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Old 08-30-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek TV connection help

My van is an '05/'06 R/T 190 V - I'm having trouble with TV reception.

Inside the A/V cabinet there's a junction box that I assume is an A/B switch.

1) the white cable on the right - one end is connected to a TV Antenna Amplifier (so it says on a very small device) - the other end connects to the A/B switch. So, I assume that this is connected to the R/T's built-in TV antenna.(?)

2) the black cable is untraceable - as it disappears into the van's wall. So, I assume that this comes from the external Cable TV connection (by the City Water hook-up).(?)

3) the white cable on the left - leaves the A/B switch, goes thru the cabinet wall and is connected to the TV's "cable in".

If all the assumptions are correct, why am I unable to get anything other than the poorest of pictures when connected to campground cable TV outlets or more of the same when the A/B switch button is pushed.

To further trouble-shoot I intend to run a cable from my closest Directv receiver to the various van connections (but haven't done so as yet).

So, any opinions would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Old 08-31-2008, 04:35 PM   #2
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One way to find the other end of the cable is to get a little lead with alligator clips and short out the far end of the cable you are unsure of. Hooking center lead to shield. Then take a volt/ohm meter and find out which one shows up shorted at the A/B box. Then open the short and check again, to be sure you saw what you think you saw.

The Wineguard TV booster antennas aren't so hot when it comes to much range. They'll all present a "snowy" analogue or not present a digital TV signal from off the air. Better is a satellite (Dish or Direcway) system. If you chose to go that route, it will need to connect to the cable lead, not the Wineguard lead, to work as the satellite receiver needs current supplied through the coax and the Wineguard won't allow it to pass.

Make any sense?
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VernM
One way to find the other end of the cable is to..

Make any sense?
Yes, thanks for the reply - my good friend has the "stuff" to be able to do what you've suggested - I'll "hit-him-up" for some help.

Thank You..
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Default update

Houston North KOA is about 3 miles from my residence - visited there this morning and explained my desire to troubleshoot my Van's cable/antenna system - the Manager was nice enough to allow me to use one of the empty spots for cable and electrics - without charging (thank you KOA) !

Discovered there's nothing wrong with the cable line from the outside hook-up, thru and then out of the A/B switch - must have been the cable connections at campgrounds on my recent trip. The built-in R/T antenna continues to not receive much of anything in this area (would like someday to try it in close proximity of a TV station transmitter - just to see how it works..).

Now I've gotta decide on whether to stay with the OEM 17" Samsung and use a converter box - or - install a recently purchased 19" HD
Emerson (not using the converter box would free-up a bit of space in the A/V cabinet).

If I use the new Emerson I've gotta fabricate an adapter for the R/T's wall mount as the mounting holes are different.

Side note: the Houston North KOA is right at capacity - mostly with folks from Louisiana. I talked to one family and they appeared to be highly irritated that they under a mandatory evacuation and Gustav is turning out to not be as devastating as predicted - oh well, better safe than sorry...
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: update

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskyecho
I talked to one family and they appeared to be highly irritated that they under a mandatory evacuation and Gustav is turning out to not be as devastating as predicted - oh well, better safe than sorry...
And these same folks would likely be the loudest complainers if they weren't forced to evacuate and the storm was another Katrina.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:02 PM   #6
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I'm glad I could get you started with the line of thinking that solves these sort of problems, "W E." And I do think you'll find you are a lot better served with the satellite TV link rather than off-the-air in most places you'll stop.

Regarding Gustav, I thought that too, that those folks will be hard to get moving the next time they're told to evacuate unless the storm wipes the city out, which it was evident it wasn't going to do from many miles off shore. However, our "news" pundits had to exaggerate toward the worst case rather than otherwise, right?.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: update

[quote="Whiskyecho"]

"..Now I've gotta decide on whether to stay with the OEM 17" Samsung and use a converter box - or - install a recently purchased 19" HD
Emerson.."quote]

Decision made - I took back the Emerson. The Emerson's wall mount holes are spaced 100mm apart and the Van's wall mount accepts only those with 75mm spacing - so, I could have fabricated an adapter but that idea got me thinking "do I really need a new 19" HD set?" - the answer was "No".

We Tour rather than Camp. Those occasional early nites are filled with DVD movies and/or campground cable hook-ups (basically for news and weather info). The R/T built-in tv antenna is junk but I really don't need it (and if I did need it, I carry along the tv converter box).

So I've saved myself $300 and that makes me a "happy camper".
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:03 PM   #8
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Hey,
Glad I found this thread. I've been fiddling with the TV hookup in my '02 P, and after looking at your pic, realized my A/B switch was connected incorrectly. I'm adding the Artec ATSC tuner to the mix, and discovered (after buying 2 more A/B switches for the analog bypass) that the middle connection on the A/B switch should be the one outputting to your TV cable in. Mine was wrong, the left postiton on the A/B was outputted to the TV and the pic was almost non-existant. You might want to swap the left and middle cables on the A/B switch and see if it makes a difference to your OTA reception. I did it, and I'm getting some pretty good reception on analog OTA. Haven't had a chance yet to try the external cable in, but I'm also going to try running a cable hookup from the house to the rig. I noticed the external connector by the outside shower looks a bit corroded, so we'll see shortly if it needs to be replaced.

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Old 09-04-2008, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
..You might want to swap the left and middle cables on the A/B switch and see if it makes a difference to your OTA reception..
Mike.
Thanks for the input Mike. I'm having a hard time visualizing how the A/B wiring diagram/swap that you're suggesting would work (but I'm not the brightest "electrical thinking" star in the galaxy).

I did mention, didn't I, that I went to the local KOA and they let me use their electrics and cable hook-up - with the cable connection (outside) attached and the left A/B connection (see the white cable in the pic above) going to the tv, the picture was excellent. However when the A/B switch "button" was pushed the picture went to snow (no pic or sound - other than static). So, that's what makes me believe that the R/Ts ota isn't functioning..?

Got a bunch of stuff to do today but will give your suggestion a try as time permits.

I'll report back on the swap..
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:34 PM   #10
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Your KOA experiment sort of makes sense to me. If the external shore cable signal went into the (middle) switch output connector, and the switch was set to "A", then it would still pass through the switch, (backwards, if you will) and then out the A input connector to your TV. Great cable picture, the result. If you then tried to get OTA by switching the A/B to the "B" position, the TV would back track through the A connector, and the middle connector (connected to shore cable still?)and use that as it's "antenna" connection. Snowy OTA picture the result, because you're not connected to the Roadtrek's built in antenna and signal booster.

Does that make sense? BTW, I needed a flashlight and a magnifying glass to read the position markings on the A/B switch in the TV cabinet, myself. That's when it started making sense. The folks who sold me the RT must have had something else in there (maybe a flat screen?), and removed it, leaving the cables a shambles. The VCR wasn't hooked to anything.
Buyer beware, I guess.

Good luck,
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskyecho
..I'll report back on the swap..
It was buggin' me - couldn't wait - tried it - reporting back:

I did the switch - black from center to the left/left white to the center.

My ota antenna is now sending pics from many channels to the tv ! Hmmmmm ?

(after the cable swap I tried hooking-up my Digital Stream converter box - I'm getting reception but only from the "normal" channels - no digital - I might have to move my Van from it's "stealth" location (out of view from the prying eyes of our assn. weasel) to somewhere in the open - but I'm not concerned about that at this time)

Thanks Mike
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:12 PM   #12
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No problem, glad I could help.
I was amazed too once I got the cables sorted out at just what I could get OTA with the stock TV/antenna/booster combo.
I'm going to install and try my ATSC tuner today sometime. It's the Artec T3A Pro, supposed to be pretty good. I live near the Niagara Escarpment, so I'm planning to do a little reconnaisance mission up top to see what I can get from over the lake to the south. I already get a couple of Buffalo stations (I know, why would you want to? ), but they're really not very good. I get PBS and Fox in the UHF range pretty well from the US.
As a side topic, I was looking for a couple of extra A/B switches and short cables to hook the digital tuner in so I can bypass it if there aren't any digital signals available where we're parked. I discovered that Philips makes an ultra thin coax cable for TV/Video, and it's available at my local Dollarama. The connectors are standard, but the cable is like a piece of string in thickness. I picked up 2 12' cables for $2. They also make a 25' length. Same price. I'll be using them today, so I'll report back about whether they work well or not.

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Old 09-04-2008, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
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..BTW, I needed a flashlight and a magnifying glass to read the position markings on the A/B switch in the TV cabinet, myself..
Yep, just did that too - and also needed the glass and flashlight.

Reading markings from the "switch", left to right, the connections say:

left = Cable B
center = TV
right = Cable A

Would guess yours is the same. I'm thinking about going back to the KOA and trying "everything" (their cable, ota and ota w/converter) - just for grins.

Cables: I noticed that the RCA cable, connecting my DVD player to the Van's TV, was just a bit too short - so I replaced its 5' length with a 6' one. I also carry an S Video cable and a pair of the slip-on RG cables (just in case I find something I can't live without while on the road)

(by the way - my older, non-HD DTV receivers had a cable connection but my new HD receivers don't - so - I've gotta use an outside source as a hook-up-to device).

Have a good one.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:38 AM   #14
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Well, I finally got the Artec digital box installed as an alternate path from the antenna side of the built in switch, and I'm still looking for my socks. I used the 2 ultra-thin Philips coax cables and a 12V cigarette adaptor (the Artec comes with a two pronged 100v to 12v adaptor, which I can't use easily, no inverter) which I had lying around, and bought 2 A/B switches (about $6 each) at Home Depot to complete the bridge around the straight analog feed. Once I hooked it all up, and set the A/B switches to bypass the analog only feed, I ran the channel auto-program, and voila, cable quality digital pictures from several local stations.
I threaded the ultra thin coax and power wire up through the hole to the first shelf, and connected them to the tuner, so it sits there above the TV. The ultra thin coaxes allow some flexibility in positioning the tuner if the TV below it is pulled out of the cabinet and turned towards the back and beds. Just in case the remote needs a more direct view of the face of the Artec, I can sit it on top of the TV. So far it doesn't seem to, but I've got fresh batteries in it.
So far, I like the Artec digital tuner. It has an aspect ratio control which allows you to use the transmitted picture size, or choose from 3 other picture sizing options, depending on the shape of your TV screen. It has pretty much all the other usual bells and whistles you'd expect from a satellite or digital cable box. It does display the station identifier along with the channel number on screen as you change channels, so if you know your TV affiliate's alpha call letters you can pick out your favorite network pretty easily. I seem to recall, while searching for a suitable tuner, reading about an on screen programming guide, but haven't found it yet, if it exists on this model.
Channels: I don't know how often they update their lists, but here's a link to the Digiwave Technologies website. If you scroll down and look on the left side of the page for the "FTA" and "OTA" sections, there are some fairly extensive channel lists. I converted one of them to PDF (Firefox add on PDF Download has a save as PDF option) and will keep it on my desktop for reference. You can probably save it as a text file, with IE, if you like.
http://www.digiwavetechnologies.com/

Enjoy,
Mike.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:37 PM   #15
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I too finished the install of my (DigitalStream) converter box - with the Van hidden in it's "stealthy" location I'm getting 6 digital stations (albeit they're all Kids & Religious stations this Saturday morning - will check them again at the 1st of the week - just for grins).

Without having to physically drive there I'd like to get closer to Houston to see what I could pick up.

I've yet to return to the KOA to "make sure" the external Cable connection still works in this configuration - but will do that as time permits.

Speakers: I've found that a set of external speakers are needed for easy listening to the TV (or DVD) - especially when the A/C is operating - so I carry a set of smallish self amplified speakers. Those, however, are suffering from a short in the wiring which can't be gotten to. My "fix" is to "giggle the wire" until sound happens - then try not to move so as to keep the sound.

I've brought those inside the house and will exchange them for one of the speaker sets we use with our desktops (rather than spring for a new pair).

These in-between trips times are 'sposed to be used for these little jobs - right ?
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