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Old 07-05-2006, 08:09 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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31' 1979 International TV antenna issues

I don't get the TV reception that I think I should with my antenna raised. Was there any provision on this make and year to rotate the antenna as I think that would help (sometimes you can't rotate the trailer ) Also there may be an intermitant connection in the wire from the antenna right where it enters the trailer roof. How hard would this be to fix? I imagine it wouldn't be too easy as I would think interior skins would have to come off to get at the wire.
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:57 PM   #2
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Anybody?
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:44 AM   #3
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First the obvious: Do you have the antenna booster turned on? It is a little switch next to the interior connector with a red LED next to it.
Our old '79 Ambassador had an antenna that looked like a miniature version of the one on a house. The crank arm had two modes: raise/lower and rotate. The difference was whether you pulled down or pushed up on the crank first. Even after all that, the reception was so-so.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:27 AM   #4
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Yes, you can't get at the wire without taking down the interior skin. Or cutting an access hole and "attractively patching" it later. The skin comes down fairly easily--take out the rivets at the ends and the screws/rivets at vents and ribs. The you have to oil can the whole length from concave to convex and it will slip out of the two rails that run the length of the skin.

But a better question is "why do you think the intermittent is right at the entry point?" Have you raised the antenna and temporarily connected a twin-lead (it is flat 300 ohm twin-lead, isn't it?) cable externally and down through a window to check and see if that improves reception?

If you take the skin down, I'd replace the twin-lead with coax and some suitable small box on the roof that can house a twin-lead to coax adapter (small transformer the size of lipstick). This would allow future breaks in the external cable to be fixed easily. These days you need to convert to coax at some point, anyway. And coax would have significantly less signal loss as it threads its way between the skins down to the wall outlet. Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:37 AM   #5
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sander17
First the obvious: Do you have the antenna booster turned on? It is a little switch next to the interior connector with a red LED next to it.
Our old '79 Ambassador had an antenna that looked like a miniature version of the one on a house. The crank arm had two modes: raise/lower and rotate. The difference was whether you pulled down or pushed up on the crank first. Even after all that, the reception was so-so.
Never saw an antenna booster or LED. Was this standard in 79's?
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:06 PM   #6
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TV antenas are very directional. If you can't rotating toward the broadcast tower it's unlikely you'll get any reception that's watchable.

I wondered what the little switch and the red light was for! I'd assumed it switched between the cable input on the side of the trailer and the roof antena. Is there some other way you're supposed to do this?

I can see on the antena crank it says to pull down to raise but I pulled "sort of hard" and it didn't want to move. Consequently all I can do is rotate the antena which is liimited by clearance with other things on the roof. I wouldn't worry about it except I can't open the front roof vent without raising the antena. Is there a trick or locking mechanism to get it to pull down and raise the antena?

-Bernie
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:15 PM   #7
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Wacenstac,

Do you have the "batwing" type antenna. Our 1976 had on it when we got it and we could never get good reception. We replaced with a new batwing with a booster and we get great reception. Sounds like you have a bad signal booster.
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:41 PM   #8
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they didn't always come with signal amplifiers. my 73 didn't have one.

I did manage to fix mine so it could raise and lower...replacement worm gears are still available. but its a real pain to do...and I later found out that it was leaking pretty badly, right down through the shaft. I had to take it off the roof to try to fix that, and I found that there really wasn't any "fix" to it at this point. the innards were so frozen up from the corrosion of years of leaking, there was no way to get it apart...and no other replacement parts available for it, anyhow. So I finally bit the bullet and replaced it with a batwing. I had to drop the ceiling panel to run coax to the tv jack.

I had already replaced the original jack/12v outlet with a modern unit that includes the signal amplifier. that did help the old skyliner's reception, while I was still using it. But the new batwing is even better.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:44 PM   #9
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No batwing for me, just a simple run of the mill looking TV antenna.
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