Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The entertainment setup

We’ve received a query about the TV and media setup on Waiouru.  The system has previously been explained over a number of posts but this post will attempt to bring everything together.

We started planning the system back in Australia with two basic principles

  • There must be built in redundancy
  • If possible; a 12V system

Mast & Dome

The need for redundancy meant we’d want both FreeSat and FreeView.  The former is achieved through the Roadpro self-seeking dome on the roof.  It’s not fixed directly to the roof.  We specified that the shell have steel mounting feet so the dome can be removed if necessary (eg, low tunnel).  The setup for the FreeView aerial was only decided upon when we started the second build of Waiouru.  I noticed the boater behind us had a very small powered “Moonraker” aerial.  He recommended it and so we purchased one from Maplin.  It was also apparent we needed to consider how to raise the height of the aerial because much of the canal network has hedges.  When Denis (the welder) was reconstructing the bow I had an idea and purchased a large female threaded socket which I had Denis weld onto the cabin roof at the bow.  I then made up a short length of threaded pipe.  The pipe gets screwed into the socket and we have the mounting for an aerial pole.

I asked Denis to leave a drain gap in his weld for any water that runs down the mast.  The mast was sourced from B&Q.  It’s a telescopic window cleaning pole.  The Moonraker antenna just clamps onto the top.  Raising and lowering the pole is very easy.  Screw the short pipe into the socket and place the mast into the pipe.  Point the Moonraker at the TV transmitter and wedge it in place with the rubber door stop wedge.  A more aesthetic solution is required for this last step.


We have two TV’s.  There is a small (12”) Cello mounted on the wall in the bedroom which has a coaxial and HDMI signal input

The main TV is a 28” backlite LED on a swivel mount.  When not in use it’s swings away into the wall cabinet.

The FreeSat set top box is located in the cabinet beside the Refleks stove.  When in use the TV swings out facing down the saloon.

In this position the horizontal middle of the TV is at eye level.  The TV is 240V but there is an external power supply converting it to 19.6V DC.  Whay I have done is fit a 12-19.6V DC converter which both eliminates the 240V power brick and allows us to leave the inverter off.  This mean the entire system now runs on 12V.

Media Player

We anticipated there would be the odd day when it either wasn’t possible to receive both a FreeSat and Freeview signal, or there was nothing of interest being broadcast.  We therefore brought with us our media player.  It has two FreeView tuners and also records to multiple hard drives.  We currently have two 2TB hard drives full of compressed video files which gives us approximately 4000 hours of viewing.

Thus far the system hasn’t let us down.

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