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Old 06-19-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
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Dumb questions about 12V system and King Dome

My King Dome will not power up. There is no green light at the wall mount controller. I have also have a king dome keypad controller used for troubleshooting that will not power on when connected to the same telephone wire as the walmount so it is not a bad wall mount controller. A check of the power harness on the roof with a multimeter shows no power at the harness on the roof.

On my Alpine, the king dome power harness is "tapped in" to the winegard powered antenna switch located to the right of the main TV on the passenger side (where the satellite receiver is found) so it appears to me that the 12V power to the king dome harness derives from the 12V wires that also power the winegard switch.

The red (+) wire to the Winegard switch is hot per multimeter but the white ground wire to the winegard "may" be loose (I get varied readings from 0 to -18V when checking with a known positive that it is hot). That possibly loose white ground wire could explain my King Dome's lack of DC power, I suppose.

However, when the Winegard switch is turned on and powering over the air TV, it seems to work fine (so maybe the white ground is not loose?). Here's where my questions start to get "dumb".

If, while watching over the air TV, I jiggle the King Dome harness (where it splits off to the telephone wire to the wall mount controller and to the 12V wires it is connected to at the Winegard, the TV cuts out, until I jiggle the King Dome harness to the "right" position and then the over the air TV returns. So I am thinking maybe a short in the King Dome harness and a replacement king dome harness is in order? Yes? No? How difficult is that job (switching out a king dome harness)?

If the king dome harness is not the culprit, then my white ground wire to the Winegard switch is the problem. I read lots of posts that say for 12V electrical problems you need to "trace wires to their ground" and check/tighten the connections (and should do this regularly in any event).

Dumb Qustion: precisely WHERE do you check/tighten all these grounds on an Alpine? Other than tightening the cables on the batteries, all I see anywhere is a bunch of wires that disappear into Vansco boxes via harness plugs that don't "tighten".

What am I missing? Where are these mysterious grounds on my Alpine that I should be tightening/checking? In any event, the questionable white grounding wire that goes into the Winegard disappears into a morass of wires (many that are also white) so I have no clue where the other end might come out and could be tightened.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:55 PM   #2
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Dave and Jamie,

As a diagnostic measure, how about buying a long roll of 14 gauge wire to use as a temporary jumper wire from a known ground to the ground terminal at the King Dome on the roof to determine if ground is, in fact, the problem? That way you know what to look for next.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale777 View Post
Dave and Jamie,

As a diagnostic measure, how about buying a long roll of 14 gauge wire to use as a temporary jumper wire from a known ground to the ground terminal at the King Dome on the roof to determine if ground is, in fact, the problem? That way you know what to look for next.
Good idea. I was also wondering if other folks have simply used an AC/DC converter to power their king dome? The King Dome is never used when you don't have AC power and by having a dedicated, reliable source of 12V power, it should perform better.

If anyone has a converter that powers their satellite, I'd like to know what model and size you are using. The Converter shouldn't need much amperage because the satellite was fused at 7.5 amps by WRV. Radio Shack ought to have something like that.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:02 AM   #4
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D&J:

Mine uses a Pyramid brand regulated power supply Model PS-KX.

Input: 115v AC 60Hz 100w
Output: 13.8 V DC
6 amp constant
8 amp surge
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:46 AM   #5
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When I had mine installed they recommenced an external 12v supply vs using the MH 12v system. I think it is capable of 10a. My only problem is that when I dry-camp and shutdown the genny at night I need to reacquire the birds in the morning when I fire up the genny again.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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I don't understand why they would suggest an external power supply for a product that was designed to run off of a 12 volt RV battery system in the first place! (Other than to sell another item, of course.) Otherwise they should have designed it to operate on 120v like Winegard did with its Trav'ler dish system.

Personally I would find and fix the existing wiring instead of adding another item to the already complicated system in a confined space. One more unnecessary thing to go haywire and generate heat. Just my opinion.

Dave,

The wiring harness would likely not be that difficult to fish through the roof if necessary, but that would be a last resort. I would think the cable would be least likely to go bad. More likely a bad connection somewhere. I would exhaust other possible solutions first.
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:34 PM   #7
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KingDome requires 2 sources of 12V to acquire satellite. One reaches the dome in the bayonette mount black cable that attaches in center. The second is on the center wire of the primary coax (there are two coax, Rt side is primary IIRC, but I don't always). The coax 12V is sent from the satellite receiver box. I found this out when that part of my satellite box died and the dome would forever attempt to acquire satellites and never could; I'm guessing the coax 12V is needed to ping the satellite, but that's just a guess.

Also FYI, there is zero intelligent connection between receiver box & kingdome. The receiver only knows if it has signal because of its ping & receipt of info; the dome only knows of satellite acquisition from its own internal algorithms; receiver has no way of telling kingdome anything about acquiring satellites, and kingdome tells receiver nothing; there is only signal traveling on coax.

Sometimes the coax between receiver & dome runs thru a switched leg of an A/B switch (or maybe two). Once you have the switch(es) set for continuity of the center wire thru from receiver to dome (I check for 12V @ receiver, then on center wire at dome to know when connection is complete), then dome has the coax 12V sufficient to acquire satellite and it is now a question of dome's internal process whether it acquires. And of course interference or lack from trees... (or maybe a stupid tech standing on the southerly side of the dome in the way of acquisition, DUH...)
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:47 PM   #8
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Hmmm, I will relate two different ways we get Sat TV, and I believe these jibs with EM's scenario above.
KD on roof - Turn it on; hold down switch, it goes into search mode. Once it locates SAT, Direct TV receiver downloads program information. I then turn off the Kingdom, and it still receives the sat signal, and I have never lost that signal once it's acquired. I then set my local ZIP so the weather channel gives me my local on the 8's weather. I also program in several other ZIP's so I can get a handle on weather along our route.

Portable Kingdom Antenna - Using "Align-A-Site" sat finder, I find a place to position the Sat ANT so it has a clear line of site through the canopy of trees. Then I place the unit on the ground, hook up the Sat Antenna cable, and then the 12V power connection. It hums, and Hums, and hums some more finding the satellite (receiver is on). Once acquired, Receiver downloads programming, and I disconnect 12V power to this unit, and it keeps it signal. Now, on my coach, I have three "A/B" switches. One allows rook antenna or Portable Antenna. The other two I cannot remember how there labeled, will try to look tomorrow. Now if I understand it, if the wrong switch is pushed in, the roof dome would never find the sat, and also the outside portable unit would never find it if it was pushed the other way. Cound this be your issie partly? FWIW, I have two receivers one for the front TV and one for the rear Bedroom TV (not enabled for Sat TV, we don't watch TV in bed.

I did not lose that signal for the week we were in Branson, MO, so I don't understand why you need to keep the units powered up. I also realize the Receiver provides power to the antenna so it works receiving signal, but the motor to rotate/elevate antenna has no power on it once it finds its signal. Am I doing something wrong here? I realize the manuals say to leave the power on, but why waste it when you don't need too?
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:59 PM   #9
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Once my Kingdome found the correct satellite and it started downloading the info to the receiver, I always turned off the controller. There is no need for it to be turned on at that point, unless you have a model that has to switch from one satellite to another for different channels. Once it found the signal, I never had it lose the signal, other than in the rain of course.

If the coax is not connected to the main coax on the Kingdome, it will not find and lock onto any satellite. When I first got my Kingdome, the A/B switch was miswired so the coax was in effect not connected, and it would just rotate back and forth, never locking on. The Kingdome tech support said the coax had to be connected, and couldn't go through an A/B switch. The first part turned out to be true. The second was not true. I used it for many years with an A/B switch, but properly wired!

I was told that later models from Kingdome had software changes that could locate and lock onto the satellite without the receiver being connected to it. I don't know if that is true. I was told my model was not upgradable.

Monty, the other A/B switches probably choose between the cable, sat, or antenna signal going to the back TV and the outside TV by way of the coax cable. The '04's had a Winegard switch box instead of the A/B switches. Same function.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:38 PM   #10
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The reason for the independent source of power is that the satellite is sensitive to the quality and stability of the power source. It must have 13.8 volts, not 12, not 11.8. It also needs to have the amps available.

The proper specs for the satellite are:

Input: 115v AC 60Hz 100w
Output: 13.8 V DC
6 amp constant
8 amp surge

I found out about all this during my installation and when questioning the extra equipment that ran up the estimated install charge. I would have actually preferred less equipment in that cabinet, but alas, the sacrifices I make for proper camping equipment.

Tis true that after finding the satellite(s), one can turn off the power to the dish, but it will not then switch satellites, if required/desired. My DISH service uses two satellites, but only two movie and six unwatched channels come in via Satellite 110. However, the Guide uses that satellite, so it is a good idea to allow the Guide download before shutting off power. The main reason I shut it down is that it kicks on and off periodically in the middle of the night and wakes me up.

Another point on the thoughtless non-intelligent connection between receiver and dish... when the tech was checking the acquisition ability of my dish, his connected laptop showed when it located the first, then second, then third, satellites, etc. finally acquiring quite a few. It was unrelated to the receiver. The receiver merely knows if it's getting "a" signal and if it is "the" signal.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:05 AM   #11
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Thanks, I think you just convinced me that my time and money spent to change to the Winegard dish was well worth it. It will find, identify, and lock onto the satellites (all of them at once from one stationary position) without being connected to the receiver at all. And the power to it can then be disconnected after it is completed. (Although Winegard recommends against that, as it overrides their safety features.)

I understand your comment about proper camping equipment completely!
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Old 06-27-2010, 01:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takepride View Post
The reason for the independent source of power is that the satellite is sensitive to the quality and stability of the power source. It must have 13.8 volts, not 12, not 11.8. It also needs to have the amps available.

The proper specs for the satellite are:

Input: 115v AC 60Hz 100w
Output: 13.8 V DC
6 amp constant
8 amp surge

I found out about all this during my installation and when questioning the extra equipment that ran up the estimated install charge. I would have actually preferred less equipment in that cabinet, but alas, the sacrifices I make for proper camping equipment.
My experience confirmed the need for a clean, steady 13.8V DC source. I disconnected the KD from the 12V lines it was tapped into and clipped the KD wires to a charged 12V battery as a test. KD powered up and acquired in the normal fashion. So, I have ordered an AC/DC converter as described (6A constant and 8 amp surge). By plugging the converter into the outlet that has the override from the ignition key, I ensure the converter won't be running all the time and I can shut it off once the satellite has successfully acquired.
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