How They Work
How the Fold Away antenna works
Take a look at the image below on the left. See how the top elements swing in an arc to cover every position of the clock? That covers any type of signal polarization and digital signal.
Securing the top clip is a piece of cake, it is fixed at the top of the van wall or on the pop top, the first join of the antenna should sit just above the top clip about 50 to 60 cms above the roof line of you van, the top clip is a simple click in – click out retainer. The easiest way to fit the antenna to the top clip is to slide it in on an angle (45 degree?) from the gound-no ladder required.
Fit the bottom Bracket is so that the antenna is at the 50 to 60 cm above the van the top join should be above the top clip and just above the roof line, the base clip is made to be easy on older finger joints. You will appreciate that on cold winter mornings!
Run the cable through the wall of your van using a Direct Connector to ensure a better signal and high quality connections.
The clever design enables you to adjust the antenna so , No ladder required when setting up camp in the dark.
The Foldaway Antenna is truly light-weight (at only 1.5 kg), fully portable and comes in it’s own carry cylinder for safe keeping.
Fold Away Antennas have far better digital television signal finding ability, as they can be positioned to get both horizontal and vertical signals as well as everything in between or even both at the same time effectively giving a 360 degree signal pick up. This is achieved by positioning the arms to any angle as to where the signal is coming from.
The signal polarity hits the antenna arms or elements as they are known- then travels down the quad shield coaxial cable to the amplifier then to the TV as an amplified signal, the amplifier or booster as it is some times referred does simply that – it amplifies or boosts the signal. Useful especially if the signal is weak from distance to the TV Repeater tower or possibly obstructions such as hills and mountains, houses and buildings, trees and scrubs etc.
- Tighten the arms if needed, so they are firm but not rigid.
- Set the arms at 10 and 2 o’clock, plug it in to your T.V or T.V via your Amplifier.
- Do an auto Scan and see how many digital TV stations you are getting.
- Turn the antenna to receive the signal from the repeater.
(If your TV says that you have say 20 stations and you can’t see them on your T.V) Then start changing the element arms (take the antenna down to do this) until you find your happy medium (put the antenna back up), when you are happy with the reception you may like to do another auto tune to see if you can get a few more stations.
There is a range of applications on the market I like Antenna Mate as it gives both the direction of the nearest tower and were the signal is coming from (Horizontal <-> or Vertical ^^^)
Free apps such as Tower Finder, or you can log on to www.caravanplus.com.au to get tips on how to find the signal. You can also pick up a TV signal finder online or from Camec, Jay-car, Harvey Norman, Joyce Mayne or similar stores. I personally don’t use anything as it only takes a few minutes just playing with the antenna before you mount it on the side of the van to find a perfect signal. The signal polarity hits the antenna arms (or elements as they are known)- then travels down the quad shield coaxial cable to the amplifier then to the TV as an amplified signal, the amplifier or booster as it is some times referred does simply that – it amplifies or boosts the signal. Useful especially if the signal is weak from distance to the TV Repeater tower or possibly obstructions such as hills and mountains, houses and buildings, trees and scrubs etc.
Fold Away Antennas has the perfect system available to provide you with constant quality free to air T.V all over OZ- were a signal is present.The system is so simple, light, sturdy and rust resistant. For off the grid camping the system is perfect, all you need is a 12 Volt Battery one of our Antennas a 12 volt Amplifier and a 12 volt TV (probably about 6 or 7 kg in total weight).
The amplifier can come with either a AC-DC plug that converts 240 volts back to 12 volts or the above mentioned preferred 12 volt power supply- it comes with a plug to go into a cigarette lighter socket so you can camp any where in OZ with a 12 volt TV an watch your favorite show on TV.
The 12 volt system gives you total flexibility and ease of use, most serious campers have a solar cell to top up their battery, if you run power from your vehicle to your van through an Anderson plug – this will top up you vans battery while you are driving (make sure your car battery is isolated so that it doesn’t get a flat battery on your vehicle). If you decide to go to a powered site or us a generator this should top up your battery as most systems have a charger built in to the van/camper.
Remember that you can use the 12 volt system anywhere and have mains power to top up your battery but you can not do it the other way around. So 12 volt in my mind is defiantly the way to go in my book.
Satking Brand Amplifiers are one of the best on the market for this use. Our amplifiers (boosters) are a whopping 35 decibels in strength, about double that used in most other systems on the market. So that means a far better retention of digital TV signal when you need it.
Fold Away Antennas supply a full 12 volt system with 12 Volt Amplifier/Booster and of course our exceptional antenna that works on both 12 volt and 240 volt TV systems, the amplifier comes with either a 12 volt power supply or a AC/DC 240 volt power supply if required. If you specifically camp using only 12 volt (bush camping, beach camping, free camping) the 12 volt amplifier is a must have component- this gives you the flexibility of having both a system that work every were with a no fuss component for ease of use.
Folds Away into a 600 x 90 mm tube and weighs about 1500 grams in total
Mast height of 1600 mm and a span of 1200 mm with a total lead length of 4 meters.
Suits Standard Vans, Pop top Vans and Coaster type motor homes, Utes, Cars etc, Truck drivers love them as well especially when they have curfews are laid up for any length of time.
Folds Away into a 600 x 100 mm tube and weighs about 1700 grams in total
Mast height of 2100 mm and a span of 1200 mm with a total lead length of 6 meters.
Suits A Vans, wind up campers, flip over soft wall campers and motor homes.
The tall boy works exactly the same and is the same as the standard antenna except for extra mast height and lead length.
Always set the arms at 10 and 2 o’clock to start with.
The standard Foldaway antenna is one of the best if not the best antennas on the market for digital TV in a camping or mobile system. Our antennas pick up a digital television signal from which ever quadrant the signal is coming from, this is done by adjusting the arms to suit the direction from were the signal is coming from, if the signal is a horizontal one then the arms are adjusted to 3 and 9 on the clock face scale, if the signal is a vertical signal then the arms are adjusted to 12 and 6 a clock and if the signal is in between then set the arms at 10 and 2 or what ever works on the day. So by adjusting the arms and turning the mast you can achieve a 360 degree variation in the antenna, so the signal can’t escape your TV.
Every time you cut and join the coaxial cable you loose about 2 decibels of signal, so this is a good reason to have a Direct Connector or (through the wall connectors as they are sometimes referred to as) do exactly that, they go through the wall and give a water tight, bug tight, dust tight seal. The lead passes through the Direct Connector then plugs straight into your Amplifier or TV (depending on how you have it set up) this gives you a better signal because the coaxial cable has not been cut as some caravans have an external and internal plug.
- When you move locations Always Re-tune your TV to the local stations that are available as each area will not use the same frequency even if they are close by each other.
- Check your cable regularly for dirt and corrosion in the fittings-these can effect the performance of your signal and therefore the TVs reception, to avoid problems like this always plug the antenna directly to the Amplifier or the TV (this is were the direct connector comes into its own).
- Trees etc may obstruct and weaken signal strength try the antenna on the ground and even lay it on the ground as this sometimes is the antidote (remember were it is so that you don’t damage it).
- If the signal is snowy and you cant pick up a good reception you may be in a poor signal area, this is were an Amplifier or Booster will be needed to pick up a better and stronger signal, if you don’t have an amplifier call or email us so that you can have one sent to you.
- There are unfortunately areas were there is no signal at all’-we like to refer to them as have another honeymoon areas, read a book areas or DVD time areas, sorry but we cant fix everything but maybe the honeymoon option just might. Happy Camping.
Should you break or damage you Foldaway Antenna – don’t fear we have a full range of spare parts with instructions online for you to repair your antenna, just call or email for purchases.
We recommend J.Bs Hi-Fi , The Good Guys or Joyce Mayne for suppliers of 12 volt TVs which also come with an AC/DC plug along with the 12 volt lead that has a cigarette lighter plug fitted to it.(Make sure you ask for the 12 volt lead).
These TVs van be used with both 240 volts and 12 volts so again the flexibility of powered sites and bush, beach or free camping. (Remember you can use 12 volt power all of the time but you cant always have use 240 volt power)
They can be provided with a 3 year replacement warranty if required (the supplier), so this is some thing for you to consider.