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Old 05-04-2015, 08:22   #16
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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Originally Posted by AnchorageGuy View Post
Digital TV is broadcast over VHF and UHF frequencies. MPEG 4 is a digital multimedia format used to store video and audio files and used by some multi-media players. It is also used to decode some satellite and cable TV broadcasts in receiver boxes. These codecs are built into the receivers, whether they are for satellite, cable or your built in receiver in your TV set. I don't see any way this will affect over the air broadcast antennas, but perhaps I missed something. Chuck
Chuck, he referenced a "car TV tuner with antennas" so I think that was why he advised about the codec. It may be an integrated antenna and tuner and so only outputs video to a display screen.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:24   #17
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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Correct. A lot of people don't understand this and the companies that advertise "digital antennas" are preying on that ignorance.
Remember the "Digital Speaker Wire" sales baloney? Same scam.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:02   #18
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

As for commercial antennas looking better, that is a given. Of course they do. My neighbors boat has a beautiful antenna from West Marine that cost over $200 and get 3 channels.
Mine , without coax, cost under $20 and gets 14 here. The flat one advertised on TV gets 3 on a good day. Have both. I rest my case.

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Old 06-04-2015, 16:32   #19
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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Originally Posted by sailordaveb View Post
Just finished making and installing a simple bi-polar antenna on my Cal 27 sailboat.
An almost identical antenna is described here:

CatalinaOwners.com - Homemade TV Antenna

He too bent his aluminum bar around a bucket to make a circle. He has pictures.
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Old 06-04-2015, 17:53   #20
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

An in between alternative is the $30 amplified antennas from any retail outlet, big box or otherwise.

I have square RCA one that is for indoor use. One day when getting spotty reception, I ran it outside and put it up my short 23 feet above water trawler mast.

Over the last 4 months it has been outside for several thunderstorms and driving rains. Even though I was going to try and seal it better...so far it works fine.

When I get back from my trip I plan to permanently mount it under my radar on the mast....beats spending 5 to 7 time more for the same guts...just a different outer cover....and to me it looks better when mounted in certain ways
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Old 06-04-2015, 18:08   #21
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

I have also been using the little square RCA antenna. Works well enough for me. But those homemade ones look like fun projects...
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Old 07-04-2015, 05:32   #22
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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I have also been using the little square RCA antenna. Works well enough for me. But those homemade ones look like fun projects...
How true....some of us enjoy and need to fabricate some boating luxuries....

Funny how it seems some have tossed or even never owned a nautical library to make room for the West Marine catalog and have the ABYC pubs on their night table.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:02   #23
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
As for the homemade antennas described or pictured, you can't build an antenna better than one you can buy.

You most surely can build better, there are thousands of designs for antennas and each has it's good points and bad, every one is a trade off. The designation of "better" is determined by important considerations of the problem at hand and each installation can be different. I'm not trying to say the picture of my bow tie looks professional, it wasn't intended too. It was a mock up of a design that I will eventually install of on the outside surface of my wooden mast, and thus have no windage or appendages to catch lines. I expect I will have 2 in perpendicular directions, and now that I have learned about fractal elements I will incorporate them into the design. Also it was the first one I built of this design and the picture was taken to allow others to easily copy it, after I found it worked very well.

Thus I will have a "better" antenna, one that cannot be bought. I can build almost anything "better" than what can be bought since almost everything sold by modern man is contstructed with cost as a major factor in the design, certainly not best performance or longest life.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:43   #24
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

What most people can't DIY is the outdoor preamp. For digital TV on a boat the best antenna is an omnidirectional one. Most omni designs are relatively low gain. So a preamp at the antenna is what makes the difference. I have a Shakespeare 2020 with built in preamp. No longer made but available on eBay for ~$100. You can't build it yourself for less.
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Old 07-04-2015, 23:22   #25
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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Originally Posted by sailordaveb View Post
Hope the attached picture works. Dave
The antenna is just below the spreader suspended on a loop of paracord so it can be put up or down easily.

Sent from my SM-T210R using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
So. A picture is worth a thousand words... unless it's from 50 feet away. thanks
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Old 08-04-2015, 14:32   #26
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Re: TV reception aboard simple

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What most people can't DIY is the outdoor preamp. For digital TV on a boat the best antenna is an omnidirectional one. Most omni designs are relatively low gain. So a preamp at the antenna is what makes the difference. I have a Shakespeare 2020 with built in preamp. No longer made but available on eBay for ~$100. You can't build it yourself for less.
No but the amplified $30-$40 RCA is virtually the same, can be ware proofed and to me in the right installations looks better or is invisible like the Shakespeare.

it may not be as durable...but if you overcome up resistance, wind damage and impact damage you have the same for much less. If ebay ones aren't available, the Shakespeare are was more at Marine stores.
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