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Chasing RF Cables


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In the electronic equipment cabinet (over the passenger seat) there are many cables.  Two RF cables go out the rear of the cabinet, presumably into the roof.  One is labeled "rear" with a piece of masking tape, the other unlabeled.   Front satellite receiver just installed works from one of the new sat cables I put in from the new dish;   I was expecting to route another sat output cable from that cabinet to the rear TV.   To test I put a 90ohm terminating resistor on end at rear cable and measured R at the front... was expecting to see at least one cable reading around 90.  Both showed infinity so I don't know if there's a cable break or if those cables route to another location.   

Up top, there are also two old cables which look like they are from from the original satellite dish.   These cables are not black like all the others, so they may go to a splice and then on to one of the black cables..... somewhere.    

I know the rear TV is not original; presumably other things have also changed. 

Suggestions will be appreciated.

Rick P  05 Sig ConquestIII (new to me)

Edited by rpasetto
typo
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Rick,

I feel your pain.  I have a bunch of cables, splitters, A/B switches, Satellite receivers and DVD/Home theater system I struggled for two years with trying to get it properly set up.  I'm pretty much there now but it was very frustrating, with the main problem being the tight space I had to work in and the short cables not allowing me to pull everything out of the cabinet to work on.   The TV worked fine through the TV speakers so that somewhat diminished the emergency to get everything working plus I had never setup the Satellite service until a couple of months ago.  Campsite cable and over the air service worked fine for us.  The only thing I am lacking is getting the satellite reception to the outside bay TV.  I have been procrastinating about getting a Klein signal tracer to tracing everything out and put new labels on ALL of the cables and connections.  One of these may be your best option If there is a splitter in line then that will probably cause you to get false readings.

1358022291_KlienRFSignalTracer.thumb.png.9723b2a79ec19625f7ef4471b361d699.png

image.png

Edited by Mike H
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I *think* you may be referring to the coax cables...  If so, mine labeled “rear” goes to the “satellite in” connector in my rear electrical bay.  I primarily use it to connect cable TV from the RV park to the selector up front, then distribute it as needed.

I have three factory installed cables - one from the satellite on the roof; one from the rear electrical bay, and one from the passenger side basement that I use to run signal to an outside TV during football season...

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Using a Fox & Hound is the best method of determining what cables go where.

I purchased this specifc Sperry Instruments Combo unit that I can use not only for coax cables but also data and telephone cables and twisted pair Ethernet cables. All of which I have in my coach.

https://www.amazon.com/Sperry-Instruments-TT64202-Cable-Tester/dp/B004Y75B5Y/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=Sperry+Instruments+cable+tester&qid=1597603592&sr=8-5

 

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Guest Tim503

My 98 has the older #59 cable. These days they use #6 the diameter is easy to see. Just a heads up on maybe running a new wire. My coach had a wound of wire over the door for a satellite? The small wire came from the water bay to the front and back to the bedroom. Keep in mind you have the AC duct in the ceiling.

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Who knows the type and condition of old cables, splitters, etc. Just run new ones down the windshield channel and back to the rear. Then you know what you have.  And for the ultimate sin run the coax on the roof. When I bought the rig it had a worthless Hughes internet dish with wires running half the roof length. When the SD dish was replaced more wires on the roof. Added about 30' of solar wire plus 3 large panels. The roof is a great place to run wires, UV resistant is best for long term. 

I've run wires in various parts of the rig up/down, right/left, fore/aft and none are visible in the living areas. Even one the the ceiling A/C ducts. 

On another front: Years ago at home I ran a coax to a kitchen TV. More recently I added HDMI converters on both ends for HD, works great, there is a very slight signal delay apparently in the sat receiver composite output. Wireless HDMI adapters are also available.

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21 hours ago, rpasetto said:

Thanks for the suggestions and recommendations.  I ordered the Klein tracing tool  so we'll see how it goes.

Rick,  let me know how it works out.  I haven't ordered mine yet, still procrastinating  😉

 

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Rick,

in my dynasty, the tv antenna comes in above the driver on the last side. That’s where my antenna switch is too. Anyway in there is a splitter that sends the tv ant to 1 the front tv and equipment cabinet , 2 the bedroom and 3 outside to the entertainment center. There is also a cable to the cable tv input into the water bay. 
 

There is also a separate rg6 cable for the satellite to the bedroom. I think all the dynasties and above had two cables going to the bedroom . 
 

So I’m not sure about yours but would suggest that the splitter that divides your antenna out l would be near the antenna switch . If you have one of those AV multi switch boxes , get rid of it . 
 

bill g 06 Dynasty 

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I got the explorer test kit with the two remotes.  It works as advertised.  If the cable(s) are open it cannot tell where the break is, but continuous cables with good connectors test correctly. 

For example: There are two cables which run to the rear from my passenger equipment cabinet and two cables show up in the rear bedroom TV cabinet.  One of the two cables test good and now is hooked up to carry the "SatB" port to my second receiver.  (I was planning to use the other one to carry the antenna signal.)  In addition to that unknown cable in the PS compartment there are two cables in the DS overhead cabinet labelled "Bedroom TV" and ""VCR".  I now know that none of these connect to that cable in the Bedroom TV cabinet.  In every test I get an "open"... that could be a break in cable or bad connector at either end.

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23 hours ago, rpasetto said:

I got the explorer test kit with the two remotes.  It works as advertised.  If the cable(s) are open it cannot tell where the break is, but continuous cables with good connectors test correctly. 

For example: There are two cables which run to the rear from my passenger equipment cabinet and two cables show up in the rear bedroom TV cabinet.  One of the two cables test good and now is hooked up to carry the "SatB" port to my second receiver.  (I was planning to use the other one to carry the antenna signal.)  In addition to that unknown cable in the PS compartment there are two cables in the DS overhead cabinet labelled "Bedroom TV" and ""VCR".  I now know that none of these connect to that cable in the Bedroom TV cabinet.  In every test I get an "open"... that could be a break in cable or bad connector at either end.

I figure that folks chasing cables and such have also the skill set to rig up a cheap and effective tester.  If you cut off the end of a piece of Coax and strip back the jacket, you can solder a 9 Volt adapter to the end.  Polarity does not matter.  Amazon has them cheap.  OR you can use alligator clips.  Then you put a 9 VDC signal on that cable and start using your VOM to find it.  If you use the other end of the cable you cut...then the OTHER terminated end can be stripped back and you have a clean connection to the center wire and the shield or braided shield connector.  Remember that Winegard uses the Coax to send up power to the Antenna....so voltage over coax ain't gonna harm anything or cause any harm.  all you need is two female to female barrel connectors....and have boxes of them

I just do not do enough tracking and I have all sort of devices for AC work.  But the cheap 9 VDC and alligator clips work.  if you have a door bell and a door bell transformer or chime or buzzer will work.  

But...a low cost and effective tester is not a bad thing to have....

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Actually I first was using a terminating resistor (about 90 ohm) and a VOM in resistance mode or a clip lead to short the other end.  The only advantage to the $20 kit is it will show which one of up to four is at the end of a particular cable.  No method has been successful in showing whether there's a bad connector, a break somewhere or if the cable ends I found are all different ones routed to different places not yet found.

Tom (Moderator comment)  This was posted twice and I killed one.   Good comments.....

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On 8/21/2020 at 9:14 AM, rpasetto said:

I got the explorer test kit with the two remotes.  It works as advertised.  If the cable(s) are open it cannot tell where the break is, but continuous cables with good connectors test correctly. 

For example: There are two cables which run to the rear from my passenger equipment cabinet and two cables show up in the rear bedroom TV cabinet.  One of the two cables test good and now is hooked up to carry the "SatB" port to my second receiver.  (I was planning to use the other one to carry the antenna signal.)  In addition to that unknown cable in the PS compartment there are two cables in the DS overhead cabinet labelled "Bedroom TV" and ""VCR".  I now know that none of these connect to that cable in the Bedroom TV cabinet.  In every test I get an "open"... that could be a break in cable or bad connector at either end.

I only had one cable that ran from the front entertainment area in my Diplomat to the rear TV. I wanted the ability to run either Dish or OTA on the same cable.  I put a couple of diplexers on either end with success.  Now the cable works with either my Traveler to Wally signal or the Winegard Sensar OTA signal from my front mounted antennas.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a question about using a tracing tool such as the one previously referenced in this thread.  I would like to try to locate where the wires in the tow recepticle are originating from in the front of the coach.  The tool requires I connect the device to two wires.  Should I connect one to the ground and the other to the wire of interest?  I tried this, but the tone generator/probe seemed to cancel itself out.  I tried picking up the signal just a few feet away in a bundle that I knew the wire was in, and the probe could not detect the presence of the wire.  Should maybe I try another pair of wires both in the tow recepticle?   The device comes with two aligator clips - one black, one red.  Does it matter which color is attached to which wire?  I assume not.  I have had success using this device on coaxial cables, but not sure what to do when trying to trace single stranded wires like those in the tow recepticle.

thanks,

steveg 2005 DDIV

---------------------------------------------------------

Mike is right , a tone generator wire tracer is a very handy tool  to find the other end .

 This is the one I bought at Lowes 38 bucks  https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-Multi-Purpose-Kit-Analog-Test-Meter/50278117

Southwire Multi-Purpose Kit Analog Specialty Meter

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With my tracer, the signal "cancels itself" as you say when there is a short between the two wires you chose. Also a "continuity" light comes on in that case. That happens for instance while tracing a ground wire that is still connected to the ground. Try a different wire.

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I tried every combination of the 6 wires I had in the tow receptacle, and had the same problem.  I suspect that these wires are tapped also to also power their corresponding lights at the rear of the RV.  Maybe because the signal is ultimately going thru ground via the filament on the bulb I get a cancelled tone and can not trace the wire.  Am I doing something wrong?  Is there another approach I can use to try to trace the wires from the tow receptacle to the front of the RV?

 

steveg 2005 DDIV

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13 hours ago, ekgflashnet said:

I tried every combination of the 6 wires I had in the tow receptacle, and had the same problem.  I suspect that these wires are tapped also to also power their corresponding lights at the rear of the RV.  Maybe because the signal is ultimately going thru ground via the filament on the bulb I get a cancelled tone and can not trace the wire.  Am I doing something wrong?  Is there another approach I can use to try to trace the wires from the tow receptacle to the front of the RV?

 

steveg 2005 DDIV

No offense to those that use tracers.  I have had to keep an old ANALOG meter around.  Or use a trouble light.  My advice.  Google and see what the standard is for your tow receptacle or the "Wiring Connector" on the rear.  Monaco used 6 and 7.  You are in a TRANSITION YEAR.  Monaco made a running change and started out the year with maybe a 6 or a 7.  The change as to ADD a "Rear Brake Control" wire to the rear receptacle.  

SO, if you have a 6, odds are you do NOT have a line from a "Brake Controller".  This would be for a trailer or if you have something like a US Gear Tow Brake system.  

NOW....that may not be you case, but you need to know that.  When customers complained about having to run ANOTHER wire and swapping out the 6 for a 7 Pin....Monaco responded.

They ALSO "redid" the up front signals so that you had a REAL Service Brake Signal.  That was needed to SIGNAL or activate whatever control you had.  Problem....THEY BOTCHED IT.  US Gear actually got with them and pulled a MH and showed them WHERE the contact or wires up front were supposed to be hooked up.  So, there was THEN 3 different UP FRONT wiring circuits or versions.  Supposedly they fixed this in 2006.

BUT....back to  your situation...I THINK.

Use your VOM and find the Ground (using the resistance or continuity scale).  Then look at the schematic for your rear connector, 6 or 7.

Next...use a test light or you can use a digital VOM for the Parking Lights.

NOW...maybe all DIGITAL VOM's ain't the same.  I have two HIGH $$ Digital VOM.  They will not, on the 12 VDC setting pick up a FLASHING or a TURN SIGNAL.  SO... I use my OLD analog.  You can use a Test Light.  You KNOW the Ground Pin....so you turn on the RT Signal and keep probing.  Same for the LT Signal.

NOW, you have identified the Ground, Park, LT & RT. 

NOW....again....inconsistency in MONACO....so this is SUPPOSED to be the work it works.  When the ignition is ON (or in RUN), there is a constant 12 VDC signal.  That is for RECHARGING the Toad's battery.  It may be HOT without the ignition....so  you have to experiment.

Now you have Ground, Park, RT Signal, LT Signal and Charging.  If you have 6...then the other one (check to see that there are actually 6 wires in the harness....they sometimes only put in 5.  The Backup Lights was supposedly for that 6th wire.

Graduate to a 7 Pin connector.  The 7th Wire is the SIGNAL or the "TURN ON THE BRAKES" wire from your front controller.  If you do NOT have a controller, then that wire is not terminated up front.  I finally found that wire (I needed it).  I ran a small spool of bell wire from up front (hooked up to that non-terminated end).  Then I took the other end back and did a continuity check.  BINGO....that is my wire.

This may not be your issue, but this is that I understood you were having difficulty with and how I checked mine before I EVER MADE A CONNECTION ON MY UMBILICAL.  Not that I do NOT trust Monaco....God Forbid... LOL

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On 9/2/2020 at 9:15 PM, Tom Cherry said:

No offense to those that use tracers.  I have had to keep an old ANALOG meter around.  Or use a trouble light.  My advice.  Google and see what the standard is for your tow receptacle or the "Wiring Connector" on the rear.  Monaco used 6 and 7.  You are in a TRANSITION YEAR.  Monaco made a running change and started out the year with maybe a 6 or a 7.  The change as to ADD a "Rear Brake Control" wire to the rear receptacle.  

SO, if you have a 6, odds are you do NOT have a line from a "Brake Controller".  This would be for a trailer or if you have something like a US Gear Tow Brake system.  

NOW....that may not be you case, but you need to know that.  When customers complained about having to run ANOTHER wire and swapping out the 6 for a 7 Pin....Monaco responded.

They ALSO "redid" the up front signals so that you had a REAL Service Brake Signal.  That was needed to SIGNAL or activate whatever control you had.  Problem....THEY BOTCHED IT.  US Gear actually got with them and pulled a MH and showed them WHERE the contact or wires up front were supposed to be hooked up.  So, there was THEN 3 different UP FRONT wiring circuits or versions.  Supposedly they fixed this in 2006.

BUT....back to  your situation...I THINK.

Use your VOM and find the Ground (using the resistance or continuity scale).  Then look at the schematic for your rear connector, 6 or 7.

Next...use a test light or you can use a digital VOM for the Parking Lights.

NOW...maybe all DIGITAL VOM's ain't the same.  I have two HIGH $$ Digital VOM.  They will not, on the 12 VDC setting pick up a FLASHING or a TURN SIGNAL.  SO... I use my OLD analog.  You can use a Test Light.  You KNOW the Ground Pin....so you turn on the RT Signal and keep probing.  Same for the LT Signal.

NOW, you have identified the Ground, Park, LT & RT. 

NOW....again....inconsistency in MONACO....so this is SUPPOSED to be the work it works.  When the ignition is ON (or in RUN), there is a constant 12 VDC signal.  That is for RECHARGING the Toad's battery.  It may be HOT without the ignition....so  you have to experiment.

Now you have Ground, Park, RT Signal, LT Signal and Charging.  If you have 6...then the other one (check to see that there are actually 6 wires in the harness....they sometimes only put in 5.  The Backup Lights was supposedly for that 6th wire.

Graduate to a 7 Pin connector.  The 7th Wire is the SIGNAL or the "TURN ON THE BRAKES" wire from your front controller.  If you do NOT have a controller, then that wire is not terminated up front.  I finally found that wire (I needed it).  I ran a small spool of bell wire from up front (hooked up to that non-terminated end).  Then I took the other end back and did a continuity check.  BINGO....that is my wire.

This may not be your issue, but this is that I understood you were having difficulty with and how I checked mine before I EVER MADE A CONNECTION ON MY UMBILICAL.  Not that I do NOT trust Monaco....God Forbid... LOL

Tom,

Thanks for the info, however, I did not have any problems detecing what wires did what at the tow receptacle.  In my case, one of the wires was the reverse signal.  I had no need for this and wanted to exchange the reverse line for a new brake signal from my brake controller.  However, to do this, I needed to find where the wiring harness was at the front of the RV.  That was the purpose of using a tracer to see if I could locate the harness up front.  I could then disconnect the reverse signal and then tap into the harness with my brake controller signal.  In the end, I was not able to find where the reverse signal was originating from.  So, I ran a new wire from the front of the RV to the tow receptacle at the rear of the RV.  I now have all 6 pins doing what I needed (left turn/brake, right turn/brake, lights, ground, power, brake signal).

(Just as a side note:  I have to use a converter to change from a brake, left turn, right turn configuration to a left turn/brake, right turn/brake configuration.  I found that the brake signal voltage before the converter was lower than expected at 10.6V.  After the converter, the voltage dropped event further to 9.6V.  This was insufficient to light the bulbs in the toad.  Therefore, I had to put in place a relay at the rear of the RV using the brake signal to provide full 12.6V to drive the toad brake lights.  This resolved my problem and now the toad brake lights work as expected.  I was stumped for a while trying to figure out why the coach brake lights would work but not the toad lights even though a test light would come on at the toad.  But when I put a digital VM on the line, that's when I could see I only had 9.6V at the toad bulb)

steveg 2005 DDIV

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On 9/4/2020 at 12:09 AM, ekgflashnet said:

Tom,

Thanks for the info, however, I did not have any problems detecing what wires did what at the tow receptacle.  In my case, one of the wires was the reverse signal.  I had no need for this and wanted to exchange the reverse line for a new brake signal from my brake controller.  However, to do this, I needed to find where the wiring harness was at the front of the RV.  That was the purpose of using a tracer to see if I could locate the harness up front.  I could then disconnect the reverse signal and then tap into the harness with my brake controller signal.  In the end, I was not able to find where the reverse signal was originating from.  So, I ran a new wire from the front of the RV to the tow receptacle at the rear of the RV.  I now have all 6 pins doing what I needed (left turn/brake, right turn/brake, lights, ground, power, brake signal).

(Just as a side note:  I have to use a converter to change from a brake, left turn, right turn configuration to a left turn/brake, right turn/brake configuration.  I found that the brake signal voltage before the converter was lower than expected at 10.6V.  After the converter, the voltage dropped event further to 9.6V.  This was insufficient to light the bulbs in the toad.  Therefore, I had to put in place a relay at the rear of the RV using the brake signal to provide full 12.6V to drive the toad brake lights.  This resolved my problem and now the toad brake lights work as expected.  I was stumped for a while trying to figure out why the coach brake lights would work but not the toad lights even though a test light would come on at the toad.  But when I put a digital VM on the line, that's when I could see I only had 9.6V at the toad bulb)

steveg 2005 DDIV

Sounds like you have it under control.  The Moderators have awarded you a Smiley Face for the above explanation.  You are also receiving Demerit for hijacking a thread.  They cancel out.  🙂😞 

Thanks...

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OK now, back to RF cables.  It appears that one of the two RF cables between the front and rear AV equipment cabinets which used to used to be OK is no longer working; continuity check today shows it also is open.  It seems that whatever happened to one of the two has now happened to the other.  Cables run from rear cab down and under slide floor, then into floor to carpeted piece (not sure what to call it) .

Questions: where is the most likely place for a cable break?  How do I remove the carpeted piece between cabinets and floor?  Has anyone run new cables front to rear?

CarpetedPiece.thumb.jpg.f45f2e0cacd81d014a4cfad0567ac698.jpgCablesRunBelow.thumb.jpg.787a8c05fd037b90ed1c9384c162bae9.jpgCables-TOpRearCab.thumb.jpg.98431e345f472de9f57f9f34fc83728c.jpg

Rick P  05 Signature Conquest III

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The only place that they are likely to break , is at connectors . But I thought the two runs to the bedroom were just whole runs. Are you sure you found the right ones. Short the two in the bedroom , ring to tip and look for contributing up front . 

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The first thing I tried was shorting one end of cable while using Ohm meter to check other end.  with one of the two it showed non-zero; I later tried using a cable tester like the one Mike H had recommended earlier.  The other cable-end in front cabinet never had continuity with the rear one, or with any other cable-end I tried; same with the cable end in rear cabinet.   

But for sure, one pair of cable ends which did check out good are now failing the test using the cable tester.  More checking to follow.

.. Rick P 05 Sig Conquest

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