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Monday, January 18, 2010

RV Satellite Set-Up Redux

Dear Readers: In an earlier column, I addressed a question from Mike D. about hooking up Direct TV via a standard cable connection on the RV. Here’s his original question:
Why can you not hook up Direct TV through the standard cable hookup on the RV, and how can you get around this?
Mike, (Idabel, OK)


I must admit I could have worded my original response better as I neglected to broaden the context to include similar situations found in other brands of RVs. I received comments from many sharp-eyed readers taking issue with my original answer, some of whom pointed out the error in my logic. Each of them detailed the method they used to accomplish the goal and every solution was completely different though all were plausible.

There may be an infinite number of specific satellite setups possible in a RV, and with foot planted firmly in mouth, here is a modified response. The main point to remember is that all cable components in the RV must be satellite compatible in order to properly carry the LNB signal from the dish to the receiver. Older RG58 coax cable does not have the capability to carry the LNB signal so if the coach is pre-wired with RG58 cable it will be necessary to either run a new cable to the wall jacks or simply run the cable directly from the dish to the receiver. The cable that is required is RG6 coax, which is satellite compatible and is able to carry the LNB. Additionally, all switch boxes, splitters, and other components must be able to pass the LNB signal from the input to the output. Many passive splitters used in coaches do not have this capability so be sure to check that any non-compatible splitter is replaced or eliminated. Similarly, switch boxes, A/V control modules and even wall jacks need to be satellite ready.

As indicated, there are an infinite number of possibilities in terms of the original installation and the A/V equipment being used. If the satellite system will not function properly due to signal problems the first thing to do in terms of troubleshooting is to run an RG6 cable directly from the dish to the receiver to see if the problem goes away. If it does, further modifications are necessary for a more permanent solution. Thanks to all who responded!

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