Feb 052013

I’ve never used drugs, and I haven’t smoked a cigarette or drank anything stronger than Pepsi in nearly 40 years, but I’m going through withdrawals right now. Sunday night our Dish Network receiver died and I can’t watch TV.

Now, I know a lot of folks who could give a darn about TV, and some that don’t even own one. That’s okay for them, but I like my TV and I won’t apologize for it. I’m a news hound, and I have a few shows I watch every week.

I called Dish and gave them the error message we were getting on the screen and they said it was a known issue and would send out a new receiver. I got an e-mail last night that it is on the way, with delivery by UPS on Wednesday. Meanwhile, I tried using our crank up batwing antenna to catch the local news, and it won’t work. I turn the handle about three times and it locks up. We seldom use it, but I’d like it to work when I do. A while back, we were visiting with our friends Bob and Molly Pinner up in Virginia, and Bob had a Jack digital antenna with a SureLock signal finder that replaces the old style crank up batwing. I just may have to order one of them. Greg White needs something to do when we get together in a few weeks. Do any of you have any experience with the Jack antennas?

I spent most of yesterday writing and got two more chapters done in my new book. During the afternoon our friend Chris Guld from Geeks on Tour came over and spent a couple of hours helping us with some computer and software issues. Thanks for all of your help, Chris!

After Chris left, we drove a few miles south to Diromio’s Pizza for dinner. This was our first time to eat at the small Italian restaurant on U.S. 27 this year, and it was just as good as it always has been in the past. Back at home, I fooled around with the rooftop antenna a while longer, hoping to get a signal, and finally gave up in frustration and went back to writing.

The other day we spotted a Class A motorhome here at the Orlando Thousand Trails with this full body wrap from Ancestry.com, the family search website. Nobody was home, but I’d like to talk to the owners if I can catch them before we leave next week.

Ancestry RV

We’ve seen several RVs with advertising wraps like this, and the RVers and campground owners we’ve talked to about the practice seem divided between those who don’t want rolling billboards parked in the site next to them, and those who don’t care. What do you think about it? Personally, if anybody has a Hooters wrap on their RV, feel free to park next to me anytime, anywhere. Smile

Thought For The Day – Even duct tape can’t fix stupid. But at least it can muffle the sound.

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Nick Russell

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  15 Responses to “Going Through Withdrawals”

  1. Nick
    As a matter of fact I purchased one a couple of years ago at your Eastern Rally in Indiana. The vender let me take it back to my rig to try out (before buying) I went from getting 2 – 3 stations to somewhere around 10 or eleven. The signal finder also works quite well to dial in the best reception. If you purchase the battery finder don’t forget to turn it off after you get your direction locked in. Or carry a supply of 9 volt batteries with you. Even where I live in a rural area it will lock in 3 times as many as my old antenna did. Worth the money.

  2. Nick,

    We have a Jack antenna on our Bus and it works quite well.

    At your Celina Rally, we had a lot of stations available.

    Even here at home (no local stations for about 60+ miles) we have about 14 stations available. Sometimes the picture comes and goes or locks up, but that is just the nature of the new digital technology.

    The direction finder also works very well, ours doesn’t use “batteries” as it is wired into our 12 volt house system.

    My 2 cents worth,


  3. Switch over to the Jack that replaced the bate wings. Works great. Have been seeing more Jacks on all the newer RV’s.

  4. After many frustrating stops with no reception on the old Batwing saw the Jack antenna on sale. without moving the trailer Batwing 2 blurry channels to the Jack antenna 31 crystal clear channels. Also bought the signal finder but haven’t had to use it yet. Fantastic investment.

    Recently attended the Tampa RV Show and many of the new units already had the Jack antenna as a standard. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  5. I hope that you’re able to talk with the people who have the wrap on their RV. It will be interesting to know if Ancestry.com pays them for advertising. If they do…there’s another way to make money on the road. We live in such a commercialized world that this doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. On the other hand, what if people think you work for Ancestory and constantly bug you for help?

  6. I don’t think I would mind parking next to an RV with that kind of a body wrap. The only thing that might be a problem for the owner of the RV is it may now be considered a commercial vehicle and subject to commercial regulations, including having a CDL license to drive. Just a thought.

  7. I picked up some great tips just from reading the comments to your post. My wife is a movie hound. We don’t do TV but do a number of movies. And I am happy to report, she’s not into chic flicks. Sometime, however I do need a break from old westerns. And I have a young wife.
    I think if our wheels can make us some money or use of free product there is no shame in that, it’s honest work.

    Mountain Man George Reviews

  8. I’ve had the Jack Antenna, without the signal finder, for a couple of years now and am quite happy with it. I know it’s much better than the antenna that came on the rig.I get higher quality HD in my Motor Home than I do on cable at our home.

  9. Nick…some Rv Resorts would not allow rigs with advertising. Hart Ranch in Rapid City is one who comes to mind. As an ex-vendor I understand that when a vendor leaves his last show he should be afforded the same courtesies that any RV Park customer receives at his stops between shows. Not all park owners see it that way.

  10. Hmmm…. do you think that the Hooters wrap will come with a couple of Hooters girls? To wash and wax the rig, of course!

  11. I can’t see how the wrap is any different than cars which sport advertisements (some very pretty ones) that you see around town. If the companies will pay you to advertise I think it’s a good thing.

  12. Nick I’ve been using The Jack for 2 years and the only place we have had problems recieving over the air channels was in Campbellsville, KY.
    As for the vehicle advertising, as long it is done in good taste it isn’t a problem.

  13. Sounds like everybody had better luck with the Jack antenna than I did. Mime quit working after about 3 months. As soon as it got hot from the sun it would shut down. I think a crack in the PC board was cause. Back to the bat wing. The winegard Sensor Pro is excellent but you must know the RF Channel to lock in on a good signal. You can find that at http://www.antennapoint.com.

  14. Remember when we were young and our parents would have us walk to the T.V. and change the channel? If reception was bad, we would hold the rabbit ears and just stand there. How about staying up so late watching T.V. that the “Star Spangled Banner” played?

  15. If the wrap was in good taste, seems a great idea…some people are too snooty for their own good, if they did not like such!!

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