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Old 06-15-2015, 10:35 PM   #1
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Electrical / TV Issue

I haven't seen this one before. While I was watching TV last night on the rear TV in my 2014 AI, I flipped on the curb side reading light over the rear lounge. The image on the TV started pixelating. When I turned the light off the TV went back to normal. I tried it a few more times with the same result. Turning the street side reading light on and off had no effect on the TV. Any suggestions on where to start trouble shooting?


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Old 06-15-2015, 11:40 PM   #2
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That's weird. Were you receiving your signal from the antenna or cable? Seems like the signal / reception was being interrupted some how.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:17 AM   #3
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Does the lite have a dimmer?
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:30 AM   #4
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Ours (2014.5) does the same thing. We assumed they ran unshielded cable too close to electric. We haven't tried to fix it.
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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Our former Interstate 2013 did the same thing when operating on antenna. Don;t think it happened on cable hookups. When I told AI about it they were "Surprised" but nothing ever happened as a result. No longer own an Interstate.
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Old 06-16-2015, 08:48 AM   #6
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My front TV, operating on antenna, does that when I turn on the fan. I believe that noise generated by the fan is radiating to the antenna. Dimmers and maybe some CFL and LED lights have circuitry in them that could generate noise. It is also possible that there is a bad connection in the TV wiring somewhere.

It is unlikely that unshielded wire was used but it is possible that a coax connector was improperly installed or pulled out. First, check both ends of the cable between the TV and the wall. The connector should be tight on the cable and the center conductor should be flush with, or protrude slightly beyond, the end of the connector. If this all looks OK, then pull the connector plate off the wall and check the cable behind it. There may be a splitter behind the plate. If so, check the cables connected to it. If you don't find anything, pull the connector plate with the preamp pushbutton. PUT THE STORE/USE SWITCH IN THE STORE POSITION BEFORE PULLING THE PLATE. Exposed connections on the circuit board can contact the skin of the trailer and blow a fuse. Don't ask how I know this.

If none of this yields results, then the noise is probably radiating from the light fixture or wiring to the antenna and will have to be suppressed at the source, i.e. the offending light. If the bulb is a CFL or LED, swap it to the other fixture and see if the problem moves or stays the same. If it moves, replace the bulb. If not, you may have to add some kind of a filter to the fixture to solve the problem.

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Old 06-16-2015, 10:17 PM   #7
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It's good to be grounded!

What is happening is radio frequency interference. (RFI) Various devices that use inductive circuits (coil of wire and resistor circuits) can produce RFI. Amplifiers, like the ones used in television boosters can "hear" this RFI and boost its effects effecting the digital television display of the picture image. RFI is usually filtered by the power source supplying power to the fan, led lighting and booster, so it does not get into the booster and thus into the TV. This is accomplished by "grounding" the offending noise to ground. SO what I would do is be very certain that you Airstream is grounded! That is, be very certain that the ground lug or center one of the three prong plug of your 110 VAC cord to the power source is proper AND the duplex plug your connected to is really earth grounded. Some RV parks cheat the system by connecting the ground wire to the earth ground and not really grounding to a real earth ground. This can be tested with a simple plug tester that is available at any hardware store. Remember, your in a giant, beautiful, well made, unique aluminum aircraft on tires! If you don't ground it, there can be RFI issues. Good luck. Also, be very sure that all the coax wire fittings are not loose. Their lack of ground is a very good source of RFI.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:36 AM   #8
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To answer a few of the questions raised. I was dry camped with no shore connections. The light does not have a dimmer.

Thanks to all for the troubleshooting ideas. It will give me something to do on this rainy day.


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Old 06-18-2015, 08:02 AM   #9
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Talking Puzzles, I hate puzzles.

Ok, LED light & rear TV, no dimmer, RF amplifer not cable, fan & front TV, unknown if all were dry camping w/o docked power or some using inverter to run television.

Two consistent elements are signal booster and twelve volt power supply used to power fan and LED.

Signal booster is the common element along with twelve volt system providing power to both LED an fan.

Given that all coax connectors are tight and the outside shield (tin foil sheath under the insulation of the coax) has a good tight fit to the threaded fitting that screws into the antenna, booster amp, splitter and TV's, the common point of RFI ingress is........ Wait for it.

The hardest part to get to.

I would start with Al and Missy's suggestion looking at the wall plate where the booster and splitter live. Then the connections at the TV's. Make sure all is tight and screwed in completely.

If the problem is reproduceable, that is all the conditions are the same each time the event occurs;, then one can zero in on the offending component.

If not, it's back to chicken claws and the eye of newts to exererosize the demon RFI out of the circuit.

Heaven forbid it's a sloppy filter or power regulator circuit in the Airstream power inverter putting noise on the 12 volt line that runs the TV's signal booster.
Thats maybe why there was no reply from the good folks at "AI" regarding the issue.

All the best from an old TV cable tech.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jekerrville View Post
If not, it's back to chicken claws and the eye of newts to exererosize the demon RFI out of the circuit.
Being an engineer, I prefer "percussive maintenance," as in, "if all else fails, smack it with a bigger hammer." That will either fix the problem or make the problem so unfixable that RF interference won't matter anymore because the TV screen is broken. But anyway…

I actually had the same problem once at home, not in my Airstream, back in the days of CRT televisions. The problem was eventually traced to a power cord running parallel to the television's coax cable, so that the induction current around the power cord was creating a signal in the coax that was interpreted as static.

These days, digital televisions don't show static; they pixelate. But I'd be willing to bet that the same thing is happening, the coax is bundled with the wire powering the light so that they run parallel to each other in close proximity. Physically separating the wire feeding power to the light from the coax cable should solve the problem.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:23 AM   #11
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I tend to agree since only one of the two lites seems to cause the problem.
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