Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 6 at Tiffin Service Center

Red Bay, AL

Not a whole lot to report happened during the weekend.  After waking up each morning last week at 5:00 AM to be at the bay doors at 7:00 AM we decided to sleep in a bit.  It's amazing how different the atmosphere at the service center campground is on the weekends versus the weekdays.  Our highlight Sunday was to take a trip up to Florence to shop for a few different things (food, new computer printer, and some other items).  Florence is about 45 miles northeast of Red Bay.

Today started off by us going over to speak to Billy (scheduler) in the service office.  All we currently have left on our original list of repairs is for the roof rails to be replaced and for our most important item, the interior water leak, to be fixed.  The roof rails are one of the "big" items being repaired by Tiffin at no cost, but appointments are not allowed for this.We found out that we are 5th in line for the roof repairs. This means probably Wednesday or Thursday before we get in a bay for this.  We requested a different tech to work with us on the water leak problem.  We heard nothing further today, so I decided to work on the OTA repair I first spoke about in last week's blog. 

With assistance from "Chas" on the TRVN forum I learned that I could contact the antenna supplier and order parts directly to effect the repair on my own.  The remainder of today's blog details the repair of the antenna, so if this would be of no interest to you, please feel free to "tune out" now.

Replacing the motor/drive assembly and amplifier circuit board on the Mini -State 5MS9000 VHF/UHF Antenna.

Step 1:   Remove the antenna from the roof by removing 4 screws holding the antenna to the roof brackets.
Step 2:   Remove 2 screws on the underside of the antenna to remove a small plastic plate which covers the coaxial cable and 3 controlling wires.
Step 3:  The entire circular antenna should be loose at this point.  GET OFF THE ROOF.

Step 4:  Separate the outer case of the antenna by removing 8 screws around the perimeter.

Step 5: Remove the drive/gear mechanism by unbolting 1 nut from the top of the gear cluster.

Step 6: Unsolder leads connecting the amplifier board to the metal band surrounding the styrofoam and either cut or melt the existing glue holding the amplifier board to the styrofoam.

Step 7: Position the new amplifier board and re-solder the connections severed in Step 6. Using a glue gun, replace the glue removed previously.

Step 8: Re-attach the drive/gear mechanism on the opposite side of the assembly by using 4 standoff bolts (same as removed originally).

Step 9:  Using the 8 screws removed in Step 4, re-assemble the two halves of the antenna's housing.

Step 10:  Lug everything back up to the roof and re-attach the wiring, coaxial cable, and 4 screws holding the antenna to the brackets on the roof. Hopefully, it will look something like this upon completion.

The entire cost of this complete reburbishing project for the antenna was $39.10.  The cost breakdown was $12.95 for the motor/drive assembly, plus $12.95 for the amplifier circuit board, and $13.20 for shipping.  Oh well, the antenna works again and it was quite a bit cheaper than buying a new one.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!


  1. Maybe you can get a job at Red Bay to repair things.

  2. That is an excellent tutorial on fixing the OTA antenna, so well done that even I could do it.

    Too bad I don't have that kind of antenna! ;c)

    Wise decision to request another tech for the water leak issue. Maybe fresh eyes on the problem will finally resolve it. Good luck!

    1. I think you're better off by not having this style of antenna. I miss my old "bat wing".

  3. Good job fixing the antenna.

    I hope they get your repairs done quickly so you can get out of there. I know how tiring it can be at a service center. We take ours to Lazy Days here in Florida and they don't make you move in and out of the bays every day. Once they park you in a service bay, you are there until you're finished. You can sleep there and even have electric, water and dump if needed. Of course the view isn't real pretty and there are lots of lights on all night, but at least you don't have to move in and out. I wonder why they don't do it that same way at Red Bay?

  4. Thanks for the instructions. One question .... Do the three wires that hook up to the three tabs provide the power for the rotor motor? If so what should I find on each wire? Would one be ground and the other two 12V when the appropriate remote button is pressed? Thanks in advance

    1. Stan I didn't measure the voltages at the leads, but here's the service manual for that unit. Cut and paste the link below:

    2. Thanks for the info ..... unfortunately the manual does not cover that issue. I can't turn the motor manually so it must be done. I will order a new one and install it as that seems to be the solution. Thanks again for your help.


  5. Hi steve
    I have one 5MS9000 in my Tiffin 35QBA but the motor drive is dead
    and I am in france, I don't know or buy this motor, you can give me an address ?? my email

  6. Do you know any source where can I get the amplifier board? Now Antennacraft defunct, who else carrying parts for this antenna?

    1. Sorry Steve, but I have no new info. on this antenna. Our unit has continued to work (knock on wood). I would change to a different antenna if I was looking at a problem today.

  7. Do you still have the old "bad" board? I would like to get it in order to try repair it. At least send me a pict from the component side, if you have it, please.

    1. Sorry, the old board was probably tossed the same day as the repair. I have a couple of pics of the board, but don't think they will help you much. Advise an email address to send the pics.
      You can send it directly to: gonebyrv "at" so that you don't have to put it here in the comments section.