Monday, February 2, 2015

Parting The Veil

Here on Eolian, we are not television mavens.

Nevertheless, there are occasions when we like to be able to view television (NFC playoffs, Superbowl anyone?).  But when we moved Eolian from what was essentially downtown Seattle up here to Anacortes, we moved out of the over-the-air broadcast area.  Yes, that's right - here at the dock at Cap Sante Marina we receive exactly zero stations.  Zip.  Nada.  With our ancient Shakespeare SeaWatch 2015, that is.

So last fall I looked into the new offerings in the marine TV antenna market.  Surprisingly, the 2015 was still being offered, but we already knew how this performed.  And there were newer models too.  But ignoring the cheap Chinese ones left either a Winegard or a Shakespeare (which was also manufactured by Winegard).  And both of these had (what for us) was a difficulty.

The power supply for our existing 2015 uses either 12V or 110V.  On Eolian, it was the 110V option that was used in the original installation, presumably because there is no 12V nearby.  But both the new antennas offered only 12V power supplies - and had an overly elaborate switching enclosure that was designed to be installed in a standard switch wiring box like you'd find in a house... or an RV.

So I equivocated.  But as of the first of the year, Shakespeare abandoned Winegard and began manufacturing their own antennas.  And with these new antennas, the elaborate switch box is gone, and we are back to a power supply that can use either 110V or 12V.  Hallelujah!

(That's a temporary coax hookup)
As I mentioned above, Anacortes, is a far-far-fringe area for TV reception.  Our best shot was a couple of repeaters on top of Mount Constitution on Orcas Island.  But because of the terrain surrounding the marina basin, we are pretty well shadowed even from them...  and Seattle stations are irredeemably distant.  So, in my wildest expectations, I had hoped that we might be able to part the digital veil just enough to see those repeaters on Orcas Island.  Maybe.

Part the veil?  Holy cow!  It ripped wide open.  We get a total of 18 channels!  Yep, those from Orcas and more, and several from Canada as well. 

Can I recommend the new self-sourced Shakespeare antennas?  Absolutely and without reservation!


TC and Kelly said...

Which model Shakespeare? Did you need digital decoders for both the US and Canadian TV stations? Details, details!

Robert Salnick said...

Oh, sorry - I didn't exactly say, did I? It is a Shakespeare 3015. This one has an advertised 40 mile range. I have a 3019 on order - it's 70 mile range just *might* get us Seattle stations.

I am also going to replace the ancient RG59 coax with some new lower loss RG6, but given where it has to go that will be a project in itself.

And no, you don't need anything special to receive Canadian digital TV - they use the same standard as the US.


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