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Author Topic: Television Antenna Upgrade  (Read 525 times)

grashley

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Television Antenna Upgrade
« on: May 19, 2018, 07:32:40 PM »
I have an older Sensar antenna with less than ideal reception.  The first time I tried it, ( 6 months ago)  it pulled in 7 channels and their sub channels.  Later, no reception, and I learned it works better if you "turn it on" - the Winegard amp.  Lately, with the amp on, I only get 2 or 3 channels.  Same location in my back yard.

Can dirty or old coax connections be my problem?

I an looking at an antenna upgrade.  I see 3 basic options:
   Adding the Sensar Booster to my antenna
   Replacing my antenna head (only) with a new Sensar IV  head
   Go with a Rayzar z1 retrofit (fixed mast, directional) antenna
Prices are very similar.

I understand omnidirectional means it picks up poorly in all directions.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 07:50:40 PM »
The first thing to try is running a length of coax directly from the antenna to the power injector to see if the reception improves. If it does, then try a short length just from the antenna to the connection that's likely buried under some roof sealer where it passes through to the inside. If that also restores the performance, then just install it permanently and reseal the roof end. Then to improve the reception, add a "Wingman" UHF Yagi add-on and a SensarPro power injector/amplifier that replaces the existing power injector. The Wingman will make the antenna more directional for UHF reception, but also provide stronger signals. The SensarPro has an adjustable gain amplifier that can be very helpful in fringe areas, and backed off as needed in stronger signal areas to prevent overloading. If the coax doesn't solve the problem, then replacing the head with the Sensar IV is likely the way to go, and still consider adding the SensarPro.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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grashley

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 08:56:46 PM »
Thanks Dutch.

I assume the power injector is attached to the face plate with the switch and light?
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 10:11:35 PM »
Yes, that assembly is the power injector that sends 12-volts to the amplifier in the antenna housing on the roof, and it's also a combination power switch and input selector. When the LED is on, the antenna unit is powered and connected to the TV. When it's off, the cable input is connected to the TV instead.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

SCVJeff

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2018, 12:43:21 AM »
Several years ago I did extensive testing between the Batwing with and without the Wingman, and the Jack antenna with real lab gear used for designing these things in the 1st place. The Wingman won hands down over the Jack on all points, especially on VHF.

I haven't seen this antenna in person but there are two things that raise alarms:
1- The highband elements are gone and its unknown if or where the VHF section is designed to perform. Why?
2- Because I find no published specs on this antenna at all.

This thing looks too much like a a Jack to give me the warm ní fuzzies. Personally I would find out whats wrong with what you have..
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Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

NY_Dutch

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 06:45:26 AM »
If anyone is interested in seeing Jeff's head to head testing procedure and results for the Batwing vs Batwing w/Wingman vs Jack, they can be found here.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

John From Detroit

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2018, 06:55:52 AM »
Can old coax be the problem: YES. Not only old coax but old connectors (My Coax is 13 years old but I had to put on new connecters)
There is a connector in the roof by the way had to replace it as well.

Adding the WINGMAN (UHF Director Array) Improves UHF performance
Swapping the wall plate with the switch for the SENSAR PRO (about 100 bucks) also improves.

I see folks bragging about their new JACK antennas all the time the SENSAR III, is at least TWICE the antenna the Jack is and that is on the channels where they come closest and without the Wingman.. Just so you know.. ON other channels the Sensar is even better relative to the jack,

But Bad coax or rusted connectors (likely the roof one) are suspects #1.. A bad antenna is possible as well.... but rare.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2018, 06:59:06 AM »
Several years ago I did extensive testing between the Batwing with and without the Wingman, and the Jack antenna with real lab gear used for designing these things in the 1st place. The Wingman won hands down over the Jack on all points, especially on VHF.

I know you didn't have a low VHF channel available to test with, but I wonder just how much worse the Jack would have performed there than it's already poor high VHF results. As you know, those long wings on the Batwing are there for a reason.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2018, 08:34:27 AM »
Preacher: Your 2009 vintage Sensar is as capable as any made today. No need to upgrade it to improve reception. There may be more convenient models, e.g. the Rayzar Automatic, but the UHF performance in your Sensar is as good as any.

If you get different reception on different days, the most likely reasons are weather and variations caused by the distance from the source. TV signals reflect & bounce and get attenuated by all sorts of things.

As JFD says, corroded connectors  can indeed cause signal loss, so it may be worthwhile to replace the connector at the antenna end.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 03:53:16 PM »
I hate linking to a competing forum but
Batwing V/s Jack

Actual lab type test results complete with analyzer shots for both antennas. THIS is by the way the source of my information .
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

grashley

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 08:13:37 PM »
Jeff,  What antenna have you not seen in person?  Rayzar??

Gary, The camper is within 25 feet of the same location.  Are you saying the 9 year old Sensar would not benefit too much from the batwing?

I will go topside and check out the connectors.  That may cure the whole issue.
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
Andersen Ultimate hitch
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4   TST TMS  Garmin 760
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

NY_Dutch

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 09:15:22 PM »
Yes, Jeff was talking about the Rayzar when he said he hadn't seen one in person.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

SCVJeff

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 11:17:47 PM »
I actually thought that post was shredded by Photobucket when they changed their terms of service. Itís nice to see itís still there

I would have posted the thread elsewhere but nothing was as easy as that forum to do the job
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Jeff - WA6EQU
Santa Clarita, CA.
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2018, 07:21:23 AM »
Quote
Gary, The camper is within 25 feet of the same location. 
Yeah, but the signal itself may well be moving around.  It's a wave that can get reflected or inhibited in spots, and those spots can change from moment to moment or day to day.


Quote
Are you saying the 9 year old Sensar would not benefit too much from the batwing?
Yes. Winegard updated the Sensar design when UHF broadcast became more heavily used with the switch to digital tv. Most of the changeover to UHF was in 2005-2006, so your 2009 vintage Sensar is probably an updated model.   The most recent Sensar models (Sensar IV ) has a UHF antenna projecting from the side of the batwing. If you don't have that, an upgrade might help. However, you already stated that you were receiving numerous channels previously, so the antenna is not the fundamental issue.

If you don't have the UHF extension, you can add what they call The Wingman to older Sensars, or you can replace the entire head of the batwing with a Sensar IV head.
http://www.winegard.com/sensar/sensar-tech-specs
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

NY_Dutch

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2018, 08:26:13 AM »
I actually thought that post was shredded by Photobucket when they changed their terms of service. Itís nice to see itís still there

I would have posted the thread elsewhere but nothing was as easy as that forum to do the job

I have a complete copy of your post archived as a Word document. If the original were to disappear for some reason, I could easily repost it. With your permission of course...
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

John From Detroit

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Re: Television Antenna Upgrade
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2018, 12:56:58 PM »
About short moves.

You may notice this when driving.. YOu pull up to a red light. and the FM station you are listening to fades out.. Move as little as 6-12 inches and it's back full.

FM is between TV carrier Channels 6 (VHF L0b) and 7 (Vhf Hi)
There are two VHF low bands  In thing the lowest is 2 and 3 and then a jump to 4.5.6 then a big jump to VHF high (7-13) and then it's UHF a nice smooth continuous band.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.