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Old 02-28-2020, 10:04 AM   #1
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Indoor Antennas

I just read this Consumer Reports article on indoor antenna reviews, here's link that shows the ratings:

https://www.consumerreports.org/ante...nsltr_shopping

Here is my question: Would using one of these indoor antennas (as shown in CR link above), improve the number/quality of air channels I get in campgrounds?

I have used them in the past in my home and they have worked superbly. Just wondering if it would work as well 'on the road.'
Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:14 AM   #2
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Doubtful

Pretty sure the antenna must be outside the trailer to get reception, since the shell is basically a huge faraday cage.
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Old 02-28-2020, 10:16 AM   #3
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I do not think that an antenna inside the Airstream would improve reception. The skin of the trailer would block the signal. That is my theory.

When over the air TV is available, our exterior antenna works very well as did the one on our previous Airstream. Since we are on the road for months at a time, we travel with a satellite (Dish) system. That works very well while in the lower 48 states and not surrounded by big trees.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:54 PM   #4
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Tried one. Big pf-f-f-t. Nada, zilch.

Bought a piece of flat co-axial cable and strung up the same antenna outside. Better but not spectacular.

Bought a "ping-ding-bing" antenna (monkey butt ugly and lots of plastic) from Amazon and tested it. Took three relocates and some turning adjustments and a 12 foot pole, but it does work. Fine for wintering in Florida, but would not travel without boxing it up. Not gonna set it up for less than a 2 week stay. I would get Dish or a streaming service if I were doing a lot of traveling with short stops.
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Old 02-28-2020, 01:21 PM   #5
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It can sometimes be helpful to think of a broadcast transmission tower as a speaker at a rock concert.

If you are standing close to the speaker, the sound will be very loud, just like if you were located close to the transmission tower you will have outstanding reception. The farther away you are from the speaker or the transmission tower the fainter the signal will become. Also if there are obstacles between you and the speaker or tower, that will affect the reception as well.

Your television antenna in some ways acts as an old-fashioned ear trumpet. Some of them are more directional than others and can more effectively focus on signals coming from farther away but have to be aimed and pointed in that direction. If you have signals coming from several different cities you might have to turn your antenna and point them at the transmission towers for the best reception.

At a rock concert, if they turn up the volume the sound gets louder and you would be able to hear it from far away. Broadcast television stations are only licensed to transmit at a given power rating, sometimes they are allowed to boost their power in the evenings, but of course doing so adds to the cost of transmitting, so a given station in a given city has to weigh whether increasing the transmission costs will increase the number of people that can receive the signal, which could translate into higher ratings, which could translate into higher advertising dollars they are able to command. However, Since many people these days receive local television stations via cable or satellite, and since advertisers have been fleeing broadcast television for the Internet in order to attract consumers 18 to 29, the most coveted demographic, many television stations have decided it is not worth investing a whole lot of time, attention, or money, to the traditional Over the air transmissions.

And as others have pointed out being inside of an aluminum airstream blocks many of those transmissions. Your best bet would be to get some sort of directional exterior antenna that you can turn and point to the transmission tower you want.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:13 PM   #6
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I don’t believe the sole use of an internal antenna will be effective. Using an internal antenna in combination with an external antenna can be effective. The external antenna placed outside the trailer cleanly picks up the signal and the internal antenna positioned properly inside the trailer distributes the signal to any devices inside the trailer.

Re my cellular system, I use a weBoost 4G-X base unit with a SureCall 9.5” wide band outdoor omni 3G/4G antenna (model# SC-288W) and a Wilson indoor directional panel antenna (model #304452). The SureCall antenna is roof mounted and is connected to the internally located weBoost unit via an ultra low loss cable.

Re my wifi system, I use the WifiRanger Elite Pack FM (model # 11-ELITEPACKFM), a multi-part package that included everything needed. The “FM” designation refers to ‘flat-mounted” for roof installations - the 13” antenna is also available without the flat foot for tower, ladder. etc. installations. The “Elite” package also includes a 30’ ethernet cable, assorted hardware and a WifiRanger GO2 (with an alternative 110 VAC adapter and 12V wire harness). The roof-mounted antenna captures the outside wifi signal, amplifies the signal, and the ethernet cable brings it into the trailer to the GO2 unit. The GO2 unit is a wifi signal router and can be UBS ’tethered’ to an 3G/4G aircard or mifi / hotspot device. This tethering combines the amplified wifi signal with any available 3G/4G cellular signal to provide a more powerful signal.
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:36 PM   #7
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Check out Winegard

Hi PatLee, I feel your pain! We’ve been less than impressed with the factory roof antenna/amplifier setup on our 2019 27’ GT.

I get a cord-cutter newsletter from Winegard and just checked their website. They’ve got a dedicated RV section of antennas. Some are omnidirectional and some are directional. One is an automatic directional that takes all the guesswork out of it (will scan and aim automatically).

Check them out here: https://winegard.com/industry/recrea...gital-antennas

Good luck,
Jeff
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Old 02-29-2020, 04:23 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the detailed replies and explanations, I learned a lot. Winegard - full disclosure behind my question - I am actually pretty happy with the AS-supplied outside antenna on top of the trailer. It usually works far better than cable hook-up in most campsites. My question was motivated by seeking even MORE channels. Thanks again.
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