Thursday, February 3, 2011

Use The Power Button, Stupid!


Like most RV’s ours has a Winegard Sensar “Batwing” TV antenna (first photo). Mine worked fairly well (I thought) for the past two years and when the USA switched to digital TV signals I added the Winegard Wingman (second photo) to convert the antenna to digital. I was now sometimes able to pick up a few HD channels off air while we boondock in Walmarts. I was happy…. I thought I was state of the art!

Last night I was reading, one of my RV forums, when I came on a discussion on these antennas. Someone was complaining that he was getting no signal from his while his neighbors were getting several channels. He wondered what could be wrong.

One of the other posters asked him if there could be something wrong with his Antenna power supply or if the switch was turned on. Huh??? Switch? What switch? I am supposed to know about antennas but I never heard of powered antennas. I thought they were just like the old rabbit ears, passive devices.

I climbed up behind the TV and sure enough, there on the wall was a little power button. I raised the antenna and scanned for digital channels. There were none. I pushed the button, a little green light came on and I scanned again. This time I got eight channels, all clear as a bell.

This is going to make the whole boondocking experience a lot more fun. The antenna has to be turned to face the transmitters but there are a few sites on the Internet to help you do this from whatever location you are at. I guess am still in danger of skidding off the learning curve!


  1. Hey Croft

    I know the feeling well. Some of this technology is more complicated than it should be. However, I too sometimes (most times) miss the obvious. When all else fails I give in and read the directions.

    Speaking of technology... in one of your very early posts you mentioned your solar panel set up for boondocking. If you ever have an off day or two and get time it would be great to see photos of your set up and a description how it works. More technology I can't quite wrap my mind around.

    BTW: You are still way better off where you are than in the Midwest. In Nebraska we are having a spell of ice, snow, wind, drifts and all the mess that makes life a challenge.

    Bill in NE

  2. He, he, he, he!! We have known about the power button for years... yet just this past month, we spent several days in Desert Hot Springs wondering why we only got one channel well. Two days after we left, it dawned on Odel that we hadn't pushed the power button. Sheesh.

    Live and learn... and forget!

  3. Cool! We love our digital tv in our new rv. We got 16 channels while we were in Texas over the holidays. More reason for you to boondock now!

  4. Well, why didn't you tell me to push the button, Chris!

  5. I will take some photos and do a post on the solar, Bill. I have to open up the battery compartment and check water levels soon anyway.