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.