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Old 02-10-2012, 20:01   #1
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Which TV Antenna is Best??

I want to mount a TV Antenna on my mast while it's down. Should I put it at the top or at the spreaders?? Which location has the least entanglement issues?? Which antenna should I buy??
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Old 02-10-2012, 20:23   #2
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

i have a small flat panel tv. i use the antenna jack on the back to connect the tv to an indoor antenna i bought at walmart. works great. the antenna is somewhat nondirectional so drifting around at anchor is not much of a problem. of course, at each new anchorage we have to 'retune' the tv to find the local stations.

total cost of tv and antenna was under $200....
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Old 02-10-2012, 20:36   #3
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I can't give you a definitive answer but I can give you my recent experiences with tv antennas on the Towboat I work on. We have one of those omnidirectional circular jobs by I believe Sea-watch. In the past few months we've had it mounted to a rail on the stern of the second deck, on top of the wheelhouse, and on an antenna pole on top of the wheelhouse (after replacing the one blown away by Hurricane Issac).

We seem to pick up the most channels with it mounted on the antenna pole which is about 46' high and clear of most obstructions. No matter where we put it though, it cuts out for seemingly no reason. We're not sure if it is the boat's movement, the antenna, or the technology of digital broadcast. I'm leaning towards the last two mostly.

The omnidirectional is nice when it's working well, but it always seems to cut out right when my team is about to score!
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Old 02-10-2012, 22:17   #4
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

We're now on antenna #4. Don't ask.

Antenna #1 was a Shakespeare. Worked well most locations.

#2 was some sort of short stub of Italian design. Got one or two channels only. Took it back.

#3 was a lightweight UFO. Worked about as well as the Shakespeare.

However parked in the marina at Mooloolaba it didn't really work at all. I suffered (not in silence) walked around the marina, looked and asked questions.

Turned out the antenna de jour was a small caravan type available only from a caravan and fishing shop in Tea Tree. Yes there is such a place.

OK, took the bus over, brought the antenna for not a lot of money and some extra cable. Bolted it on and voila, all channels. Happy me.

Rural areas in Oz have UHF only so a UHF antenna is needed. Think short stubby elements. VHF has those long elements in their antennas.
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Old 02-10-2012, 22:27   #5
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

We had a shakespeare (looks like a big flat circle) and it worked great right up until all the tv stations flipped to digital. We got the digital filter thing, but it didn't matter. With analog you could get 80% reception and it was good enough. Now 80% means you see a blue screen.
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Old 02-10-2012, 22:47   #6
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
We had a shakespeare (looks like a big flat circle) and it worked great right up until all the tv stations flipped to digital. We got the digital filter thing, but it didn't matter. With analog you could get 80% reception and it was good enough. Now 80% means you see a blue screen.
Almost true. It is 50% level for most newer TV tuners. Now, what my TV tuner is calling 50% might be what yours considers 80% however.

Use antennaweb.org to find out how far the stations are away from you. I use a small directional antenna, but it needs to be pointed within 5 degrees of the TV tower. It would be a big problem on a moving boat.

Make sure you use some lightning protection, but maybe have some way to bypass it when you need the full signal on clear days. Amplifiers can help a little, but I haven't been too impressed.
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Old 02-10-2012, 23:24   #7
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

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Almost true. It is 50% level for most newer TV tuners. Now, what my TV tuner is calling 50% might be what yours considers 80% however.

Use antennaweb.org to find out how far the stations are away from you. I use a small directional antenna, but it needs to be pointed within 5 degrees of the TV tower. It would be a big problem on a moving boat.

Make sure you use some lightning protection, but maybe have some way to bypass it when you need the full signal on clear days. Amplifiers can help a little, but I haven't been too impressed.
Five degrees is pretty tough, even in a marina where masts and coach roofs are meandering into your path with the antenna. It was a real shame when they went to digital.

God I sound old.
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Old 02-10-2012, 23:32   #8
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
We're now on antenna #4. Don't ask.

Antenna #1 was a Shakespeare. Worked well most locations.

#2 was some sort of short stub of Italian design. Got one or two channels only. Took it back.

#3 was a lightweight UFO. Worked about as well as the Shakespeare.

However parked in the marina at Mooloolaba it didn't really work at all. I suffered (not in silence) walked around the marina, looked and asked questions.

Turned out the antenna de jour was a small caravan type available only from a caravan and fishing shop in Tea Tree. Yes there is such a place.

OK, took the bus over, brought the antenna for not a lot of money and some extra cable. Bolted it on and voila, all channels. Happy me.

Rural areas in Oz have UHF only so a UHF antenna is needed. Think short stubby elements. VHF has those long elements in their antennas.
Thanks for that,
I'd been told that different areas require different aerials.
When I was in Bundaberg last year I was offered an aerial that looked like a white car steering wheel, "all the trawler crews swear by them" and at $600 they'd want to be good.
As it turned out they were only good for TV in that area, fortunately I was told this before I bought one.
Just about to try a UFO one from Whitworths but sounds like it won't be any good either.
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Old 02-10-2012, 23:51   #9
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Currently have a UFO one from Whitworths and on my mooring at Tarren Point, Botany Bay,near Sydney cannot get anything else but one digital channel- TV Sydney. Going to try some "rabbit ears" with amplifier as I have heard that might work.

Steve
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Old 02-10-2012, 23:55   #10
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

We inherited a Glomex amplified one from the PO. It lives on top of the mast. I don't really watch TV on board, but I've tried it a few times and it seems to work remarkably well. This is the type mostly used around here.

TV in the UK is now all digital and this is more challenging for reception in remote places. I receive like 60 channels - just like cable. It's wasted on me, however.
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:13   #11
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

Have used SUPERdigi Mobile TV Tuner and was able to get reception where others failed, also no signal dropout as boat moves. Just Auto tune whenever you move to a new area and presto a perfect picture. Worked a charm all up and down the East Coast of Australia.
SUPERdigi Mobile TV Tuner
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:42   #12
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

Have an amplified Glomex type as well, $20 second hand from Ebay, only used when the GF is onboard. Not fixed permanently, just hoisted on a spare halyard, and seems to pick up all available channels.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart

Five degrees is pretty tough, even in a marina where masts and coach roofs are meandering into your path with the antenna. It was a real shame when they went to digital.

God I sound old.
Agreed but all digital stations are not equal. They can transmit in different resolutions the higher resolutions require a better signal.
That's why some require 80% versus 50%, but even the lower resolution is not as good as analog.
By the way, assuming you have a computer aboard, you can buy a USB tv thingy that will turn your computer into a digital tv for about $50.
Tom
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:59   #14
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

I had an antenna that came with the boat. It was non functional when I tried to use it so I gutted it and built my own from copper tubing from Home depot. (10 Bucks). I mounted it on the mizzen about equal to spreaders. I bought a signal booster for my digital HD TV and get about 20 channels at my location. I am about 40 miles from Baltimore and 50 miles from Philadelphia.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:20   #15
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Re: Which TV Antenna is Best??

If you want a great antenna check this out and build your own cost @ $5 and 1 hour. Sounds stupid but mine works great.
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