View Full Version : SOLVED: Jack Antenna Install Problem

05-18-2013, 08:36 AM
I thought I read up on the posts and was confident that I had properly installed the Jack Antenna - complete mast type, but I must have a problem since my reception is way off. I may have a problem with the coax, but unfortunately I screwed and caulked it all down to the roof.

Here is what happened.....I removed all the old sealant/caulk and the old antenna. I thought I had a good connection to the Jack antenna base, but the coax was a bit tight. I am getting 3 lights on the inside signal panel of the Jack antenna, but I am getting instant and complete drop outs while watching normally stron channel. In the past, I would see some interference, pixallation and then the drop out. Now it just goes blank and I get the weak signal message. I tried swapping out the booster and there was some improvement with the Jack booster, but not much. The antenna crimp at the booster was not good, so I did the best I could with some pliers. I will get my crimp tool and some new connectors, but I don't know if there is a way to check the coax at the base without removing all the caulk and screws.

So I guess my plan is to replace the connector at the booster before considering removal of the mast. I'm not sure what to expect with the Jack signal meter since it stays on 3 lights most of the time. I followed the instructions regarding the attenuator setup but the lights don't change much as I rotate the antenna. The picture is effected by rotating the antenna. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. In hindsight, I should have purchased the mast head replacement version since the wiring was much tighter on my camper than I anticipated. I could have added the signal meter to the existing booster by using the battery operated add on. Does the signal strength meter really work as you spin the antenna? Thanks in advance.

Chuck Dvorak

05-18-2013, 08:55 AM
Hi Chuck, I have the mast head replacement and it works pretty much as advertised. Like yours.
I don't think you helped yourself by using a plier to crimp your connector.
If you can wait till Goshen I have the compression fitting tool and connectors.


05-18-2013, 10:27 AM
There is a coax coupler in the ceiling that may be loose. If you remove the inside crank, you may be able to fish the coax out and find the connection. We got no signal at all after installing the Jack antenna head, until we tightened this connection!

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05-18-2013, 01:18 PM
Thanks guys n gals,

I saw the coupler from my old mast and I disconnected it when I removed the mast. I then connected the antenna lead directly to the Jack mast base without using the coupler. It was a tight fit but I thought I was OK. I believe this is the same line that runs to the booster. I'm sure hoping that the booster side is the one with the bad crimp...otherwise we might have to remove my roof at the rally......just kidding. I did check the thin line that is connected to the Jack signal meter and it is tight.

05-18-2013, 01:28 PM
Hey Chuck if you are going to remove the roof to fix your problem...I'll bring my chain saw! Should make it a lot easier! :o :rolleyes: I've got to replace our antenna head & was thinking about the Jack, but I'm just going to replace the head. I'm lazy and can't see replacing more than I have to.

05-18-2013, 01:35 PM
I'm lazy and can't see replacing more than I have to.
Roy, sounds like you're Energy Efficient. Maybe you need to apply for an Energy Star label.

05-18-2013, 01:40 PM
Hey Dan, that sounds good, I'll have to tell Sally to quit calling me lazy & start using that term! Kind of like when the GPS goes crazy & she says we are lost, "Nope, directionally challenged"!

06-01-2013, 09:16 AM
So....I did some digging around and it turns out that it was the bad crimp that was causing the problem. I also decided to use the Jack TV amp panel instead of the original panel since the space was so tight and I don't have a satellite dish. I cleared out some extra foam and tucked the satellite cable into the ceiling....I also made a note on the inside of the panel so I will know where to find that cable if I ever get a dish.Lessons learned....if I had to do it again, I think I would add the Jack Antenna head to the old mast instead of messing with the roof mount. I was satisfied with the look of the new installation and not having to crank the antenna up and down, but the wiring was tight on the roof side and I may have caused the crimp problem when I pulled the cable to add an extra inch or two. The self leveling caulk does an excellent job of sealing the antenna while giving it a professional look.....so I was not concerned with any leakage issues. I would suggest checking the signal amp connections if you think you are having TV reception problems. I would also suggest, as others did, taping the 12v leads because you will undoubtly short them and pop a vise. I popped a fuse, but my red fuse panel did not light for some reason.....it was an easy fix with a new fuse. I would also suggest labeling the cables for future reference. The three leads are antenna, TV2 and cable TV. The fourth lead was the white satellite Tv cable which I tucked into the ceiling. The end result was success at obtaining several additional channels on both TV sets. I did auto tuning and received over 40 signals which was at least twice as many as compared to the old antenna, however several of the stations are still to weak to get a good and stable picture. I am very satisfied since I feel I went from 8-10 channels to 20+ channels on a regular basis. I also notice a huge difference with nighttime viewing being far stronger than daytime. Thanks again for the great advice....I won't be chain sawing the roof att his time.

06-01-2013, 03:23 PM
The Led in the fuse panel will only light up if something else on the circuit is trying to draw power. So if nothing is turn on a particular circuit the led will not light until something else is turned on. We used that "feature" to figure out what lights, etc, were on a given circuit recently.

06-02-2013, 06:14 AM
Thanks Silverado....I'll retain that info for future troubleshooting.