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Old 09-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
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TV antennas while at anchor

We recently bought a digital TV/DVD player for our trawler.* However I am having difficulty getting reception while at anchor.* I was hoping a "lesser price" big box store digital antenna would do but it is too direction sensitive.* Should I invest in the Shakespeare Omni Directional marine antenna.* West Marine sells several models.* Do they really work?* We mainly like to get local channels for news and weather.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

Jim, I have an older UFO-style TV antenna on my boat and it works great for pulling in broadcast signals. I recently upgraded to a 12V 22 inch Haier HDTV and all is well. I boat in the CA Delta which has cities surrounding the area, not unlike the Chesapeake. It ought to work well for you there.

Counting the spanish, cartoon, religious and secondary channels often broadcasting endless local weather, I probably receive 25-30 channels.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:43 PM   #3
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

Don't be fooled by "digital"or "HD" antenna. They are all bits of metal loops and the possible coil... However, the Shakespeare versions are more robust in the marine environment. That being said, I have a Radio Shack version and while it doesn't pick up stations that well, part of that is that my antenna is only 16' off the water level. In New Bern, there ain't much... In Myrtle Beach, it picked up a lot.

Bottom line... There is a lot of trial and error.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

I agree...there's nothing special about the antennas marketed as HD. I would look for a powered antenna vs. a passive one for maximum range.

Here's a link to a more modern version of the one I have. It's 12V powered. Check out the links for the technical data and manuals. Mine is also mounted about 15-16 ft off the water and easily pulls in stations 30 miles away.

I'd think real hard before putting anything with the Radio Shack name on my boat. Quality matters in the marine environment.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:17 AM   #5
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

mine always worked well that said I am currently installing a satellite antenna
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:42 AM   #6
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TV antennas while at anchor

To home brew a TV antenna simply find an old aluminum 20 inch or so bike wheel.

Cut it in half across the diameter and spread the two halves apart with a insulators.

Hook a 75-300 ohm outside converter to each wheel half and lead in with std round 300 ohm TV cable.

A couple of dowels stuck in the wheels will give a simple mount ,the higher you can get it the better reception.

Swinging on anchor is no problem.

Not for the yacht club set , but it works fine .




-- Edited by FF on Thursday 29th of September 2011 04:43:32 AM
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:33 AM   #7
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

Many thanks to all for the prompt response.* I guess, as always, you get what you pay for.* However, the split bicycle wheel is intriguing and ingenious.* However I somehow just can't bring myself to displaying a split bicycle wheel from my mast as an antenna.* It just does not fit the "bristol yachtie look."** But--I am sure it works great.* *Many thanks.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:17 PM   #8
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

There is no such thing as a digital antenna. You need any antenna that will receive UHF and VHF signals. Apparently you are on the fringe or outside the reception area for any stations, or you have a bad coax cable. The marine units will often have a signal booster wired in that will get you stations if you are on the fringes. That is where a bicycle wheel is not going to help you. I would first check all connectors and the coax. Chuck
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:48 AM   #9
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

"The marine units will often have a signal booster wired in that will get you stations if you are on the fringes. That is where a bicycle wheel is not going to help you."

The hassle is the old analog TV sets would accept a boosted signal and perhaps some ghosting would go away.

The new digital required a "perfect" signal , so taking a marginal signal and boosting it to much stronger , is still not the "perfect" signal required .

Any round antenna is weak , and only works in strong signal areas , usually 25 mi or less from the transmitter.

On out RV we can get away with a crank up antenna that is then pointed to the signal, but on a swinging boat it could not work.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:30 AM   #10
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RE: TV antennas while at anchor

I have a sea watch 2030 with amp and mount in he classified for $65
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
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TV antennas while at anchor

I had a Dantronics "UFO" style antenna and it worked OK, but not reliably at my slip. After much research and asking on web forums, I replaced it with a 14" amplified "Glomex" brand antenna. It works better and is pretty reliable at my slip.



Directional antennas are fine for homes if all the stations are in the same direction from your home. They are useless on a boat because a boat moves and the stations are in one direction one minute and in a few minutes, they are in another direction.


-- Edited by rwidman on Friday 30th of September 2011 12:07:06 PM
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:05 PM   #12
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TV antennas while at anchor

Quote:
FF wrote:
To home brew a TV antenna simply find an old aluminum 20 inch or so bike wheel.

Cut it in half across the diameter and spread the two halves apart with a insulators.

Hook a 75-300 ohm outside converter to each wheel half and lead in with std round 300 ohm TV cable.

A couple of dowels stuck in the wheels will give a simple mount ,the higher you can get it the better reception.

Swinging on anchor is no problem.

Not for the yacht club set , but it works fine .





-- Edited by FF on Thursday 29th of September 2011 04:43:32 AM

I might put that on someone else's boat, but I wouldn't be caught dead with it on my boat.* I would turn the TV off first!

300 ohm TV cable is flat.* 75 ohm TV cable is round (and shielded).

BTW: Are you supposed to take the tire off or leave it on?*

*

*
*


-- Edited by rwidman on Friday 30th of September 2011 12:05:32 PM
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