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How to choose a TV antenna for your boat

hamblemarineltd
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"Mushroom" shape
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First things first...

First of all, forget about trying to use a "directional" type antenna (officially known as a "yagi") like you have on a house.  Houses don't move, boats do!!!  So you need a type called "Omnidirectional"; this is a posh word meaning it will pick up the TV signal from any direction.  Even if you don't move the boat to a different place, the direction the TV signal comes from can still change. As the boat moves on its mooring or goes up and down with the tide, the direction will change.
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"Pear Drop" style
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The second thing to remember is that anything fitted on a boat is going to get wet and possibly salty, so make sure you buy an antenna specially designed for such use e.g. the Banten range.  Also, in case you need any technical help, you should buy it from a company with the technical expertise to support the product e.g. Hamble Marine Ltd.
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"Whip" style
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Type of antenna...

The first decision is to decide what shape/style/type of antenna you want.  The most common shape is like a "Mushroom" or "Flying Saucer" shown above right.  But other shapes are like a "Pear drop" (shown above left) and a "Whip" style.  The performance of the "Mushroom" and "Pear drop" styles is very similar so the decision is really which you think will look better on your boat.  The "Whip" style will in most cases also be similar but tends not to have quite the same performance in weak signal areas.
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Stainless Steel Mount
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Type of mount...

The second decision is to decide where (and how) you are going to mount the antenna on the boat.  Most suppliers don't give you much choice; all you can have is their standard white plastic mount.  However, Hamble Marine can supply a wide range including the standard white plastic one or the same thing in Stainless Steel (shown here).
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Stainless Steel Mast Mount
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Also available are a "Rail mount" (to fit the antenna for example on the push-pit) and a stainless steel "Mast mount" shown here.

Summary...

All these Banten antennas have a built-in amplifier to boost the signal.  In order to power the amplifier a "Power Combiner" is fitted at the TV end of the coax cable; this enables a single cable to carry both the supply voltage up and the TV signal down.
All these antennas and mounts are available from Hamble Marine Ltd at  http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Hamble-Marine-Electronics.
 
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