View Full Version : Jack Antenna

10-07-2013, 02:26 PM
Is this the Jack Antenna that everyone is replacing the original head (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/jack-digital-hdtv-antenna-replacement-head/68415) with? Camping World has it on sale along with the Oxygennics shower head.

Jim M

10-07-2013, 02:38 PM
Yep, that's what mine looks like.

10-07-2013, 02:50 PM
Is it as good as everyone says???

The bat wing is terrible.

The original antenna that was on our old 1978 Coachman TT pulled in twice as many stations (over 60) sitting in our side yard than the bat wing does on our 2013 Trail Runner.

10-07-2013, 02:54 PM
It was a major improvement over the bat wing.

10-07-2013, 02:58 PM
I just replaced my antenna with a Jack and I pick up a lot more channels than I did with the one that came with the Key Largo. Money well spent, and easy installation !!

10-07-2013, 04:07 PM

I saw that ad too but was concerned that it was not as complete as the total replacement head. I changed my last rig over to the jack antenna and was REALLY Impressed. I got a whole lot more channels when it was used. But I think one of the things that made it so much easier was that at the inside where the crank handle used to be there was a signal strength meter that would show you when you were at the optimum position. The write up for this "head replacement" Jack antenna simply says (if I recall correctly) something like "you can use the amplifier you have....or use ours"....but it says nothing about the signal strength meter.

If anyone has purchased this unit I think we would all love to hear from them as to what was in the box.

10-07-2013, 04:16 PM
Gary, I put it on my Gateway the same day I picked the Gateway up at the dealer. The service guy talked me into the "head" unit vice the $150 complete Jack antenna...I actually wish I had gotten the complete antenna for two reasons. First everything else on the Gateway is "Black" and the Jack "head" only comes in white. And second, the signal strength meter I think would be extremely handy considering how many times I walk up to the bedroom, adjust the antenna, then go back to the TV and scan channels again, just to do again

The "head" comes with everything to put on a pole (including a power supply for the booster) or to replace the batwing antenna. The "head" does NOT have a signal strength meter like the full Jack antenna.

I will probably end up getting the "black" Jack antenna soon and put the Jack "head" unit in my attic to pull in some off the air stations at my house when weather (rain/ snow) causes my Dish Network to quit for a while...

10-07-2013, 07:11 PM
That is what the wife is for. "Honey is the signal any better?" and keep adjusting until the answer is yes. And, with the TV in the bedroom you get pretty quick feed back if she is not available.

10-07-2013, 07:51 PM
I got a digital signal meter from Camping World. Hooked it up to the bedroom TV. I can turn the antenna to the strongest digital signal. Stops the back and forth trips to turn the antenna. I'm looking at adding the Jack head next.

10-07-2013, 08:11 PM
My TV in the bedroom has a signal strength meter app also. So when it scans for channels and finds one, I can then turn to signal strength meter and adjust antenna. It has worked before for me.

Jim M

10-07-2013, 08:46 PM
I bought the complete Jack antenna and regretted the ordeal. I had numerous problems with the coax connections until Cookie lent a hand and re-crimped some connections. I ran into 2 problems with the complete unit....the first was the coax cabling. It is very tight and I had to add an additional foot or so of coax. Also the antenna sits low to the roof, which is nice since you don't have to crank up and down, but I really believe the extra 1-2 feet of crank up height improves the signal. The complete Jack antenna sits at or just below the AC unit height .

The proof of the complete antenna vs batwing replacement was observed at the Wisconsin rally when Cookie fixed my connections. Several other rigs purchased the batwing replacement from the local RV dealer and they received much better reception with fewer drop offs. I spoke to the local RV techs who advised that they received some new HL products with the complete Jack antenna and they had similar problems. All 3 of the local techs preferred the batwing replacement. I connected a batwing directly to my coach and it received several additional stations vs the permanent mount Jack antenna. I have a fairly new Samsung so I don't think it was an issue with the TV.

Also, I feel that the signal meter is more of a gimmick that an aid. The lights remain lit at the same strength throughout most of the positions. The signal strength meter on the TV's in my coach provided a better reading than the Jack antenna. That said, I feel that the extra splices in my coax are a contributing factor, but I am receiving several additional stations at my home location and I saw a decent improvement when we (meaning Cookie) fixed my coax connections in the Dells. I just returned from the Iowa rally in Amana and I received better reception with the Jack antenna as compared to my old antenna which was used on 2 previous visits. I highly recommend the Jack antenna but would go with the batwing replacement since it is literally a 10 minute swap of the head and you don't have to mess with the coax.

Chuck Dvorak

10-07-2013, 10:37 PM
What is this replacement batwing that you speak of?

10-08-2013, 11:32 AM
The Jack antenna comes in two different models. The replacement head unit is just that. You swap out the antenna head on your current antenna with the Jack head and still use the crank up mount. The second Jack model is a complete antenna system which requires removal of the old antenna and mast. I also had to enlargen the hole a bit to get a good fit on the Jack cranking mechanism. The cranking mechanism is used to spin the direction of the antenna, but you don't have to crank it up or down because it sits low on the roof. The complete model also includes a signal strength meter that I wasn't too impressed with. Both models include a signal booster, but I chose to use my existing booster.

I really saw a difference in the performance with the Jack antenna and I highly recommend it. However, I would use the batwing replacement model if I had to do it again. Much easier installation and even better performance when compared to the complete Jack antenna (IMHO)

10-08-2013, 03:48 PM
I did the Jack batwing replacement this year. While I don't get more channels (northern MI ain't got a lot), there is much less pixelation and signal loss. Takes about 15 minutes to install.

10-08-2013, 04:44 PM
Just got back from CW where I purchased the Jack batwing replacement. They honored the Internet price of $38.21,and said if I renewed my membership for $25 they would take another $10 off the price. The cashier said she had a lot of Winegards come back, but has never had a Jack antenna returned. Will mount it this weekend.


10-08-2013, 04:49 PM
I do have to say that while the batwing can be a real PITA to find the stations, at the campground (Jack's Gulch) we were at this past Labor Day Weekend in the mountains up Poudre Canyon, this was the first time ever we've ever gotten a TV signal up there in the 15 or so years we've been going up there.

I actually was able to tune in three Cheyenne, WY stations! :D

But it took me an hour or so to find them.

I think I'm going to get that UHF attachment thingy . . . and a signal meter.

Here is a shot from Jack's Gulch campground (note the raised batwing):

10-11-2013, 10:11 PM
Stacy and I bought one while we were gone this summer and love it.