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Old 01-07-2016, 03:33 PM   #1
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Audio visual satellite cable spaghetti help

...just recently bought a used coach and all the AV equipment works but does not connect to each other. Ran a DVD but none of the TV's receives this. The major issue is that I have miles of cables to the equipments and nothing works per se. Don't know what the previous owner did or removed.

Who and what can I get to diagnose and hook things up properly? Depending on the location, I will drive there to get quality service.

Thanks!

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Old 01-07-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
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any decent MH dealer for your particular mfg should be able to diagnose.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:55 PM   #3
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George, wish you were in our area! I would love to help you, but surely you can find a fellow RV'er around there that's familiar with the wiring!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:21 PM   #4
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To trace down the "cables", you can pick up a cable tester. Used one to trace down our wires. Was set up to test 4 cables. Put colored caps on 4 cables and then hook base to other ends. Base light up color of the cable it is hooked to. Think it was about $20 at Home Depot.

Klein Tools Coax Explorer Plus VDV512-058 | Zoro.com
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougarkid View Post
To trace down the "cables", you can pick up a cable tester. Used one to trace down our wires. Was set up to test 4 cables. Put colored caps on 4 cables and then hook base to other ends. Base light up color of the cable it is hooked to. Think it was about $20 at Home Depot.

Klein Tools Coax Explorer Plus VDV512-058 | Zoro.com

Mike, that is a great way to trace the cables, but I'm under the impression that George is not sure about how it should all be connected. He may need some additional help.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:56 AM   #6
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Joe>> Missouri is a little bit out of my area.

To clarify, in short I need to trace the cables to see what goes to what. The cable tester is an awesome idea! I can put the system together... hopefully. I'm going to start with the basics and work my up.

Thanks for the replies guys!
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:03 AM   #7
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Joe>> Missouri is a little bit out of my area.

To clarify, in short I need to trace the cables to see what goes to what. The cable tester is an awesome idea! I can put the system together... hopefully. I'm going to start with the basics and work my up.

Thanks for the replies guys!

I'm in Mississippi, but not much better!
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:36 PM   #8
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I have the same tester, and it works great! Worth the money.

RV systems tend to be more complicated than home theater systems because of the multitude of options. We often have OTA antennas, cable connections, roof satellite dishes, and auxiliary satellite dish connections. Then we have the main TV, bedroom TV, and an outside TV to connect to all of those options. Throw in a sound system, DVD player, DVR, or Blu-ray, and you have a jungle and very little space!! And I have all of the above, with the exception of the DVD player that was replaced by a Blu-ray player. And I have TWO DVR's.

First you need to find the 6 main coax lines, depending on your coach equipment. They are:

Roof satellite (if you have one)
Aux satellite (if you have a connection for one)
OTA antenna
Park cable
Coax to bedroom TV
Coax to outside TV

They should all be near your entertainment center. Fortunately on my coach they were RG6 and color coded.

Once you do that, the rest is just figuring out how you want to connect everything. Start by figuring out what equipment you have, and find manuals for them. You can usually find them online, even if they are obsolete and no longer manufactured. (Which is very likely!)

Even if you decide to pay somebody who knows what he is doing (and they often don't either) to set it up, you are better off knowing what you have to start with and what you want to be able to do.

Newer TV's with multiple HDMI inputs are great for making connections easier. Connect components to the TV with HDMI cables wherever possible. (Better digital quality and fewer cables.)

Label all cables, especially those 6 coax cables I identified above. Brother label makers using 1/2 inch self-adhesive tape are great for the task. As you start connecting things, write down where every cable goes, and why, for future reference. A schematic diagram is even better if you know how. Label any A/B switch you may use.

Then buy a universal remote that can control everything with one remote.
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:00 PM   #9
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I like the idea of the cable tester as i have often been befuddled by all of the cables and particularly going into and out of the Winegard box. I did one thing to make it easier to get the tv in the bedroom tuned to different channels than the main TV when on satellite and that was to install an extra coax that can be connected direct to the bedroom TV (with it's own DirecTv receiver) without going thru the Winegard connection box. That way my wife can watch her programs on the bedroom TV and I can watch NCIS, etc on the main TV. I couldn't figure out how to have different programs from satellite on the two TVs so i just added the extra cable - it is in the electrical entry compartmant close to the other TV connections. I suppose that if I spent some time or hired an 'expert' I could do it all thru the winegard but that is currently above my paygrade and sometimes I am too cheap (thrifty?) to hire it done as some time the experts aren't experts. The only glitch is that if we are in a park with cable (or if there are too many trees, etc blocking the satellite signal) I have to disconnect the new cable and go to the cable in the TV compartment and that is complicated due to our TV having a two coax connections - one for off air and one for cable/satellite. When I tried putting a radioshack 3 to 1 switch with connectors but it didn't work for me and the guy at Radio Shack said that the 3 to 1 switches would only work one way and reversing the funcions would not work. I don't know if he was correct but for now I just reconnect the tv and cables.

As far as marking cables I used to take a piece of masking tape and write the specifics with a Sharpie but in asking at our local Radio Shack for cable markers they didn't have any but they suggested using the plastic bread/produce tags with the slot connected hole to mark them I have started doing that. To keep the tags from sliding away from the connector I use a small piece of masking or duct tape to hold it in place. It works for me!
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:16 PM   #10
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I marked my cables with painters (blue) tape and a sharpie. Wrote on the tape where the other end was. Covered it with clear tape. (i.e. bedroom, dump bay, front storage, etc.) Works great for me.


The tester is also great for TESTING the cables.


I had issues with the original (Winegard) antenna from the day we got the RV, and left it off when I re-roofed it. Was debating reinstalling with a new King HD head. Went to install the base and found that the coax cable end was rusted and center wire was gone. Had the same issue on the coax on the antenna. New cables and ends, installed antenna and routed thru booster.


Turned on the tv and had it auto search. 53 channels later it was done. Many of those were the same station on different numbers (20.1, 40.1, 50.1).


Check the wires even it you know where they go!
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:05 PM   #11
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Cable testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougarkid View Post
I marked my cables with painters (blue) tape and a sharpie. Wrote on the tape where the other end was. Covered it with clear tape. (i.e. bedroom, dump bay, front storage, etc.) Works great for me.


The tester is also great for TESTING the cables.


I had issues with the original (Winegard) antenna from the day we got the RV, and left it off when I re-roofed it. Was debating reinstalling with a new King HD head. Went to install the base and found that the coax cable end was rusted and center wire was gone. Had the same issue on the coax on the antenna. New cables and ends, installed antenna and routed thru booster.


Turned on the tv and had it auto search. 53 channels later it was done. Many of those were the same station on different numbers (20.1, 40.1, 50.1).


Check the wires even it you know where they go!

I had a similar problem although it was the connectors at the cable ends. The RV OEM used cheap twist on coax connectors and installed them poorly. The cable tracer did not work well until I replaced them all. That is easily done with a good coax stripper and connector crimp tool. High quality connectors for both RG 59 (old) and RG 6 ( modern) are available at home supply stores. Do not use cheap connectors in the seismic environment of an RV. They will eventually loosen or leak and you will get the result you got. Also be aware that vendors sometimes installed intermediate splices above slide outs that can be a problem as well.
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Old 01-12-2016, 03:31 PM   #12
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I would use quality compression connectors in place of crimp connectors. Other than that I would agree with Ajwrape. Twist on connectors are the worst, even if properly installed. Coax strippers and the compression tools are not that expensive.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:29 PM   #13
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Of course I should have said compression instead of crimp. Thanks.
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