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We have recently decided to get a Freeview TV for our caravan (despite saying we wouldn't) and are now totally confused by which aerial to use. The 'van came equipped with an omni-directional aerial - not brilliant to say the least and we want to up grade. Hubby not happy about fitting an external aerial point so I was wondering whether it is possible to upgrade to a status directional a erial, how difficult are they to fit and do they pick up freeview ok?

 

If we decided to fit a satilite dish, is that compatible with freeview or does it need a special decoder?

 

I am a complete novice in this area, the nice man from Virgin came and fitted the one at home so I did not have to worry about it (he even came back and explained it all again when I couldn't remember how to work everything.)

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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Guest John KS

You could upgrade by changing your aerial to a Status 530 directional aerial. This will give you Freeview digital with a Freeview box. If you want to go down the satellite road then get a kit from Maplins. This will give you a different decoder and you will be able to get more channels on Freestat.

Most Club sites will give you Freeview unless they are in the wilds. Satellite will get TV anywhere but is a bit of a fiddle to set up. We have both but now don't bother with the satellite.

If you do a search on this forum there is loads of information on this.

Hope this helps?

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What you will pay for the Status 530 and fitting you can buy the bits off e-bay for less and set up for satellite TV.

 

As for being fiddly, When you pitch, your dish needs a clear view of the southern sky, make sure the tripod or mounting bracket is level, connect a signal strength meter in-line next to the dish.

 

Using a compass, start with the dish pointing East, turn slowly, the first satellite you pick up is the Sky/Free-sat one you are looking for. Slowly tweak left & right until you have the strongest signal, lock the dish to prevent L/R movement, then adjust the azimuth (Up down) alignment until you get the strongest signal, remove the meter, reconnect the cable to the dish and job done.

 

Most problems occur when you don't have the dish level, you turn it too quicklyor you do not have a clear view, even a small array of trees will prevent you getting a lock on the satellite, after all it is only a couple of '000 miles away.

 

Dave Sullivan at Satellite for Caravans has a website dedicated to the very subject.

 

Steve

 

 

 

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A couple of points re the Status units. I have the original status 515 'dish' aerial and digital television (Freeview) is fine with this unit. No doubt the status 530 directional would be preferable but don't forget that it requires space underneath the unit for the mast when retracted !!

 

As for satellite TV, I always use satellite TV and after a couple of 'set-ups' it now only takes me 5 minutes before I can use the TV. I have a sky box permanently fitted in the 'van and just have to set up the tripod and dish and connect the cable to the battery box - a couple of tweaks and we are set up. For anyone taking the satellite route, always set up the dish at home a couple of times when you can do it in a more relaxed atmosphere.

 

Gerry

2005 Kia Sorento 2. 5 Auto towing 2011 Conqueror 645

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Hi, I work in the Aerial & Satellite field, I have a 2008 Bailey with the directional aerial on & I have to say it does work ok in some areas however, in areas where digital reception is as yet unavailable such as parts of Derbyshire, you obviously are stuck with 4 channels of analogue reception, you can try using a trade quality aerial on a pole outside but storing it in transit is a pain & it can easily get broken.

I would check where you are going & look on the DTG site http://www. dtg. org. uk/consumer/coverage. html & it can help to locate the direction of local services, also try & establish if the broadcast is horizontal or vertical

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Our van has the Status 530 aerial. It is far better than the omni-directional one, that has always been a compromise. The 530 is also suitable for digital reception (confirmed by manufacturers Grade).

However, it must be realised that there will be times when any van-erected aerial will not suffice; usually due to a generally bad signal area, where an impractical height requirement is needed.

 

On the advice to "ditch TV facilities", I would reply as follows:

Whilst we regard the surrounding area and the company of other campers as the priority, it has to be remembered that, if you are likely to be staying on a site for 2 or 3 weeks (or even longer), situations can develop (prolonged poor weather for example), and fairly lengthy spells in the caravan could become unavoidable.

We do take books to read, but TV and DVD's sometimes provide a very welcome alternative.

I have rigged myself with a satellite dish which I can arrange on an extendable tripod. Not only is it useful when TV reception via the Status aerial is unsatisfactory, The facility to "play around with it in the course of setting it up" is far better than just sitting around whilst trying to think of something to do.

 

Oh, and one other thing. When giving opinions about what other campers should or should not be doing, it is only polite courtesy to remember that what is a source of pleasure for ourselves is not necessarily applicable to others. We all go caravanning/camping for different reasons.

When extolling a particular activity, I prefer to open the subject with something like, "What we do is . ................" I think it stays friendlier that way.

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Jaqui F-J

If you have freeview built into your TV, I think the decoding facility will be part of its circuitry. Otherwise it would not make that claim for the TV, because any TV will work with a freestanding decoder.

But I don't think your omni-directional aerial will do the job. I may be wrong, but I think it has to be a digital compatible aerial; which the Status 530 is.

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An aerial is an aerial is an aerial. However, an aerial tuned to the frequency you want to receive is much more efficient. Any transmitted signal CAN be received on any aerial, but obviously for best results you need the specific aerial for your needs. The status 'flying saucer' is great if you park next to the transmitter, but not much use anywhere else. A broadband high gain directional aerial will be better in every situation. There is no special aerial for digital reception, it is what the signal goes into that unscrambles the signal. You pays your money and you make your choice.

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I've just changed my 315 to the 530 and apart from the need to cut a 45mm hole in the roof of the van!! it's very easy to do, tools to hand it's only a 30 minute job!

Theres a cover plate available to pick up on the 315's bigger mounting points, you then either fit the 530 through this plate or if needs be somewhere totally different

 

In weak signal areas the results are pronounced over the old 315, where the vans sited in Skegness I've now got the choice of the local Yorkshire programmes or spin the 530 round and get a 98% perfect signal from East Midland which I prefer for local news coverage.

 

That must be impressive if you consider the EM transmitter must be 70 odd mile away?!

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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A broadband high gain directional aerial will be better in every situation.

 

 

Not for every situation as an aerial specific to the group being transmitted and received will always be the most efficient. The proliferation of "high gain/wide band" aerials has come about as the answer to digital changeover. Some transmitters have changed groups for digital transmissions but retained the original group for analogue. On DCO most will revert to the original group after analogue is switched off. In these cases a HGWB aerial will cover all the groups until the analogue signal is switched off after which a grouped aerial will be the most efficient. HGWB aerials suffer from poor reception at the lower end, A, group. For caravan use, when visiting different areas, a log periodic aerial is probably the best type to use. Whilst the gain is not as good as a grouped aerial it has a very flat response across all groups and rejects interference very well and can always be connected to an amplifier. .

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Not for every situation as an aerial specific to the group being transmitted and received will always be the most efficient. The proliferation of "high gain/wide band" aerials has come about as the answer to digital changeover. Some transmitters have changed groups for digital transmissions but retained the original group for analogue. On DCO most will revert to the original group after analogue is switched off. In these cases a HGWB aerial will cover all the groups until the analogue signal is switched off after which a grouped aerial will be the most efficient. HGWB aerials suffer from poor reception at the lower end, A, group. For caravan use, when visiting different areas, a log periodic aerial is probably the best type to use. Whilst the gain is not as good as a grouped aerial it has a very flat response across all groups and rejects interference very well and can always be connected to an amplifier. .

 

I beg to differ. I cannot understand why you choose to question and contradict sound advice which only serves to confuse the OP. Whilst I would agree that a group specific aerial may give better performance in a static installation, the topic under discussion is a caravan installation. The facility to travel the length and breadth of the UK, involving tv reception in many differing group areas makes your post invalid. Therefore I repeat, a broadband high gain directional aerial will be better.

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An aerial is an aerial is an aerial.

 

So from that comment, can i assume an ariel i bought 6yrs ago, a Image 530/18-2 VHF/UHF/FM Directional Antenna but its 6yr old equiveant would pick up freeview. Although i have a Samsung with buit in Freeview, i havent bothered trying to tune FV in as i though i have to buy a new digita version.

 

Secondly, i use a Multimo Sat dish for my Skybox from home, is there a way to direct the Multimo to pick up freeview or is it a totally different signal.

Thanks

nigel

NIGEL129 Hobby 495 Ufe (2003)

Powrtouch HD BP GAS Lite User Toyota Surf 2. 4 Tug,

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I too have an Image 530/18 - over ten years old without the FM elements, which gives perfect reception on all available digital stations available. Whenever I plan a trip away I always check the location of the nearest transmitters and plot the compass bearing from the site I'm going to be staying at. I used to rely on just pointing the aerial in the same direction as everybody else, but sometimes they've all just done the same, and it's not necessarily the optimum signal. At home I can receive group A signals on the back of a group CD aerial. The group A transmission is even the wrong polarization for the aerial but as I'm so close to the transmitter I get a perfect signal. There will always be "experts" who will try to sell you something new you don't need. I'm sorry, but I can't advise about satellite reception.

Edited by geriatric
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Secondly, i use a Multimo Sat dish for my Skybox from home, is there a way to direct the Multimo to pick up freeview or is it a totally different signal.

Thanks

nigel

 

The Multimo Sat dish is not capable of picking up terestrial freeview. It is a different system altogether.

 

Gerry

2005 Kia Sorento 2. 5 Auto towing 2011 Conqueror 645

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One other important point, the arial may not be the problem but the digi-box employed can be at the root of poor reception, I'm using a tiny in-line one by 'Roadstar' for the van with excellent results.

 

However I bought two, one to use on the home tele and the picture although clear appeared 'washed out', changed back to a cheap Asda box and the picture was far more vibrant, still not as good as a 'segams' from Argus I've had for years though??

 

Perhaps then it all depends on the quality of the inbuilt signal booster or even if it has one?

gary1s.gif

 

Arc Systems are specialist Carver caravan product repairers, committed to providing a comprehensive service as well as spare parts for these popular heaters.

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I too have an Image 530/18 - over ten years old without the FM elements, which gives perfect reception on all available digital stations available. Whenever I plan a trip away I always check the location of the nearest transmitters and plot the compass bearing from the site I'm going to be staying at. I used to rely on just pointing the aerial in the same direction as everybody else, but sometimes they've all just done the same, and it's not necessarily the optimum signal. At home I can receive group A signals on the back of a group CD aerial. The group A transmission is even the wrong polarization for the aerial but as I'm so close to the transmitter I get a perfect signal. There will always be "experts" who will try to sell you something new you don't need. I'm sorry, but I can't advise about satellite reception.

 

 

Thanks Geri, that means i dont have to fork out for another item that ony gets used when i cant get a sat signal, but heres the techy bit. How best to find the direction for the ariel, as we dont have freeview signal yet at home i cant practice, even though my home tv has freeview built in. Shame about the sat dish not being compatibe, would have been nice to use one item for two tasks.

nigel

Edited by nigel129

NIGEL129 Hobby 495 Ufe (2003)

Powrtouch HD BP GAS Lite User Toyota Surf 2. 4 Tug,

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We had the omni directional 'flying saucer' already installed when we got the van, already had a portable directional antenna and then bought a small LCD with built in Freeview + analogue with a VGA and SCART input.

 

For the sites we tend to use out in the wilds, the above just doesn't work, so we decided to buy one of those Maplin satellite kits in a suitcase. That has never failed us and with practise - I can now set it up in just a few minutes. For reception you need a dish + LNB + the sat receiver (all part of the Maplin kit) and a TV with SCART input. All of this works from the 12v, but comes with 240v adaptors. All the dish needs is clear view of the sky at around a 45 degree up angle and to the south east.

 

The dish came with various methods to mount it, but I devised something a more stable and quicker to install - a short length of awning type pole, with a clamp on one end and the other end flatened. I simply hammer this in the ground, drop the dish onto it plug it into a socket in the battery compartment then align it, which takes at most two minutes. We then get almost perfect reception of all of the several hundred channels on Astra 19. 2 and many more on the other TV satellites - which includes all 5 terrestial ones, most of the Freeview ones plus many, many more. The suitcase kit cost us between £60 and £80 about three years ago.

 

The Maplin kit comes with a 'sat finder' which locates in the dish, a combined compass and angle gadget, into which you dial where you are and which satellite you want to receive. You then turn the dish until it all lines up, then fine tune onto the correct satellite.

 

If we stop late at night, we make do with Freeview via the omni - or do without. For any longer than a brief stop we set the dish up.

 

I have the TV and sat receiver permanently set up, a short coax from the sat receiver down into the battery box reasy to connect the dish coax.

Edited by harry.m1byt

Bailey Pageant Monarch Series 5 2004

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Netto's are doing a Comag Satellite system, the same as Aldi's and Lidl's £77. 99 starting Thursday 16th, now don't all rush at once will you :lol::lol:

There is a light stand as well on page 7, that would make a loverley tripod for the Sat dish :D

 

 

http://viewer. zmags. com/showmag. php?mid=wdqqrp#/page0/

Ace Firestar hiding behind Jeep Cherokee Sport

 

I'm not depressed,the world is just happier than me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

 

after reading all the comments, we have decided on a satellite dish and got one in a case from Maplins.

Had now problem finding the signal at home and got a good picture. I'll let you know how we get on next trip out.

 

Thanks for all the advice.

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Hi,

 

after reading all the comments, we have decided on a satellite dish and got one in a case from Maplins.

Had now problem finding the signal at home and got a good picture. I'll let you know how we get on next trip out.

 

I marked the alignment for Astra 19. 2 with some tippex to make it easier to see on the sat finder. Don't forget to let it scan for new channels so it is properly up to date. Your picture will be just as good no matter where you are. ;)

Bailey Pageant Monarch Series 5 2004

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  • 1 month later...

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