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Old 11-23-2015, 10:26 AM   #1
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"Omnidirectional antenna" isn't

Just thought I'd drop a quick post in here to remind folks, especially if they are researching buying a trailer, that the alleged "omnidirectional" antenna that comes on many travel trailers is not omnidirectional.

I pulled into Ridgecrest late and parked facing west until the morning just to get to bed. I scanned around with the radio and found a station I wanted to listen to, and the FM broadcast signal was pretty good with just a little bit of easily ignored static.

Today, I am parked facing 180 degrees from last night, and the exact same station, in nearly the exact same location for my trailer, isn't there without turning the signal preamp on. With the preamp on, there is some annoying static on the FM signal.

Since I don't own a TV, I may replace the crap antenna with a good stick of some kind later, but I won't feel bad throwing the one that came on the trailer right in the recycle bin.
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Old 11-23-2015, 12:25 PM   #2
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From my experience "omnidirectional" means it doesn't work well in any direction.
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Old 11-24-2015, 07:45 AM   #3
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Actually the Omin Directional antenna IS, if it's mounted atop a many foot tall pole with nothing nearby to affect the pattern.

What can affect the pattern? Other antennas, Air Conditioners, and such all of which are on the roof of a motor home. Metal in the frame or roof can also affect it.

Finally for RV use I'd rank this the WORST type of antenna.. A Winegard Sensar PRO beats the Omni's hands down for "on Axis" stations (Meaning stations it's pointed to.

ANd the Sensar Pro to replace the switchplate indoors.. Real improvement even to the IF.


I am told, however, that WInegard designes these to EXCLUDE FM radio band.. i do not know if this is true as I've never tried it.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:16 AM   #4
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I suppose we are such a television centered society that it's more important for the antenna to work better for TV than for radio broadcast bands. Well, I'm bucking the TV trend, and would rather have excellent radio reception. I would never sit down for a couple of hours of TV knowing that more than a third of that time is commercials, and all of it is stuff I would never want.

I will eventually replace it with an antenna that I can fold down either by a mechanism that will allow it to fold down at the base or use a spring and lean it over and tie it down for travelling. Maybe get a Comet motorized fold over base and a nice long Ham Stick for the AM band?
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:26 PM   #5
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If you just want a radio antennae, check out the
Jensen Marine 6ft AM/FM Stereo Antenna Part# 8309819

Sorry for the funky cut and paste but I'm lazy tonight. It's basically a piece of wire, you can drape it or what ever to get best reception, I used to use one my boat, I just used velcro to stick it to the monkey fur in the cuddy cabin.
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the idea. I wonder if I got two of these, or made two similar antennas, and mounted them one oriented fore/aft, the other oriented 90 degrees to the first but some distance away from the other. Any one have any opinion, theory, or experience with something like that? Or maybe a long wire somehow stuck to the roof of the trailer? A big loop?
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Old 12-02-2015, 10:17 PM   #7
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Antenna engineering theory states that the more omnidirectional an antenna is, the less sensitive it is (which means the less likely it is to pick something up). This means the most sensitive antenna, assuming the quality of material/design is equal, will be the one that requires the most accurate pointing. There isn't getting around this except to use multiple highly sensitive very directional antennas and combining them, or pointing one antenna at the transmitter.

In other words, if you're not aiming it, you're missing out on a *lot* of signal.
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