HDTV Antennas - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-15-2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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Anyone have any recomendations for potable antennas for digital TVs??
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:08 PM   #2
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The short answer: Use the same antenna you would use for the old analog TV.

Longer answer: Since digital TV uses the same set of VHF and UHF frequencies TV has always used, any good antenna designed for TV should work well. In any given market, the frequency used to broadcast may have changed, but that's another confusing topic.

If you would like to know what potentially an be received at a particlular location, check http://www.tvfool.com/ - it's a pretty good site that will show you what channels can be received with a modest antenna or what is available if you want to go to extraordinary measures.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:05 AM   #3
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I made one of these
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for my daughter in college. WORKS PERFECT, and cheap.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:06 AM   #4
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I have been looking at an amplified antenna at Wal-Mart, that I could mount on a pole next to my Scamp??? Of course it needs and electrical connect, not sure I will all ways have electricity or even if an amplilfied antenna is necessary or worth it????
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:11 AM   #5
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Is there something in Mississippi River water that makes us fools for TV? Or is it just the cold?

Just down and across the river I've been playing and struggling with antennas since the digital switch. Here in the valley is tough and I've settled for one station (LaCrosse) downriver and not blocked by bluffs.

Up the hill is another story. 400 ft. of elevation makes quite a difference. Moved two antennas to a shed at the farm open toward Mpls.-St.Paul, stuck an old TV and a tuner box in the work trailer AND 28 channels in a 60 mile radius!

Neither antenna is very big and I'm working on folding versions to travel with the Cloud. Should be no more than 4 ft. long and fit in a 4 to 6 in. tube. Stuck up on a painters pole should work anywhere with a line of sight. The antennas are a 4 element beam made for the middle of the upper Vhf band ( gets 9 and 11 from the Twin Cities) and a Gray-Hoverman made for the lower end of Uhf ( where 2,4 and 5 are in the 30's now).
The Uhf will be more broadband in the travelling version. Winter projects!

Bob



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Old 09-16-2009, 09:12 AM   #6
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If you would like to know what potentially an be received at a particlular location, check http://www.tvfool.com/ - it's a pretty good site that will show you what channels can be received with a modest antenna or what is available if you want to go to extraordinary measures.-- Dan Meyer
Excellent resource, Dan. Much better, and more info, than the one that I had been using. Takes into account the terrain (which dramatically affects us where we live in the mountains). http://www.tvfool.com/
G.C.
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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We bought one of the little flat, square RCA antennas from Walmart. (I don't remember if 1400, 1500, something like that... there are several models.) The power supply to the amplifier can be unplugged. Ours works just as well (sometimes better) without it, in the cupboard above the bed. You might want to give one a try. All we want is to occasionally see the local news and weather, so if we only get one or two channels clearly, we're happy. If it doesn't work, you can always take it back to Walmart without a hassle, as we did with our first choice a year ago or so back. We discovered that one required a permanent 110 power supply, so it was not useful for us.

Kevin, your coat hanger antenna is a modern work of art! Nice job.
Sherry
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:37 PM   #8
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Most of the Power that these antenna will require turns out to be 12 volt dc like all of our batteries already supply.
Just look at the little transformer that gets plugged in and if it is adapt (cut) it to use your battery and you will be ready wether there is AC power or not.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Ed, here's a question for you.

I installed a little HDTV/AM/FM/DVD player in our Scamp 5er. I ran a cable outside for an HDTV antenna mast (and am still looking for the ultimate & storable HD antenna to put on the top of tha mast, but that's another story), but have also found the nifty mylar-coated reflectix makes our AM/FM radio reception inside the trailer very weak. We can pull in stations when we're in-town, but head out to the toolies and we get nothing unless we take a portable radio outside.

The TV/Radio/DVD unit has AM and FM antenna jacks. Is there a simple antenna design that can be permanently mounted outside the shell but won't create a mess of drag or make my trailer look like a ham radio shack that might have expensive and stealable stuff inside?

--Peter
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:28 PM   #10
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Thanks, all good things to think about. I am looking at a Phillips out door type, I will have to check to see if it can work without power or possible be a 12 transformer on it??
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Ed, here's a question for you.

I installed a little HDTV/AM/FM/DVD player in our Scamp 5er. I ran a cable outside for an HDTV antenna mast (and am still looking for the ultimate & storable HD antenna to put on the top of tha mast, but that's another story), but have also found the nifty mylar-coated reflectix makes our AM/FM radio reception inside the trailer very weak. We can pull in stations when we're in-town, but head out to the toolies and we get nothing unless we take a portable radio outside.

The TV/Radio/DVD unit has AM and FM antenna jacks. Is there a simple antenna design that can be permanently mounted outside the shell but won't create a mess of drag or make my trailer look like a ham radio shack that might have expensive and stealable stuff inside?

--Peter
Well Peter the short answer is probably "no".

Antenna' are not rocket science and unfortunately each band you need reception of presents different requirements and "opportunities" to reception balanced with being practical to carry and deploy.
TV frequency's even have differing needs between UHF and VHF and most TV antenna are dual banders with elements for each.
FM broadcast are yet another and AM even another.

There are all kinds of "Miracle" solutions out there but the simple truth is the more metal you can put and the higher in the air,the better your reception will be.
In town the signals are also dispersed all around you so more non-directional antenna will work better and not require aiming but then out of town you need the extra gain and narrow beam of directional antenna to reach out for the signal and reject noise.

So like I said there is no one solution really.

I have the best luck consistently with high quality name brand metal antenna and high quality name brand big powered antenna.
You really can get more with better electronics with certain antenna although many of them all look the same.

I install the Terk units a lot in homes in and out of the city and with some fiddling they can work well for us too. They are not small but are thin and light.
The length is a requirement for VHF signals which have been really minimized in the DTV transition but I think it would be a mistake to buy a short UHF only model as VHF will be getting more use again before too long.

I just clamp one to a swimming pool cleaning pole that goes from 5' to 15' and are lightweight or a telescoping painters pole and get the height which really helps in the woods.
Then they fold up for easy transport and are not too bad to carry,depending on how bad you really want to get reception?
They are also decent for FM.

The Winegard Sensor are also nice and they make an RV model too. These are more directional but then have more gain too.

For AM only a cheap radio by itself(for a variety of reasons) or a long wire will really help but if you are using a pole for the TV antenna you might just send up some wire with it too as one side of a long L shaped antenna for AM.
One interesting thing about AM reception is that once you leave a city behind you often will also leave a lot of AM noise ad interference behind which can be a pleasent surprise.

Yo are also right about one thing,the Scamp Reflectix insulation really helps to shield the inside of the trailer from RF getting in,whether you want it to or not!

All of this is one reason Ham Radio can keep some of us busy just tinkering with receiving a signal at all. We think this is fun!?!

Ed
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:33 PM   #12
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Hucksters will try to sell "HD TV" antennas. In truth they are relabeled ordinary antennas.

Some stations use VHF frequencies. A UHF antenna can't be expected to receive them in some locations. For instance at least two Phoenix channels are on VHF frequencies.

I believe some of the people that used to work on Wall Street are now selling antennas.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:51 PM   #13
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I intend to order a Wingman add on UHF antenna for my Wingard batwing setup.

Its simple, yet elegant and they do not represent it as anything more than it is. And they give a reasonable explaination for how it works.

When no tv reception is possible, but internet is, you can watch most any metro area news broadcast live by simply going to the station website. Want more than news?

Try wwitv You can get live feeds from just about anywhere in the world. I have searched the channels and the majority of the "entertainment" channels are the same ones available on Free To Air satellite, but you don't need a dish.

My TV will accept the vidio out of my comp, so I can watch "TV"... on my TV. You will get the wbpage on the screen, but it most certainly beats *nothing*.

msnbc is available on wwitv.com
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:37 AM   #14
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I realize this is an old post but wondered if anyone had come up with a travel antenna version that somewhat works. Don't wish to mount anything on the trailer was hoping for a travel version that I can easly put up and take down as needed. The idea of the fold down one that fits into a tube really intrested me. Anyone come up with a proto version yet?

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