Winegard Carryout GM-1518: Tailgate Approved

You know that moment when you feel like you forgot something, but can’t quite put your finger on it?

That’s exactly what happened to me right after we set up our first two tailgates of this season.  I didn’t forget anything though.  I was missing the anxiety before and the stress of setting up our satellite TV feed.

The battle of triangulating the trio of coordinates for Tailgating TV is officially gone thanks to the ridiculously effective Winegard Carryout.  Without hesitation the product is Tailgate Approved.

In my last post on the Winegard Carryout GM-1518 (click here for details) I mentioned that the unit takes about five minutes to set up and activate in a non-tailgating environment.

After real world tailgating experiences this product answered some questions that separate it from the traditional satellite dish set-up.  Here’s a modified FAQ on the real world Winegard Carryout GM-1518 satellite set-up for Tailgating.

So all you have to do is place the satellite within 5 degrees of level and it works.  Really?

Our Texas A&M Tailgating area is on a slightly sloping hill just outside of Reed Arena across the way from Kyle Field.

Our natural set-up for the Winegard was clearly not on level ground and probably not within 5 degrees of level.  So I eyeballed the unit, grabbed two napkins, stuffed the napkins under two of the three sides until it looked level and continued on to the next step of connecting wires.  That’s all it took.

It’s called a Portable Satellite Antenna, but can you move it?

During our first tailgate, right after the TV was up and running I was doing the proverbial celebratory victory lap in my mind and my wife shyly asked if we could move the Winegard.

In years past I would have lost my patience and the signal—possibly each for the rest of the day.  This time though, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Why not? Let’s find out.”

She moved the Winegard about a foot.  It–of course–lost its signal.  The satellite antennae began to crank, whiz and whir its way back into place.  In less than a minute the Notre Dame vs. Purdue game was back on the air.  Really, pretty amazing.

Does the product need to be elevated to avoid signal interference from foot traffic?

From a common sense perspective I wasn’t willing to leave the unit on the ground to test the theory from the ground floor; however, we did elevate the unit 3 to 4 feet off the ground in that we placed the Winegard on a table next to the television.  Then we tested the reception at the higher level as we had several of our tailgaters walk right past the unit at a casual gait.Winegard Carryout Tailgate Texas A&M Tailgating

Our test and the rest of the foot traffic during the day didn’t interfere with the TV reception at all.

Come on . . . How long does it really, really take?

Total work time: 2 minutes.  Total time to enjoying college football games:  12-15 minutes.

It takes longer for the satellite to download the programming information from Dish Network than it does for the satellite to lock.

The work of connecting the coaxial cables and the RCA cables takes about two minutes.  It takes another 5 for the satellite to lock and then another 5 to 8 minutes for the programming information from Dish Network to download—depending on how long it’s been since you’ve last uploaded the programming.  All told 12 -15 minutes.  Keep in mind though you’re not doing anything during the last 10.

The set-up is so much faster and simpler than the traditional satellite dish, it’s hard to fathom.  Like the year that Kurt Warner took the Rams to the Super Bowl as a back-up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Winegard CarryoutCan you change the color of the dome?

Say what you will, but I believe that the white dome needs to have a little more of the Spirit of Aggieland in it. So, we have plans to paint the Winegard maroon before our next tailgate.

I’ve been told by company representatives that I will void the warranty when and if I paint the dome.

It’s the same thing I heard from Apple about jailbreaking the iPhone.  However, the people that I know that have unlocked their iPhones actually enjoy their product more.  The same thing will hold true with the Carryout in my estimation.

The game plan is to spray paint the dome with maroon, non-lead based paint and report back.

Final Thought

So Cheryl, my wife and I are looking around.  The TV is working.  The Tailgate is set.  Everything’s done.  We’ve got time on our hands.  The weather is beautiful.  Friends are all around.  Stress level is down.

“Hey,” she said.  “Put this in your blog. Winegard gave me my husband back.”

To read other blogs written by Foster “Jim” Flint click here.