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Failure & Replacing HDTV Antenna


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I've been on the road for the last 6 months, and about 2 months ago our HDTV antenna failed.

I did some troubleshooting and even called Winegard who helped me troubleshoot the issue to either the actual Antenna Head...or...the cable to the antenna head.

The symptom appears on the POWER amp head in the attic.  
When you turn on the HDTV antenna by pushing the switch the light stays on a fraction of a second and goes off.  
This means the power unit isn't working so "no TV signal".

The manual indicates that light going off indicates a short to ground on one of the three amplifier leads or the antenna.


So I removed all leads, turn on the AMP...light stays on.
Try again with each lead - and the one to the on roof HDTV antenna made the light go off.
So the issue is either at the antenna or the lead from the antenna to the amplifier.

In this case, as part of the call Winegard  graciously sent me a replacement antenna,
but since they didn't have the Original Roadstar RS3000 the sent me a very different Winegard 360.

The unit has sat at my house until today when I started preparing for the repair.

I unpacked the new Wingard Air 360 Antenna and went to look at the installation difficulty.

Here's what the new unit looks like laid next to the old unit.

IMG_8024.thumb.jpeg.d9ac0e852f9403cb81510ec84bc191ee.jpeg

 

This was when I noticed that the actual antenna I have doesn't resemble the Wingard RS3000 as listed in my manuals...but instead I have a Magnadyne RVTV-W2 ....which wasn't installed until the 2020 model year.  (So I must have had one installed in place of the RS3000).

winrs300.jpg.81255f668a03e29518aa5236bb481b28.jpg

WINGARD ANTENNA - no Plastic Shroud on bottom:

The Magnedyne appears to be what I have on my roof:

 

magnadyne.jpg.daa9f922af919e31a4279a037143a551.jpg

 

So, I called Magdadyne and found they only have a few of the WHITE model that was originally on my trailer in stock.
They stated their antennas had a 1 year warranty, so I would need to double check that it's not a cable issue (like a screw through the jacket) first...but likely I needed a new antenna.

The Magnadyne rep told me they don't carry that older model because they've redesigned how the base connects and it now has a set screw on the mounting shaft and a floating cover.   But he also said they don't carry them in WHITE, only black.

So...I went ahead and ordered the exact match for the one on my trailer.   White with the plastic shroud.

The rep told me that the unit detaches by twisting the top (very hard to do he says) and the plastic retainers will unclip.
Then reverse the process to put on the new antenna....(or simply unscrew the 4 screws that hold the base down on the original unit and reinstall sealant.)

Once I receive the new Magnadyne unit, I'll start the project and add the process photos to this thread.


Craig Short

Hull 505 - Galway Girl

 

 

 

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
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I have a 2020 trailer with the same Magnadyne unit you have. I purchased a new one and just replaced it. Like you said they only had a few of the white ones left. I may have gotten one of the last . My antenna worked fine until a few weeks ago and it was working and the next day it wasn't working. It went from 30+ stations to 0 without moving at the site we were in in Orlando. When we got home, still nothing. According to the technician I worked with over the phone you should get about 12+ volts at the wall plate, and also at the antenna. If you get voltage at the antenna when the red light is illuminated at the antenna, the antenna unit has to be replaced is what I was told. So I ordered a new one and it is now working fine.  You are supposed to be able snap the top of the antenna on the base, but I was never able to get it to snap down. It would go down, but I could pull it up without much effort so I finally pushed it down and put some small screws through where the plastic pieces join together. I did not want if flying off while driving down the road. Below is a video of how it is supposed to snap down. Maybe you will have better luck.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

2019 Ram 1500 - 2020 LEll - Hull #676

image.jpeg.5d7229452ca724c29f4307dcb3045977.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Ray Kimsey said:

. It would go down, but I could pull it up without much effort so I finally pushed it down and put some small screws through where the plastic pieces join together

I'm guessing you mean screws into the magdadyne base, not the trailer hull.

Most manufacturers either make improvements backwards compatible, or include the possibility of a retrofit kit/parts (usually free) for recently available equipment.  

Really sorry for your troubles. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

 

 

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2 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

I'm guessing you mean screws into the magdadyne base, not the trailer hull.

Most manufacturers either make improvements backwards compatible, or include the possibility of a retrofit kit/parts (usually free) for recently available equipment.  

Really sorry for your troubles. 

Sorry I wasn't more clear. The antenna has two parts, a base that mounts to the camper and then the actual antenna part that mounts on the base. I added  3 screws to where the two antenna parts connect to each other. The snap mechanism that was supposed to hold the two parts of the antenna together just did not work that well. I mounted the new base to the hull the same way Oliver did.  If you watch the video they show how you are supposed to snap the two parts of the antenna together. I tried, but could not get them to seat properly. 

2019 Ram 1500 - 2020 LEll - Hull #676

image.jpeg.5d7229452ca724c29f4307dcb3045977.jpeg

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From what I have found out about the Omni factory antenna we decided against it and we went with the King Omni stand along antenna that we used on our Casita. Our camping friends also ordered there new Oliver with the factory antenna and it has proven to not work as well as our King Omni stand alone antenna that we have been using for years, they also purchase the King stand along antenna which much better results then the factory roof mounted antenna. I guess the only thing that some would not like is that you have to set it up which takes about one minute of your time to do, it does come with the tripod mount, magnetic mount, in line power booster which really does help on reception, plus some other things for the antenna. It works for us and we have four others camping friends using the King antenna, all are happy with there purchase. I realize this has nothing to do with the HDTV antenna, two different things, but just thought I would say something about the factory antenna here as some maybe interesting in the info. 

trainman

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Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Update on Hull 505 - Factory antenna replacement.

 

The "direct replacement" antenna from Magnadyne airrived. I cost about $70.00 including shipping.

Be aware the newer models from Magnadyne with a more secure base only are available in Black.
The newer models base attachment system is a positive engagement groove and twist lock followed with a set screw.
Note's below on the existing base bayonet connection.

 

Antenna Removal, Test and Re-Installation: 

To take the antenna head off I was told by the Magnadyne Engineer - Mark Jones - to simply twist off the top part of the antenna.  

.

Leave the base behind.
The new antenna can re-fit onto the old base.  
I left the old base in place as it was the least work and I didn't have to break roof seals.

*In a follow up from Jason Essary - You need to be on top of the antenna and Push DOWN hard before turning the unit...otherwise the latch fingers get messed up.

Disassembly On Roof:

1) Twist the Top of the antenna clockwise until it popped out of the latches. (That worked fine, it took some force but it went as planned.)

2) Pull the antenna head up and the coax and fm cables should follow.  (There was a bit of tugging but both the cables came out as desired.)

3) Disconnect both cables. ( Coax is a screw thread, FM is a bayonet so just pull off.)

 

1867050433_antleads.jpg.631394963a25a972f972a61fdbb6d018.jpg

 

 In Trailer: To Test Cable Run

4) To check that there's no short in the actual cables - turn on the amplifier in the attic, if the red light stays lit, it confirms the antenna head was dead.  (If it didn't stay lit it would have been a bad cable or just the connector was shorted at the antenna head.  In my case the light stayed red so the antenna head was at fault.

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5) Turn off the amplifier. 

On Roof  then back inside trailer to test new antenna head:

5) On roof connect the cables to the new antenna head. Just leave it laying on roof for now.

6) Go back inside trailer and turn on Amplifier.  The red light stayed lit and indicates the new head is functional.

antgood.jpg.1b98b30c1726ca4519d6ba487215b752.jpg

Turn off AMP before going to roof.

On Roof: 

6) Reassemble antenna head to base by reversing the process....connect cables, feed down into stem and then pop the top back on. (A bit of a jamming process to get cables down the stem but they both fit.)

7) Press hard on antenna head to push down until the shaft clicks in place. As mentioned by Mark...it's unlikely that you'll get the latches on the new head to click in as it's been a known issue for that design...so push down as far as possible then put in screws on 3 sides of the shaft.

😎 Next, insert 3 short #6 stainless screws (5/8") around the stem to secure head to steam. Add a dab of sealant on each of the screw heads.  Note - Don't use screws > 3/4" as they could go through the center shaft and penetrate the coax or fm cables.

1112598183_antscrews.jpg.47dc84e77e386fa58148d4b76c3df38e.jpg

 

 

In Trailer: 

9) Turn on amplifier in attic, turn on TV and run a channel scan.  

10) Checked on the channels found an had a very clear picture.   Project Completed.
 

Old Antenna Autopsy:

The antenna head had 4 rubber plugs on the underside that I removed to reveal the 4 Philips head screws.
Removing these allowed the antenna head to be split in half.
I removed additional screws to disassemble the head which included:

1) Configuration - 

The circuit board includes all inputs and outputs for the antenna and the amplifier for the UHF leads.
It has lead wires coming from both the Amplifier in the Attic (Coax Wire) and from the FM Antenna Lead to the Receiver.
The board also has connections to both the FM antenna element (red wire) and the UHF Antenna Disk.
 

2) Function - 

When you push the button on the amplifier in the attic, 12V is applied across the COAX lead to the circuit board in the antenna head.
This turns on the "in antenna" amplifier for the antenna system.
If this coax lead is shorted out on the board, then the amplifier in the attic automatically shuts off the 12v supply to protect the amplifier.

3) Malfunction - 

In my case the Coax connection on the board had degraded and shorted to ground.  
I also found that the actual connector to the UHF antenna disk had separated and was loose.
So either way my Antenna was dead.

 

1511258506_antopenedup.jpg.7d73f66a223942feb54aed9cd56ccc92.jpg

 

 

734670329_antcktboard.jpg.0f9943b35a5b8ae40ac9b3e6ceb41126.jpg

 

If the antenna fails again, I'll likely replace it with a different type of antenna ....or simply use a transportable antenna that I plug into the side of the trailer.


Craig Short

Hull 505 - Galway Girl

 

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2021 F350 King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
Batteries Upgrade: Dual 315GTX Lithionics Lithiums - 630AH Total
Inverter/Charger: Xantrex 2000Pro 

BLOG:  https://4-ever-hitched.com

Amazon Oliver Outfitters Guide:  https://amzn.to/2mAAgPO

ALAZCAFLGAIDILINKSKYLAMIMNMSMOMTNENMNCOR

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Thank you for the very nice write up on your antenna adventure!  It should help others with troubleshooting their own antenna issues.  And you are now the in house Magnadyne antenna SME.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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