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Old 01-01-2009, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default Digital Convertor Box Install in Pleasureway TS

I need to install my convertor box in my motorhome. Looking for info from anyone who has done so in a 2006 PW-TS
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Digital Convertor Box Install in Pleasureway TS

Hi jerry,
I've done an install in my Roadtrek and I'd think it might not be that much different for you. If you want to give it a try.
Caveat: The following information is based on what I did to install my digital converter, and may vary depending on your rig's current setup and the type of digital box you've purchased.

This is important to determine what you will need to do. ......
If your digital converter unit has an analog passthru setting, your installation is just a matter of getting power to the unit and then connecting it between the external antenna and your TV. In my diagram below, you would not need switches 2 or 3. Just figure out which end of the converter is the signal in coax connection, and which is the signal out coax connection, and place it in series between switch 1 at the top, and the ANALOG TV at the bottom of the diagram. Add any other A/V toys you may already have in between as required.
If it doesn't have an analog passthru setting, read on.

My unit is an Artec T3A digital converter. It doesn't have an analog passthru setting so my install needed some inexpensive extras that I was able to get from Home Depot and/or a nearby Dollar Store. So, before we go any further, you'll need to head down to your local Dollar Store and pick up 4 Philips Ultra Thin coax cables. The package looks like this and they come in 12 and 24 foot lengths. 12 footers are probably sufficient, unless you want to place your converter farther away from your TV/entertainment cabinet. You decide on that one. You can use regular coax, but these ultra thins are more flexible, super skinny so you can hide them easily behind and under stuff, and I just like them better.

You'll also need a couple of 2 way coax switches, so you can switch back to analog for campground cable connection or because there are only analog OTA stations broadcasting in the area you're in. They look like this....the CABLE and ANT settings on the switches would be the A and B settings I refer to in the diagram below. So on the real switches, A = CABLE and B = ANT on switches 2 and 3 in the schematic diagram. Sorry for the confusion.

First thing to figure out is, how is your new converter box powered and what's available for it near where it's going to sit? Is it 12VDC or 110VAC or both (look at the power cord/plug, or in the manual)? Since you have a newer 2006 PW TS, it's probably got an on board inverter system so you may be able to use your 110V outlets, or if there's a car cigarette lighter type receptacle in the TV cabinet somewhere, you can use 12V if the converter comes with a 12V adapter plug/cord. You'll have to look in your entertainment cabinet and see what you've got, and match that to what the converter needs. Once you've got power, you'll need to figure out which is the input coax terminal and which is the output coax terminal on the converter. They should be marked on the new converter near the terminals, or in the instructions somewhere. So you should now know which end is "in" from the antenna and which end is "out" to your TV. You may also have an output channel choice selector on the converter. It sends a signal to your analog TV on a specific channel, usually ch3 or ch4 which you might have to set on the converter as well. Your TV has to be on that channel to "see" what the converter is sending to it. It should also be mentioned in the converter manual. More later.
The next step is to figure out your present setup. Since most RVs can use either a built in external OTA (OTA = over the air, i.e. antenna reception) antenna or a cable input like what you'd get at a campground, there's probably an A/B switch in your setup somewhere so you can choose what to use as your source. My van has an A/B switch mounted in the TV storage cabinet with 3 cables going into it. One is the antenna in, one is the external cable connector in, and the 3rd is the one going to my TV. That's the one you need to disconnect from the TV, as we need to re-route that connection. In my case it's the one in the middle. Hopefully you can see which one goes from the switch to the back of your TV and disconnect it at the TV.

I'm going to add a crude diagram I drew to show how the part between the source A/B switch and the TV is going to be connected. I'm not very good with Cad/Cam stuff, but I've got a digital camera and I took a picture and am uploading it.

I've numbered the switches 1, 2, and 3 for reference. The lines/arrowed lines between the "A/B boxes" in my picture are actually coax cables. If the picture isn't clear enough, try right clicking and saving it to your computer's desktop and then open it and enlarge/zoom it manually. Sorry about the quality, it was a rush job.
OK, so we have all the extras from the Dollar Store and we're ready to go..............GULP!!!!!
First, on switch 1 you'll need to disconnect the cable to your TV at the TV end. You may have already done this.
This cable then needs to be connected to the middle (OUT) terminal on switch 2.
Using 2 new ultra thin coaxes, connect one from the A (CABLE/IN) connector on switch 2 to the antenna/signal in connector on the new digital converter. The other coax needs to connect the B (ANT/IN) connector to the B (ANT/IN)) connector on switch 3.
Take another ultra thin coax and connect it from the output (to TV) connector on the digital converter, and the other end to the A (CABLE/IN) connector on switch 3. Using the last ultra thin coax connect the middle (OUT) connection on switch 3 to the back of your TV. If you've got a VCR in your setup it becomes the "ANALOG TV" label at the bottom of the diagram I've included, and then it's output feeds into your TV. DVD players usually attach directly to your TV, so we won't worry about them. Now, try and carefully stuff all the excess cable and the switches back into your entertainment cabinet, so that the switches are easily accessible. I use twist ties to bundle the excess cable length to make it a bit neater, but leave enough length to extend and set/angle the TV the way I like it. If you want you can wall mount the switches where they can be reached inside your TV cabinet, or behind or near your TV for ease of use. It's up to you.
That should be it for cabling.
Power up the digital converter and and TV, and set all 3 switches to the A (CABLE/IN) position, which should send the antenna signal to the digital converter, and then to the TV. Make sure the TV is set to the correct channel to match the output channel on the digital converter. You should be able to run a channel search setup program on your new converter and see what's transmitting in your area.
If you want to by pass the digital box, set switches 2 and 3 to their B (ANT/IN) positions - this will get an analog antenna signal to the TV. You'll have to run whatever internal channel search setup program which is in the TV you have to scan for analog OTA stations.
Lastly, if you want to watch cable at a campground, connect a coax from the campsite's jack to the external cable jack on the outside of your van. On mine it's near the outside shower taps. Then set the 2 and 3 switches to the B position, and set your switch 1 to it's "external cable" position (in my van it's the B position). That will switch your source to external cable in switch 1 and bypass the digital converter, so you can watch what ever the campground provides.

Hopefully that should be about it. If I've missed something, please let me know. Let me know if this helps(maybe?) or confuses(probably?). PM me (I think I'm set up for that??? ) or post a follow up here, and I may be able to help or clarify.

Good luck,

p.s. one more thing. I thought I saw on CNN where the digital converter coupon fund is running out of money, so if anyone is thinking of getting a coupon (in the US only) to get a digital box, you'd better get a move on.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg digicnvrtrschematic 01740.jpg (44.0 KB, 546 views)
File Type: jpg philpsultrathincoax.jpg (8.8 KB, 549 views)
File Type: jpg coaxABswitch.jpg (6.1 KB, 548 views)
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