Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-17-2021, 05:49 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 3,877
Batwing antenna...

Winegard Batwing rooftop antenna was good in its day, but has been surpassed by newer designs. I found that even the updated 'Sensar' model with its addition of side mounted UHF elements worked exactly like the original batwing it replaced. Tested at numerous RV parks from Arizona to Florida and back. Often I parked in the exact same space outbound with the batwing, and inbound with the Sensar.

So after all that testing, I was not a big fan. But that was a few years ago. I see now that Winegard is asking $130+ for the Sensar model. I hope that is because of improvements to the internal electronics and not due to poor sales due to Covid the last 18 months.

When I bought the Sensar, (or it's equivalent back then) I seem to recall it only costing like $40 and it was on sale. $90 jump in price is a little disconcerting if they didn't improve the circuitry.

Anyway, so that poor performance of the batwing style Winegard rooftop antennas (though it is a pretty good design considering) sort of caused my shift to the much more expensive DTV. Most of you know the problems with that after AT&T bought the company, the extra expense and difficulty of having the big Networks available, the yearly service increases, and the need for local stations thwarted by AT&T forbidding changing your home address (helpful for a full time traveler so you can get local stations where you happen to snow bird to).

So back to having an external antenna that actually works well instead of just 'okay'.

And I found something that seems much better but I only have around 9 months usage out of it, so far it's worked well, picking up 78 stations up on the roof. Much better then the batwing in the same place, which picked up 55 stations, many of them poorly. I'm close to some translators but quite a ways from the 'local' stations...54 and 30 miles.

Here it is after I'd cannibalized the old Winegard batwing for a mounting piece. This shows it yesterday lying on the roof but before it was completely mounted.



Today I finished up the mounting adding some plastic spacers to level it a bit so it's not too unbalanced, and it seems fairly stable. This is yesterdays picture before I worked on it today. It's slightly more level now compared to yesterday. The case is attached to the old antenna piece using zip ties.



Though it's only $40, it's design is excellent, but it was a trial getting it attached to the crankable assembly.

I find that it's light enough that it rotates smoothly and isn't any different then the batwing when cranking it up or down. I removed locking tabs so that lower reflector folds up under the case when the antenna is lowered to the roof. Should have some wind here soon so I'll get to test that. I didn't use the rotatory motor for this installation but if this setup doesn't work well, I'll just move it to the back of the RV mounted on a pole so I'll use it then.

Any thoughts on what if anything I should add to make it more 'road worthy'?

Here's my ad free blog story about it...Antenna...

My main point is that this mod 'seems' workable, with a vast improvement in signal reception but with the same basic footprint up on the roof...extended or retracted. Hope the antenna eating trees recognize it's not for them.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-17-2021, 08:46 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 3,877
Here's how it looks now that I've straightened up the mounting...



Big storm rolling in...should be fun.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2021, 09:45 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 9,047
Hey Jim,
Well Sir, sounds and looks as if you've done your homework on this situation. I Have to admit, my batwing sure seems to drop the ball on a quite often occasion, when other folks I've talked to in the same RV park, parked not far from me, are receiving either a lot more channels, or at least somewhat more than I am. I even have one of those *Sensar* signal finders that supposed to *home in* on the strongest signal(s).

When I first got that over the air antenna working, about 9 or so years ago, we went "Glamping" at the Pachanga RV park near Temecula. When I cranked it up and turned on the power to it, and turned on the new Sensar unit, and slowly turned the antenna in various directions, I got the strongest signal I've ever received. Long story short, I got 54 channels in that RV park.

Ever since that time at that park, I maybe get around, on the average, 10-15 or so, depending on where in the U.S. I'm parked or camped. And, there are times when I get NOTHING while others are getting at least 5-6 or so.

But, you say you're getting considerably better service and channels from your new one? I'd definitely like to learn more.
Scott
__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2021, 11:01 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 3,877
Winegard has a cell phone app called Antenna Pointer that I use to help me locate the OTA towers. Where I am now there's only 1 antenna within 25 miles. The others are 55 and 70 miles. But around 70 of the stations I'm receiving are nice and solid, and HD (though not necessarily watchable).

So I'd suggest installing that app in your phone to help aim the rooftop antenna. I also use an app on my tower computer Antennas Direct to localize nearby transmitters.

As far as the 10-15 stations you average? That's what I used to see when I'm traveling. Depends on the location naturally and that was with the old batwing and Sensar antennas. I haven't had the opportunity to test this new antenna anywhere but here in Milton Freewater, Oregon since I just today got it permanently installed. Before today, I was holding it in place on top of the batwing using bungee cords. ha! That doesn't lend itself to much road travel.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 06:57 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
CC38EL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: same
Posts: 536
I wish I had my Winegard back. On our last few RV purchases we've had the Jack installed. Not a fan....actually kinda hate it.

I keep trying to tell advocates of the Jack that no matter how 'advanced' a design is, it's purely a matter of 'more metal, more signal'. And your new antenna has a ton of metal compared to both the Jack and Sensar.

Thanks for the pictures.
__________________
Jim
2019 Coachmen Mirada Select 37LS
CC38EL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 08:08 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Rob_M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
[B]Hope the antenna eating trees recognize it's not for them.

Unfortunately I believe the antenna eating trees will munch on it. Subscribing to see how it goes for you. Keep us posted.
__________________
Rob & Laura
2002 American Tradition 40', 431hp Banks PowerPack
Mid-South TX
Rob_M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 08:26 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 232
Did you do any coax replacement while you were at it? I was having poor reception, found corrosion, and that alone made a huge difference.

EDIT: Nevermind, I saw you said that's a future consideration.
Wbago97 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 09:38 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 3,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbago97 View Post
Did you do any coax replacement while you were at it? I was having poor reception, found corrosion, and that alone made a huge difference.

EDIT: Nevermind, I saw you said that's a future consideration.
I found that the exposed coax up on the roof is a bit stiff. Not supple like the length of coax inside the RV. The upper area is only the two short cable lengths. The first that loops from the roof to the bottom of the antenna frame tube, then a 2nd portion up at the top where it loops out of the tube and connects to the coax connector of the antenna.

BUT...in my RV there was/is plenty of extra coax hidden under the roof and it's not exposed to weather. Not long enough to go to the antenna but long enough to pull some out and splice in (using twist on coax connectors) new.

So my plan is, if I start having signal strength issues, to cut off that 4-6 feet or so up on the antenna mounting frame and splice into the still fresh 'in-the-ceiling' coax with new, good condition coax to replace only the outside portion of cable.

Like mentioned, a future consideration.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 11:56 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
153stars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Braidwood Il.
Posts: 3,995
I'm pretty sure amplifier board was up in the batwing and wall panel injected power to amp through coax ,did you add an amplifier or does new antenna have one ?.
__________________
95 Monaco Crown Royale
M11 400hp, 4060 trans.
Aquahot, Generac Guardian7.5k
153stars is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 12:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 3,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by 153stars View Post
I'm pretty sure amplifier board was up in the batwing and wall panel injected power to amp through coax ,did you add an amplifier or does new antenna have one ?.
There is an amp inside the new antenna I installed. Here's a picture of it.



FYI, those two red wires going to terminals are for the rotator motor that I didn't use. Only takes removing four screws and it unplugs.

Now that I'm peering at the insides again, I think that what I could have done is to connect the side elements to the lower reflector so when the antenna is dropped to the roof, the hinges pull on cords which would pull those elements in to the antenna's sides. Once retracted they would be better protected. Than use springs (available at True Value and Ace hardware stores) to extend them when the antenna is deployed and lifts the lower reflector off the roof.

Pretty cool idea. Maybe next spring.

The Batwing, the Sensar, and most newer digital antennas use a powered system these days. And I hope they are much more extensive then the simple 3 active device system I found inside my old Batwing.

I used the power injector that came with the new antenna because it's quite possible that the existing OEM power injector wouldn't work well with the new electronics. But I used the original OEM RG-6 Coax cable.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 03:24 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
TXiceman's Avatar


 
Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 20,378
Blog Entries: 21
That is an interesting antenna, but looks like it will have problems receiving the few stations still on the VHF part of the band.

I still prefer mu Sensar IV with the Wingman and it will out perform the King Jack antenna any day for fringe area stations.

Ken
__________________
Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2021, 04:04 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 3,877
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
That is an interesting antenna, but looks like it will have problems receiving the few stations still on the VHF part of the band.

I still prefer mu Sensar IV with the Wingman and it will out perform the King Jack antenna any day for fringe area stations.

Ken
There's a reason it would have problems in the VHF band, "The majority of digital TV stations currently broadcast in the UHF band, both because VHF was already filled largely with analog TV when the digital facilities were built and because of severe issues with impulse noise on digital low-VHF channels."

So it's likely designed mostly for the UHF band. I owned the Sensar for a while and tested it from Florida over to Yuma AZ and it wasn't any better then the Batwing. I don't think the King Jack is good in any situation, HAH!

And at $40 vs $140, I'll take this one over the Sensar IV any day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 153stars View Post
I'm pretty sure amplifier board was up in the batwing and wall panel injected power to amp through coax ,did you add an amplifier or does new antenna have one ?.
I should mention that this antenna comes with a small box that supplies 14 volts to the upper antenna circuit I showed above. Has a red LED and a button to rotate the antenna (if it's mounted on a post) and has a small remote to rotate. Pretty slick and not bad at all for just $40. Oh, came with 25 feet of RG 6 too. Along with some mast mounting clamps and what not.
__________________
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : https://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2021, 08:26 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
153stars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Braidwood Il.
Posts: 3,995
Great upgrade wish i had a rotatable/raisable mast still to mount it on. PO put King Jack to replace old fully motorized unit IDR the name but I'm sure it was not functioning properly.
The king Jack push button on amp or injector just fell apart not sure witch. I just soldered switch pins on board for always on.
__________________
95 Monaco Crown Royale
M11 400hp, 4060 trans.
Aquahot, Generac Guardian7.5k
153stars is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2021, 07:47 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Jzack's Avatar
 
Damon Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Minnesnowta
Posts: 242
We were easily pulling in stations over 50 miles away with our Sensar/Batwing (aren't they the same thing?) in a heavily wooded state park. Not sure we could expect more from a roof mounted RV antennae. We do have the Wingman UHF booster too.
__________________
Jeff & Kelly
2008 Damon Astoria 3776 PE
Jzack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
antenna



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winegard Sensar Batwing Antenna-loose pointer ceiling plate viper Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 5 09-27-2011 01:29 PM
winegard batwing antenna cannon man Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 1 02-26-2009 03:16 PM
How to point Batwing Antenna w/ Digital Sets? Pusherman Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 11 01-11-2009 02:36 PM
Batwing conversion to cellular yagi antenna DonavonP Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 10 01-07-2008 03:04 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.