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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > which is the best tv antenna, for longest range?

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fpatricia101

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Posted: 03/01/12 06:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi

Wondering which antennas I should check out. The one that winguard makes says it pulls in reception from 50 mile range. Is this the best? I do not want to pay a monthly satellite bill, but would like some tv.

thanks, Patricia

Oasisbob

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Posted: 03/01/12 07:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lots of variables. Our vanguard is seldom useful where we camp. We often stop at a RED BOX and get a movie on our way. You can drop them anywhere.


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Atlee

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Posted: 03/01/12 08:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fpatricia101 wrote:

Hi

Wondering which antennas I should check out. The one that winguard makes says it pulls in reception from 50 mile range. Is this the best? I do not want to pay a monthly satellite bill, but would like some tv.

thanks, Patricia


You can check out the Jack Digital antenna also, especially if you're starting from scratch.

If you already have a crank up Wingard, all you may need to do is get their Wingman add on.


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JohnG3

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Posted: 03/01/12 07:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you have the Weingard Sensar crank up, they make a $50+- replacement digital antenna that uses the Sensar power supply. I replaced the Sensar with this antenna and had better reception. Did a test for channels before changing and has 1 analog and 2 digital stations. Changed the antenna and had 1 analog and 9 digital. Nothing changed but the antenna. About 15 minutes to replace it. Only "issue" was the leading edge of the longer leg of the antenna mast needed to be bent inward just a bit for the new antenna to crank down.


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Posted: 03/01/12 08:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

from what I have read the winguard pulls in signals for 90 miles and the Jack only pulls in from 50 miles away.

NewsW

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Posted: 03/01/12 07:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use the mapping too here to find out whats in your area first:

http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=90


http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66&Itemid=1


Then, figure out what antenna you need to receive it.

Most likely, you will need a pre-amp / amplifier to really do it.

Since your RV probably can't take a very large antenna.


HDTV signals can be incredibly good, up to 100 miles with a moderate antenna and amp.

The rooftop antennas for RVs are not that good --- the best being an antenna that is directional, but you have to fold it away (and not forget).

Look for an amp with about at least 20db gain..

These antennas don't fit your app, but it shows the art of the possible.

http://www.tvtower.com/hdtv_antenna_and_reception.html

Grub

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Posted: 03/02/12 09:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Depends honestly, but I just installed a powered TV antenna of the 'ufo' style on our boat. Put it right on the mast, I have a regular powered antenna for the camper that gets clipped to the roof before we 'pop' it up.

Keep in mind that the higher you have your antenna the better reception you're likely to get.

The higher the decibel gain rating on the antenna the more 'powerful' it will be at getting a signal, though if there is no signal within a few miles you aren't going to get diddly.


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Posted: 03/02/12 08:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Range depends on lots of things, what is in between (is there something blocking), height, etc.

No hard and fast rule... except if you are within a real short distance (say 10 miles) and you are outside, it should be OK.

But even if you are next door to the transmitter, it may not reach an underground garage.

NewsW

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Posted: 03/02/12 10:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No matter what antenna you get...

An amplifier is needed at extreme ranges to make up for the consumer grade receiver at the other end and also cabling losses.

If you have a permanently installed antenna outside the RV, it might be tricky to install the amps that is antenna mounted (best sensitivity because they get the signal right there).

Alternative is to amplify the signal right after it enters the rig.

In any case, don't scrimp on cabling --- top quality (not RV or cheap home grade) cabling is essential to reduce losses.

The amps will cost a bit of power (a few watts, but can be as much as 5 or 10) to run -- note that in your budget.



My preferred supplier for high quality broadband amps:

http://broadbandamps.com/dropamps.htm


The VSMA-601C will work fine --- it is by Viewsonics, a division of Emerson Electric and is about $50 list.

Similar ones from Motorola is known to be reliable.

* This post was edited 03/02/12 12:04pm by NewsW *

fpatricia101

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Posted: 03/02/12 09:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi

I have a boomerang shaped antenna that came with my rv. I think Ive heard them referred to as bat wing antenna. I assume being that my Vista Cruiser is so cheaply made, the antenna follows suit. I have to move this antenna to put solar panels up, and so I thought maybe a quality upgrade would be a good idea.

Thanks everyone, and anyone else please feel free to pipe up and give your oppinion. So far the winegard iv looks like the best one. I think it comes with the amplifyer someone mentioned...

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