Winegard Sensar Antenna hookup in CTS16QB - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-14-2015, 06:08 PM   #1
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Winegard Sensar Antenna hookup in CTS16QB

Trying to understand how the radio and TV antenna is hooked up in our CTS16QB. Still can't believe there's no external cable TV jack. Or is there???

Here is a diagram from the Winegard Sensar Antenna manual. Antenna obviously connects to "Antenna Downlead". Then, I'm guessing that the CTS16QB radio connects to "Set 2 Output" and a TV (if I had one) would connect to RF connector on the front of this faceplate.

What I'm curious about is if there is a prewired (and pre-run) cable TV wire connected to the "cable input" and all we need to do is install a jack and hook it up.

This site says :
Cable Prewiring ***Yes***
TV Antenna Prewiring Yes

2014 Dutchmen ColemanĀ® Expedition CTS16QB LT Trailer : Reviews, Prices and Specs : RV Guide

So doesn't that mean there's an external (campground catv) cable hanging somewhere?

Ken
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:03 PM   #2
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Ken, congratulations on finding this much, it is the definitive guide to cable hook up. My CTS14FD had no cable input, and that year's brochure said there wasn't any. My email to the company also was returned with a "no" answer. Here's the quick test: Simply unscrew the two screws that hold this plate to the wall. Gently pull it outward, remembering that there is a 12volt wire attached. No problem, the hole is big, and they give you plenty of slack on the cables. You'll see only two coax cables connected, i.e. the input from the antenna, and the "set 2 output" which feeds the antenna connection to the radio. As Aaron (WhahooNC) and I have discussed, I too, thought about putting on a cable. I even bought an outside cable outlet. It would be simple to connect a coax to the cable inlet, run it down a foot or two in the wall, and then (here's the hard part) cut an opening in the outer skin to feed wire through, and mount and caulk an exterior cable jack for cable inlet. I had too much insulation, and didn't have a good feel to make that cut. FWIW, my new camper has exactly that, and the rear of the camper is a good spot for a cable inlet. You just need to carry about a 25 ft length of TV coax with screw-connectors at each end.
So the quickest way to verify there is no cable hanging somewhere is to look at the device, and see if a cable is connected.
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:44 PM   #3
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I haven't pulled mine yet...

Ken when you do TAKE PICTURES!

Marty, I use screw on adapters that then just push on the park and trailer connectors, beats the fool out of messing with screwing cable on and off. I don't recall where I got mine, but Radio Shack (if they are even still open) carry them, Amazon and probably your local electronic emporium.

I might get to mine this weekend, or then again not. My local Lance dealer called and told me a unit I have been waiting to see just came in.

Aaron
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #4
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Guys, here is a shot of the TV mount in my former CTS14FD, which is still for sale on the local Camping World site. Notice, Aaron, my outlet placement is a little different than yours, and as such, I had to pull the outlet out, and reinstall it upside-down, so the cigarette lighter plug cleared the bottom edge of the TV! Again, as you can see, it is only two screws.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:31 PM   #5
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I haven't pulled mine yet...

Ken when you do TAKE PICTURES!

I might get to mine this weekend, or then again not. My local Lance dealer called and told me a unit I have been waiting to see just came in.

Aaron
You take pictures also, Aaron of that new Lance when you bring it home!
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:03 AM   #6
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Here is what my wall looks like. I am going out in a bit and will pull the plug cover and see what is in the wall.

Aaron

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Old 05-15-2015, 01:19 AM   #7
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Okay... I pulled my plug, if you note there is no cable on the back fitting which is marked "Cable". Yes there is insulation in the wall, but nothing I can't get a fish tape past. I doubt I can get past the studs unless I get really creative, so the outside port will have to go in line with the inside fixture. I haven't stuck my camera in the wall yet to see where the stud is.

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Old 05-15-2015, 02:38 AM   #8
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That was my worry. Not really needing to go left or right, I only planned on going down. But I didn't know if I'd run into some cross-support, and if there is anything else (water barrier?) between the insulation and the outside skin. BTW, nice job on that photo.
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Okay... I pulled my plug, if you note there is no cable on the back fitting which is marked "Cable". Yes there is insulation in the wall, but nothing I can't get a fish tape past. I doubt I can get past the studs unless I get really creative, so the outside port will have to go in line with the inside fixture. I haven't stuck my camera in the wall yet to see where the stud is.

Aaron

That's a great pic! I hope that's RG6 and not RG59. When I get mine apart next weekend I'll send a pic but I suspect it will be the same cable input non-hookup as yours.

If the radio antenna cable isn't stapled in the wall it might be possible to use it to pull your fish tape back to the radio. Then it would be easy to pull new RG6 coax and maybe some audio cable for running TV audio into the radio aux.

My other thought is those 12v wires might be reverse-fishable too... like from the TV connections back down to back of the converter somewhere? I dunno but at least that would be on the side where all the other hookups are.

Wish I knew more about how these are framed.

Ken
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Old 05-15-2015, 03:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MartyG View Post
Guys, here is a shot of the TV mount in my former CTS14FD, which is still for sale on the local Camping World site. Notice, Aaron, my outlet placement is a little different than yours, and as such, I had to pull the outlet out, and reinstall it upside-down, so the cigarette lighter plug cleared the bottom edge of the TV! Again, as you can see, it is only two screws.
I'm pretty sure mine looks the same Marty. I'll know for sure next week.

When these RVs were still bare frames on the assembly floor it would have been SOOOOOOO easy (and cheap) for Dutchmen to run an extra piece of RG6 to an outside cable jack and to add some extra audio wiring between the radio and TV.

That's ok. I've seen worse in some new construction homes. They put up the walls first and THEN think about ethernet, cable TV, etc.

Ken
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Old 05-15-2015, 03:21 AM   #11
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BTW, Ken, this was my "poor boy" fix. From the TV coax, I went to an A-B switch located on the closet shelf. The A input of course, went to the wall outlet for the TV antenna. The B side was open for cable. When I was at a campground with cable, I ran it from the A-B over the door, down behind a shade, and down behind the back cushion of the seat I called the "gaucho." It continued under the gaucho cushion, through the finger hole in the compartment plywood, and exited through the tool hatch. I could latch or lock one side, and there was enough give to run the cable out the hatch door. We only used it this way once or twice, so the bottom line is that I never drilled a hole.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:59 AM   #12
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Ken,

I don't think reverse fishing is going to work, too many twists and turns. The radio antenna feed heads down, but when it comes into the radio it is coming out of the ceiling, which leads me to believe it loops down then back up on a different stud cavity. I have not found any cross bracing so far in my travels inside the walls.

They make a flat coax cable that can be run through a window or door with minimal problems. I have seen them at Camping World and other RV parts places.

The reason Dutchmen didn't put an outside jack in is because they are profit driven, they probably saved $10,000 or so over a full production run by leaving it out. Damned bean counting penny pinching....

Aaron
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Old 05-17-2015, 03:47 PM   #13
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Just for the record... I did a bit more digging this morning. The rear wall on the Coleman does not have a vapor barrier (why am I not surprised? You have the inner wall board mounted on a 1"? wooden stud, insulation and the aluminum siding mounted on the outside of the stud. That are it. So pulling a cable down the wall to a hole cut for the outside jack shouldn't be any problem at all. I plan on using my standard metal or plastic fish tape and go from the bottom up. I will push it down from inside first to make sure there is no cross brace, but I can't detect any when pushing on the siding from the outside in that bay.

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Old 05-27-2015, 03:51 PM   #14
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I finally got around to checking this out.

Here are pictures of the Winegard TV wallplate in our RV. The black wire goes up to the antenna and the white wire connects to the radio. The bad news is that there's no coax cable attached to the cable TV input jack. The good news is that Dutchmen used RG6 coax cable instead of the cheaper RG59 so this setup is compatible with a satellite antenna.

I'd use both antennas at the same time and 2 diplexors :
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...earchengi40-20

As for sending TV audio through the radio speakers in the ceiling, I've abandoned the "fishing a wire" idea. Instead we'll use a usb-powered fm transmitter at the TV and simply tune to that station on the radio.

We haven't bought the TV yet but I'm still leaning toward an LED 12V "off-grid" model with usb port and audio out for transmitter above. Bacon mode is optional.

Ken
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:46 PM   #15
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Ken, here's the TV we bought. Pretty happy with it, with a couple of nits. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
First, as others commented, the sound is weak, especially in DVD mode. So I bought a USB-powered set of speakers. They work great, except: The USB port on the TV does not present any output power. It is for input only. As a result, my speakers have to plug into a 120VAC-USB adapter from an old phone to get power for the speakers. In that sense, I've lost my 12VDC operation, except to pull the audio plug, and revert to TV speakers.
On the "good" side, the TV looks great, is lightweight, and is easy to search channels, both cable and OTA.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:38 PM   #16
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Ken, here's the TV we bought. Pretty happy with it, with a couple of nits. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
First, as others commented, the sound is weak, especially in DVD mode. So I bought a USB-powered set of speakers. They work great, except: The USB port on the TV does not present any output power. It is for input only. As a result, my speakers have to plug into a 120VAC-USB adapter from an old phone to get power for the speakers. In that sense, I've lost my 12VDC operation, except to pull the audio plug, and revert to TV speakers.
On the "good" side, the TV looks great, is lightweight, and is easy to search channels, both cable and OTA.
Nice TV!
If you want a dc-powered usb port you could always get a 12v-to-usb adapter like this :

http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters%...ith+usb+socket

Ken
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:43 PM   #17
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Nice TV!
If you want a dc-powered usb port you could always get a 12v-to-usb adapter like this :

Ken
Yes, that'll work great. I'll add it on my next Amazon order! Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:30 PM   #18
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Just for the record... I did a bit more digging this morning. The rear wall on the Coleman does not have a vapor barrier (why am I not surprised? You have the inner wall board mounted on a 1"? wooden stud, insulation and the aluminum siding mounted on the outside of the stud. That are it. So pulling a cable down the wall to a hole cut for the outside jack shouldn't be any problem at all. I plan on using my standard metal or plastic fish tape and go from the bottom up. I will push it down from inside first to make sure there is no cross brace, but I can't detect any when pushing on the siding from the outside in that bay.

Aaron
Good thing we have the aluminum to hold these things together.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:12 PM   #19
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What bolts are you planning on using to mount the television? My Coleman 192 has the same sticker and I'm at odds as to how I want to proceed with regards to the mounting bolts. I'm thinking 1" lag bolts but just curious as to what you end up using. I'm also hoping that Coleman used at least 3/4" ply behind that sticker but I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 05-29-2015, 04:49 PM   #20
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Chaz, first I measured from the wall to the skin when the coax box was opened. I set my drill depth considerably (1/2"?) less than that. I used my smallest drill for a pilot. I used wood screws, perhaps #8 or #10. The key is to get the largest diameter screw with a length no longer than you want to go. Make sure you have wood where you're drilling. On both my Coleman and my new camper, only three out of four screws were "solid." On each, a fourth screw was "soft, or mushy," indicating I was probably at the edge of the mounting board. As you can see by the pictures, I was right on the decal, which I found out later only means so much. It is a guide, not a guarantee. They put it on by memory, I think, after they put the wall up. Even so, if the TV is small and light (mine is about 12 lbs), even three solid screws do the job well. Good luck!
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