Air Antenna (Bat Wing)

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lenbeal

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Joined
Dec 3, 2010
Posts
38
Location
Florida
I am getting tired or hunting for TV channels every time we change campsites. I havd Direct TV but some times we want local channels. It always takes a while to keep turning the bat wing to find channels. Is their a product solution...Maybe to change out the bat wing...
 
If you go here:

http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/

Enter your zip and then click on each station you will end up with a map that shows you the direction of each station in your area.
 
You can get a motorized antenna with a remote to make it more convenient, but the procedure is still a hunt for channels.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM7184757208P?ci_src=184425893&ci_sku=SPM7184757208&sid=IDx20130125xMPTVSx027

This antenna claims to be omni-directional, which would seem to make antenna tuning unnecessary. I don't know how well it works, though.
http://www.rvwholesalers.com/catalog/directional-tv-antenna-24-2285.html?gclid=COG9soj5g7YCFQo3nAodp0oAPw
 
Tom,
I couldn't get that link to work.

Gary,
There have been a lot of discussions re: the efficacy of the omni vs batwing. All I know is this: I was next to a guy with an omni antenna and I with my wingman batwing. I could only get a few channels and had to turn the d--n antenna each time to get those. The guy next to me sat outside watching his tv with his feet up and drinking beer and was getting far more channels than I. My conclusion: Batwing=annoyance and stress. Omni=peace and contentment.  ;) ;D
 
I have Dish network and have the local channels everywhere we go. I simply change my service address to where I am and the locals, including local sports networks are all right there. No muss, no fuss....

Ken
 
I wouldn't change my batwing for anything! I never cease to be amazing by it's capabilities!

As I recall, there are about six tuned circuits in the head, each processed through the main high quality RF amplifier.

It really isn't all that directional, so a general north-south and east-west scan picks up pretty much most of anything you are likely to receive.

On occasion, some of these amplifier circuits have been known to fail; so it's always a good idea to check with the neighbours when they all have their antennas up, watching TV; and you aren't receiving anything! 
 
Stan Birch said:
It really isn't all that directional, so a general north-south and east-west scan picks up pretty much most of anything you are likely to receive.
It isn't all that directional if you are close to a major city. However I am about 20 miles from Orlando and I had to break out the WD40 and spray the mechanism so I could turn it to receive ABC channel 9. It only comes in if it is pointed exactly at the station. I had to look up the station at http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/maps/
and then use my GPS as a compass to find the station. I needed to find it so I could watch Dancing With The Stars tomorrow night.
 
I have heard that you can get good results with this antenna
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=jack+rv+antenna&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=21313368450&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=s&hvrand=1234567890&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&ref=pd_sl_w5wgnrw6_b

A friend of min replaced the batwing with the  Jack antenna with the sure lock signal finder and says he gets mor channels now. Also some of the coach manufacturers are installing the Jack now. It has some blue LED lights to tell you when you have the strongest signal.
 
I replaced my batwing with the jack, and sitting at my house which is 50 miles from the city  I don't see a difference. It may pick up better as far as turning it forward and scan then backwards and scan. It does not have to be tuned in near cities quite as much[I think] The signal finder is not to precise with only the 4 lights to gauge the signal.I use my converter box signal meter as is more accurate.
 
If I may throw in an old trick in hopes that it helps someone...
Being a trucker, I also was quite involved with home based CB's.  Still have much of the testing equipment.

One trick that may help with the older batwing style antennas is that the wings are made out of aluminum.  A vinegar and water mix to wash the wings cleaned and mildly etches them to bring them back to like new performance.  This is assuming that all cable connections are clean and intact.

The idea is that aluminum does get dirty and corrodes to a point over the course of a couple of years.  Even in a natural environment.  The vinegar/water solution works to clean and slightly etch the metal to bring that new conductive state back to receive what it was manufactured for. 

Wish I could remember what the solution ratio was meant to be.  Been a while.  But it worked for me.  Used on a home based CB antenna and a scanner antenna.  As well as the Wingard batwing on my TT (Just "winging" the ratio.  Using 1/8 cup vinegar to one gallon water).

Trick that may help those that think their batwings are on their way to the graveyard due to poor reception, when they are only dirty/corroded a bit.  With some cleaning, may be just fine.  I wipe mine down every other year.  What does some vinegar and water cost to try?
 
Lab testing puts the Jack at about the same as the Batwing WITH Wingman,

If you want a decent signal strength meter as well, Replace the indoor module/switch/power unit with a Winegard Sensar Pro.

This unit automatically scans for channels, displays the strongest one and the digital meter goes to 99.  Generally 60+ is good.

It also contains a 2nd pre-amp, zero to 20 (10 is normal I suspect "unity gain")

You can also specify the broadcast channel (NOT always the same as what's on your TV screen) to peak on.  I love mine.

Of course.. It works with the batwing too, with or without wingman.
 
Use the site mentioned to locate where the towers are and point bat wing there or install this between antenna and switch box.  Turn it on, turn the bat wing and when the signal is maxed stop and auto tune the tv, done.

http://www.amazon.com/King-Controls-SL1000-SureLock-Digital/dp/B0045E3MHK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363720404&sr=8-1&keywords=tv+reception+finder
 
One thing about those antenna pointing sites..  You can check them fairly easily by googling the zip code for Kalamazoo, MI. if they show a tower to the East (Battle Creek) the site is giving you station locations, NOT tower locations (The tower for Kalamazoo, battle Creek and Grand Rapids stations are all clustered at Gun Lake)  if you do not wish to ggoogle zip codes try 49092 (Tekonsha) though Battle dreek and Gun Lake lie on the same vector there. (or dang close to it)

I've found many antenna pointing sites do not measure up.

You might say I've been to the towers (Which by the way I have).
 
SeilerBird said:
I had to break out the WD40 and spray the mechanism so I could turn it to receive ABC channel 9.

Bad Boy!! Bad Bad Bad Boy!  :-\

Silicone spray is the ONLY recommended lubricant/rejuvenant for the Batwing!  ;)
 
Stan Birch said:
Bad Boy!! Bad Bad Bad Boy!  :-\

Silicone spray is the ONLY recommended lubricant/rejuvenant for the Batwing!  ;)
I could care less what the recommended lubricant is. I hate silicone spray and will not use it.
 
SeilerBird said:
I hate silicone spray and will not use it.

The reason Wingard recommends silicone, is that it softens the (rubber?) seals, restoring their orginal pliable characteristics. Same goes for rubber seals elsewhere in the rig, like dump valves. The use of petroleum lubricants on rubber will rot it prematurely.



 
Stan Birch said:
The reason Wingard recommends silicone, is that it softens the (rubber?) seals, restoring their orginal pliable characteristics. Same goes for rubber seals elsewhere in the rig, like dump valves. The use of petroleum lubricants on rubber will rot it prematurely.
I have been using WD40 for about 50 years without any issues or problems at all. I am not about to change. I have tried silicone spray and found it worthless whereas WD40 works almost every time. The big problem I have with silicone spray is that it does not penetrate. That makes it worthless for most of my applications.
 
John From Detroit said:
One thing about those antenna pointing sites..  You can check them fairly easily by googling the zip code for Kalamazoo, MI. if they show a tower to the East (Battle Creek) the site is giving you station locations, NOT tower locations (The tower for Kalamazoo, battle Creek and Grand Rapids stations are all clustered at Gun Lake) 

I found not true.  Not all GR, MI towers are in the Gun Lake area.  WZZM's (channel 13 and located in Walker, MI) tower is in the Grant, MI area.  North of Grand Rapids.  Not south of GR near Wayland (Gun Lake).

When I was doing the research to purchase an antenna and rotor for my TT (permanently parked) I ended up using  the link below.  It worked very well for information in which way to point my antenna for maximum reception.  This included any stations that were within range of my antenna.  All I needed was the zip code or address of where I was at.  I have been using the recommendations based on this link for the last 3 years and can check it by reading the signal strength meter on my converter.  It's been correct.  Give it a try.

http://www.tvfool.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=75
 

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