Summary of what an antenna should be able to do for Australian conditions:
It can be seen from the above summarised points that the explorer C2sg does all of the above and that the C3sg is a compromise on VHF for the sake of a lighter smaller antenna yet maintains its efficiency in the more important UHF range.
Basically all caravan antennas are a compromise and you want to compromise least in the UHF band as it represents the most transmitters. You could in a fixed location maybe find a cheaper high gain antenna for that spot but it will not work when you travel because it is not built to cover enough frequencies.
A phased array will give the best gain across the widest frequency range. The explorer C3 and C2 use a phased array for the UHF antenna.
87% of all Australian Transmitters are UHF.
45% of all Australian transmitters are vertically signals and the antenna must be matched- especially for digital signals!
The C2sg antenna is rare in that it can be mounted with the UHF and the VHF at different polarities to match the transmitted signal anywhere in Australia.
The C3sg is light and compact and comes fully assembled.
Both the C2SG and C3SG come complete with the exclusive through the wall connection kit and high quality cable essential for the higher frequencies where large signal losses occur with poorer cable and connections.
The exclusive through the wall connection kit will not corrode unlike the standard push in fittings (PAL) often used.
Digital reception requires very good cable and connections.
The explorer solution is a system that uses all its parts to take of the collection and final delivery of the signal to the TV.
The best TV in the world is no good without a good signal.
Good shielding is necessary with digital reception as it cuts down noise and bounce signals that can overwhelm the digital tuner and cause a "freezing" of the digital picture.
An antenna that will work in the difficult areas is what is needed not one just for the Good signal areas as almost anything will work in those areas.
WA and top end of QLD and other areas that still use a lot of VHF are better suited to the C2sg. The C3sg is fine for most of the EAST COAST but cannot have opposite polarity setups between the UHF and VHF sections.
Masting flexibility convenience of use and storage and ease of adjustment and where possible the maximum height available gives the customer a much better chance of finding the signal.
The mast should be small enough when collapsed to fit into the boot of the van and the drawbar bracket should be permanently mounted and able to have the mast freely rotate.
It should be noted that for every time you split the signal whether you are using the outlet or not you lose signal. At least 2 to 4 DB for one extra point. 3 db is a doubling of signal strength so you see it is a lot of signal and some vans are putting in three or more points. This is not advised really as you are usually dealing with a small signal to begin with.
The Explorer Antenna System designed to receive more than 65% of the television signals transmitted in Australia.
The advent of digital television means that it has never been easier to find a local transmitter when on the road travelling, there are currently 1,930 locations each offering an average of 5 channels and 20 programs. Each digital channel carries 3 to 5 programs. That is close to 20,000 programs being broadcast day and night all over Australia.
A good antenna system like the Explorer C3 gives you choices. However, there are certain things you need to understand about an antenna system that is suitable for the wandering caravanner.
Using a technical product like a caravan antenna requires some degree of knowledge if you are going to get your monies worth out of it! One vitally important consideration is Polarity because the transmitter sends the signal in either a horizontal or vertical pattern.
Go to the explorer web site click on 'What digital channels are available in the local area?’ Locate the local signal and have a good look at the government Excel spread sheet. You will discover that close to 50% of all signals are transmitted vertically.
Digital signals, although easy to receive when there is plenty of signal available, become quite difficult to receive when the signal becomes weak and the noise in the signal increases.
Correct installation of the antenna, paying particular attention to the polarity , makes an enormous difference under these circumstances.
In Australia we have these mixed polarities and mixed VHF and UHF signals which can even occur on a single transmission site, where both horizontal and vertical signals are transmitted simultaneously .