A Padre Island sunrise

Friday, October 18, 2013


Television. You may think it's the tool that allowed civilization's downfall or the best babysitter ever, either view may be correct but television is a fact of life.
And yes, it can be turned off, put away and just never dealt with if that's what you want.
I like some TV.

My home comes with a crank up antenna outside that's wired to a plate in the ceiling, the plate has a 12v receptacle, a coax male fitting, an on/off switch & a little red light. There were no directions with this....
The switch turns on the 'booster', the little red light and allows the signal to come thru the coax fitting. I have a TV & a TV dongle for my laptop hooked up to the coax fitting (thru a cable splitter), we CAN get broadcast channels on the TV & the computer (I use the Windows Media Center on the computer as a DVR & tuner for the laptop).
The TV & computer sometimes get the same channels and sometimes they don't.

Standard Winegard RV antenna, works good most of the time

Some places I'd get good TV reception and other places I didn't.
In Quartzsite I didn't with the standard RV crank up antenna, so I bought one of the fancy looking antenna's they sold around town. With that on 20+ feet of pole I had broadcast TV!  (I cut my two 10' poles into 5' sections (for transport) when we left Quartzsite, I figured "how hard could it be to get unions for those anywhere?" Turns out they are not to be found in Rockport Texas).
The fancy 'new" antenna I picked up in Quartzsite

In Iowa (and many places) the RV antenna worked great but here in this part of Texas it doesn't. Before I broke out my Quartzsite antenna I did some research on satellite service.
I did NOT go and ask any professionals I went to the internet, to the Directv & Dish network sites. I wanted the broadcast network channels but there are a few on cable that I would not mind watching if I'm going to be spending the money anyway, I went and looked.

Directv wants a 2 year contract, Dish has a month to month plan, month to month I can deal with!  So I looked some more.
Dish has this Tailgater set up, you set this small white box out & tell it the zip code it takes care of the rest. It comes with 50' of coax, in HD & with a control box for $450. For another $40 you can get them to allow you to plug in an external hard drive (that gives you a DVR). That's up to $490...
To get the channels I want it's going to cost $50 a month, Dish can "maybe" get me local channels for an extra $10 a month. $60 a month for TV, lot's of TV, all the TV I could ever want (except HBO & Showtime ...)! 
$500 now & $60 a month for however long I care to pay them... because I want to watch broadcast TV.

Almost sounds like a deal!

I pulled out the Quartzsite antenna (it was disassembled & stored in two different places) & with the one union I had I bungeed 10' of pole to my crank up antenna, and tried it out. It worked! 20 plus channels! 
Not the greatest place to be mounted.
I went to town & picked up a new 10' pole, used my union to attach that to a 5 footer then tried that 15 foot of antenna pole resting on the ground next to the RV.  Yes!  We have reception!

Cheap thrills...


  1. I don't get out in the RV as much as I would like and when I do I don't worry about TV. I have a big collection of movies that I can watch. Pick them up at the flea market cheap. I used to use dish, but didn't hook it up in the last motorhome I have.

  2. This is home & there is some TV I enjoy. We have a collection of movies too & I'm a fan of Redbox, it's all entertainment.
    I really thought about the Dish but that seemed like a lot of dollars so I could watch NCIS on Tuesday :-)
    I'm glad the other antenna worked.

  3. In Del Rio you have to have a cable connection or you have a blank TV. We only have the basic channels and it is $60.00 plus dollars a month including tax.

    Glad you were able to hook up yours and not have to pay the ridiculous prices cable and dish companies want.

  4. Can you put a name and model on that new fancy Quartzsite antenna? Could it be mounted to the Winegard crank up mast to give a better broadcast signal?? I'm in FL so the Winegard usually works but sometimes the signal is almost marginal so a better antenna would be great!

  5. I'm not at home so I can't look at the name, I'll try and remember when we get back. I wouldn't replace the Winegard with it, I have mine (right now) on 15' of pole & it works well, I Quartzsite I used 20' of pole.