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Old 10-20-2019, 07:34 AM   #1
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Winegard Antenna woes - considering changes - got questions!

Hello,

I have a Winegard batwing type antenna with amplifier. The amplifier is actually wired to the wall jack behind my TV. There's a little push button to power the amp on/off.

Anyway...the entire unit worked reasonably well until recently. Now, we get ZERO channels. Doesn't matter what campground we're at or where it's pointed. The light on the amp still turns on. I've also tried multiple TVs so it's not a TV problem. I suspect a short in the cabling but haven't done that troubleshooting yet.

I'm going to do some simple troubleshooting but want to be prepared for PLAN B.

Questions.

INFO: The wall jack has two coax connectors. One is for a OTA TV antenna such as the Winegard and the other if for Satellite/Cable TV. Outside, there is a coax connector for satellite/Cable TV.

1) Could I just purchase another OTA antenna and connect it to the satellite/cable TV input on the outside of the RV and plug the TV into the corresponding port on the wall jack?
2) Any recommendations on an antenna to purchase? I prefer one that I don't have to mount permanently.
3) Any suggestions on how to mount this in such a fashion that it's "easy up, easy down". I have a WIFI antenna mounted to PVC that I suction mount to the slide. It works awesome but I think an OTA antenna will weigh more so suction mount may not work well.


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Old 10-20-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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Do your televisions work when on cable with the antenna amp off? When at campgrounds are you actually changing the TVs to scan OTA or Cable depending on the system you are using?
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:30 AM   #3
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Check the coax connection on the roof at the antenna. The wire inside the connection on mine corroded and caused signal loss. Made up new ends and works as before.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:01 AM   #4
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On Winegard antenna's the amplifier is built into the antenna itself. The wall panel merely provides power to the antenna through the coax and separates the signal coming back.

Before making any changes go to the roof and check for 12vdc at the coax connection to the antenna. If none, you have a damaged coax.

Also, loose coax connections can cause lack of power to antenna's amplifier. I recently re-tightened all the coax connections in my system and fixed my reception problem.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
On Winegard antenna's the amplifier is built into the antenna itself. The wall panel merely provides power to the antenna through the coax and separates the signal coming back.

Before making any changes go to the roof and check for 12vdc at the coax connection to the antenna. If none, you have a damaged coax.

Also, loose coax connections can cause lack of power to antenna's amplifier. I recently re-tightened all the coax connections in my system and fixed my reception problem.
X2

On mine there is a junction on the topside of the roof that was loose. It was covered with dicor sealant. Check voltage at antenna connection. Should be 12vdc same at antenna amp.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:48 PM   #6
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I am having the exact same problem. My reception has been good for years. I have the same antenna with the wing man added.

Around August this year, we quit getting reception. When we re-scan for channels we may get a couple, and then they disappear very quickly. If we get a channel it barely comes in. Most of the time we canít get any channels. We are in a seasonal site so have not moved.

I checked the coax connection on the antenna at the roof and it is perfect. I have checked all other connections and they are good. I cannot believe that the main coax cable suddenly went bad. I even bought a new wall power booster because I thought that was the problem and it did not improve at all. I am totally stumped also.

Someone out there has to understand what is going on, please help. Is anyone else having the same problem?
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:08 PM   #7
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I would take a look at the amplifier before the cables.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:07 PM   #8
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I replaced my amplifier thinking that was the problem. No improvement.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:56 PM   #9
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Like I said. My connection looked good and felt tight. The inner wire is copper coated steer and corroded. Thaking it apart is how I found it. Had the same problem you describe. If you took it apart and the center didn't come out or disintegrate the you have something else wrong inside the antenna.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A32Deuce View Post
Check the coax connection on the roof at the antenna. The wire inside the connection on mine corroded and caused signal loss. Made up new ends and works as before.

x2. I had the same experience. There was a barrell connector inside the roof. Center conductor had corroded and failed at the connector. The repair is to replace the entire ~ 6 ft. of coax from this connection to the amp on the Wingard.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
Hello,

I have a Winegard batwing type antenna with amplifier. The amplifier is actually wired to the wall jack behind my TV. There's a little push button to power the amp on/off.

Anyway...the entire unit worked reasonably well until recently. Now, we get ZERO channels. Doesn't matter what campground we're at or where it's pointed. The light on the amp still turns on. I've also tried multiple TVs so it's not a TV problem. I suspect a short in the cabling but haven't done that troubleshooting yet.

I'm going to do some simple troubleshooting but want to be prepared for PLAN B.

Questions.

INFO: The wall jack has two coax connectors. One is for a OTA TV antenna such as the Winegard and the other if for Satellite/Cable TV. Outside, there is a coax connector for satellite/Cable TV.

1) Could I just purchase another OTA antenna and connect it to the satellite/cable TV input on the outside of the RV and plug the TV into the corresponding port on the wall jack?
2) Any recommendations on an antenna to purchase? I prefer one that I don't have to mount permanently.
3) Any suggestions on how to mount this in such a fashion that it's "easy up, easy down". I have a WIFI antenna mounted to PVC that I suction mount to the slide. It works awesome but I think an OTA antenna will weigh more so suction mount may not work well.


1000 Thanks as always!


Seakayaker
Thanks for all the advice and much of it is good. However, not one person touched the questions I posted. Anyone interested in responding to the questions I posted?
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:42 AM   #12
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First you need to figure out and fix what's wrong before throwing money at a problem. Since the antenna worked before, it may still be good and something else is bad. If the feed coax is bad, then no antenna is going to work. WIFI is a whole nother thing!
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:52 AM   #13
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Something to try is to get a multi-meter and go up on the roof. Unscrew the coax at the antenna head (you may want to take a 7/16" wrench for this). Check for 12 volts between the connector and the center wire at the coax you just removed. If you have 12V there then either you have (had) a poor connection or a dead antenna. I personally can't say I have ever heard of a bad antenna, but I suppose there is a first time. I tried to answer your questions (my answers are in red).....

Quote:
Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
INFO: The wall jack has two coax connectors. One is for a OTA TV antenna such as the Winegard and the other if for Satellite/Cable TV. Outside, there is a coax connector for satellite/Cable TV.

1) Could I just purchase another OTA antenna and connect it to the satellite/cable TV input on the outside of the RV and plug the TV into the corresponding port on the wall jack?
Yes, you can do just that. There should be two connectors outside, one labeled satellite and one labeled campgroundcable (or something similar). To use the outside connections you would need to make sure the booster is turned OFF, otherise it won't work. BTW, I had an external antenna on my trailer all lasst summer this way. On my trailer if you use the one marked 'satellite' you won't have tv in the bedroom. The other connection goes through the splitter.


2) Any recommendations on an antenna to purchase? I prefer one that I don't have to mount permanently.
I went to Walmart and purchased a small antenna that claimed a 50 mile range.

3) Any suggestions on how to mount this in such a fashion that it's "easy up, easy down". I have a WIFI antenna mounted to PVC that I suction mount to the slide. It works awesome but I think an OTA antenna will weigh more so suction mount may not work well.
As I said, I did that last summer. I mounted my antenna on an old antenna mast and used bungee cords to tie it to the rear ladder.
1000 Thanks as always!


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Old 10-21-2019, 11:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jk510 View Post
I would take a look at the amplifier before the cables.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Togger View Post
I replaced my amplifier thinking that was the problem. No improvement.
If you're talking about the circuitry on the wall plate with the coax connections and amplifier switch, that's NOT the amplifier.

Winegard antennas with amplifiers have the amp mounted in the head of the antenna.

All the "stuff" on the plate just provides a means of getting power to the amp and separating the increased signal from the DC supply to send it to the TV.

If there's 12 vdc at the cable where it connects to the antenna head, the amp in the Antenna Head can be bad. Just replace the entire head unit that has sat out in the weather year after year. Might even be a good time to upgrade to a later model.

A Sensar IV repalcement head is only around $50 and can be mounted on the old "Bat Wing" mechanism using the same power wall plate.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MnTom View Post
Something to try is to get a multi-meter and go up on the roof. Unscrew the coax at the antenna head (you may want to take a 7/16" wrench for this). Check for 12 volts between the connector and the center wire at the coax you just removed. If you have 12V there then either you have (had) a poor connection or a dead antenna. I personally can't say I have ever heard of a bad antenna, but I suppose there is a first time. I tried to answer your questions (my answers are in red).....
MnTom gets the smiley face for reading comprehension. Thanks MnTom for answering my questions! Go the the head of the class!


I saw two RV's at a campground this weekend who had clearly "abandoned" their Winegard antennas and were each using a separate OTA antenna which they'd fastened temporarily as-needed. Bottom line...they were the same model antenna and both told me they'd purchased them at Walmart after giving up on the PITA Winegard. They also said they couldn't be happier with their decision and are now getting more channels than ever. Your details about possibly getting better results using the cable port outside instead of the satellite port are particularly appreciated!
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:44 PM   #16
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Titanmike, thanks for explaining that the amplifier is in the antenna, not the wall plate with the button and light. I thought the amplifier was the wall plate.

So, to be clear, are you saying that the antenna head with amplifier can be replaced without replacing the entire antenna? I am a long distance from my camper so I cannot look at it.

Also, if I find I do have 12 volts at the coax connection to the antenna, is there any way to verify that the amplifier is, in fact, bad, without spending the money to replace it just hoping that is the problem?
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:57 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Togger View Post
Titanmike, thanks for explaining that the amplifier is in the antenna, not the wall plate with the button and light. I thought the amplifier was the wall plate.

So, to be clear, are you saying that the antenna head with amplifier can be replaced without replacing the entire antenna? I am a long distance from my camper so I cannot look at it.

Also, if I find I do have 12 volts at the coax connection to the antenna, is there any way to verify that the amplifier is, in fact, bad, without spending the money to replace it just hoping that is the problem?
If you've removed the coax from the antenna head and checked for 12 volts present between center wire and coax connector body and the power is there, chances are the head is bad. Before replacing though I'd also check coax between wall switch plate and TV for continuity of center wire. Sometimes they break with flexing, especially if TV is on a "Swing Mount".

Heads going bad is pretty rare so be sure and check all coax first.

Another area to check is how the wires are connected on the back of the switch plate. These usually have connections for two TV's and sometimes the RV manufacturer adds a splitter of their own. The coax from the antenna MUST go to the back of the wall plate, connected to the terminal for the Antenna. This is the only place 12 volts is fed to the antenna's amplifier.

If you don't have your Winegard manual any more they have them on their website at winegard.com for easy download.

After testing for power and making sure all other coax has continuity yet still no reception, your head is the only thing left. A replacement Sensar IV head with Wingman (for better UHF reception where most of today's stations are located) is $50 ish on Amazon. Maybe cheaper from places like RVupgrades, etc.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:07 PM   #18
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The Winegard Sensar III is not the greatest UHF antenna. Friends who camp had tried the King Jack with mixed results. When I saw a photo of whats inside a King Jack I wasn't impressed. On a OTA TV forum, I learned Antennas Direct now sells a modified version of their Clearstream 2 antenna for RV use.
The C2V-RV with PA-18 pre amp is designed to mount on the Winegard RV antenna boom and use the already installed Winegard pre amp power inserter.

https://www.antennasdirect.com/clear...v-antenna.html

I installed this antenna just today. With the Winegard Sensar III I received one station, a PBS affiliate which is the strongest station near us. After installing the C2V-RV antenna I can pick up four more stations (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX) and their substations. I am 45 miles from the broadcast towers and our town sits in a valley. I am very pleased with the results. The only downside is that the C2V is not as low profile when stowed. It's actually lighter than the batwing antenna. I hope it can handle the airflow over the roof.
The PA-18 pre amp is a great piece of gear with a very low noise figure, exactly what you want when trying to pick up weak stations.
I was considering a residential type antenna mounted to a telescoping fiberglass pole (we telco techs called it a Gopher pole) and then strap it to the RV ladder. I like the C2V-RV idea better and less hassle to set up.

The VHF elements are normally mounted dead center at the top. I got approval from tech support to mount it a couple inches off center so it clears the roof AC unit when stowed.

Stowed position


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Old 10-22-2019, 10:00 PM   #19
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I have the batwing with the wingman. Like the OP my tv reception went away with no changes by me. I did some testing and found out I only had 6 volts at the connection at the antenna head on the roof. I replaced the section of cable that runs from the antenna head to the roof. Now all is good. When I looked at the old piece of cable,it went bad from being bent around the mast. If the OP goes with the antenna from Antennas Direct, I would replace the roof cable at the same time. Jay
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