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Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Unstable RV Antenna

I have a Winegard crank up TV antenna, and when it's cranked in the up position, it rocks back and forth when the wind blows. Someone told me that there's a tool that can adjust the antenna. Do you know what kind of tool this might be and what I have to do to adjust the antenna?
Larry, (Wolcottville, IN)

Larry, Winegard does indeed have a tool that can tighten the integral mechanical gearbox assembly of the antenna. I was not aware of it until a sharp-eyed reader pointed it out to me. It's their part number TT-1000. It amounts to nothing more than a deep-well 15/16" socket.  In the photo here, you can see the nut that needs tightening. Someone apparently used the incorrect size socket as the points of the nut have been rounded off.

But first check to make sure the antenna is mounted correctly to begin with. I've also seen wobbly antennas caused by worn gears. Winegard also offers a gear replacement kit that will probably help the instability problem caused by worn, old-style gears. You can tell if you have the older gears by inspecting the cranking rod from inside the RV. Remove the crank handle and spring by loosening the set-screw and take a look at the shaft that extends down below the ceiling. If the rod is round, it’s the older style; if it’s a hexagon shape, it’s the newer style. But first make sure the antenna is mounted and secured properly. The base should be securely attached to the roof and sealed properly to prevent water intrusion. The antenna mount must be secured to a solid portion of the roof. If it’s sloppy when fully extended, it’s likely to be the worn or loose gears. I'd suggest tightening the gear assembly first using the Winegard tool or a deep socket. If it's still wobbly, it's probably time for new gears.



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