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Old 05-06-2003, 07:33 PM   #1
Cindy
 
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Question TV antenna questions

Hi All,
I have a question re my 59 Traveler. Outside I have the brackets to support the TV antenna that I don't have. There is also an opening in the exterior wall for a TV connection.
What are A/S owners doing for TV reception if they aren't using a dish?
Do those little plug-in-the wall antennas do any good? Do you have some sort of antenna inside or out?
Please bring me up to speed on this question!
Thanks.
Cindy
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:38 PM   #2
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TV Antenna Questions

Greetings Cindy!

Starting sometime in the 1950s, Airstream began utilizing an optional television antenna that was typically located on the front streetside of the trailer near the front window. It was a mast mounted on a two or three-piece telescoping pole whose direction could be adjusted via a crank found on the inside of the trailer near the front window. While these antennas perform quite well if all parts are operational; it is becoming increasingly rare to find one that is entirely in-tact. I looked for a number of years trying to find a mast and one section of the telescoping pole for my '64 Airstream - - finally gave up two years ago. My local Airstream dealer installed a modern, amplified roof mount antenna that is commonly referred to as a "Bat Wing" antenna and I have been quite happy with its operation. I was cautioned that the tips of the "bat wings" have been known to wear holes in the roof - - but this has not happened on my coach (can't even detect that they have ever contacted the roof surface) the installation has covered about 5,000 miles. While in this process, the dealer also installed an exterior port as well as interior port to allow plugging into either cable or an external portable satellite dish - - I have been utilizing a tripod mounted DirecTV system and have been quite pleased with its performance as well.

Kevin
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Old 05-06-2003, 09:43 PM   #3
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Cindy,

I've replaced two antennas on Airstreams that We've had. The most recent one I purchased, I think, was a Wineguard antenna which I believe has the bat wings that Overlander was describing.

I went to a machine shop and asked them to help me with fabricating a simple base for it to rest on. This avoided the ends of the antenna rubbing on the roof as he had mentioned. I purchased a small peice of aluminum to make it out of. After I took a few measurments I gave them a simple sketched drawing for them to see what I wanted. It only had about four creases or bends in it and it worked just perfect for what I wanted. A little silicone and a few screws and I had a base for the antenna to rest on. I had also removed the other brackets which the old antenna rested on.

If the picture came through below you will be able to see it as it's used on the roof of our camper. Feel free to print out a copy of the picture and use it if you wish.

Hope this helps!
Bill
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:45 AM   #4
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cable port

I saw a cable port on the street side of a trailer for sale at the Good Sam CG in Vero Beach. As someone drilled a hole in the same place on my TT (still unplugged) I was curious as to how I could procure one myself.
I have a picture that I can post soon but wonder if anyone knows if they are still available.
It would be easy to make as it is just a long cable splice mounted to a aluminum panel that could be sealed and Olympic rivetted in place.
Do any of you tech types know how I can get ahold of a long enough cable splice?
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:12 AM   #5
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Bill.

Check the roof at the leading edge of your "bat wing" antenna.

That installation is famous for cutting a hole in the roof sheet metal after a while.

The wind current, as you tow, makes it flutter up and down, and in time, there's the hole. Helping the situation, is the down ward angle of the leading edge of the "wing."


Andy
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:49 AM   #6
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Andy,

I'll keep a watch on it.
Thanks!
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:31 AM   #7
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74Sovereign,

I just purchased a cable port connector at camping world. It is nothing more than a splice connector mounted through a hole in a 3x3in stainless steel plate.
It does have a rubber seal behind it, and some washers etc.
I am going to drill a hole through the trailer wall that termnates inside the storage closet on the utility side ( streetside) of the trailer. Then i am going to enlarge the hole on the inside skin a little, so i can push the connector through and tighten it. This will leave nothing but the little cable connector visible from the outside. They make caps for these, as to keep corrosion etc, at check.
On the inside, i will route the coax cable thorough the closet to the antenna amplifier near the streetside forward storage compartment inthe rear room.
The metal plate that came with the connector gets discarded.
I hope this helps.
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:53 AM   #8
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Uwe

That does help. I know I could make one, my only concern was finding a connector long enough to extend past both sides of the wall for hookup. The one I saw did have a cap. I'll be looking for this at CW but wonder if someone who deals with CATV has a lead on that one part. Thanks again.
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:05 PM   #9
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If you cut a slightly bigger hole in the inside skin, then the connector only needs to go through the small hole in the outside wall. The cable will hook up through the hole in the inner skin.
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:32 PM   #10
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Now I see what you're saying

That makes sense. The only thing to consider is that the install won't really be clean like it would be if there was a wall plate there, correct? It would be possible that the cable will need to pass the plane of the inside wall to hook up. Not really that bad of a setup though.

CIndy, sorry if I've taken this off-topic.
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Old 05-07-2003, 02:45 PM   #11
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To clean it up, all you need to do is install a wallplate from Home Depor with a simple hole in it, and fix it with 2 sheet metal screws. My hole will be inside a closet, so i was just going to put a rubber grommet around the hole to keep the antenna cable from chafing on the aluminum.
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:56 AM   #12
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Here is what came on the streetside of my Overlander, factory installed as far as I know. It was originally for telephone but I converted it to a cable connection. You flip the little cover up to get at it.

Chas
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:32 PM   #13
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When I installed the antenna I had a built in splitter for cable. What I did was drill a small hole from underneath a cabinet on the street side of the camper just the right size for the threads on the connector. From the outside all that can be seen is just a small cable connector which protudes from on the out side about a 1/4 inch. I hardly notice it's even there. As far as sealing it I placed clear silicone around it real good whenever I threaded the nut on the outside. Works real well.

Bill
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Old 05-08-2003, 05:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Inland RV Center, In
[B]Bill.

Check the roof at the leading edge of your "bat wing" antenna.

That installation is famous for cutting a hole in the roof sheet metal after a while.

B]

Andy
Andy,

I've heard you say this before and have a question. If this is indeed the case then how does A/S get by with all the batwings installed since the early 90's? All the new ones have batwing Winegards, correct? They stopped using the Skyliners what year?

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