Hey everybody. This is Eric Stark with Radio Arizona RV. Today’s episode is episode number 56 we’re going to be talking about Winegard TV Antennas and a little bit about King Satellite Dishes, a particular model of King satellite dish, Winegard Antennas are pretty popular. It’s been the RV Antenna staple for decades now, so that’s what we’re going to discuss. What might be wrong with it when it’s not working correctly? When you can’t watch that TV show and you’re not getting any channels, but first I want to remind everybody to go to RadioArizonaRV.com from there you can find links to our other websites such as sun pro manufacturing and hot boat ropes and Arizona RV parts center. Those websites are where we sell the products that we either make or that we just sell online, so check those out!
Timing: (01:08) I’m would suggest just going to RadioArizonaRV.com and also while you’re there at RadioArizonaRV.com sometimes you only hear the show because you’re listening to it through iTunes or Google podcast or Stitcher, Spotify, one of those channels, but sometimes on the website there’s things there that you don’t normally get by just listening to it. You can go look at the website, you can peruse it and learn a little bit more about me. See what’s going on. Links to the other websites. As I said, you can sign up for our newsletter. Sometimes in the show notes per for each episode there’s things in the show notes that I did not put in the show when I was recording it. Winegard Antenna RVs have them. They’ve had them for years, decades now.
Timing: (01:51) It’s a pretty popular antenna and they’ve stayed the same over the years. They’ve changed very little. A handle that works on one today can work on one that’s 20 years old. Couple of different style of shafts, but that’s about it. And all the RV stores or most of the RV stores carry parts for them. So it’s a pretty straightforward antenna, it’s stood the test of time, you know, they don’t fall apart on the roof. They’re not like a super high end looking thing. They’re pretty basic, but they actually work pretty darn well. So it’s a nice impressive antenna. And what I appreciate too is that Winegard hasn’t tried to fix it, you know, or quote unquote fix it. They’ve left it the same because it’s a good design. So they haven’t come out with a worse version of it. In other words, I know, let’s do this and make it better, which actually makes it worse.
Timing: (02:36) We’ve all seen that, it doesn’t even have to be the RV industry. It could be any industry they do that try to improve and it makes it worse. So now with Winegard Antenna, you know the whole point of the antenna, the TV Antenna and your RV’ing or you’re camping. Wherever you’re at and you want to watch broadcast television, you want to dial in or tune into the local channels and see what’s in the local area or just to get some entertainment, kill some time, whatever it might be. You turn on your TV, you turn on the amplifier to the antenna and you expect to see some sort of TV shows, right? You might have to move the Antenna a little bit, adjust it. Maybe you look outside, see your neighbors antenna and where it’s pointing, you kind of adjust yours the same way, you know, so you don’t have to spend as much time adjusting it and it doesn’t work!
Timing: (03:25) What happened? It worked the last time we were camping, worked yesterday at this other RV park. Why does it work today? Well, the simple thing could be just that it’s not tuned in. You don’t have it pointing in the right direction, you know, you didn’t get it high enough, low enough, whatever it might be. So you might have to mess with the adjustment. And you know, we’ve had, or I’ve had people over the years coming into the store and quite often it’s the same thing. It’s just that my neighbors works, mine doesn’t work. I’m not getting any TV channels and I’ve, you know, set it right where theirs is. We’ve stood outside, they’ve even helped me and I just don’t seem to get any channels. So I ask them, what have you done to diagnose it, anything. And generally it’s no while we just turned it, moved it, this and that.
Timing: (04:09) So it’s got to be the antenna. I just want to get a new antenna. I don’t want to screw around with it anymore. You know, so you give him the price of the new antenna, which you know, a complete antenna, you’re getting a couple of bucks, you know, you’re under 200 but it’s still gets right up there and that scares them off. Then they have to replace everything and that really scares them off. And then I always say, well it’s probably just a part, you don’t need to buy an entire antenna. So we need to narrow down which part it is. And quite often I get resistance there because they don’t want to have to do anything and I get it. Sometimes it can be a hassle, but isn’t it a hassle to replace parts? You know, you still have to dig into it to replace a part.
Timing: (04:48) And I find myself sometimes looking at something like, do I really want to mess with this? Is this what I want to do today or this afternoon? I don’t have time for this. You know, I’ll figure out something else. It’s only because I don’t want to dig into it. But the reality is we have to dig into it. If you’re doing it yourself, just get past it! Just say, I’m past that. I’m just going to dig into stuff from now on. If it needs to be, don’t just do it on everything. An antenna when it’s not working properly, you’re going to have to do some tests and they’re not really that hard. It might mean getting up on the roof. It’s going to mean taking the plate where the amplifier is inside the RV off the wall. Those are some things you’re going have to do.
Timing: (05:30) But the diagnosing part is pretty straightforward. It’s not that complex and it makes it even easier if you have an RV store in the area where you can just go buy the defective part. So that simplifies it. So now hopefully you’re motivated. Next time you have a problem, you’re going to dig into it, right? No more sitting there on the fence. So I don’t want to mess with that anymore. Got an RV parts store nearby, then that makes life even better. So what you’re going to need is a test light or a voltmeter. And as I’ve said in the past, voltmeters are a better way to go. But a test light will work in this. Sometimes in an RV application it’s hard to find a ground for a test light to work, it’s not impossible. It just sometimes a little more difficult whereas a volt meter, it’s much easier to do.
Timing: (06:16) So use whichever you’re more comfortable with. But then give my last episode, I said just buy a voltmeter. And you know, I found one a couple of months ago, I got it a hardware store. I just wanted it as a backup because I always seem to have my voltmeter at the wrong place. So I figured if I get two, I got it covered and it was $59 and it’s a pretty good one. It’s not super high end, but it’s not just a low end piece of junk. It’s a decent voltmeter. It does 12 volts, 110 volts actually goes up to 300 volts. So you can use it at any volt range, you just have to put it on the right setting and it has amps and ohms, all that good stuff. So get yourself a voltmeter. You don’t have to spend $59 you can spend 25 bucks if you want, but get a voltmeter.
Timing: (06:58) Okay, I’m going to quit harping on that too and it just needs to stop doesn’t it? Okay. So you’re going to need to need to check a couple things for voltage and that’s how simple it is on a Winegard Antenna. Yeah. You have the head assembly, which is up on the roof and that has a circuit board inside of it. Then you have the amplifier inside the RV. That’s where you generally turn on the switch where your TV’s hooked up to it. That switch then turns on a light and the light shows you that it’s on. So that means the amplifier is on. It doesn’t mean it’s working it just means it’s on. So if you’re not getting any stations, not any TV stations, the first thing to do is just pull the amplifier out of the wall, take the two screws off the plate, you’re going to pull it out, you’re going to see some wires and co-ax cable, and there’s a 12 volt wire going to, it should be obvious.
Timing: (07:49) It’s going to be red, more than likely, possibly white, and you’re going to check it for voltage. If you have 12 volts at the amplifier, then your amplifier is more than likely good. Now there’s a little circuit board there and that’s basically the amplifier. So now what you’re going to want to do, turn the amplifier off. Always make sure it’s on for testing. Before working on it turn it off and you’re going to disconnect the co-ax cable that goes to the antenna and it’ll be marked. It’ll say A or Antenna or something. This can indicate that it’s going up to the antenna on the roof, so you’re going to disconnect that co-ax cable and then you’re going to turn your amplifier on and make sure that you have 12 volts coming out of the co-ax port where the coax cable goes in the center contact. If you have 12 volts there, turn it off and connect the cable backup.
Timing: (08:39) Then you go up to the roof and you disconnect the co-ax cable from the antenna and you do the same thing. Turn the amplifier on first. You have your voltmeter up on the roof and you check to see if you have 12 volts going through the co-ax cable. If you have 12 volts going through the co-ax cable then everything below the roof is good. So what that’s going to indicate is that more than likely the head on the antenna is bad. It has a circuit board in there. You can’t just replace the circuit board. You have to replace the entire antenna ahead. They’re under 100 bucks. Most RV stores have them in stock, I think is four screws to replace it. And the co-ax cable is pretty straightforward, pretty simple. And why you’re up there as a good time to check your roof for other problems if you want to, if you’re not rushed or stressed out.
Timing: (09:23) So then you put on your new head hook everything back up and it should work. So that’s pretty much it. That’s pretty straight forward. You know, how can’t you go wrong with that? That’s not that complex of a repair job for an antenna. And over the years, I mean, I’ve heard hundreds and hundreds of people complaining about problems and they just don’t want to get into the repair of it. So it’s either the amplifier or the head. So if you have 12 volts going to the antenna head, but it’s not working, more than likely the antenna head is bad. So you replace that. If you don’t have 12 volts going up there, you replace the amplifier. You can’t just get the circuit board, you buy the whole plate with the co-ax connector on it, little switch and everything, you know, I think they’re 50 $60 maybe 70 depending where you buy it at.
Timing: (10:11) So they’re not over the top expensive. And that saves you all the hassle of replacing the entire antenna. That is a pretty basic repair. Basic tools. You know, the hardest part is just going up on the roof to check things. That’s kind of a hassle. You’ve got to get a ladder out, but it’s not the end of the world, especially have someone inside to help you do this, you know, to turn the switch on and off for testing purposes. So put everything back together and you should be good to go. And then when you’re in the RV park and someone else has the same problem, they’re knocking on your door, Hey, I’m, I’m not getting any broadcast stations. Can you help me out? How’d you get your antenna adjusted? You know, you can walk them through it, but maybe they have a problem that you can help them diagnose.
King Satellite Bonus – Listen to the Episode starting @ 10:50