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Old 08-10-2015, 12:01 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
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Wanting To Replace OEM TV antenna on 81 Excella II

My original TV antenna is showing it's age and it not optimized for UHF which is where most of the HDTV stations are. I have been looking at the Wineguard Sensar IV but I know these things are cheaply built. I would also prefer something that does not have to be raised and lowered like and Omini Direction antenna but I won't if the range will be a problem. It seems like in places like FL that an Omni would be better since you have stations in every direction. With a directional antenna you have to have it pointed in one direction which means it might miss other nearby stations not in the same direction. I would prefer something rugged. The Sensar IV has exposed gears that I would assume will get gummed up and fall apart after a few years in the sun. I am looking for suggestions. Will the sensar be a pain to install in the old location?

I could keep the old unit but it is going to need some new parts. Anyone ever compared the signals between the hold whisker antenna to the newer bat wing type?

Perry
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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I just replaced my antenna with King Controls "Jack" - RV Digital Antenna. Under $50 and works great.
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Old 08-10-2015, 02:19 PM   #3
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What did you have before?

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Old 08-10-2015, 03:31 PM   #4
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OK I talked to King Jack on the phone and since I don't have a Winegard with the two square booms, I would have to use their fixed base model. The only problem there is that it does not retract and it would ugly up the roof of my Airstream. They make a version that only fits the Winegard base. The model with the base has a built in signal meter and you don't have to deal with finicky cranks for raising and lowering.

The guy I talked to seemed to know his stuff. He said their antenna has more signal than the Wingard Sensar and it is less directional. The Sensar was originally an VHF antenna and they added the Wingman to it to make it work better for UHF but that makes it even more directional.

Has anyone installed the King Jack with the fixed base?


Perry
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:32 PM   #5
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2009 34' Panamerica
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Wanting To Replace OEM TV antenna on 81 Excella II

I have 2 Airstreams, one with the old standard Sensar with wingman and the other with the Jack. I find zero difference between the 2, other than esthetics, I hate the way the fixed Jack looks..... Going back to Winegard.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:18 PM   #6
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There are still TV signals in the airwaves?
Where we live we're lucky to have cellular service.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:52 PM   #7
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These are not cheap, but would a good choice for a no crank solution.

Winegard Rayzar Automatic - Fully Automatic RV Antenna

As I recall, the old antennas used flat lead instead of coax. That will probably need upgrading with a new antenna, as most need 12 volts supplied via the coax for the signal amp.


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Old 08-11-2015, 08:26 PM   #8
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I replaced the original antenna on our '89 with a Winegard in 2004. Biggest problem was getting the old base off the roof. It was stuck down with Vulkem( polyurethane). Asked for help on this forum and was told to ease the base off using a putty knife. Be really careful with the knife so as to not pierce the aluminum skin. It Is a slow process. The antenna wiring in the '89 was Co-Ax, but the antenna has flat 300 ohm wire. I believe I had to make up a new connection at the roof using the Winegard Co-Ax. We also had to rewire the booster with the new one that comes with the Winegard. We did lose the ability to connect the trailer to outside cable from the campsite supply, but I just routed new Co-Ax from the storage compartment on the driver side of the trailer when we were permanently camped in Texas.
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Old 08-12-2015, 10:08 AM   #9
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1981 31' Excella II
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I will probably use the wingard crank up unit. I have already bypassed the trailer wiring with new coax.

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Old 08-13-2015, 05:35 PM   #10
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I have a question for those of you who understand digital signals. Time warner cable just notified me that my HOME service will now require a "smart" tv or I have to rent a box to connect my tv rather than connecting directly to the cable outlet at the wall. The TWC rep explained that there is no such thing as free tv anymore, but I'm hoping thats just sales talk to try to get me to upgrade my home service. :huh

Having said that my question is...... If I'm boon docking and use my wingard antenna will I be able to receive signal/free tv? And if I'm at an RV park that offers cable will I have to upgrade my existing tv (in the trailer) to a smart tv in order to watch local channels?
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:05 PM   #11
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TWC sales talk.
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:08 PM   #12
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There are actually more free broadcast stations now than before the switch to digital. Your sales rep is lying through his teeth.
In Miami where there were twelve, there are now over thirty digital broadcast stations. Granted some are junk (home shopping) and some are foreign language but the picture quality is flawless HD.

Keep your antenna.

Mike
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Old 08-14-2015, 08:26 AM   #13
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1996 25' Excella
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Re Time Warner

If you have a newer TV then it will/should receive the digital signals; probably already is doing so. I live in Canada but as I recall all TV signals in the US went digital in 2008 or 2009 and we had just purchased a new TV for the AS. It worked really good in Texas except that we have to do a channel search every time we set up. We were getting a mix of analog and digital. Canada switched to Digital about 12 -18 months later, probably about the time the US analog signals were dropped.

On the flip side our cable system here in Ontario Canada required a Digital Converter for some channels about three years ago to accommodate High Definition signals which were fed through a different channel. The box kept everything the same, and we did not have to pay for it. It may be TW is doing something like that.

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Old 08-14-2015, 05:43 PM   #14
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1981 31' Excella II
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Some cable stations are encrypted so you have to have their box or a chip in the TV that the cable company programs. You can receive over the air HD broadcasts for free. Most networks have 3 or 4 sub channels to watch.

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