Our coach, the Castaway, is equipped with three television sets.
When I was a kid, we only had one. A black and white TV set. No remote. But we did have a big TV antenna on top of the roof.
You see, back then, this thing called cable TV wasn’t in the market.
We were able to bring in a handful of channels from our big TV antenna, five in all. Two were American stations, two were English language Canadian stations and one was a French language Canadian station.
Yes. Those were the days my friend.
Our coach has a satellite dish with access to hundreds of channels, a digital antenna which finds whatever digital TV channels are in range, along with an extensive array of digital video entertainment from Blu-Ray and various Internet-based video channels.
So why do I even care about a limited set of cable TV channels that may be available when I am at a site?
Well, I wanted to see if I could connect to cable TV as part of the shakedown of the coach.
I went and purchased a 50-foot cable and I tried to hook it up when we were at our site in Petoskey, Michigan.
First problem: where, oh where do I connect the cable? It was obvious where the cable TV connection was at the site as it was at the same post as the electrical hookup.
I could not find a cable TV connection on the service side of the coach. One of our neighbours, also in a Dutch Star, was kind enough to point out where the connection was housed. It was hiding under a covered port in the same part of the basement compartment as the shore power reel.
Well, I went ahead and connected the cable from the coach to the post. So everything should work now, right?
Inside the coach, our TVs allow us to automatically scan and program channels coming from either a cable TV service or an outdoor TV antenna. Under the TV’s system setup, you make a choice on the source, antenna or cable, and then let the TV set do the work.
Only, no cable TV channels.
I tried it several times on all three sets.
Bad cable? Perhaps. And, until I picked up another one, I would have to make do with the several hundred other channels of video at my disposal. Which is what we wound up doing.
But it bothered me. Why wasn’t it working?
The Winegard Rayzar Antenna control panel.
You see that little green light in the photo?
The one over the button that says “ON/OFF”?
Well, it turns out that if you want to pass the Cable TV signal through to the TV sets, that little green light has to be dark otherwise the only signal present in the antenna line is the signal coming from the Winegard antenna. The cable TV signal from the site will be happily ignored.
Lots to learn about all of the various systems in our coach. Wish me luck.