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tv signal amp

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Is the built in tv antenna signal amplifier testable without removing it the outlet?  Not the 12v power outlet.

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Sure there are inline coax signal strength meters one can use BUT you have to gain access to the darn unit and coax connectors AND THAT CAN RANGE FROM A BEAR TO NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE LOL. BUT if you can easily get there to bypass the amp and observe the TV for differences if the amp is used or not used, YOU DONT EVEN NEED A METER. Most have an On Off switch.  In 49 years of RV use I've observed more problems in the cables and terminations and connections then those amps, and its usually on the rooftop.  

 John T

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If you're referring to the amplifier for a Winegard "batwing" crank up roof antenna, the amplifier is in the antenna head, not in the wall plate. The standard wall plate is simply a power injector that sends power to the rooftop amplifier.

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11 hours ago, bigjim said:

Is the built in tv antenna signal amplifier testable without removing it the outlet?  Not the 12v power outlet.

Sometimes the power unit will go bad.  You can go on the roof, disconnect the coax from the antenna, and see if you're getting 12 volts up there to the amplifier.  Using a voltmeter, put one probe on the inner wire and the other probe on the threaded connector for ground.

If you're getting power to the roof and your signal doesn't change when you turn power on and off, then it's possible your amp has gone bad.

 

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I have owned BOTH those antennas where the amplifier is up inside the head, as well as indoor stand alone TV signal booster/amps. Obviously, it's easier to by pass the amp and troubleshoot if they are stand alone indoor units WELL DUH LOL although some are still nearly impossible to gain access and/or attach coax.

One thing I've noticed is there's a difference when troubleshooting the batwing amplifier types if you A) Just turn OFF the 12 VDC power injector versus B) If you attach a new length of coax up on the roof to the batwing and run it direct down to the TV.  When you run the direct coax you're obviously NOT injecting 12 VDC, same as if all is left in place and you just disable the power injector, but I have observed a noticeable difference in those two methods. Of course there can be coax or connection problem contributions.

FWIW Again I found more often a coax or connection problem then bad amps. FWIW I switched to a King Jack and it outperforms a batwing BIG TIME

A funny story this winter in Florida my buddy was having all sorts of problems with his coax from the antenna to TV. Mine was working perfect and I was able to receive 3 times as many stations and we BOTH had the same antennas. HOWEVER my old coax up on the roof was all ratty looking and had some outer shield exposed covered with caulking.

Take care yall, best wishes

John T        

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31 minutes ago, oldjohnt said:

FWIW I switched to a King Jack and it outperforms a batwing BIG TIME

I have had the opposite experience. I have both a Jack and a Winegard Sensar IV (Batwing). The Jack works poorly for the VHF broadcast band and is about on par with the Batwing for the UHF band. If you have an older Batwing, there is an attachment available called the Wingman that improves the UHF reception.

Edited by Tom_M

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4 hours ago, Tom_M said:

I have had the opposite experience. I have both a Jack and a Winegard Sensar IV (Batwing). The Jack works poorly for the VHF broadcast band and is about on par with the Batwing for the UHF band. If you have an older Batwing, there is an attachment available called the Wingman that improves the UHF reception.

Exactly my experience to the word.

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To add one more testimonial, after me and another person bragged how many more stations we got with our King Jack (Both of us got far better reception) versus our Batwings, another buddy bought one yet his didn't work as well as HIS batwing lol. There's just a lot of variables and unknowns and different conditions. However when using Batwings when I added that extra 3 or 4 more element UHF upgrade, It helped very little ??????????? Oh well "different strokes (and results) for different folks"

John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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Fortunately, I still have a batwing on hand in addition to my currently installed King Jack which performs much better now, but if stations where I travel repack making the old batwing best in the future I WILL CHANGE BACK IN A HEARTBEAT LOL

 John T

  

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Keep in mind that about 25% of TV stations are broadcasting on the VHF band. As far as I know the Winegard Batwing is the only RV antenna the does well for the VHF. The wide wings of the Batwing is the VHF portion of the antenna.

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 10:28 PM, bigjim said:

I think this input will be helpful when I can get a chance to explore it. Thanks

Big Jim, we have pretty well beat this subject to death, lots of good info from all the fine gents here. For a bit more boring reading and research take a look at these sites:

The seven best RV Antennas

https://www.outsidepursuits.com/best-rv-tv-antenna/

 Amazon RV Antennas

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rv+television+antenna&hvadid=78340255731091&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0b-20&ref=pd_sl_3h3q9my4s4_e

Camping World RV Antennas

https://www.campingworld.com/electronics/antennas?msclkid=8a325e396ffd13bc331402e0a3d43c7a&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=B_S_NB_CW_Electronics%2BGPS%2BSatellites_All&utm_term=rv%20tv%20antenna&utm_content=Electronics%2BGPS%2BSatellites_Antennas

Bing Search RV TV Antennas

https://www.bing.com/search?q=RV+TV+antenna&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IESR3A&pc=EUPP_UE00

 

Based on my own personal experience and research its my conclusion the best antenna depends on six factors:

1) Your location  2) Your location  3) Your location 4) What (channels and frequency) are being broadcast in that area  5) What (channels and frequency) are being broadcast in that area 6) What (channels and frequency) are being broadcast in that area   LOL

It depends on stations near where you're located and what channels are being broadcast within your range. In some areas a person may receive more channels with one antenna while in another area a different antenna may yield more stations.  Just because in the places I frequented the most in the last six months my current antenna yielded the most stations, doesn't mean in some other city a different antenna might not yield more.   

Your present antenna may be fine, a bit of troubleshooting, maybe check the coax and connections ?? verify your 12 VDC power injector is working and actually supplying voltage up to the antenna ?? and you may not need anything else. Do your homework, research what's (channels and frequencies etc) broadcast where you will be, look at the options in the above links, make a wise informed decision.

If yours isn't able to be repaired, STUDY (look at reviews and research) THEN PICK THE ONE IN YOUR BUDGET THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU IN WHATEVER LOCATION (OR LOCATIONS) YOU PLAN TO VISIT. Perhaps if you stay in one RV park an entire winter one antenna is best versus if you travel the entire USA another might be better ??? Hard to say with so many variables, different antenna designs and what's being broadcast within your range.      

God Bless yall and best wishes, nice chattin with you

John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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WOW thanks Tom, that's almost too much information even for us techys lol.  In the cities I was near last season my King Jack outperformed my Batwing substantially BUTTTTTTTTTTT  I'm glad I kept my Batwing as I may be somewhere different next time (where it might out-perform my King) and they both mount and exchange so easy on the same mast.

Fun sparky chatting even if we are boring the others 

John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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9 hours ago, Tom_M said:

SCVJeff who was a member on RV.NET did an extensive test of the Jack vs. Batwing. Jeff is a TV broadcast engineer and used a spectrum analyzer to compare the two. Here's a link to his test:

Test of Jack vs. Batwing

Ouch! Now I need something to ease my headache too. My eyes even hurt. Great thorough information though, thanks for posting the link.

 

Edited by Ray,IN

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