Free Air Antenna

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Metalman RVer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
156
On our Glendale 5er we have this antenna on the roof, a "Jack TV for free antenna" & I just discovered it can be rotated to bring in channels better! Shows how much I know about this stuff!  Anyhow the RV is 11 yrs old mostly for my wife's benefit, I wanted to ask if there if something better on the market for a free air antenna that we could purchase for better "free air" reception or is an antenna an antenna an antenna? Just thought I would ask in case there is something better on the market for reasonable cost.
 

Attachments

  • Antenna.jpg
    Antenna.jpg
    86.1 KB · Views: 62

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
5,858
Location
SW Louisiana
The King Jack antenna is one of the better ones out there, it looks like yours started out as a batwing and was upgraded to a Jack at some point.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
26,268
Location
Davison Michigan
Better depends on where you are parked... believe it or not.

NOW if by "Better" you means "Can see 50 miles out well" then the Winegard Sensar IV with the Sensar Pro indoor module (Replaces the wall plate) is #1 with a bullet for US made antennas tha travel.

For many stations 15 miles out over a wide arc. the JACK is best.

MOST tv stations are "Clustered" that is what is high ground for one is high ground for all and HEIGHT IS MIGHT.  But I do have places where they are spread out a bit too much for the Batwing (Winegard).

For FIXED. there are many that are better. but only if you don't plan on moving for a long time.  Cause though they come folded. once unfolded they are ...  Not fun to fold back up.
 

docj

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Posts
1,807
Isaac-1 said:
The King Jack antenna is one of the better ones out there, it looks like yours started out as a batwing and was upgraded to a Jack at some point.

"Upgraded" to a Jack is a bit of a stretch.  In every test I've seen the batwing has the highest gain but it does require reasonably precise pointing.  The Jack has a lower overall gain, but has a wider "angular acceptance window".  A significant percentage of RVers dislike having to point their batwings at the stations they are watching.  Therefore, to them, changing to a Jack is an upgrade.  But from a purely technical perspective, is it not.
 

Tom_M

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Posts
192
The Jack works well for most situations. Most TV stations broadcast on the higher frequency UHF band but many are on the lower VHF band. The Jack does not do well for VHF. The Winegard Sensar IV is considered one of the best antennas for RVs. It does well for both VHF and UHF.

One note about the Jack is that the pointed end is the rear of the antenna. The flat part should be pointed toward the TV transmitter site.
 

Attachments

  • Jack.jpg
    Jack.jpg
    23.8 KB · Views: 25

Metalman RVer

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
156
That is the opposite for how I thought it would be. I envisioned it like an arrow with the tip pointed in the direction of where the station is.  Good to know...??..thanks
 

NY_Dutch

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Posts
7,819
Location
Where our wheels take us!
The Sensar antennas alone are pretty much bi-directional with the aiming angle 90° to the "wings". If it's a Sensar IV or has the Wingman UHF add-on, then the Wingman directors are aimed at the transmitting towers for best UHF reception. The backside still works pretty well for VHF reception. Note with Sensar antennas, the directional arrow on the inside dial does NOT point in the aiming direction. That pointer is only for locating the correct parking position when stowing the antenna. The aiming direction is 90° from the pointer. If you have a Wingman add-on, I suggest marking the dial with the correct aiming location. Also note that the current FCC mandated channel repack will move more channels down to low and high VHF channels, making the King Jack even less useful in many places.
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
26,268
Location
Davison Michigan
Even without the wingman teh Sensar line is uni-directional (one way) on UHF. bi-directional on VHF only.  Still the best antenna in my opinion... But then I'm watching Canadian TV from here in Michigan.
 

BruceinFL

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Posts
3,205
"TV Towers" is a great app for locating transmission towers and aiding in pointing the antenna. The app's compass function works great for this. Select the function on your phone and then rotate until the towers are in line and simply rotate your antenna to where your phone is pointed.  ;)
(This is an iPhone app. Not sure if there is an iPad or Android version.)
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
26,268
Location
Davison Michigan
One thing I like about the WINEGARD app..... Now it takes a bit of figuring out but... If you select ANTENNA it will download the list of stations around you based on the phone's GPS. Then. You scroll down to the list of stations.. THen you tap the AR icon and it opens the camera just like the Sat Pointer apps do. NOW hold the phone so the screen is STRAIGHT up and down (not tilted roward or away from you) and turn around slowly.  the station you selected an mage of a tower will appear.. When the Tower is on the center line you are LOOKING at it.. Point your antenna
 

Tom_M

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Posts
192
grashley said:
Tom:
Very interesting!!  Is the same true for the Sensor antennas?
Attached is an image of a Sensar III without a Wingman. The Wingman just snaps onto the bottom of the antenna. The support arms attach to the back. The other image is a Sensar IV which includes the Wingman.
 

Attachments

  • Sensar.jpg
    Sensar.jpg
    31.1 KB · Views: 30
  • Sensar IV_small.jpg
    Sensar IV_small.jpg
    40.7 KB · Views: 33

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
26,268
Location
Davison Michigan
Sensar with wingman the wingman (Technial name UFH Director array) points toward the target (Televsion tower)

Sensar w/o wingman.. Same thing. imagine the wingman and it still points. The Sensar is Bi-Directonal on VHF only. on UHF there is.. as I recall a 3 element beam (might be 2) in the head.
 

mel s

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Posts
881
Isaac-1 said:
The King Jack antenna is one of the better ones out there, it looks like yours started out as a batwing and was upgraded to a Jack at some point.
Isaac-1
I have found that the King Jack antenna is a DOWNGRADE when compared to the reception of a Winegard Batwing RV antenna with a Wingman attached.
https://cdn3.volusion.com/dxylq.nruds/v/vspfiles/photos/22-1290-3.jpg?1531721659
 

Graycat

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Posts
248
mel s said:
Isaac-1
I have found that the King Jack antenna is a DOWNGRADE when compared to the reception of a Winegard Batwing RV antenna with a Wingman attached.
https://cdn3.volusion.com/dxylq.nruds/v/vspfiles/photos/22-1290-3.jpg?1531721659

x2

We couldn't pick up Jack with our King Jack.  Now have a Winegard and it is much better.  I still want to upgrade to the Sensar though.
 

CincyGus

Active member
Joined
Jun 9, 2018
Posts
35
Location
Cincy, Ohio
I had the Winegard with wingman on my previous trailer and had no issues with it other than it occasionally not wanting to crank down or up (binding up) due to someone thinking they were being helpful by cranking it down when it was not perfectly aligned where it was supposed to be. That said, receptional was generally excellent.

My new 2 month old trailer came with a fixed dome antenna which I've identified as the Winegard RS-3000 after a trip on the roof.

In my driveway and my previous trailer, I could pull about 25 stations with about 5 of them being on the edge, sometimes digitizing and dropping/freezing picture for a few seconds. With the new trailer, I'm now pulling 40+ and 8 of them are from Dayton Ohio (I live on the eastside of Cincinnati) with antennaweb.org showing those towers as 43-44 miles away. The antenna is only rated for 35 miles but these are the results I'm seeing with it.

I thought I was given a piece of junk that I was likely going to have to replace but I'll admit when I am wrong. Impressed so far. I'll let you know if my opinion changes once I get a few more locations under by belt in the new camper next spring but between the driveway and my local state park which is 12 miles farther East of Cincy, it out performed my Winegard/Wingman Antenna that I had been singing the praises of for years.

 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
123,912
Posts
1,257,914
Members
129,727
Latest member
JWC
Top Bottom