Jump to content
jstephens3

OTA Antennas

Recommended Posts

My old batwing antenna (with HD attachment) is getting too hard to elevate and rotate. I'm looking for advice on a replacement. I want a replacement that doesn't require elevation of the antenna to get a good signal. I'm considering the Winegard Rayzar RZ8500 as aiming is powered and automatic. The bad news is that all the reviews on Camping World are terrible. The plastic components break easily and the system gives continuing error codes. The good news (if there is any) is that the newest review is over 2 years old; many 4 and 5 years old. I would appreciate any comments on the reliability of the Rayzar antenna. I would also appreciate any comments on the performance of omni versus directional antennas. I've looked at the King Jack OA8500. A big drawback here is the knob for rotating the directional antenna is on the ceiling (7 ft) which is a distinct disadvantage for my 5'4" wife. The King OmniPro could be an option. Appreciate any comments and suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding your existing antenna getting too hard to crank up and rotate...have you lubricated it yearly as per the manufacturer's recommendations? If not, check your manual and lube both the crank up gears and swivel area as directed. You'll be amazed at the difference. 

As per your question on omni directional antennas,  they are far inferior to the Wineguard "batwings" as you call them. I mean the work ok if you are close to the source but they don't have the reach for distant signals. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ian - Thanks for the reply. The quickest (and most obvious) cause is that I have not lubed the mechanisms as per the manuals and I know that causes problems. One bit of truth, my wife has banned me from ever mounting the roof of our Class A - ( 6 or 7 years ago and rightly so). I know there are other problems as the plastic detent above the inside crank mechanism has fallen apart and come out of the mount in pieces. Given that I probably won't lube an extending mount like the batwing in the future, a fixed mount (perhaps just rotating) seems a more logical solution.  I also appreciate your comments on the omni versus directional antenna and it certainly matches with what I've read. I guess I'm looking for comments from folks who have tried both and said the offset (ease of use vs lack of reception from more distant stations) is worth it. We are primarily interested in the major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox). I'm willing to pay the extra for the Rayzar (directional with auto search and lock-on); but I'm really concerned about the reliability issues as reported in the online reviews from the past.

Thanks again for you insights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had 2 razars- save your cash and spray some Kroil on all those moving parts. To me- they are junk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's had to believe, however, your Winegard bat-wing antenna receives signals from further away than any other OTA antenna according to this website. https://www.rvweb.net/best-tv-antenna-for-rv-reviewed/

The King 8300 Jack is the best omni-directional antenna on that website, but it must still be cranked up for use.

My DW is 5'1", I bought a folding step-stool for her to reach the ceiling cabinets and the antenna crank and direction disk. This reminds me I haven't lubed my antenna moving parts since this pandemic shut things down. I use a pure silicone spray, and can reach my roof antenna from a ladder to spray the gearing. At 78 my DW has also nixed me on the MH roof.

Have you a young neighbor you might ask to lube your antenna gearing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jstephens3 said:

I know there are other problems as the plastic detent above the inside crank mechanism has fallen apart and come out of the mount in pieces.

I have seen displays of parts but you might call them and see what they say. 

https://winegard.com/support

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/2/2021 at 9:49 AM, jstephens3 said:

My old batwing antenna (with HD attachment) is getting too hard to elevate and rotate. I'm looking for advice on a replacement. I want a replacement that doesn't require elevation of the antenna to get a good signal...

On our coach we had the Winegard antenna which did not raise up, and never felt that it provided good reception. Then we switched to the King omni-directional. It is better, but not great.

On our Airstream with have a 25-year-old Winegard crank up antenna. After all this time it is still better than either of the non-crank up models we've had on the coach.

There are parts available to repair yours if you want to, as well as replacement units.

Why the desire to not have a crank-up antenna? The higher the antenna the better the reception.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the King Jack and it is adequate. I also have DISH satellite and I can get the local channels wherever I go. Also, I have a Fire Stick TV 4k and I can get the typical TV channels with the Fire Stick, except CBS...they want a subscription.

With that said, OTA signals are line of sight. They can be obstructed by any type of object. With Line of sight TV antenna height plays a very important part and my personal experience is "higher is better."  If I didn't have all of the items I stated I would go with a push-up pole with a good quality TV antenna on it. 

The King Jack works well using the on-board amplifier system. The control is most definitely high on the ceiling but there is a sensitivity button that can indicate when a strong signal is present.  Also, on the new smart TV's there is usually a "settings" that will show signal strenght for optimizing the antenna orientation. The same TV setting  can be used for all TV signals.

Yep, step stool is required for the reduced height people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not recall all of the antennas we have tried in the past and there were several on the last coach. I can say without a doubt the old crank up bat wing gives the best reception so far. It worked great at our old house in PA and we were 40 miles from every TV station. I joked about installing one on the house chimney and dropping cable to save money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...