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Old 08-09-2018, 03:04 PM   #1
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Dangling antenna wire - Was: Ground connection on torn foil/metal strip in PH cap?

A week or so ago, I noticed (photo below) what appears to be a nearly disconnected ground connection (??), on the underside of my manual penthouse fiberglass cap, front and center, attached to what looks like a sturdy foil/metal tape/strip (that appears to line the underside of the fiberglass cap)? It's possible this condition was there a while and I simply never noticed, since my van was stored for six months during the year I owned it, and during the times I've raised the PH, I didn't inspect this particular location.

I'm wondering:
1. How best to fix it?
It appears to be two wires with ring terminals (or rivets??) riveted to a metal bracket held in place by (guess) a long continuous metal adhesive strip? Maybe it lost two really short screws/bolts, given the matching holes in the underside of the fiberglass, although the holes don't go all the way through the fiberglass to the exterior, so they'd have to be REALLY short screws and therefor not really effective fasteners?

FWIW, shortly after I noticed this (if I remember the timing correctly) something dropped on my left shoulder and clattered down by the drivers door while I was driving; I later found a small metal washer down there and can't figure out where it came from.

2. How might this set of wires have gotten stressed / pulled away from the PH shell like this in the first place? On this latest roadtrip, I only raised the PH perhaps 6-8 times on a nearly two week trip, and while I did (um, er) have the PH fly up from forgetting to lock it down once this trip, this event happened AFTER I took the photo of the torn-away ground connection. Around the same time, I thought I heard a difference in wind whistling up in that area, as if perhaps wind were getting under the front of the penthouse more than usual, but that sound isn't consistent and I'm always pretty careful about checking the seating of the PH top once I've lowered it.

3. Am I right that it's a ground? Would it purely affect PH systems or might it have a more general impact?

My only PH-homed electrical components, both of which are still getting power, are stock SMB PH:
-- one rear center red brake light (doesn't light up with the running lights, but lights when brake pedal depressed) and
-- one fluorescent ceiling fixture just behind driver/front passenger seats.

I've attached a photo of the front center underside of the fiberglass penthouse roof.

Thank you thank you for any insights!
Anne
Attached Thumbnails
PHGroundFoilTorn.jpg  
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:43 PM   #2
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That looks like the old TV antenna that they used to install. You don't happen to have a Antenna jack in your van?

-greg
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalf77 View Post
That looks like the old TV antenna that they used to install. You don't happen to have a Antenna jack in your van?

-greg
Why yes, yes I do. Thanks for ID-ing that, Greg! So would that mean the whole 'metal strip' is part of the antenna (and presumably goes all the way around the fiberglass roof) ... rather than being an important part of the fiberglass cap for any other reason, even as a liner/covering for the raw FG?

Should I just try to glue the bracket back in place to deter any additional breach of the foil strip covering, and to prevent the loose wires/bracket from whipping around in high winds?

Though I don't have an interest in receiving broadcast TV in the near future (and there are newfangled antennas with good ranges for RVers), I can't see it makes sense to remove it completely at this time, unless I'm getting up there to wire solar or something in the future.

thanks!
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:28 AM   #4
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Ground connection on torn foil/metal strip in PH cap?

Yup. Thatís the antenna. I have one on my van. You should have an antenna booster and coax f-plug outlet in the van somewhere. If itís coming loose, and you donít see using it, Iíd just take it off as it serves no other purpose.. As you said, the newer digital antennas are better anyway.
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Old 08-10-2018, 07:26 AM   #5
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You can try gluing it back on, or just cut the cable as close to the penthouse. You probably can tear the foil on the other side and be done with it. Although pulling all of the foil off will not be difficult, it does go around the top.

-greg
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