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Electronics Options

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Russ and Linda

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Electronics Options
« on: January 02, 2016, 12:55:47 pm »
I have read several negative comments about the OTA TV antenna installed by Phoenix.  Several say it's a pain to use and the results are often not worth the effort.  Other than cost,  I wonder why they don't install an omnidirectional antenna? I have zero experience in this matter,  but it seems like not having to crank and point would be worth a little money.

I wonder how accommodating Phoenix has been/would be in substituting an omnidirectional antenna?  I also wonder if they do or would install other electronics such as cell and wifi signal boosters? Anyone have any experience with this?

We have never had an RV and would not undertake cutting holes in and mounting things on the roof. Before we settled on a PC, we looked hard at an Oliver travel trailer.  They do install such items, so that set me to wondering...

Thanks!
Linda

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gradygal

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 01:15:19 pm »
Linda,
We have used the OTA antenna in all of our PCs and have NEVER had a problem. Once you get used to the way it works and remember to put on the booster, it's easy to use if you are in range of the tv stations.

Now if you are in the boonies, then you should have a satellite receiver like Dish. We bought a carryout unit, paid $600 and never used it. We sold it for $200 last year.

Most private campgrounds have cable. We stayed in a private campground in Maine that did not have cable, used the OTA and got Portland Maine stations--NBC< CBS<ABC as well as PBS. That's all we need,

Judi
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Carol

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 03:00:32 pm »
Depending on where you will generally be camping, the antenna that currently comes with the PC is either just fine or lacking.  Once I got used to how to find the most stations, it's not a big deal to use at all.  That said, an awful lot of camping and campgrounds are away from city life.  That's sort of the point  :lol.  So it's pretty much a crap shoot as to how many, if any, stations I pick up from one campground to the next.  There are times when I can only get PBS.  The advantage to that is fewer of my brain cells die off on those days.
As for PC considering the install of something else, they would be the best ones to ask that.  They bend over backwards on other mods, so I would guess that they'd give your ideas some serious consideration, if they could see the sense in them.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 03:02:14 pm by Carol »

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Polish Prince

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 06:35:31 pm »
We haven't ordered yet, that comes the end of January, but we did ask Earl about the WiFi and cellular booster.  He said they would add those in.
George & Jill Budzynski, Birchbark Farm

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Pax

Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2016, 08:50:46 pm »
Did you already specify a type or a brand of both cell and wifi booster? 

My opinion on this is that this type of technology changes so quickly I would be hesitant to install something more permanent.

We had a need for a wifi booster and opted for a separate 'Wirie' wifi booster that we can easily attach to the back ladder. Works great and if technology outpaces it we can more easily upgrade or change.

On the other hand, we did get a permanent roof mounted satellite dish, so I guess we are wishy-washy on all this.   :lol

I wouldn't worry about the factory installing such things.  They do it all the time....  Some friends had the factory run coax the length of the rig in order to install a ham radio antenna in the rear.  We had the factory hard wire a 50amp Surge Guard unit (I think Kermit said it was the second one they ever did)

   - Mike



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Polish Prince

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2016, 01:57:42 pm »
We are planning both boosters to be hard wired permanent and are not putting any TV antenna on the unit.  We figure we will get a portable satellite dish if we need to watch TV.  We haven't decided on which booster models yet.
George & Jill Budzynski, Birchbark Farm

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Russ and Linda

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2016, 03:50:15 pm »

We had a need for a wifi booster and opted for a separate 'Wirie' wifi booster that we can easily attach to the back ladder. Works great and if technology outpaces it we can more easily upgrade or change.


You make a valid point. 

What is a "Wirie" booster?

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Pax

Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 02:44:22 am »
The Wirie is a WiFi booster originally designed for marine/boats, but works well for RV applications.  It finds WiFi signals that are distant and allows connection (I believe they say up to 5 miles, but we've brought in signals further on occasion). It creates a WiFi hotspot to connect to it remotely and also has Ethernet hook-ups to connect directly.  Works especially well when trying to connect to an RV park's weak WiFi system.  It's a bit pricey, but it is extremely well made.  High quality materials and totally waterproof.  When we bought ours they had just the WiFi booster (model AP+), but now I see they sell a combination WiFi and 2G/3G/4G Cell booster (model 'Pro'). Great customer service, too. More info can be had here: www.thewirie.com

    - Mike

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2016, 03:36:42 pm »
We have the classic crank-up Winegard Over-The-Airwaves (OTA) antenna that came with our 2007 2350.  It is the one some call the "Batwing" antenna.  I agree it works, but not friendly given it requires the trial-&-error point-&-scan method.  A uni-directional antenna would seemingly be much more practical.  I was looking for one that not only is simple to use, but also clean looking, low profile, and has a small over-all foot print.

One thing I really don't like about our Winegard is the installation on the roof.  It has an unusual mounting pad which required much drilling into the roof (actually the B+ cap), and requires lots of caulk to seal properly.  Mind you, ours was installed properly by PC-USA and has never leaked.  When cranked-down, it takes up the space of a large solar panel which is unfortunate for people wanting one extra solar panel.

Our Winegard also made a lot of banging noise while driving.  We tolerated it for a number of years before learning where the noise came from.  I resolved the banging by sticking on those adhesive-backed thick felt feet you typically use on the bottom of a chair to slide easily and safely on a wooden floor.  I stuck them on the body and also the wings.

I was discouraged with how to "cleanly" deal with the remnants of the existing Winegard footprint when removing it.  They sell a plate of the same size to seal it up, and another for the inside ceiling from the crank hole, but the nice RV paint job we have will get messed up.  I lost interest but this thread might rekindle it.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 03:38:35 pm by ron.dittmer »
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butch50

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2016, 05:29:17 pm »
For people wanting to maybe change from the batwing antenna might want to look at the King ant. It does not crank up but it is lower than the AC cover on the roof. It is very easy to find stations. When you start turning adjusting it there are indicator light to tell you what the signal strength is. Ours on the Winnie seem to work pretty well.

Here is a link to there web site http://kingconnect.com/product/king-jack-antenna/


Butch
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 10:24:11 am by butch50 »

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AMW

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Re: Electronics Options
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 12:29:14 am »
I hated the crank-up antenna on my DP, so had Phoenix install the King antenna on my 2015 PC.  I love it.  Takes very little space on the roof, and no hassle or maintenance. I don't use TV every trip, but it has worked well the times I have used it.
Ann W.