King Jack TV antenna test - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-12-2016, 03:23 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
King Jack TV antenna test

I was an early adopter of OTA antennas and at one point a couple of friends and I had a friendly little contest to see who could come up with the best design. All of them worked pretty well and, as is typical with digital reception, the most important variable was an unobstructed line of sight.

Living in a canyon, with no clear path to the TV transmitters, I always had to very carefully aim the antenna, sometimes only a few degrees difference meant the difference of a signal or not.

At home I've been using a commercial 8 bay unit for years and it does a great job in a difficult location. On the road I've been using a 4 bay unit with fairly good results but there's always the finding the optimum direction and it's fairly fragile and not well suited to being thrown in the back of the truck.

So I thought I'd try out buying a Jack replacement antenna head and their signal strength meter. I didn't want a permanently mounted roof setup.

Wow, should have done that years ago. The strongest reading my 8 bay could bring in 2 blue lights. Amplified Jack; 4 blue lights

I had to make a bit of a mickey mouse set-up to test it at home and compare it to the 8 bay. I took a small m/c battery, a small inverter and my netbook with a TV stick up on the roof so the two antennas were side by side. I'm really happy with the results and the Jack is so much less sensitive to the direction it's pointed.

So, on the road, the 1" aluminum tube will drop into the socket I already have on the top of the spare tire holder and signal strength meter will be inside but I'll still be able to see it.

I'm a happy camper, always nice when the results exceed expectations.

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg rotated_resize.jpg (332.2 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg IMGP0005_resize.jpg (217.8 KB, 66 views)
__________________

Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2016, 03:49 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Patandlinda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2013 19 Escape
Posts: 6,004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I was an early adopter of OTA antennas and at one point a couple of friends and I had a friendly little contest to see who could come up with the best design. All of them worked pretty well and, as is typical with digital reception, the most important variable was an unobstructed line of sight.

Living in a canyon, with no clear path to the TV transmitters, I always had to very carefully aim the antenna, sometimes only a few degrees difference meant the difference of a signal or not.

At home I've been using a commercial 8 bay unit for years and it does a great job in a difficult location. On the road I've been using a 4 bay unit with fairly good results but there's always the finding the optimum direction and it's fairly fragile and not well suited to being thrown in the back of the truck.

So I thought I'd try out buying a Jack replacement antenna head and their signal strength meter. I didn't want a permanently mounted roof setup.

Wow, should have done that years ago. The strongest reading my 8 bay could bring in 2 blue lights. Amplified Jack; 4 blue lights

I had to make a bit of a mickey mouse set-up to test it at home and compare it to the 8 bay. I took a small m/c battery, a small inverter and my netbook with a TV stick up on the roof so the two antennas were side by side. I'm really happy with the results and the Jack is so much less sensitive to the direction it's pointed.

So, on the road, the 1" aluminum tube will drop into the socket I already have on the top of the spare tire holder and signal strength meter will be inside but I'll still be able to see it.

I'm a happy camper, always nice when the results exceed expectations.

Ron
Same here Ron have Wineguard directional antenna's on roof at home now for almost 6 years . Also live near lot's of hills . Dumped the sat. and cable which have had for about 37 years . As soon as HD came out , saw a article about cord cutting . Put up antenna and have more then enough to watch . Only on 5 foot pole . Get Netflix DVD's and have a Roku player . About 17.00 a month . Could eliminate those too if price gets too high . The antenna has lot's of programming and it is free . Pat
__________________

Patandlinda is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2016, 08:36 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,223
The "RV replacement" version of the King Jack antenna comes with two mounts: one is a square mount meant to go on the extendable square tube crank-up rooftop antenna arm that many RVs have; the other is a mount meant for a round antenna mast. The instructions say to not use the round antenna mast mount on an RV.

I assumed that perhaps this mount wasn't robust enough to endure the vibrations it would encounter on an RV. I called King to ask about this. A young tech told me that he didn't really know, but pointed out that this mount is easily removable from the mast (it is). I want to use a King Jack on my Escape's antenna mast, so I think I'll drill a hole in the mount and install a safety wire so that it won't become a road hazard if the mount breaks and falls off.

I'll have to order a second King Jack for this, as I installed the first one on an antenna mast at home. It seems to work pretty well.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2016, 12:57 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,315
Good to hear that the King Jack works good. I am going to look for a non-permanent solution for TV in the future too, and it is good to hear what works for folks.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2016, 05:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
The instructions say to not use the round antenna mast mount on an RV.

I want to use a King Jack on my Escape's antenna mast, so I think I'll drill a hole in the mount and install a safety wire so that it won't become a road hazard if the mount breaks and falls off.
Yes, I did a double take on that also. Might have been better if they'd said "moving" RV.

I cross pinned my solar panel mast and it's been fine with the pin. Much more secure than relying on a clamp.

Well, my happiness with the King Jack antenna just went up another notch. I was going to take it down to a local mall parking lot that has a clear line of sight to the local mountain and test it there. It has at least 3 transmitters on it. But I thought, what the heck, why not do an impossible test at home. Even on my roof I don't have a clear line of sight to the transmitters. There's an escarpment and trees in the way. So why bother trying it on the trailer 20' lower and with a new monster house point blank in the way.

Since it's so quick to set up I tried it anyway. Knock me over with a feather. Same 8 stations that I get with the 8 bay on the roof.

One bird seemed quite interested in what I was doing below him. I was hoping he wasn't going to poop on my head. That's why we keep the small cover on at home, even in the summer.

Hard to see what I had on screen on the netbook in the bright sunlight. Looks like the desktop, a TV picture and me. The netbook does work well as a TV, I'm still undecided if I want to get a dedicated small TV. Hey, my first mobile TV was a snowy 5" B&W. Anything larger in HD and color looks great to me.

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMGP0008_resize.jpg (233.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg IMGP0013_resize.jpg (119.9 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg IMGP0018_resize.jpg (194.9 KB, 52 views)
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2016, 07:09 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Well, my happiness with the King Jack antenna just went up another notch. I was going to take it down to a local mall parking lot that has a clear line of sight to the local mountain and test it there. It has at least 3 transmitters on it. But I thought, what the heck, why not do an impossible test at home. Even on my roof I don't have a clear line of sight to the transmitters. There's an escarpment and trees in the way. So why bother trying it on the trailer 20' lower and with a new monster house point blank in the way.

Since it's so quick to set up I tried it anyway. Knock me over with a feather. Same 8 stations that I get with the 8 bay on the roof.
I'm not all that surprised - down at TV frequencies (even UHF), you don't need line of sight. At home we don't have clear line of sight to any station, but all local stations (up to perhaps 60 km away, but without mountains) come in with even an old-fashioned RV antenna, and well with a home rooftop directional antenna.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
One bird seemed quite interested in what I was doing below him. I was hoping he wasn't going to poop on my head.
That's quite the nice roof over the bird feeders... but I suppose where it rains a couple hundred days a year, you should have a good roof.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2016, 10:29 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I'm not all that surprised - down at TV frequencies (even UHF), you don't need line of sight. At home we don't have clear line of sight to any station, but all local stations (up to perhaps 60 km away, but without mountains) come in with even an old-fashioned RV antenna, and well with a home rooftop directional antenna.


That's quite the nice roof over the bird feeders... but I suppose where it rains a couple hundred days a year, you should have a good roof.
Oh, you folks in Alberta are so cruel to us living out here on the Wet Coast. But the pain is dulled somewhat when I think of us out on the water in January, in a winter race, sun shining and warm, making jokes about those poor folks East of the Rockies with their block heaters and frozen water.

OK, I do admit that sometimes we do get a little rain and the bird feeder has vertical joints that aren't waterproof. If the bird seed gets damp it can get moldy, hence the roof over. Yes, we have the bird feeders, including the hummingbird feeder, out year round. A concept that might seem strange to some folks that live in frozen wastelands.

My friends and I have tested multiple designs in multiple locations. You're quite correct in the frequency working in a positive way towards mitigation of line of sight impairment but in the end it's a mix of frequency, line of sight and distance to the transmitter. Not quite a black art but we've had some results that were unexpected. At any rate the King Jack, for this location, has given the strongest signal of any antenna previously tested.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2016, 06:39 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
OK, now that I established that the King Jack antenna does a good job, the next step was to make it easy to hook up.

At first I considered putting the signal meter and power injector inside. But since there's always a possibility that we might do another CruiseAmerica delivery or use the antenna on another vehicle I decided to make it modular. It's already easy to remove the antenna, so having the rest semi-portable made sense to me.

I just happened to have an old telco box that was the right size. I mounted it with quick release brackets on the back bumper. It is well protected by the spare tire.

A quick spray with Krylon got rid of the grungy telco grey.

It was a lesson in frustration and patience since my right hand is in a cast. Ever try and put a 6-32 screw in place and put a nut on it with one and a bit hands.

Went out last night to buy a 19" Samsung on sale but it looked so small. Now I'm undecided on the best size. We're not huge TV watchers but for going across Canada next summer it might be nice to have.

Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMGP0022_resize.jpg (209.7 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg IMGP0023_resize.jpg (272.2 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg IMGP0024_resize.jpg (143.0 KB, 43 views)
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2016, 01:57 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
drpaddle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
Trailer: Escape 21 'Toto'
Posts: 302
Ron, your portable setup looks great. I am wondering how you got 12-volt power to the injector.

I'm thinking of copying your setup, except I will put the injector and signal meter inside (visible through a window).

I'm assuming you brought power out from the trailer somehow -- yes? If so, it would confirm my suspicion that I don't have to use the 120v power supply from King, which appears to be a simple 12v transformer, and that I can instead run 12 volt from within my trailer.

Can you clarify? Thank you!
__________________
doug, sooz & the furfoots
www.followtoto.com
drpaddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 07:50 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
Yes, it does seem quite happy to run on 12 volts.

I ran a wire, along with several others for a rear light and back up camera out back. Originally I was going to put the signal strength meter etc. inside and peer through the back window while rotating the mast. But it just seemed easier to put it in the box at the rear, more out of the way than any location that I could figure out for the interior.

With the Jack antenna being much more omni directional than I expected I almost don't need the signal strength meter.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2016, 12:19 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
drpaddle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
Trailer: Escape 21 'Toto'
Posts: 302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Yes, it does seem quite happy to run on 12 volts.

I ran a wire, along with several others for a rear light and back up camera out back.
Thanks Ron!
__________________
doug, sooz & the furfoots
www.followtoto.com
drpaddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2017, 11:12 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
OK, just had my first on the road actual use of the antenna. I'm in the Rolling Hills Casino parking lot and aimed it back towards Corning and got 3 lights on the signal strength meter. Moved it a bit and got 4 lights. Scanned channels and got many. Most aren't ones that I'd watch at home but I did get the news and weather which is always the prime goal. So I'm calling my whole package, the antenna, the mast and the TV running on 12 volts, a success.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2017, 11:43 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
OK, the juries not in yet. No chances to use the antenna in Baja.

Here in Quartzsite Myron has struck out using his folding antenna on a pole. I was disappointed to get absolutely no lights on my signal strength meter. Doug, with his factory installation is getting lots of stations. Before we leave on Sunday I'm going to move to his location and see if that gets any lights.

Too bad Mike isn't here to get use another bench mark.

Maybe I see a satellite dish in my future.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2017, 06:41 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Steve Clark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Fremont, California
Trailer: 2016 21. '15 Ford Explorer V-6
Posts: 1,482
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
OK, the juries not in yet. No chances to use the antenna in Baja.

Here in Quartzsite Myron has struck out using his folding antenna on a pole. I was disappointed to get absolutely no lights on my signal strength meter. Doug, with his factory installation is getting lots of stations. Before we leave on Sunday I'm going to move to his location and see if that gets any lights.

Too bad Mike isn't here to get use another bench mark.

Maybe I see a satellite dish in my future.

Ron
Don't work too hard on your "research". Remember to save some time to do Nothing.......
__________________
Steve and Debbie
2016 - 21'

“Get out the map and lay your finger anywhere down” -Indigo Girls
Steve Clark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2017, 07:40 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Too bad Mike isn't here to get use another bench mark.
Ron
Sorry. All I can add is that the King Jack seems to be pretty robust. I completed a trip to Maine and back with it and am now on a trip to Central Florida, and the antenna still works okay. I've nothing to compare it to, though regarding sensitivity.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2017, 11:15 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Notasulga, Alabama
Trailer: 2010 EggCamper (#083); 2017 Escape 21 (#053); 2016 F-150 5.0L FX4
Posts: 1,744
drpaddle, I just noticed you named your camper "Toto". We know a couple with an EggCamper. Her first name is Judy. His first name is Garland. They also named their camper "Toto" (or "Towtow"!). So put it all together, and you have Judy Garland and Toto. Cute!
War Eagle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2017, 08:03 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Kountrykamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Middle, Tennessee
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19' #2
Posts: 1,442
Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
drpaddle, I just noticed you named your camper "Toto". We know a couple with an EggCamper. Her first name is Judy. His first name is Garland. They also named their camper "Toto" (or "Towtow"!). So put it all together, and you have Judy Garland and Toto. Cute!
It's a small world of Egg Campers. We camp with Judy & Garland a lot. Great folks!
__________________
Tom
Kountrykamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2017, 01:21 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Area 51, New Mexico
Trailer: pondering.....
Posts: 728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Maybe I see a satellite dish in my future.

Ron
picked up a Winegard Dish Playmaker Bundle (with Dish Wally Receiver) on sale for US$299..doesn't fit in a backpack but it is small ..15" dia x14" and it works great (pay as you go)..being that its round, considering a lightweight padded or roto-moulded drum case for it!

backpacker to rv trailer to satellite tv..never thought this camper would travel down that path...
freespirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2017, 11:40 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 5,024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
All I can add is that the King Jack seems to be pretty robust.
You're right Mike. The antenna isn't the problem, the signal strength meter isn't working. But I'm getting reception with the antenna.

I'm thinking that your way of mounting the antenna is what I'm going to switch to.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2017, 10:43 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 2,887
I was parked right near Myron at Q, Ron was down a bit from us, and I had two bars on the factory installed King Jack. Did scan one station in on the TV that was in Spanish.
__________________

Greg A is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×