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Old 11-13-2010, 10:38 AM   #1
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TV antenna

Our 01 Monaco Diplomat has the oringinal hand crank up antenna.
Long story short we need a new one

We aren't full timers, nor are we huge tv buffs. We don't need satillite. But we would like to be able to get local tv channels when in the area.

We have installed modern digital tv's.

What is the best method for getting the best tv reception and not paying a monthly fee.

Thanks,

Wondering whats on.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:47 AM   #2
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The crank up would be the only option if you do not want to pay fees. Or you can camp in CGs that have free cable, but usually the selection of channels is poor.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:00 AM   #3
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An amplified crank up antenna can yield amazing results these days. You'll be watching HD in no time... so long as you're set up reasonable close to the broadcast area.

The Batwing antenna has been the standard for a long time but I believe there's a new kid on the block getting good reviews. I can't recall the name... although I think it was something like "Jack"?... and, a quick search didn't turn it up but I'm sure someone will chime in.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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The crank-up Winegard batwing antenna should give good reception for both analog and digital TV, hi-def and standard def. There are other antennas available, but if you already have a batwing, it should work fine - provided you have a good signal. You used to be able to watch a somewhat snowy picture when TV was analog, but no more. The problem with digital TV is you either get a picture or you don't.

You can get repair parts at most RV dealers if there's something wrong with your Winegard like a broken handle or a balky crank mechanism. If they don't have the parts in stock, they should be able to order them.

There is an add-on to the batwing called a Wingman. It just snaps on, and it is supposed to increase the range of the standard Winegard antenna. The range of the Winegard batwing should be around 50 miles, but that can be reduced if you're down in a valley or the signal is otherwise blocked by topography or dense trees. The Wingman should help if you have a marginal station that fades in and out.
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Old 11-13-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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I live about 60 miles north of Philadelphia. When I was parked at the house my standard antenna picked up about 15 channels if I was lucky. I didn't think it would matter too much, but I bought the digital adapter and put it on. I jumped up to 28 channels, and can now easily pick up all the Philly channels which I previously could only get under certain atmospheric conditions. Surprised the heck out of me. Recommended.

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Old 11-13-2010, 03:35 PM   #6
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King Dome has just released a new fixed antenna that doesn't crank up. There is also a version that can attach to the lift mechanism if yours is still good. It has a nice feature for finding signals without using the TV search function.
http://www.kingcontrols.com/jack/jack_aftermarket_antenna.asp

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Old 11-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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The Winegard Wingman add-on works very well for us. The Jack RV Antenna is a similar digital antenna that replaces the original Winegard antenna ...fits on the same crank-up mast, and has a built-in amplifier. Google "jack rv antenna" and you should get way more hits than you can deal with ...I got 556,000 hits, and the top ones all were right-on.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:52 PM   #8
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I just put the Winegard antenna add on to the original Winegard crank up antenna and it works great. We are located in the rural northeast part of PA and are over 30 to 40 miles away from any TV station and it nice and hilly here or mountains as the old timers call them.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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Alas you made the long story TOO SHORT.

WHY do you need a new one

Here is a fact: a Television antenna of "Vintage" design was designed to receive a range of frequencies corrosponding with TV broadcast channels 2 through, depending on how vintage, 83 or 69

Today's digital Television... Is in that exact same frequency range and thus the exact same antenna can be used.

HOWEVER: The standard "RV" antenna (Winegard Sensar) is a bit anemic on the UHF band.. Thus Winegard came out with the Wingman.. WHich gives it a bit more "Oomph" on UHF. (About twice the "power" of the unmodified)

Adding the wingman requires, depending on the technician (you) either a pair of regular pliars.. Or, in my case, Only my fingers. no tools at all.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:24 PM   #10
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I have some sort of a flat disk on my coach for over the air. It works Great. No cranking or anything and best of all, the dw can watch over the air tv when we hit some rough weather.

I think it is about 6 inches off the roof and about 12 inches round
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:01 PM   #11
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Is it true that adding the Winegard Wingman makes the antenna more "directional"?

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Old 11-14-2010, 05:16 PM   #12
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Rick, yes it's true the Wingman makes the batwing more directional on UHF (which is most of the new digital signals these days). The Wingman is actually a 'director' which helps collect and direct the digital signal to the batwing antenna.

Good news it it does work! I have most always been able to get digital channels over the air at campgrounds, and get more channels then when we had only analog TV.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Is it true that adding the Winegard Wingman makes the antenna more "directional"?
Definitely! Our digital box has a "signal strength" feature where we can turn the antenna and it will tell us what the strength is. That is normally an absolutely essential part of setting up after we arrive at a new location.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:46 PM   #14
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my experience with batwings

I agree with previous responders. If the batwing and amplifier are hooked up and working properly you are in great shape.

Here is my experience with two different motorhomes. One, a 2001, had the batwing and amplifier. The second a 2010, has the the batwing with the wingman and an amplifier.

With the 2001 when I parked in my son's driveway I received 42 terrestrial TV broadcasts, nearly all DTV.

With the 2010 motorhome I also receive 42 terrestrial TV broadcasts. Both antennae work beautifully!

(No I do not get 42 channels in all locations. At Flathead Lake, Montana I felt lucky to receive 5 channels one fuzzy analog from Yakima, Washington)

I believe the most important thing when coming into a new unfamiliar location is to first do a scan with the TV antenna up and the amplifier on. If the TV's scan detects channels you cannot see, aim the batwing for maximum signal strength on that channel.
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