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Old 01-28-2022, 10:02 AM   #1
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Need to replace TV antenna

Well, the old batwing antenna finally crapped out. The handle broke on the inside and turning the shaft no longer cranks up the antenna. Looking at replacing the complete antenna assembly. I've looked at some options and so far I've narrowed it down to two.

The Winegard-RV-3095-Batwing

and

The KING OA8500 Jack.

Any opinions on what would be the best and what would be the easiest to replace. As it is, it looks like I will be needing to replace all of the current coax inside to better coax as everything is very old, brittle and low grade. I do have a 600' roll of RG6 Quad shield 3Ghz coax laying around, along with about 100 3Ghz F-type connectors and the tools needed to connect them together. My biggest concern is how to fish the new coax through. Don't know if the existing coax is secured inside the ceiling making it impossible to pull the new coax using the old coax as a fish. Anyone with any experience here?
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Old 01-29-2022, 05:01 PM   #2
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Wow, hard to believe that nobody here has replaced their old analog batwing antenna with something more updated.
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Old 01-29-2022, 05:49 PM   #3
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I think if it were me, I'd go with one of the newer omnidirectional antennas. They work well and you won't have to worry about lowering the antenna before leaving your site.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088DPRJ7D...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrowne View Post
I think if it were me, I'd go with one of the newer omnidirectional antennas. They work well and you won't have to worry about lowering the antenna before leaving your site.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088DPRJ7D...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
Have you actually used that antenna?

Most of the locations I stay at are a good distance from a city. Omnidirectional antennas are typically not noted for being very high gain. Basically, omni-weak in all directions. Directional antennas are far better at pulling in channels from greater distances. The reason I selected the two was because both are directional with one being low profile (no crank up needed) and one being higher mounted for better distance.

My main concern is how the cable wiring is done inside. Is the wiring secured inside the ceiling or is it loose in a channel?

What other issues have those that have changed out their antenna had and how did you solve it?
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Old 01-30-2022, 07:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Have you actually used that antenna?

Most of the locations I stay at are a good distance from a city. Omnidirectional antennas are typically not noted for being very high gain. Basically, omni-weak in all directions. Directional antennas are far better at pulling in channels from greater distances. The reason I selected the two was because both are directional with one being low profile (no crank up needed) and one being higher mounted for better distance.

My main concern is how the cable wiring is done inside. Is the wiring secured inside the ceiling or is it loose in a channel?

What other issues have those that have changed out their antenna had and how did you solve it?
I can concur that omni-directional antennas can struggle with weaker signals. We have an omni antenna on the roof our our motor coach and the reception is not nearly as good as the old crank-up directional antenna on our Airstream, even in the same parks.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Have you actually used that antenna?

Most of the locations I stay at are a good distance from a city. Omnidirectional antennas are typically not noted for being very high gain. Basically, omni-weak in all directions. Directional antennas are far better at pulling in channels from greater distances. The reason I selected the two was because both are directional with one being low profile (no crank up needed) and one being higher mounted for better distance.

My main concern is how the cable wiring is done inside. Is the wiring secured inside the ceiling or is it loose in a channel?

What other issues have those that have changed out their antenna had and how did you solve it?
I have the King antenna on my Argosy but it has not been tested as yet and probably won't be for quite some time.....

I first bought the Winegard but swapped it out for the King due to the mounting base size. The King is has a smaller foot print which fit the location on my Argosy better.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:56 AM   #7
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If I remember right, all parts are still available for the old batwing antenna's.
While we were out west of Phoenix about 50 miles, we were getting over 50 stations all in digital!
Although you have to crank it up and down, I am very impressed with the stations that I can get with it.
The PO had put the added array to the front to get more stations.
I would just repair what is needed, get a new antenna unit with the added front array, so you don't have to drill more holes and fill old ones!
Just my 2 cents worth!

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Old 01-31-2022, 08:07 AM   #8
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Have you tried replacing the handle and the shaft? I had to do that on a previous trailer which was pretty easy. The Jack antenna is a major improvement over the batwing.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:02 PM   #9
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OK, looking into what it would take to rebuild the current antenna and replace the analog head unit. Directional and elevated are both pluses for longer range reception.

Can someone tell me which antenna I most likely currently have and what kit to get? I see Winegard parts all over the place so assuming that is what I have now. Remember it's a 1992 model AS Land Yacht motorhome. Not a trailer.

Edit: The current batwing unit is in pretty bad condition. Thinking it may be better just to get the Winegard Sensar IV and replace the entire thing. The inside unit is very yellowed, and the outside hardware is all rusted. It's been years since it was cranked up and a couple of months ago when I tried to crank it up and that's when the handle broke and the gears stripped. At around $158 I get the entire inside and outside pieces. No new roof penetrations as this should be a direct replacement of the original unit.... At least that's what I'm hoping for.
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:36 PM   #10
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I find the omnidirectional antenna on my Flying Cloud to be as good as or better than the old batwing on my prior trailer. I don't think any offer stellar performance but they do well enough in places where you have a decent signal. You won't always have a cell phone signal when camping and TV is the same.
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Old 01-31-2022, 02:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrowne View Post
I find the omnidirectional antenna on my Flying Cloud to be as good as or better than the old batwing on my prior trailer. I don't think any offer stellar performance but they do well enough in places where you have a decent signal. You won't always have a cell phone signal when camping and TV is the same.
Anyone who knows anything about RF communications understands that, with all things equal, directional provides better gain than omnidirectional. It also depends heavily on how well matched and tuned your system is. Antennas are not perfect devices. Even two seemingly identical antennas can have large differences in losses. The original batwing analog version antenna was not optimal for today's DTV signals. It's very easy to see how an old-style directional analog antenna can be outperformed by a newer design omnidirectional/amplified antenna. It would be a better comparison between to newer designs of amplified directional v/s omnidirectional antennas.

On a side note, I did spend over 20 years working in the design and manufacture of cell phones as an RF test engineer. The reason for my original question, is I was curious what others have upgraded to and how their installations went.
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Old 01-31-2022, 04:25 PM   #12
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This is the antenna we have on the Zephyr.
Sensar IV RV VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna
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Old 01-31-2022, 06:28 PM   #13
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This is the antenna we have on the Zephyr.
Sensar IV RV VHF/UHF HDTV Antenna
That's close to the first one listed in the original post but with upgraded performance in UHF. I'm leaning toward that since it's a direct replacement of the current Sensar unit. Did you do the install, or did you have it done? Any issues during the installation? How has it worked out for you?

It's the priciest option but seems to be the best overall performance currently on the market.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:43 PM   #14
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One of the PO's had it installed. I just painted it black. I did the recommended service with the silicone lube. I had to put a new seal boot on the coax cable going into the coach, and new fitting on the cable.

We have be very happy with the performance of the unit.
We also have the amplifier: Wall Plate Power Supply, 2-way, Cable Input -White (RV-7042)
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