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Old 08-06-2016, 09:33 AM   #1
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Antenna vs. campground TV connection

Hi all,

I'm trying to comprehend how the TV connections work with my 2012 Newmar Canyon Star 3920. I'm somewhat savvy when it comes to hooking up video/stereo systems and all, so I comprehend the basics, but there's one fundamental thing I'm not getting at this point.

My Newmar has a roof-mounted antenna (the one that you raise up/down by rotating the lever on the ceiling inside the coach), that I've been assuming is a TV antenna (but perhaps I'm wrong and that antenna is just an FM/AM radio antenna?). And then there is a coax cable attachment inside the far left-rear basement compartment (next to the 50amp electric cord connector), that I believe is where I'm supposed to hook to the campground cable when I'm at a campground.

The thing I'm not understanding is what is governing whether my TVs (there are four of them in the Canyon Star -- front cab, living room dinette, bed room, and garage) are connected to the *antenna* on the roof, vs. the cable from the campground. I understand the general menu options within the TV setup, where I can choose the "input" as satellite, DVD, antenna, and under antenna I can choose whether it is actually an "antenna" or a "cable" connection. But which one is actually connected to the "antenna input" of all of the TVs? Is it the campground cable connection, or is it the antenna from the roof? Or is there a switch somewhere that governs that?

I've been trying to "auto program" my TVs to "discover" all of the broadcast stations in the area (there are a lot of them in Raleigh, NC). But when I specify "antenna" connection and do the auto-search, it's not finding any stations, which is making me believe that the TVs are not really connected to the rooftop antenna, but rather to the campground connection, and since I'm not actually at a campground there's nothing connected to it, so no signal and thus no results on the "auto-program."

I would think that given the connection options the TV should have *two* antenna connection choices, one for the rooftop antenna and one for the campground cable.

And just to be clear, the motorhome also has a satellite dish (Winestar?) on the roof installed by the previous owner, but I've got that disconnected as I don't currently have a subscription. That connection though is coax from the dish to the satellite receiver, and then HDMI out of the receiver to the HDMI in ("satellite") of the TV. But I'm trying to get the *antenna* working, not the satellite.

Thanks for your help, and sorry for the long-winded explanation!

Tom
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Old 08-06-2016, 09:53 AM   #2
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My coach (Tuscany) has a switch in the AV cabinet to turn the roof antenna on/off. It is a push button switch. I can't remember whether in is off or on and I'm not in the coach right now to check. The TV setup has nothing to do with this so you will have to play with that switch to see which is which. I don't have the wind up batwing antenna on my unit but there is a roof antenna of some sort. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:06 AM   #3
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Not sure how yours works as you have a newer coach than we do. We have the box of many buttons where one selects the source of the signal. (Antenns. Cable, (or park tv), aux, etc. If you have a smart tv you may be able to use it to select the source, but given that to get over the air signal you still have to turn on the amplifier for the antenna signal As above you need to find the location of that switch, usually a push button the will have a light on if and when turned on before you scan for signals..
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:18 AM   #4
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Sartor,

You are correct on the entry point for campground cable (back in the electrical bay), and the crank up antenna for over the air tv signals. You didn't mention the signal booster for use when capturing OTA signals. On our coach, the signal booster is located on the door side inside wall to the right and just behind the copilots chair. When activated (push the little button in) there is a small green LED. Search for OTA signals after tuning on the booster.

In order to capture signals from cable or satellite you need to turn off the booster, then initiate auto search on your TV. You most likely, unless prewired, will only receive satellite signals on one TV (once you've started your subscription and obtained a receiver).
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Old 08-06-2016, 12:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HavingABlast View Post
Sartor,

You are correct on the entry point for campground cable (back in the electrical bay), and the crank up antenna for over the air tv signals. You didn't mention the signal booster for use when capturing OTA signals. On our coach, the signal booster is located on the door side inside wall to the right and just behind the copilots chair. When activated (push the little button in) there is a small green LED. Search for OTA signals after tuning on the booster.

In order to capture signals from cable or satellite you need to turn off the booster, then initiate auto search on your TV. You most likely, unless prewired, will only receive satellite signals on one TV (once you've started your subscription and obtained a receiver).

Yep, push that little button. It turns off the antenna booster amp and switches from the antenna feeding all the TV's to the outside cable connection feeding all the tvs. ON is antenna. OFF is cable. Then program TV's.

For antenna, it helps to ether purchase an external signal meter or replace the wall jack/booster/splitter/On-Off switch with one that also includes a signal meter. Then you can find what position the antenna should be in for optimal signal before scanning on the TVs.

We use this one:






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Old 08-06-2016, 12:51 PM   #6
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The button you push is a black button on a black switch plate behind the passenger seat. Button on light on gets you on the roof antenna. Button off light off gets you on the park system through your electric bay. Good luck.


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Old 08-06-2016, 02:13 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the quick replies! Yup, that's it exactly, and it turns out that after posting I was able to finally find the proper "manual" after going through all the files. Sure enough it mentioned the wall plate with the button to switch on (antenna) vs. off (cable), and then the only task was to *find* it! And indeed I found it on the wall just behind/beside the copilot seat. Turned it on, re-ran the auto-program on the TVs and voila! 52 digital channels found! :-)

So now I'm good to go...or almost at least. Still having two problems:

1) Garage TV has no volume; pretty sure that it's a "broken" TV speaker, although I've yet to try playing a DVD and seeing if I can get TV volume from that. But I figure if I can get the TV video signal from the antenna on that TV (and I do), then I have to be getting sound as well since both audio and video are provided by the same coax signal. So if no sound then it must be TV speaker that's bad. I've already gone through the menu settings to make sure that my audio is set to use TV speaker (rather than "stereo system"). The other three TVs all have both video and audio.

2) The surround sound receiver in the front of the coach doesn't seem to be able to receive/play the TV sound when the TV is playing from the antenna. The TV speaker works, but it'd be nice to be able to play the antenna signal's sound through the surround sound receiver. The surround sound receiver plays the AM/FM radio, and I'm pretty sure it will play a DVD if I were to play one (haven't tested yet), but I'm guessing the wiring doesn't support the "TV audio out" coming from the TV and getting to the input of the surround sound receiver.

Anyway, figured I'd mention those couple of things in case someone's already familiar with either of them and knows a "secret fix." But in any event, thanks again to those who posted about the power switch for the antenna vs. cable! It's so nice to have this resource to ask questions of!

Tom
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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TV volume

The first thing to try on your Garage TV, go into the audio settings in the setup menu to make sure the speaker's not turned off. Different TV have different ways to get there. I had a similar experience once, turned out the speaker was turn off in the settings. Or maybe it's set to play through a sound system that has to be on before it'll work.
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:00 PM   #9
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On my DS I get surround sound only from the televator TV. The one over the windshield is not connected.
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:00 PM   #10
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Tom,

I am going off of memory here (which is disappointing at my age). On your surround sound receiver, you have to select the source. In this case the source would be your TV. Once you select that, you should have the audio portion directed to your surround sound speakers.

Ours is a 2015. So yours may be a bit different.

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Old 08-06-2016, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmarpusher View Post
Yep, push that little button. It turns off the antenna booster amp and switches from the antenna feeding all the TV's to the outside cable connection feeding all the tvs. ON is antenna. OFF is cable. Then program TV's.

For antenna, it helps to ether purchase an external signal meter or replace the wall jack/booster/splitter/On-Off switch with one that also includes a signal meter. Then you can find what position the antenna should be in for optimal signal before scanning on the TVs.

We use this one:






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Dang! You have the neatest gadgets. Is this just hard wired in, or do you just have to move the coax cable from the original plate to the new one ?
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:35 PM   #12
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Make sure that you have the antenna amplifier powered on. On our Baystar, it is located next to the passenger seat near the floor. It is a brown plate and has a very small button that when pressed once, a green light appears showing that the amplifier is on. Newmar advised us to just leave the amplifier on all of the time, and that when using the main battery disconnect in the control center, it will kill power usage to it.
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:07 PM   #13
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But if you leave it on then you can't use the RV park cable connection. It is amazing the number of channels that the roof antenna picks up. In the LA area you can pick up 200 channels!
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Old 08-06-2016, 06:30 PM   #14
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Dang! You have the neatest gadgets. Is this just hard wired in, or do you just have to move the coax cable from the original plate to the new one ?

If you pop off the original plate, you'll see three coax cables attached. Park cable, Antenna, and TV's. And a power and ground cable. You just move all that to the new plate and screw it in. 5 min job.


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