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Friday, December 30, 2011

Going Loco over Local

This morning we left right at 9am with no problems.  It had been raining fairly heavy until about 10 minutes before I needed to go outside to disconnect the RV.  So it was nice staying dry!

The trip today was 271 miles and included the Siskiyou mountains and the high pass on I-5 that is usually cause for concern this time of year.  In the past, I’ve always tried to time the mountain crossing to be early afternoon.  That way the ice that may have accumulated on the road overnight has melted and if it has been snowing, the temperature is usually high enough to have just slush.  But this trip, there was no snow in sight.


Above is a picture near Hilt, CA which is just south of the summit.  As you can see, no snow in sight.

If you have traveled into California, you will recall the Agricultural inspection stations a few miles inside the border.  Normally, these are no big problem.  But today we had 3 oranges that were from Chile so we had to surrender them.

We arrived at Rolling Hills Casino RV park at 3pm, about when I figured we would.  We had periods of rain during the drive, just enough to make a mess of the car.

The RV Park here gets excellent satellite TV as there are no trees.  However, even though we get our local stations via satellite at home, that only works when you are 200 miles or so from the major metropolitan area (in this case, Portland).  Once you exceed that, the spot beamed local stations are not available.  And you can’t get the local stations from this are on satellite either as your receiver is set to your home area.  So unless you want to change that while on the road (a hassle and you lose some other things), you can’t record your major network shows on your Direct TV DVR.

But, wait, there’s more………

I have an add on device that will attach to my DVR and will pick up the local digital TV signal and treat it as if it is a part of the satellite programming.  You get the guide, the ability to record, save shows, etc.  I wondered what this device knew of the local channels.

I noticed that when you configure it, you must give it your zip code.  That tells me it doesn’t know where it is until you tell it.  So might it work on the road?  I installed it about 6 weeks ago before we went to Cape Disappointment so I could try it there.  But there are no local stations in that area since it is so small.  This trip would be the first chance to try it.

Well, it works!  I gave it the zip code for the park here and it figured out the nearest digital TV signal service area and configured itself to receive those channels.  But configuring and actually receiving them are two different things.  At first, it got a blank screen.  But once I turned the antenna to the right direction, the signal became clear!

Now Sunday I can watch my Raider game which is being broadcast on a local network station in Portland, so it would not be on the NFL package for me on satellite.  Digital TV is the only way I will get to see it.  Now you know where I will be Sunday!  Here watching my Raiders try to get into the playoffs.

Carol also discovered some quilting shows on the digital channels so she can make use of this capability too.  (Just not when the Raiders are playing!).

We plan to stay here until Monday or maybe Tuesday, then go to Patterson until Thursday and go from there to Pismo Beach.

1 comment:

Glenda Laine said...

Oh, Dave, you have my total attention with your "add on device" for your DirecTV DVR. What is it, where'd you get it, & what's it cost? We're full timing & so far have worked at several locations where I could change my address with DirecTV to get local channels, but would much rather have something to keep from constantly changing my address with them. Please tell me more.