Help diagnose TV reception problem

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nodak

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Posts
7
Location
North Dakota
I have recently become the owner of a 1999 25' Sprinter fifth-wheel.? In comparing our tv reception to others in the campground, ours is much worse than the others.? Everything seems to be in place...the antenna is rotated to the correct position, the amplifier is switched on, and the tv is set to antenna.? All the connections seem to be secure yet our reception is bad.? Switching the amplifier on does improve the picture, but only marginally.

What steps should I take to troubleshoot this problem?? I'm not clear on how the amplifier is wired in so any info on that would be appreciated as well.

Thanks!
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Possiblity of  a bad wire or connection some where along the line.  Sometimes very hard to detect.  Most generally it's a connection that's rusted and making poor contact.  I'd check those 1st.  :-*
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
If you're using a video switch box, try bypassing it and wire the antenna directly to the TV.  If that solves it, then try working the switch contacts several times to clean them, and if that doesn't help, then replace the switch box.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,807
Location
Davison Michigan
The list includes both of the items previously mentioned (Bad connection, bad switch box) in fact, those are #1 and #2 on the list

Add bad pre-amplifier to the list

Add also "unauthorized" modification  (IE; someone added in a 2nd TV, and did it wrong)

And of course just plain broken wire.

In another thread I mentioned the company which makes antennas for Airstream.  They were sent out to diagnose a problem where someone had excelent recption of some channels in the front, other channels in the rear but all channels ... Not at all

Turns out it was Airstream had an electriction, not an electronics technician, wire up the TVs and he followed good electrical (60 HZ) practice,,, NOT good RF (radio frequency) practice,  the resut was amusing to those of us who understand RF
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,546
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Check the wire connection at the antenna itself. There will be a rubber sleeve over a standard coax cable connector. It is no tunusual for the wire in this coax to get corroded or actually break off. It's simple enough to cut off the old conector, strip the coax back 1/2 inch and install a new one. Most any hardware store or Radio Shack will have coax connectors. Buy a good quality one - the cheap ones for home interior use won't hold up well outside.
 

nodak

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Posts
7
Location
North Dakota
Thanks for all the suggestions guys.  I'll be heading up to the camper this coming Sunday and will spend the week camping.  Should have plenty of time to check things out.  I'll let you know if I find a solution.
 

nodak

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Posts
7
Location
North Dakota
Had a chance to diagnose my TV reception problems.? First, I removed the amplifier box from the wall.? Then I connected a 25' coax cable to the box, ran it out the door and connected it directly to the antenna...reception was great.? Now that I know the problem is in the coax that runs from the antenna, down into the roof and into the box, I need to know how to fix it!? The coax on the roof is white and the coax in the wall is black so there must be a splice somewhere.? Can I just attach the new coax to the existing and pull it through?? Is this something I should leave to the dealer?? It sure would be nice to have a complete wiring diagram.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
Usually the weak point is where the antenna wire connector, connects to the connector (female) on the roof. Corrosion is a common problem...if not a broken wire. Because the antenna goes up and down it creates a stress point at that junction. As was stated, slide up the rubber boot and you should see an F series connector...just like the cable that conects to the back of the TV. Unscrew it and see what the conection looks like ( both connectors). If corroded, you can clean the connectors using a very fine sand paper on the pin (tip) and a small wire for the female one.....
 
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