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Old 03-06-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
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Poor cable TV reception

We are staying in an RV park in our new 5th wheel. The cable TV reception is very poor. a few stations come in ok but most are poor. It reminds me of the old analog TVs and rabbit ear antennas. We have experienced this in the past with other campers and RV parks. Is this a common issue because of all the connections in the parks? Would it do much good to install a cable TV amplifier or is it better to spend the money and get satellite TV and internet? The park wireless works but it is a bit slow.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:09 AM   #2
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When using a parks cable, you're pretty much at the mercy of the campground. I would get a sat. system, then you only have to worry about too many trees blocking the signal. But we're always able to to ask for a sat. friendly site. Ours is mounted on the roof, but a lot of RVer's have the portable ones which gives them the opportunity to move the dish to get a signal through trees.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hello, one thing you might check is if your antenna booster is on? I had the same problem with our new MH a few weeks back. Over the air channels were beautiful, but when I plugged in the cable, it was as you described. Some where near your TV, or buried in a cabinet somewhere, there is an antenna booster. It will be a little switch with a green light. You need to select that off (antenna booster off) and run the cable channel scan again. That fixed the problem for me!! Being a Newb, I went up and asked the park manager if the cable was having problems, he came down and found the switch right away....problem solved! I hope this helps!

PS...my switch was conviently hid behind a switching box above my TV
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:33 AM   #4
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Another thing is to check the distribution box (a box in a cabinet near the TV with buttons stating OTA, Cable, Satellite...etc). Be sure you have the Cable button engaged as well has have Cable selected as the input on the TV menu.

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Old 03-06-2015, 09:35 AM   #5
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I second the antenna booster. It got me once.
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Old 03-06-2015, 10:17 AM   #6
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I am aware of the antenna booster, that one bit me in the past. The booster is shut off. I have not found a distribution box. I know I have separate cable and satellite inputs on the camper so there must be something someplace. I think I need to do some digging to figure out how it is all wired.
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:36 PM   #7
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I have done some digging around to figure out how the cable is wired. All the connections are made up well. The cable TV connections goes through the antenna amp, the satellite cable bypasses it. I moved a few cables around so that I bypassed the antenna amp all together. I have a good picture on all bet a few stations now. I would if adding a signal amplifier will clear up the rest of the stations?
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:41 PM   #8
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I know you said the connections were good but here is something to look for if you are not familiar with how coax & cable systems work.

I had the same issue in my 5th wheel on our second outing last month with it. I pulled apart the wallplate where the antenna booster is at and found that all of the cable fittings were poorly done. There is braid inside the cable that if sticking out will act like an antenna and draw in outside signal interference. Also if the white plastic inside the cable fitting is pulled back inside beyond the flat part of the fitting that will cause issues as well. I work for a cable company and deal with this stuff all day long. If your campground is near an FM station's antenna even loose fittings will cause poor reception. I will try to remember to post some pic's of a properly installed fitting tomorrow if that will help out.
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Old 03-10-2015, 07:07 AM   #9
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I know you said the connections were good but here is something to look for if you are not familiar with how coax & cable systems work.

I had the same issue in my 5th wheel on our second outing last month with it. I pulled apart the wallplate where the antenna booster is at and found that all of the cable fittings were poorly done. There is braid inside the cable that if sticking out will act like an antenna and draw in outside signal interference. Also if the white plastic inside the cable fitting is pulled back inside beyond the flat part of the fitting that will cause issues as well. I work for a cable company and deal with this stuff all day long. If your campground is near an FM station's antenna even loose fittings will cause poor reception. I will try to remember to post some pic's of a properly installed fitting tomorrow if that will help out.
I don't think there is a FM broadcast antenna anywhere near me. I will take another look at all the fittings to see if there are any stray strands of copper, but I don't think there are any. I wonder if it is a coincidence that it is channels 2 thru 8 that don't come in very well and everything above 8 is fine?
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Old 03-10-2015, 08:36 AM   #10
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RE: Distribution box... You said the Booster is shut off, (Well,the booster Power Supply in any case). Some RV's have a box of many buttons, Properly called a Matrix Switch, this is the distribution box referenced.

Others just have the wall Plate..like yours.

Is this the first time you have used park cable (IF so it expands the suspect list)

I had bad reception on some channels here.. Wound up replacing the park to RV cable..Works fine now..The cables do get old.
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Old 03-10-2015, 03:57 PM   #11
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RE: Distribution box... You said the Booster is shut off, (Well,the booster Power Supply in any case). Some RV's have a box of many buttons, Properly called a Matrix Switch, this is the distribution box referenced.

Others just have the wall Plate..like yours.

Is this the first time you have used park cable (IF so it expands the suspect list)

I had bad reception on some channels here.. Wound up replacing the park to RV cable..Works fine now..The cables do get old.
I don't have a box, just the well plate as you noted.

This is the first time in this park and the first time in the trailer, just bought it.

The cable I am using to get the cable signal from the park is new too.

We are at the far end of the park from the office and facilities. I don't know if that may have something to do with it.

I found a 12db cable amp and tried it. That made a big difference. The weak channels are still not quite the quality of the good ones but they are a lot closer. I do remember when we did the walk through before we left the lot with the camper all the channels on all the TVs came in great. I wonder if I should try a bigger amp?
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Old 03-10-2015, 04:05 PM   #12
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When moving from CG to CG whether you are on cable or antenna, make sure your antenna booster is on/off depending on the source you want, and then let the TV go thru the Auto program in whichever source you choose each time you move. At least try this before you go pulling things apart and thinking the worst. We went thru the same things with ours and when we did it wrong we only got a few of the channels, some ok but most poor quality, after being shown the proper way to do it, we got way more channels with an excellent picture.
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