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Bent Winegard Antenna Element

MNtundraRet
Navigator
Navigator
I have the model III antenna with the Wingman attachment. With the attachment the element sits slightly higher when laying on the roof.

A 50 to 60 mph headwind while driving to next site about 2 weeks ago finally bent the leading edge upward (45 degree angle toward center of element). The antenna seems to work just fine, maybe better. With two amplifiers I was getting 40 to 50 channels on a single direction search.

I made the mistake of bending the Element straight once and saw a weak crease showing on top side. Of course the element bent up again a few days later when driving again with headwinds. :M

The question for those who might know is:
What happens when the element breaks off, and I am left with about a 75% length wing. Will I lose the first amplifier ability to amplify the signal? Or will the element just work as a shorter element and I lose some maximum range on RF channels around 2 to 5? :h
Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29
15 REPLIES 15

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
MNtundraRet wrote:
Thanks for the picture Tom.

It looks like the antenna may have either 2 VHF elements looped back on the center effectively about 40% longer than it looks like, or possibly 4 VHF elements with 2 slightly shorter for mid to high VHF channels.

The remaining shorter sections were for the original UHF channels before the Wingman was added for better range on getting the UHF channels.

It looks like there enough connections to the pre-amp to work this way.

I may be really screwed if the wing finally breaks off from wind or vibrations. I may loose 50% of my range or more if it messes with the antenna trimming in the pre-amp circuitry.

Both sections are simple folded dipole elements. Installing the Wingman director array turns the UHF dipole into a more directional yagi configuration. Losing the bent section will pretty much destroy the VHF dipole performance for all but the strongest stations.

On edit: Looking closer, losing the bent section will also destroy the UHF performance, since the two dipole segments are contiguous. I thought on first look that the center pins were connections, not just insulated supports.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

Tom_M1
Explorer
Explorer


The two halves slide sideways about 1/2 inch after releasing the locking parts that the two orange arrows point to. I don't recall how I figured it out. Probably used brute force.
Tom
2005 Born Free 24RB
170ah Renogy LiFePo4 drop-in battery 400 watts solar
Towing 2016 Mini Cooper convertible on tow dolly
Minneapolis, MN

SCVJeff
Explorer
Explorer
Tom_M wrote:
You might try splinting the bent arm with something such as a piece of fiberglass tent pole or garden stake.
was that case welded? It sure looks like it came apart clean
Jeff - WA6EQU
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
Spend the $45 and replace the Sensar head. If that wing section breaks off and hits a trailing car, someone won't be very happy about it.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
Bigfoot Automatic Leveling System
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

MNtundraRet
Navigator
Navigator
Tom_M wrote:
You might try splinting the bent arm with something such as a piece of fiberglass tent pole or garden stake.


I am afraid if I tried to straighten it out one more time to do that, it would break off. Best time to try that would have been last week when I straightened it the first time. The bend is within 1/2 inch of the plastic housing making a splint hard to do.
Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29

Tom_M1
Explorer
Explorer
You might try splinting the bent arm with something such as a piece of fiberglass tent pole or garden stake.
Tom
2005 Born Free 24RB
170ah Renogy LiFePo4 drop-in battery 400 watts solar
Towing 2016 Mini Cooper convertible on tow dolly
Minneapolis, MN

MNtundraRet
Navigator
Navigator
Thanks for the picture Tom.

It looks like the antenna may have either 2 VHF elements looped back on the center effectively about 40% longer than it looks like, or possibly 4 VHF elements with 2 slightly shorter for mid to high VHF channels.

The remaining shorter sections were for the original UHF channels before the Wingman was added for better range on getting the UHF channels.

It looks like there enough connections to the pre-amp to work this way.

I may be really screwed if the wing finally breaks off from wind or vibrations. I may loose 50% of my range or more if it messes with the antenna trimming in the pre-amp circuitry.
Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29

Tom_M1
Explorer
Explorer
Here's the innards of my Sensar III:

Tom
2005 Born Free 24RB
170ah Renogy LiFePo4 drop-in battery 400 watts solar
Towing 2016 Mini Cooper convertible on tow dolly
Minneapolis, MN

SCVJeff
Explorer
Explorer
I sawed one open that came off a satellite truck in Austin that had words with a tree and lost, but that was almost 10 years ago and I dont remember what all was in there. I'm pretty sure these are individulally driven elements into the preamp.
Jeff - WA6EQU
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

MNtundraRet
Navigator
Navigator
Thanks Jeff. For now the element is still not broken through yet. The fact that the element is not straight across versus the left side bent back towards the right side has not yet hurt the ability to get signals from a distance. I still was pulling in wanted stations from 115 miles away.

Sooner or later I expect the winds to finally snap off that part of the main element. I thought you opened up the main wing on one last season to check the built-in amplifier. I was wondering if you noticed whether there was one long element passing through the center enclosed section, or possibly a left and right section connected like a bi-pole shortwave setup.
Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29

SCVJeff
Explorer
Explorer
MNtundraRet wrote:
Jeff: It is the Bat "Wing". The left portion that sits facing the front of the MH when stored in travel position. The reason I wonder about it is that wing is light a "race track" (long straight oval). If the piece breaks off it looks like I would be left with a "U" shaped element, unless the two wings are actually separated from each other.

I am not sure how the left over length calculates out for longer RF wavelengths. I am a firm believer in "Don't fix what is not broke". In my mind it is not yet broken. For those who do not already know I have a daytime range of 120 miles, and a night time (or cloudy day) range of up to 200 miles. I have been using this system for 3 years now on 2 amplifiers.
Got it.. I doubt if that missing piece is a tuned element since it needs to perform from 54-216MHz+ for VHF. Magic elements like that are pretty specifically tuned. That hole is probably more aerodynamic than anything else, but clearly that didn't work out for you.. 🙂
Jeff - WA6EQU
'06 Itasca Meridian 34H, CAT C7/350

MNtundraRet
Navigator
Navigator
Jeff: It is the Bat "Wing". The left portion that sits facing the front of the MH when stored in travel position. The reason I wonder about it is that wing is light a "race track" (long straight oval). If the piece breaks off it looks like I would be left with a "U" shaped element, unless the two wings are actually separated from each other.

I am not sure how the left over length calculates out for longer RF wavelengths. I am a firm believer in "Don't fix what is not broke". In my mind it is not yet broken. For those who do not already know I have a daytime range of 120 miles, and a night time (or cloudy day) range of up to 200 miles. I have been using this system for 3 years now on 2 amplifiers.
Mark & Jan "Old age & treachery win over youth & enthusiasm"
2003 Fleetwood Jamboree 29

Old-Biscuit
Explorer II
Explorer II
Rvpapa wrote:
Easiest is go to Winegard's web site they will sell replacement parts direct. Complete IV head is only around 40 - 50 $
Art.


X2
Is it time for your medication or mine?


2007 DODGE 3500 QC SRW 5.9L CTD In-Bed 'quiet gen'
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US NAVY------USS Decatur DDG31

Rvpapa
Explorer
Explorer
Easiest is go to Winegard's web site they will sell replacement parts direct. Complete IV head is only around 40 - 50 $
Art.