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Old 09-03-2014, 01:43 PM   #1
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Weak TV Signal

Over the past month or so I have been unable to pull in DTV signals while out in some campgrounds. I initially just thought it must be that particular location. This past weekend we were in a familiar site and I could not get even one station where 5 or 6 DTV signals previously worked fine. Nothing, not even a weak signal. It was as if the antenna became unhooked. Arrived back in town and managed to get a couple if I raised the antenna and rotated it just right. When I went to the Winegard amplifier I noticed that switching it off made no difference to the signal strength. I'm sure the signals all but disappeared before when it was off. The light still comes on but I think the amplifier has quit working. Has this happened to anyone else? Is this a common problem? I've never heard of one of these breaking but I suppose it could happen.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #2
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Best guess: Bad connection.. Check the connections at the antenna and at the roof... These connectors are not the best possible connectors for this type of cable, sometimes they pull off or they admit a bit of moisture, which tarnishes the wire and contact is no longer made.. You may need to replace the cable from the roof to the head.

Cables below the roof can also fail, as can the through-roof fitting, but those are rare.

Suspect #2 is the amplifier itself (This is in the antenna head, NOT inside the RV) Like all things made by man,, Sometimes they fail.

#3 is the power supply/-source switch (The part that is indoors many folks call "The Booster".. again, if the light is on, likely good, but check for 12 volts on the roof CAREFULLY

#4 in this case (#1 in most cases) is the fuse, if the light comes on fuse is likely good.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:28 PM   #3
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Please don't think I'm insulting your intelligence; Do you do a channel search at each location? Sometimes we overlook simple things.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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Did you by any chance put a splitter between the antennal line and the power supply. On my unit the power supply is part of the switching module that switches between TV's and inputs to TV's. If you put a splitter in line a lot of splitters do not pass DC and you would have stopped the amplifier from getting power.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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My #1 suspect would be the coax connection at the antenna. They corrode or even break, with exactly those symptoms.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumrunnerxx View Post
Over the past month or so I have been unable to pull in DTV signals while out in some campgrounds. I initially just thought it must be that particular location. This past weekend we were in a familiar site and I could not get even one station where 5 or 6 DTV signals previously worked fine. Nothing, not even a weak signal. It was as if the antenna became unhooked. Arrived back in town and managed to get a couple if I raised the antenna and rotated it just right. When I went to the Winegard amplifier I noticed that switching it off made no difference to the signal strength. I'm sure the signals all but disappeared before when it was off. The light still comes on but I think the amplifier has quit working. Has this happened to anyone else? Is this a common problem? I've never heard of one of these breaking but I suppose it could happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
My #1 suspect would be the coax connection at the antenna. They corrode or even break, with exactly those symptoms.
rumrunnerxx
The amplifier is in the "antenna head" of most RV roof top antennas.
If that amp fails so does the antenna's ability to work properly.
(In other words: the light may come ON even when nobody's home).
Mel
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for all the replies. Last evening I had some time to try to chase this down a bit further. Checked all the connections in the MH and they look good. There is 12 volts at the booster because the light is on. I did not re-scan all the channels because we weren't that far from home so the same channels should work. I did notice that even with the antenna in-lead disconnected the couple of channels I am getting at home in the city still worked. Must be really strong signals! It also made no difference with the antenna up or down! This leads me to believe the problem is upstream of my booster, most likely a bad connection on top of the roof as was mentioned above. There is a splitter for the front and rear TVs but it is located downstream of the booster. I also bypassed the booster and no change. Its nice out today so I'll go up on the roof and check the cable from the antenna down to the roof connection. That section of cable has a rough life being outside and going up and down and around, not to mention the wind when driving. Stay tuned!
Herb
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:14 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for all the replies. Last evening I had some time to try to chase this down a bit further. Checked all the connections in the MH and they look good. There is 12 volts at the booster because the light is on. I did not re-scan all the channels because we weren't that far from home so the same channels should work. I did notice that even with the antenna in-lead disconnected the couple of channels I am getting at home in the city still worked. Must be really strong signals! It also made no difference with the antenna up or down! This leads me to believe the problem is upstream of my booster, most likely a bad connection on top of the roof as was mentioned above. There is a splitter for the front and rear TVs but it is located downstream of the booster. I also bypassed the booster and no change. Its nice out today so I'll go up on the roof and check the cable from the antenna down to the roof connection. That section of cable has a rough life being outside and going up and down and around, not to mention the wind when driving. Stay tuned!
Herb
When the inside antenna booster switch is ON, you should find + 12VDC on the center wire of the "roof/antenna end" of the coax.
If you don't, the amp, (which is in the antenna head), is not being powered.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
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Even though you have a light it might not be working. I had a light and my selector box had failed and we did not have power going to the antenna. To check I disconnected the cable going to the antenna. I took a bare paper clip and inserted it into where the center wire goes. I then put one lead from my volt meter on the paper clip and the other lead to the thread portion. I had no 12 volt coming out of the selector box.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:39 AM   #10
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Rumrunner, I would still try re scanning all the channels as mentioned before. We were having the same problem too, and found that even if we only moved a short distance to another CG the signal was weak. We started re scanning(only takes about 5 minutes in ours) every time we move and have great reception every time.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:23 PM   #11
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Many thanks for all the great advice here. When I went up on the roof today I found the problem instantly. About two inches up from the roof the coax had split and corroded. Then over time bent enough times to the point where it no longer had continuity on the center lead. That and the connector was also corroded but still working. I installed a new end on the coax along with a new coupler where the inside coax joins the outside one from the antenna head. Went back in and tried the TV, and all six channels worked again. Happy camper once again. Back up on the roof again to seal all the connections and I was done. I think I spent more time climbing up and down than fixing the coax. I also determined the booster does work as the weaker channels disappear when you turn it off. Thanks again guys.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:29 AM   #12
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Many thanks for all the great advice here. When I went up on the roof today I found the problem instantly. About two inches up from the roof the coax had split and corroded. Then over time bent enough times to the point where it no longer had continuity on the center lead. That and the connector was also corroded but still working. I installed a new end on the coax along with a new coupler where the inside coax joins the outside one from the antenna head. Went back in and tried the TV, and all six channels worked again. Happy camper once again. Back up on the roof again to seal all the connections and I was done. I think I spent more time climbing up and down than fixing the coax. I also determined the booster does work as the weaker channels disappear when you turn it off. Thanks again guys.
rumrunnerxx
I, for one, appreciate the update.
It's nice to know when, and how, the OP of a thread solves his problem.
Thanks
Mel
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