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Choosing The Right TV Antenna

Choosing The Right TV Antenna

Caravan and RV TV Aerials

 Summary of what an antenna should be able to do for Australian conditions:

  • Be able to mount vertically or horizontally. Best case scenario it would be able to mount the VHF and UHF at different polarities to each other as well.
  • Have very good directionality and high raw gain before amplifying for the best results on both digital and analogue. It should therefore have good reflectors (shields) that protect the active elements from noise and bounced signals that confuse digital set top boxes or cause ghosting and noisy pictures.
  • Be a complete system that provides good connections for high frequency use and good quality cable. All parts should work together to function as a whole to achieve the best results.
  • Good quality and flexible in its use masting options that allow for good height adjustment and rigidity against swaying in the wind and convenience of use allowing easy rotation of the antenna to "peak" it in to the signal.
  • The antenna should have a very high performance on UHF and have very good performing reflectors (shielding).

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 .

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