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Old 05-15-2020, 08:55 PM   #1
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Amplified tv antenna question

I just recently purchased a 2020 micro minnie 2106ds. We just upgraded and this is my second travel trailer.

Where I live we do a lot of boondocking. It is more common to not have electrical hookups. So I have been preparing my rig to be self sufficient. I just hooked up a small inverter to be able to run the TV off of 12 volts. Everything works great, turned on the tv off the inverter, started to do a channel scan and I got zero channels. This is in my driveway. When plugged into shore power I can get 15 or so channels. I soon figured out that the camper has a powered antenna booster that seems to only work off of 120v shore power. I cannot use the tv antenna off of of shore power!!!

Why on earth would they build it like this? I installed a 12v tv in my previous camper and boondocks all the time in it and could pull in tv without being plugged in. Great for those overnights in walmart.

What the heck do I do now? It doesn't look like I can tie the powered amplifier base into the inverter. Do I just have to go buy an additional exterior antenna that connects to the cable coax port outside? I cannot find any info on this anywhere. I can't be the first person trying to figure this out.
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Old 05-16-2020, 01:47 AM   #2
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Is it the cable faceplate with the tiny button to turn on the amplifier? I have never seen one that is not powered with 12 volts... Maybe you can send a pic of the amplifier you are dealing with.
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Old 05-17-2020, 03:03 PM   #3
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So I pulled the faceplate off, it is a standard king coax outlet and it says 12v only on the back. Again, the little green light switch will not turn on unless I am plugged in to 120v.

I even just ran 2 jumper wires to my 12v outlet, powered the base plate, got the green light to come on. Did a channel scan and nothing, still zero. Plugged it back in to 120v and it works just fine.

I am completely stumped. I don't know if something got wired wrong from the factory? How can a 12v receptacle only be hot with 120v plugged in? Something else must be powering the antenna from somewhere else?

This might be going back in to the service center, this is ridiculous.
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Old 05-17-2020, 04:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BigSky_klx View Post
So I pulled the faceplate off, it is a standard king coax outlet and it says 12v only on the back. Again, the little green light switch will not turn on unless I am plugged in to 120v.

I even just ran 2 jumper wires to my 12v outlet, powered the base plate, got the green light to come on. Did a channel scan and nothing, still zero. Plugged it back in to 120v and it works just fine.

I am completely stumped. I don't know if something got wired wrong from the factory? How can a 12v receptacle only be hot with 120v plugged in? Something else must be powering the antenna from somewhere else?

This might be going back in to the service center, this is ridiculous.
Thatís odd. You did what I would have done with your troubleshooting. A random thought I have is the powered amplifier MAY have a switch on it for 12 OR 120v selection? I have nothing to back that idea up, but I would locate the amplifier and see...
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Old 05-18-2020, 11:31 AM   #5
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Boy that is a head scratcher. The faceplate is the amp - no amp anywhere else. If you have the king antenna it is connected to that faceplate, the faceplate runs the leds on the ceiling at the base of the antenna. There is a switch on that antenna base. Do those 4 leds come on?

Everything else works on 12 volts without being plugged in, right? Coach batteries are switched on, I'm sure.

Wow, let us know what it turns out to be...
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Old 05-18-2020, 12:34 PM   #6
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Boy that is a head scratcher. The faceplate is the amp - no amp anywhere else. If you have the king antenna it is connected to that faceplate, the faceplate runs the leds on the ceiling at the base of the antenna. There is a switch on that antenna base. Do those 4 leds come on?

Everything else works on 12 volts without being plugged in, right? Coach batteries are switched on, I'm sure.

Wow, let us know what it turns out to be...
I might have a different view as the faceplate is just the connection to the amp which is in the head as I see it. The amp will be a bos of electronics and I would assume that box is why there is the big bulge at the outside head.
If reading correctly, ( and check that!) I might want to see that the 12 volt power is actually getting from the back of the faceplate, through the tiny switch and up top to the antenna.
But then I'm wondering about the green light turning on ONLY when plugged in. That sounds like a problem somewhere in the electrical system, like low battery or no connection to get 12 VDC to the anntenna connection.
I might want to go back and retrace the process to make sure I'm not confusing myself. Green light should come on when plugged or no as it is 12 VDC off the battery.
Or I'm confused!
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:12 AM   #7
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Yeah, Richard, I think you are right. Behind the faceplate is a few electronics, but not enough (probably) to be the amp.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:10 PM   #8
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tv amp

It may not be your amplifier. If you have had power off to the TV it has forgotten any settings that it had. You will need to do another channel scan to find and set the channels. Along with the TV being on 110v, this is another drawback that Winnebago needs to address - TV should be 12v DC. Also, check your little amplifier button to make sure that it is on. I have a 2106 DS and the darn button is behind things. Not only a PIA to reach but not visible at all. I go by the glow on my finger. Bad design.
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Old Yesterday, 04:54 AM   #9
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If you're already set up at the campground, in a pinch, build an antenna with two beer cans, a short cable and a stick to space the cans. I have done that and picked up at least 5 channels. It worked great for then.
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