CAMPING - GEAR
Satellite TV has traditionally been a very expensive luxury for outback travellers, but the Outback Pop Up 85 TV system is a much more affordable choice.
The Outback TV antenna system has been derived from the Mr Marine Group’s ocean-going system. The technology that can keep satellite tracking accurate on a bobbing vessel is less tested on a stationary land vehicle, so its price can be lowered accordingly.
Outback Pop Up 85 TV system retails for $2150, plus the cost of a set-top box or cable-TV box.
Although way cheaper than most competitive systems, Outback TV claims its design works anywhere in Australia. It is Pay TV and Viewer Access Satellite (VAST) free to air compatible.
The built in control system is based on GPS and GLONASS (the Russian global satellite positioning system) and is said to offer satellite lock-on within one minute. There’s one-button change of target satellite, if required.
The system uses only one RG6 antenna cable for power and control data, so there are no bulky power and control cables. The antenna control unit is
design for panel mounting inside the vehicle.
It has a three-axis, fully automatic control system, including Auto Skew of the Low Noise Block. (LNB is the device on the front of a satellite dish
that receives the very low level microwave signal from the satellite, amplifies it, changes the signals to a lower frequency band and sends them
down the cable to the indoor receiver.) Outback TV uses quad broadband LNB – Australian 10.7 LO specification.
All-important is automatic shut down and storing of antenna on vehicle start up.
The 85cm-dish unit we inspected seemed very well made and featured a flat base with drain outlet and a metal gearbox with worm drive gearing.
Outback TV says the Pop Up 85 system typically uses only 15W of power in a 12V system and it can operate on 24V as well.