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Old 04-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
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TV antenna+cell Phone+Laptop=?

We plan on using our laptop as a TV by connecting it to the cable at the campground so don't need the TV antenna. So, while the AS is at Timeless Travel Trailers for major hail repairs, I've asked them to remove it.

But, got to thinking, why not hook the FM radio (used more then a TV by us anyway), the cell phone, and the laptop to the TV antenna thereby increasing the ability of the cell phone tower to communicate with our phone and laptop?

Will this work to advantage?
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:48 PM   #2
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Not to a noticeable degree. TV antennas are tuned to the frequency required for TV signals. FM radio and cell phones work off of a completely different set of frequencies. In order for your other devices to see some improvement, you will need antennas (available at lots of stores like Radio Shack) tuned to the proper frequencies. You might see a little improvement in the FM Radio signal, but it will be very slight.

Good Luck
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:02 PM   #3
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Thank you
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:03 AM   #4
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Elvie,

Why remove it? It doesn't do any harm, unless you are running out of real estate for your solar panels. A reason to keep it is so the next guy who owns your trailer can have it (we all upgrade, don't we?)

Pat
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:12 AM   #5
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Elvie,

Why remove it? It doesn't do any harm, unless you are running out of real estate for your solar panels. A reason to keep it is so the next guy who owns your trailer can have it (we all upgrade, don't we?)

Pat
I agree. Also, on my 1983 Excella, the TV antenna is the FM antenna. I will admit, I don't know what your Airstream uses for the FM antenna, but be sure and check.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Elvie View Post
We plan on using our laptop as a TV by connecting it to the cable at the campground so don't need the TV antenna. So, while the AS is at Timeless Travel Trailers for major hail repairs, I've asked them to remove it.

But, got to thinking, why not hook the FM radio (used more then a TV by us anyway), the cell phone, and the laptop to the TV antenna thereby increasing the ability of the cell phone tower to communicate with our phone and laptop?

Will this work to advantage?
A cell phone can and likely will be damaged beyond use by hooking it to an antenna not specifically designed for it. This also applies to any other device that transmits, such as wifi adapters etc.
The FM radio might work better, but I image it already has its own outside antenna.
However I certainly would not remove a factory installed antenna from a trailer that new, If for no other reason than resale value.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Dont do it

Antenna's are designed specifically for the device/application that they are to be used for. You COULD theoretically remove the tv antenna, and use the boom bar that its mounted to and add a cellphone antenna and a wifi antenna. But its really unnecessary to do what you are proposing. I personally would re-think your plan. Why do you want to have 1 laptop and do everything with it? What happens when it stops working in the middle of a trip? TV's are so cheap now that I cannot imagine setting up the way that you describe. And I do have a TV tuner on my laptop, as well as all sorts of streaming media devices. I would get an LCD tv with VGA in, and a Western Digital WDTV and have a laptop, and call it a day. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:55 PM   #8
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Choices!

WOW, too many choices. Looks like we'll leave it up there and look into using the right antennas for the computer and cell phone.

Using the laptop for TV and internet saves one piece of equipment. We are mostly full timing in the Bambi 16, and are minimalists as you might imagine-we won't get into a fight if we both want to use the laptop for different purposes, I hope.

You know, I put the antenna up and turned it around when we were staying at Catalina State Park near Tucson to see if it would improve the reception for the NPR station there but it did not seem to make any difference, leading me to wonder if the FM radio is using the rubber ducky antenna instead of the TV antenna.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:54 AM   #9
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You know, I put the antenna up and turned it around when we were staying at Catalina State Park near Tucson to see if it would improve the reception for the NPR station there but it did not seem to make any difference, leading me to wonder if the FM radio is using the rubber ducky antenna instead of the TV antenna.
It does.
If you are experiencing problems with wifi reception inside your Airstream, as we are, you can get a wifi signal booster and simply plug it into a 120 volt outlet and place it just outside your door. Reception will be improved without removal of any hardware.
Linksys Refurb Wireless-G Range Expander - Wireless G 802.11g-Networking Price only $29.99
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:57 PM   #10
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Im planning on installing an external wifi antenna on top of the AS and connectign that to a Wifi repeater for those rare occasions that I need to use external wifi. In addition, I just ordered one of the Wilson 3G signal boosting amps for my 3G router. Will send you a pic once its all installed.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:24 PM   #11
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FM broadcast is between TV channel 6 and 7 (before digital) so it is an FM antenna.

Wifi is at another (higher) frequency and needs its own antenna.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:07 PM   #12
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Yaggi Antenna

When we first moved to Maine and the current outpost we used an antenna obtained from the cell phone company. It is a Yaggi. We also received coaxial cable and I bought a conversion box from Motorola. The Yaggi went up on top of a 20-25' antenna, the coax came through the wall and we hooked it into the motorola box then into the bag cell phone.

A lot of this technology has changed but we still use the Yaggi for TV reception.
If you google up antennas and follow the threads I think you will come up with something.

Also there are a bunch of full timers here that use the internet to post on the Airforums.
Ask, research and you shall be one with the web Grasshoppa.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:15 PM   #13
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OK now I'm thinking leave the TV antenna up there and ask Timeless to make sure the FM radio is hooked to the TV antenna, then ask Verizon (whose cell phones we have) about an external antenna for the cell phones and the computer as I've heard good things about their system, and if they say an external antenna is a good idea, ask about mounting it on the TV antenna and leading a coax cable for them into the AS.

How's that sound?
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvie View Post
OK now I'm thinking leave the TV antenna up there and ask Timeless to make sure the FM radio is hooked to the TV antenna, then ask Verizon (whose cell phones we have) about an external antenna for the cell phones and the computer as I've heard good things about their system, and if they say an external antenna is a good idea, ask about mounting it on the TV antenna and leading a coax cable for them into the AS.

How's that sound?
Hooking the FM radio to the TV antenna is a good idea.

The cell phone antenna may work better if it is mounted directly on the roof so it can use the roof as a ground plane.

Buried deep within the Verizon basement there is probably a guy that knows a lot about cell phone external antennas however, your chance of getting to talk to him/her is near zero. My experience with Verizon staff on this subject was such a waste of my time that I went to the people that make the external antennas. Look first to verify that your cell phone has a port to plug in an external antenna. If yes, then look up your phone model on their web site, buy the antenna and the adapter to connect it to your phone.
If your cell phone does not have an external antenna port then you would need a system that
requires no physical connection to your phone -
Transmits and receives an improved wireless signal inside your vehicle or trailer. • Requires NO physical connection to your phone
• The system can be used by multiple phones.
• Works with all cell phone models and cellular data cards
• Inside signal range may vary with signal strength
• Must have an external antenna Each Mobile Wireless Amplifier System contains an amplifier, a Low-Profile inside antenna, a 6-foot coaxial extension cable, a universal external antenna adapter, and a power cable that plugs into a 12-volt cigarette lighter adapter.
For permanent mounting Antenna Options Click Here.


Here are some web sites that address this issue.
Cell Phone Antenna, Cell Phone Antenna Booster, Cell Phone Booster
CellAntenna - Cell Booster, Wireless Repeater, Digital Antenna products
Cell Phone Antennas and Cell Phone Boosters at Wilson Electronics
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