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Old 12-07-2014, 08:02 AM   #1
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Portable satellite antenna

Has anyone purchased a portable satellite antenna? I am considering the Winegard G2 recommended to me at Camping World. I'm interested to know if other similar products exist that are small, compact and suitable for the AI? Has anyone mounted a satellite antenna to their AI?


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Old 12-07-2014, 08:43 AM   #2
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I have always used the same antenna that is on my roof at home with 50 ft. of coax. If you camp in the woods you will want that level of flexibility to get a signal.

Now that said the newer receivers are not that friendly to customers aiming an antenna. I use an older Hughes receiver that has the aiming info in an easy to get at format.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunWaggin View Post
Has anyone purchased a portable satellite antenna? I am considering the Winegard G2 recommended to me at Camping World. I'm interested to know if other similar products exist that are small, compact and suitable for the AI? Has anyone mounted a satellite antenna to their AI?


FunWaggin'
We don't have a satellite antenna and are not planning on getting one anytime soon, but, we've seen plenty of them in use in CG's all over. A lot of people do not mount them on their roofs but rather use a tripod or other pedestal mount on the ground so that they can be sure to get an unobstructed view of the southern sky. If the antenna is on your roof and your roof is obstructed by a tree, then you are out of luck. Given how little spare roof area there is on any Airstream (much less the AI's) this is an option to consider.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:50 AM   #4
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I have service from Dish network at home so I carry a portable Tailgater and a 211z receiver. The major advantages are a few. First it is HD and I get the same programming that I do at home (locals are affected based on your travel location). If you are a home Dish network customer, you can turn the service on and off at will, which means I don't have to pay for use of the service when I'm home ($7 monthly pro rated). The Tailgater is moveable which allows me to camp in many locations and move the dish unit (which is sealed) to an area in my campsite that can clearly get satellite signals. Finally the unit aims itself. Set it down, connect it to your receiver, and tell it what state you are in. From that it finds the satellites that you need.

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Old 12-07-2014, 10:29 AM   #5
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Don't have any experience with the G2. We looked at the Pathway X1, Pathway X2, and tailgater at the Hershey show. We settled on the X1. Our considerations were overall size, ability to use both eastern and western arc satellites, and quality of the internal mechanisms. Rumor has it that Winegard has since reengineered the X1, can't comment on the newer model.

We have been pleased with the performance of the X1. It finds satellites easily and we get a good signal, including HD channels on Dish. We like to park under trees, so we bought an extra 25 feet of coax and a female to female connector. Getting local channels is a pain because we move around a lot. We're considering an OTA antenna for those.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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Getting local channels is a pain because we move around a lot. We're considering an OTA antenna for those.
One of the reasons why we went with satellite was the fact that OTA has in many cases gone downhill for us since broadcast TV went digital. Places that used to get TV just don't anymore without getting into higher power, higher masted antennas.

One of the things I've gotten is access to Dish's satellite local TV maps. From that I can tell what TV market I am in. All it takes with Dish is to call them and have your account moved to the local market that you are in. For example when I'm up in Door County Wisconsin, the Green Bay Wi, and Traverse City Mi locals are covering the area. It just becomes a matter of calling and asking for the change. The down side is that changes your account, not just your receiver in your trailer. That means if you have a DVR at home that is recording local programming, that change will cause you to lose network programming at home while you are away since neither market has signals that reach the St. Louis area.

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Old 12-07-2014, 10:58 AM   #7
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I have one of the first portable automatic dishes that came out years ago. It works well, but the problem I have using it is that Direct TV must be called each time I travel to a new zip code in order for them to approve the signal and complete the hookup via our phone conversation. That conversation takes anywhere between a half and a whole hour to complete. For that reason I just leave the dish sitting at home and don't bother using it.
Is the Dish system different or does it still require a phone call?
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:59 AM   #8
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Jack,
We were typing at the same time. You answered my question. Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:09 AM   #9
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I have one of the first portable automatic dishes that came out years ago. It works well, but the problem I have using it is that Direct TV must be called each time I travel to a new zip code in order for them to approve the signal and complete the hookup via our phone conversation. That conversation takes anywhere between a half and a whole hour to complete. For that reason I just leave the dish sitting at home and don't bother using it.
Is the Dish system different or does it still require a phone call?
No you still need a phone call. We really only make that call when we are at a destination site rather than the stops along the way. What is interesting is the size of the foot print for a local city. A good example is St. Louis spot beam which is an oval that extends all the way northeast past Bloomington Illinois and southwest past the Springfield/Branson Missouri area. That covers two of the areas where we travel in annually so no phone calls needed there. The key for us in saving time on the call is knowing exactly what city and satellite that we need. Most of the customer service folks you call don't have the maps available to them. Here's a link to the thread where I described how to see these maps.

You basically find the city in the state you are at, then click on the spot beam number for the channel you want. From that you will get a map which shows you the coverage area for the spot beam. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...on-110444.html

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Old 12-07-2014, 11:37 AM   #10
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Thanks again. I'll check it out.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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Great link to the SatGuys and their mapping bit. Very useful.
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