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Old 04-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
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It seems my crank up Antenna doesn't work

We've only owned our AS since last July. We've never been able to get the antenna to work. Right now we have it in our driveway. I know we have strong reception in our area with several close by TV stations. I have the winguard (I think it's named) stock AS crank up antenna. The switch where the cable connects seems to be on as there is a red led lit next to it. I have it connected to a digital HD TV, so I'm baffled.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
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I would guess that the wire from the antenna is broken somewhere outside after 20 years. Also could be the amplifier is shot and even though the red led is on, the amp is not working. They were not super high quality units and the wiring is stuffed into small spaces to boot. You or someone else will need to start at one end and work to the other to look for problems. If you don't understand what you are looking at, you may have to have it done professionally.
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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We replaced the original 1980 AS antenna with a Winegard amplified digital antenna about two years ago. Last Fall we started having the same problems Re-Pete describes. We did the tests specified by Winegard as idroba describes and replaced the entire cable from antenna to amplifier. It seemed to work where we were but, in more remote areas, it didn't do the job. So, we installed a new amplifier ( Winegard calls it a power source ) and, BINGO, it works like a champ. We were just in a campground in Fort Stockton, TX, where they said to forget trying broadcast TV. I put the antenna up anyway and we got six channels.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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Well, this is all very encouraging. I'll check the cable today. Is there anyway to test the amplifier, such as with a multimeter? I own one, but admittedly I'm not that knowledgeable in using it. I'll look up Winegard on the web and give them a call also. Thanks for the good tips so far.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:26 AM   #5
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I bypassed all that stuff and ran a new cable from the antenna to the fridge vent and down and then back through the wall next to the fridge to the entertainment center. It works great even for HDTV signals.

Perry
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:18 AM   #6
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I bypassed all that stuff and ran a new cable from the antenna to the fridge vent and down and then back through the wall next to the fridge to the entertainment center. It works great even for HDTV signals.

Perry
Directly to the TV, ignoring the amplifier?
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:16 AM   #7
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The common failures are a loose or corroded connection where the cable plugs into the antenna head or the cable itself. On the Winegard Sensar (batwing) antennas I've seen, the amplifier is a circuit board mounted in the center section of the antenna itself. The box on the wall is a switch and power supply; it can fail yet the light may work. When switched on, It sends 12v DC up the cable and the amplifier sends down the RF signals. If you have a meter or 12v test light, you can check to see if the 12v is at the end of the cable that plugs into the bottom of the antenna. If the 12v is missing, test at the connector where the cable plugs into the wall box. I'm not aware of a user test to determine if the amplifier is up to par.

Winegard sells a non-amplified antenna PN 2120430. I don't know why someone would buy one, but if a PO thought they were getting a good price on a replacement, it is a way to get bit. The PN for the amplified Winegard antenna head is RV2001A.

Some have reported that the Jack antenna is a good replacement for the Winegard. If the cable is good and 12v is present, the Jack head runs about $50 and is a simple DIY swap. The most difficult task is R&R the 2 E-clips that secure the mounting pins. While the Jack is very compact compared to the Winegard, its shape may interfere with a skylight or something else on the roof in the lowered position so it might be worth simply setting the head on top of the Winegard to check the clearance before taking things apart.
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Yes. My experience with digital is that amplifiers don't help that much because you just increase the noise level as well. The Signal to noise level is still the same and if the noise is too high you don't get anything. I have some high quality cable amplifiers at home and they don't seem to help make the incoming signal better. They will however allow you to run several down stream devices without loosing signal. An unpowered splitter reduces the signal by a good bit. The internal wiring in the older Airstreams has the potential for adding alot of noise into the signal and with digital you just won't get anything. You can always add an extenal amp if that has any benefit. In my case it was easier to just run new wires as opposed to trying to figure out all the issues that are there by design and the issues the PO made with his rat's nest of cables and wires.

Perry

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Directly to the TV, ignoring the amplifier?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Goose View Post
The common failures are a loose or corroded connection where the cable plugs into the antenna head or the cable itself. On the Winegard Sensar (batwing) antennas I've seen, the amplifier is a circuit board mounted in the center section of the antenna itself. The box on the wall is a switch and power supply; it can fail yet the light may work. When switched on, It sends 12v DC up the cable and the amplifier sends down the RF signals. If you have a meter or 12v test light, you can check to see if the 12v is at the end of the cable that plugs into the bottom of the antenna. If the 12v is missing, test at the connector where the cable plugs into the wall box. I'm not aware of a user test to determine if the amplifier is up to par.

Winegard sells a non-amplified antenna PN 2120430. I don't know why someone would buy one, but if a PO thought they were getting a good price on a replacement, it is a way to get bit. The PN for the amplified Winegard antenna head is RV2001A.

Some have reported that the Jack antenna is a good replacement for the Winegard. If the cable is good and 12v is present, the Jack head runs about $50 and is a simple DIY swap. The most difficult task is R&R the 2 E-clips that secure the mounting pins. While the Jack is very compact compared to the Winegard, its shape may interfere with a skylight or something else on the roof in the lowered position so it might be worth simply setting the head on top of the Winegard to check the clearance before taking things apart.
Good Info, Based on it痴 I知 pretty sure I have the Batwing. I値l check it out today. I値l start by checking the power level of the cable at the antenna end. I think I値l also try cleaning up the connection and running a test cable from the antenna to my TV around the outside of the AS. Those two things should tell me if the antenna is working at least.

Pete
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Yes. My experience with digital is that amplifiers don't help that much because you just increase the noise level as well. The Signal to noise level is still the same and if the noise is too high you don't get anything. I have some high quality cable amplifiers at home and they don't seem to help make the incoming signal better. They will however allow you to run several down stream devices without loosing signal. An unpowered splitter reduces the signal by a good bit. The internal wiring in the older Airstreams has the potential for adding alot of noise into the signal and with digital you just won't get anything. You can always add an extenal amp if that has any benefit. In my case it was easier to just run new wires as opposed to trying to figure out all the issues that are there by design and the issues the PO made with his rat's nest of cables and wires.

Perry
I知 going to try something similar to your suggestion as a test. I知 hoping I get a good result. I知 just going to run a loose cable wire from the antenna outside the AS to the TV and see if I get a signal.

Pete
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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Silvergoose's suggestions are excellent. Check for the voltage at the Antenna end of the cable. If none, check at the power supply end in the trailer to see that it is present there. That would tell you something about the power supply. You also could run a piece of temporary cable from inside to the antenna which would test the quality of the cable in place in the AS walls. If it works that way, you would know you have a cable issue. As suggested, look for loose or corroded terminal ends on the cable wire. Sometimes water will invade and travel down the cable for a ways, so you might have to cut back the cable to find a good part.

Without very specialized equipment it is very difficult to test the signal from the antenna itself.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #12
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The connection at the antenna was really clean, but I sprayed it with electronic contact cleaner and lubricant anyway, can't hurt. I did a voltage check and was getting about 13 V. I was pretty sure I knew the problem at this point, but I direct wired another cable from the antenna to the TV, alas the same result, no signal.

Based on the feed back you guys have provided, I'm thinking the amplifier in the antenna is kaput. I have a call in to Winegard and I expect I'll hear from them tomorrow.

So, I'm not sure if the Winegard is repairable, suggestions.

Pete
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Goose View Post
Winegard sells a non-amplified antenna PN 2120430. I don't know why someone would buy one, but if a PO thought they were getting a good price on a replacement, it is a way to get bit. The PN for the amplified Winegard antenna head is RV2001A.

Some have reported that the Jack antenna is a good replacement for the Winegard. If the cable is good and 12v is present, the Jack head runs about $50 and is a simple DIY swap. The most difficult task is R&R the 2 E-clips that secure the mounting pins. While the Jack is very compact compared to the Winegard, its shape may interfere with a skylight or something else on the roof in the lowered position so it might be worth simply setting the head on top of the Winegard to check the clearance before taking things apart.

I forgot to check the model number of the my Winegard. I'll do that next. I'll have to look up the Jack as I've never heard of it.

Pete
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #14
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I forgot to check the model number of the my Winegard. I'll do that next. I'll have to look up the Jack as I've never heard of it.

Pete
I guess you don't know Jack.

Sorry, just couldn't resist.

Here's a link to a thread where the Jack antenna was discussed: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...nna-73890.html

Also here's a link to a source for them: Jack RV Digital Antenna - Complete Antenna - PPL Motor Homes
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