Over the years we've made various minor alterations to Bluebird, most of which are shared here. We hope you find one or two good ideas you can use or adapt for your own boat.

Digital TV (Mk2)

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We had a Satellite TV system which for various reasons had proved unsatisfactory (see Digital TV Mk1) and had decided to upgrade the TV to a Freeview compatible set.

Selecting the TV was relatively easy compared to selecting a DTV aerial. Most of the aerials seemed to be expensive powered systems and the unpowered automotive versions seemed to rely on the metal body of the car to provide a ground plane. I found DTV aerials advertised which attached to windows using suckers but I also found a lot of poor reviews for this type of solution.

As it happens, the chap moored next to me in the marina had been fitting out his new narrowboat and had just finished fitting his TV system and he showed me his aerial which was performing outstandingly well. It was only six inches high and sat on a mag-mount on his roof. I suspected it was like other automobile type aerials and was using the boat as a ground plane.

My friend assured me the aerial was advertised to work with a ground plane and the chap he bought it from had a no quibble guarantee and you could return it if it didn’t work.

The Satellite dish had sat on a wooden base between the Houdini hatch and the headlamp. I fixed a tin plate to the top of this block to take the aerial’s mag-mount and the supplied cable was just long enough to connect to the TV.

The result has been excellent. We can get a great DTV signal even while moving and in areas where we couldn’t even get an analogue signal previously.

Details of the TV and Aerial used are available online at:

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