King Omnipro antenna and yet another antenna mast - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-12-2019, 06:20 PM   #1
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King Omnipro antenna and yet another antenna mast

I recently bought a King OA1000 Omnipro antenna for my trailer because I find aiming a TV antenna to be a nuisance. Local ham radio friends of mine suggested a telescoping flagpole sold by Harbor Freight as an antenna mast, so I tried out both the antenna and mast on a recent trip to central Florida. The results were pretty good.

https://www.amazon.com/KING-OA1000-O...g%2C208&sr=1-5

https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ft-...kit-64342.html

The King antenna is removeable from its triangular base; it is held in place by two screws. All of the electronics are in the circular "head" of the antenna. It is amplified. A pigtail hangs down from the center terminating with a Type F connector.

The flagpole is a five-section telescoping aluminum pole. Each section twists to lock into place. When retracted I twist-lock each section as well so that they don't bounce up and down when towing. I also used a bungee to help hold everything in place.

The mount is something I had left over from a ham radio antenna, but it is easily replicated. A friend of mine who is a welder made a mount from a piece of pipe welded to a square piece of metal. The square piece has four holes in it for U-bolts to secure it to the trailer's back bumper. The antenna is attached to the pipe with aluminum antenna mounting hardware that I had, but you can find it online or at a Flying J truckstop. The flagpole is attached to the brackets with #3 and #5 electrical conduit hangers. The only additional piece needed for someone starting from scratch would be the L-shaped piece of metal on the bottom bracket that fits under the bottom of the flagpole.

I cut an aluminum tube sized to fit into the recess at the bottom of the antenna head, and drilled two holes in the tube to take the set screws that originally held the head to the antenna base. I threaded the antenna coax through the tube and put foam sealer in the bottom of the tube to keep the pigtail from wearing on the edges of the cut tube. I drilled a hole in the base of the antenna head to secure it with safety wire to the mount, just in case. I also secured the bottom of the flagpole to the trailer bumper with more safety wire.

Then it was time for a test. I made a trip to the Sarasota area, then to Orlando, then home. The antenna assembly rode fine. I checked it frequently while on the road and had no problems. I believe this setup can be left permanently on the trailer.

As for performance, I was quite impressed. While parked at Myakka River State Park with the antenna in the trees, I could pick up 64 channels from the following stations:

WEDU - Tampa
WEDQ - Tampa
WFLA - Tampa
WTSP - St. Petersburg
WINK - Ft. Myers
WTVT - Tampa
WSVT - Tampa
WBBH - Ft. Myers
WCLF - Clearwater
WZVN - Naples
WFTS - Tampa
WMOR - Lakeland
WFTX - Cape Coral
WTTA - St. Petersburg
WWSF - Sarasota
WTOG - St. Petersburg
WXCW - Naples
WVEA - Tampa
WFTT - Venice

The farthest, WFTX at Cape Coral, was more than eighty miles away.

I'm pretty happy with this setup. I would recommend the King OmniPro antenna regardless of how you want to mount it; its performance is good enough so that you don't have to fool with aiming a TV antenna.

Here are photos. I don't have a photo of the mast extended because I'm currently parked under a tree.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20190612_flagpole_antenna_mast_1.jpg (331.5 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg 20190612_flagpole_antenna_mast_2.jpg (392.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg 20190612_flagpole_antenna_mast_3.jpg (293.1 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg 20190612_flagpole_antenna_mast_4.jpg (379.9 KB, 25 views)
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:31 PM   #2
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That is a good looking setup Mike.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:20 AM   #3
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Mike,
I'm in the process of adding a cellular antenna similar to your TV setup.
Could you share how you ran the coax into the trailer?
Thanks,
Richard
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for user review Mike. For some reason I give more credibility to your review than some user reviews online for various products.

I was thinking of going to the same antenna for my new 21 (Sept. 2019) Mine might do away with the pole.

I'm going to mount my solar panel(s) on a "ski rack" frame similar to what I just did on my 19. I'm thinking that I might be able to extend the side rails rearward a bit and add that antenna on one side with the top just proud of the panels and on the other rail mount my wi-fi booster and my Wilson Sleek antennas.

Ron
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorbudd View Post
Mike,
I'm in the process of adding a cellular antenna similar to your TV setup.
Could you share how you ran the coax into the trailer?
Thanks,
Richard

I had previously drilled a hole in the bottom of my trailer several inches ahead of the right rear taillight, easily one of the bravest things I've ever done. But it worked out okay. Following advice, I taped over the target area with masking tape. I drilled a small pilot hole from my preferred spot on the inside to make sure I knew where it would come out on the outside. Next, from the outside I ran a hole saw backwards for a bit to cut a groove in the fiberglass. Then I ran it forward and made the hole. The hole was on a flat part of the trailer bottom which turned out to directly join the plywood floor, so in a sense I got lucky.

I have several pieces of coax going through that hole for various purposes. I connect them up on the inside, and on the outside I roll them up, tie up the rolls with Velcro strips, then secure them behind the spare tire with those big orange twist tie wires that you can buy at Home Depot (I forgot what they are called), with one "twist" of the twist tie to hold each bundle of wire. I have traveled all over the country like this with no problems.

When parked I unroll the relevant coax, connect it to its antenna, then raise the antenna. When preparing to leave I reverse this. So far this has worked well. I currently don't have any antennas that are connected all the time; I have to hook up the ones I need every time I stop. It's no big deal.
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:46 PM   #6
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One more thing-- I installed a firewall grommet in that hole so that its edge wouldn't fray:


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I'm going to mount my solar panel(s) on a "ski rack" frame similar to what I just did on my 19. I'm thinking that I might be able to extend the side rails rearward a bit and add that antenna on one side with the top just proud of the panels and on the other rail mount my wi-fi booster and my Wilson Sleek antennas.
Ron

Thanks, Ron. According to its manual the OmniPro weighs 2.2 lbs., so it's not heavy. That should work.
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:13 PM   #8
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Thanks Mike. I guess there's no way around drilling through the structure if you want to mount an antenna at the rear.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:24 PM   #9
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It's only the first hole that's anxiety producing. After that, it's need a hole, drill it.

Ron
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
It's only the first hole that's anxiety producing. After that, it's need a hole, drill it.
Ron
That first step was a big one, though, let me tell you; it was cringe-city. Now I can see myself drilling holes in the roof to add additional antennas over time. In due course I'll have a fiberglass porcupine going down the road.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
It's only the first hole that's anxiety producing. After that, it's need a hole, drill it.

Ron
Maybe because I knew well ahead I would need some holes and larger cutouts that anxiety was never an issue. I probably did do the measure twice thing more than I normally do. Caution was a big factor.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:36 AM   #12
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A second flagpole

Happy with the performance of the Harbor Freight flagpole as an antenna mast, I added a second one for a ham radio antenna called a "J-pole". Here are photos of the flagpoles extended and retracted.

When the poles are retracted I use orange Gear Ties to secure the nested mast sections so that they don't bounce. I could tighten the ring locks on the masts instead but they are cheap and might break when holding the mast sections in place while the trailer is bouncing down the road. Of course, a real sailor such as Ron in BC would secure the masts with lines and cleats. I might try this in the future.

When extended the J-pole is secured with two wingnuts. When retracted I invert it and put it on the same threaded studs. I added another Gear Tie for extra security when towing, but I might also add a strap or something, as I don't think two wingnuts are sufficient to keep the antenna on the mast when the trailer is going down the road.
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File Type: jpg 20190718_flagpoles_extended.jpg (314.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 20190718_flagpoles_retracted.jpg (356.0 KB, 21 views)
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #13
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Timely posting- ordered yesterday a Weeboost 4G Connect refurb or open box for $437. It is essentially the same as their Connect RV 65 with pole that is $649. The Harbor Freight pole you can get for $42 using their 25% off coupon they run all the time.

These 65 db kits come with Yagi antennas which you have to aim, yet am also getting an omnidirectional and will see if there is much difference. These amps are meant for stationary use which is primarily why they don't include a mag mount antenna which would make it easy to use in your car.
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:04 PM   #14
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Wow, Mike, your antennas are really reaching new heights. I thought mine, about 3' above roof level worked great being up off the roof a little but those masts beat mine by a bit. And I do believe that more height really improves range.

Hmm, I was thinking that I might go without pole mounted antennas on the new trailer but I might have to rethink that. I still have a few weeks to mull it over. But I will get the King antenna ordered.

Thanks for mentioning how to discard the factory base and mount it on a tube. I didn't see any mention of removing the base in the factory ad info.

Ron
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Thanks for mentioning how to discard the factory base and mount it on a tube. I didn't see any mention of removing the base in the factory ad info.

Ron
When I bought the OmniPro at a Camping World I had them open the box beforehand so that I could see how the triangular base was attached to the antenna disc. If the base could not be removed or if it had electronics in it I would not have purchased the antenna. Once I saw that the base was simply molded plastic attached with two screws I knew it would work on top of a taller mast.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:55 AM   #16
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Before buying the Harbor Freight flagpoles I tried a 23-foot fiberglass mast from Poles and Holders. The OmniPro fit on top of the mast using a PVC connector and the line ran inside of it, making for a neat installation. But the antenna made the mast top-heavy and it swayed quite a bit in a breeze. I thought it might make other campers nervous (not necessarily a bad thing imo ), and then I saw what looked like stress cracks in the bottom extendable section of the mast. I don't know enough about fiberglass to tell if it was a stress crack or paint defect, but to play it safe I abandoned the idea and went to the Harbor Freight flagpoles.



The Harbor Freight poles are aluminum and definitely stiff enough; they sway little in a strong breeze. Their plastic lock rings are cheap, though, so at some point I expect to have to drill the mast sections for ring pins to hold the masts up.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:23 AM   #17
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Ross -- a couple of years ago I mounted a WireEng omnidirectional cellular antenna on one of my old trailer antenna masts for use with an amp. I bought it because it didn't need a ground plane. I used it only a few times. Recently when I removed it to reconfigure my antennas, rainwater poured out of its housing. I think the WireEng was made for marine use and couldn't take the vibration inherent in being attached to an RV. Just FYI.

I intend to re-purpose my Poles and Holders fiberglass mast to hold a cellular antenna. But this time I won't leave it permanently mounted to the trailer; I'll just mount it when needed. So now I guess I need a holder from Poles and Holders...
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