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Old 01-12-2011, 04:09 PM   #1
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TV antenna troubles

Just wondering if i could get*a bit of advice, just bought the boat and found that there is a tv antenna hidden under the brow.**It has coax and three wires together, a red, a yellow and a black. The coax i can manage. I guess its 110, the antenna is a two inch thick dish about a foot and half in diameter, blue on the bottom, white on the top. Has no markings in regards to make/model. how should i proceed. thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:22 PM   #2
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Rip it out and throw away the tv. Actually, our antenna, which is a Shakespeare, has only a coax connected to it. Down below, that coax plugs in to a box with a coax "in from ant" socket. The box has power connections to AC and DC, with a selector switch to choose which power source you wish to use. The box also has a coax "out to tv" socket. Maybe its time to upgrade/replace the antenna so you know for sure what you have and how it is to be connected (instructions are included and simple). They are not particularly expensive.
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Old 01-12-2011, 07:56 PM   #3
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RE: TV antenna troubles

I don't know if this will help much but on my new to me boat my setup is similar to dwhatty. I have a small dish type antenna forward of the helm. It has I believe a co-axial cable that runs to I think a antenna amplifier in the aft stateroom that is 115v AC powered. A co-axial cable runs from the*amplifier*to the TV. When purchased the boat had an old analog TV. We tossed it and replace with a new flat screen. Hooked the new TV up to the co-axial cable from the amplifier and we get about 10 channels, most in HD.*The amplifier or whatever it is must be powered otherwise without it we get nothing.
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:33 PM   #4
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RE: TV antenna troubles

A non-moveable dish doesn't sound useful on a boat. Is there any type of receiver box at the other end? A picture might help too.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #5
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Sound like what we have. There is a strange looking controller down below that turns it. I'll try and post a photo.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:54 AM   #6
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RE: TV antenna troubles

I've figured out how to post an image, this will help i'm sure.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:33 AM   #7
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RE: TV antenna troubles

oh yeah, exactly what I have.* here is the controller that is down below and this also shows where the cable comes out.* you will see it goes into a splitter, the one cable continues on through the engine room and provides antenna service to the aft cabin.* Our antenna is stuck all the way to the right (won't rotate left anymore) and that killed our reception so we are replacing it with a long range antenna from Best Buy.*
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #8
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RE: TV antenna troubles

dwhatty's post was absolutely correct. The antenna that you have was mostly a gimmick when off-air was analog and mostly on VHF channels. Now that off-air TV is ALL digital, and for the most part, ALL on UHF channels you are much better off with rabbit ears on top of the TV. If you do not get a signal with rabbit ears, you are certainly not going to get one with that thing but if you are intent on trying it, I think I do have a couple of controllers that would work, free for the shipping.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:22 AM   #9
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Quote:
rhprop wrote:

dwhatty's post was absolutely correct. The antenna that you have was mostly a gimmick when off-air was analog and mostly on VHF channels. Now that off-air TV is ALL digital, and for the most part, ALL on UHF channels you are much better off with rabbit ears on top of the TV. If you do not get a signal with rabbit ears, you are certainly not going to get one with that thing but if you are intent on trying it, I think I do have a couple of controllers that would work, free for the shipping.

Oh good point, it is*not a digital antenna!* no wonder we get such crappy reception with it.**

Yeah, *I'd have to go with "rip it out".* I climbing into the "brow" on our boat.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #10
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Quote:
Pineapple Girl wrote:

*


*

Oh good point, it is*not a digital antenna!* no wonder we get such crappy reception with it.**

Yeah, *I'd have to go with "rip it out".* I climbing into the "brow" on our boat.

*

There is no such thing as a digital antenna. To pick up digital signals you need an antenna that receives UHF and I would bet even these old ones do. The location of that thing is probably the issue, among other things. Some digital is still being broadcast on VHF just to confuse things so ideally you want an antenna that receives VHF and UHF and if you are on the extreme ends of reception, get one with a signal booster. Chuck

*
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:18 PM   #11
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Quote:
Capn Chuck wrote:

*
Pineapple Girl wrote:

*


*

Oh good point, it is*not a digital antenna!* no wonder we get such crappy reception with it.**

Yeah, *I'd have to go with "rip it out".* I climbing into the "brow" on our boat.

*

There is no such thing as a digital antenna. To pick up digital signals you need an antenna that receives UHF and I would bet even these old ones do. The location of that thing is probably the issue, among other things. Some digital is still being broadcast on VHF just to confuse things so ideally you want an antenna that receives VHF and UHF and if you are on the extreme ends of reception, get one with a signal booster. Chuck

*

*

X2. And, if at the extreme ends, as we are, even a booster may not help. Forgetting about the TV and watching nature does help.

*
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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TV antenna troubles

Quote:
Capn Chuck wrote:

*
Pineapple Girl wrote:

*


*

Oh good point, it is*not a digital antenna!* no wonder we get such crappy reception with it.**

Yeah, *I'd have to go with "rip it out".* I climbing into the "brow" on our boat.

*

There is no such thing as a digital antenna. To pick up digital signals you need an antenna that receives UHF and I would bet even these old ones do. The location of that thing is probably the issue, among other things. Some digital is still being broadcast on VHF just to confuse things so ideally you want an antenna that receives VHF and UHF and if you are on the extreme ends of reception, get one with a signal booster. Chuck

*
One of my "pet peeves" is antennas advertised as "digital antennas".* You are correct, there is no such thing as a digital antenna.* It's an antenna.

You are also correct that, for some unknown reason, the US government deleted the lower half of the VHF TV spectrum, but kept the upper half plus UHF.* So, the antenna must pick up VHF as well as UHF.

To complicate matters, the FCC allowed stations to keep their old channel designations so what you see on the air as channel 5, may actually be broadcasting on channel 44 (UHF).

And for the suggestion to use "rabbit ears", that's fine for a boat in a slip.* A boat anchored will most likely swing with the tide or current and you will have to continually adjust the rabbit ears (which are direcional).* The saucer shaped antennas you see advertised for boats are omnidirectional which means they pick up signals in all directions


-- Edited by rwidman on Thursday 13th of January 2011 06:00:29 PM
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:02 PM   #13
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Trash it! *If you are within the B contour of a TV station, with digital TV, if you do not get reception on rabbit ears, you will not get sufficient signal without going to a Yagi antenna mounted outside. These types of antennas were nothing but rabbit ears mounted in an enclosure with a small motor to rotate it.

An amplifier does not improve the receiving efficiency of an antenna. It will only overcome cable losses on the way to your TV.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:16 PM   #14
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Omni-directional means that an antenna is equally INEFFECIENT in all directions.*

" There ain't no free lunch "


You can put a Yagi outside with a rotator or you can put rabbit ears inside and get up and move them if the boat moves, or if you are that close to the transmitting tower, just straighten out a clothes hanger and attach to the back of the TV ( thats all an omni-directional antenna is.)


I have spent 40 years in broadcasting, retiring as S.V.P Engineering. You can take my advice or go to Radio Shack
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #15
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Geez guys, can't I watch some sports or news or mindless sitcoms*while at my slip working on boat projects?** I'm not in the midst of an adventure*/ nature*EVERY time I am at my boat.*

Obviously I don't understand TV signals in the least.* * what is a B contour?* what's a Yagi antenna?* Do TVs even HAVE rabbit ears anymore??* LOL, those are rhetorical questions!*

Anyways, I am installing my new "long range" antenna from best buy this weekend since the old one is busted and I DO like to turn on the idiot box every once in awhile.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:19 PM   #16
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Don't get overwhelmed with all of the tech speak. For a boat that moves around, get an omni-directional, a signal booster will help, mount it as high as you can, be sure it will receive UHF and VHF and don't worry about all of the rest. Be careful spending extra money for "long range" antennas, a lot of this is marketing ploys to get your money. Follow my suggestions and you will be fine. Chuck
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:33 PM   #17
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Quote:
rhprop wrote:These types of antennas were nothing but rabbit ears mounted in an enclosure with a small motor to rotate it.
There is no rotation.* It's an antenna that picks up signals from all directions.

*
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #18
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RE: TV antenna troubles

Quote:
rhprop wrote:

Omni-directional means that an antenna is equally INEFFECIENT in all directions.*

A highly directional antenna pointed directly at the transmitting tower is certainly more efficient than an omnidirectiona antenna and, provided that all the transmitters are in the same general direction, it would be the best antenna for a home, business, etc.

I really don't think anyone wants to get up in the middle of a game or show to readjust the TV antenna as the boat swings on the hook.* That is why I recommend an omnidirectional antenna for a boat.* The major marine antenna companies must agree with me because that's pretty much all they manufacture and sell.
*
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:48 PM   #19
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RE: TV antenna troubles

The contour is the signal strength of the TV station at a given distance from the transmitting antenna. Antennas and their ability to receive signals are very basic and the advertising hype is just that. Antennas are nothing more than wires, or elements, *arranged in a pattern *and no antenna of a given number of elements of a given length will *be no more efficient than another of an equal number of elements, regardless of what the marketing hype says. Any antenna will work better outside than inside and at VHF and UHF ( TV bands ) will work better mounted higher than lower.

If your Best Buy super duper signal booster is not a multi element yagi , you will be just as well off taking the clothes hanger and putting it outside your window.


This is kinda like buying the magic pill on late night tv that will instantly shed 20 pounds or you can diet and exercise.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:58 PM   #20
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RE: TV antenna troubles

They sell them because people who do not care to bend a clothes hanger will buy them. The same reason people will spend $100 *or more on a marine VHF antenna when it is nothing but a wire covered with a fiberglass tube. Physics are physics and hype is hype. Some people will buy what works, others will buy the hype.
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