very week signal then make small adjustments to the antenna, then recheck the signal for any improvement.
So, if it is good for the "antenna impedance" to match the "receiver impedance" how do I do that? How do I measure the impedance of either one? The poster just says it is "difficult".
One web site I read said antennas should be "DC grounded".