What Is a King Jack Attenuator? (King Jack Antenna Guide)

There are plenty of RV owners who have no interest in the technical side of their TV system. That is okay as there are plenty of technicians available to help you out when you have a problem with the attenuator.

What the attenuator does is reduce the television signal your antenna is picking up. If the signal is too strong, this little device cuts the signal down so no harm comes to your expensive TV or antenna system. It works the opposite of an amplifier.

To learn more about this little device, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can understand a little more about how your Antenna system works. The attenuator is a helpful device.

How Does a King Jack Antenna Work?


The operation of this antenna brand is quite simple. You need to look for a wall plate that has a little power button in the middle of it (some designs may be different).

Once activated (pushed in) the button lets the power go to the antenna. The power is rated at +12 volts and when that power reaches the antenna, the television signal is sent to the two TV output connections.

Once you release the button, the power flow and the TV signal from the antenna stops. At this point, if your RV or trailer is wired for cable and it is hooked up, the cable signal will put power to those two TV outlets.

Once you do this, you can move on to the next steps. The first step is to turn on the KING SureLock Signal Meter. There should be a switch on the side of the enclosure.

Step two has you press another button and rotate the dial until it hits the stop. Now, turn the attenuator clockwise fully and then turn the antenna a full 360 degrees until it hits the stop again.

Keep rotating the antenna and attenuator until you get the best signal and the most LED lights illuminated. After that, use the scan mode to find your TV channels.

What is a King Jack Attenuator?

The King Jack attenuator is a little device that helps you get the best signal for your television reception and viewing. It is part of the antenna system that regulates the flow of the TV signal so that it is not too powerful.

Also, you can adjust the attenuator to make sure the signal you get is not overpowering the television set. This is not a signal amplifier. A signal amplifier or booster produces a stronger signal.

The attenuator is a device that weakens the signal so that it is just right for your television set. It is a small device that fits inside the ceiling portion of the antenna assembly. It should be close to the antenna adjustment knob.

Those are the only two components on that ceiling assembly. To help get the best reception possible, you will need to adjust the attenuator as you adjust the antenna.

The King Jack antenna is a directional unit that needs to be rotated to find the strongest signal. Once you do that, you will have to make adjustments to that signal so it is not overpowering the television set.

Oversignalling is the issue you are trying to avoid when you adjust the attenuator. Oversignalling is when the signal is over 90 dB. Basically, all television sets will struggle with that large of signal and need an attenuator to lower it.

King Jack Attenuator Power Switch


In looking at the manual, there is no power switch on the ceiling assembly where the attenuator is located. There is no separate power switch to engage this device.

It is a simple little device that connects to the antenna cable to monitor the signal flow. There is a power button on the wall plate but that button will engage the whole system, the attenuator included.

If that button is not pushed in, then there is no signal coming through the cable for the attenuator to monitor and reduce. The antenna will have no power to receive the signal or transmit it to the television set.

The attenuator is a built-in component that is placed near the antenna to ensure that it gets the full signal. It is not needed if the signal is just right in your area or weak. The latter situation would require an amplifier to boost the signal for better reception.

Download The King Jack Attenuator Manual

Since King Jack does not make just one model of antenna, you will find that there will be several owner’s manuals available on the internet. To find the right one in your search for a downloadable manual, make sure you know the model number of your antenna.

The OA8501 King Jack antenna is an 8-page booklet that can be found on our go-to manual website. You can view it at this link but be careful, there may be a charge for downloading.

The manual for the OA8201 antenna is a 24-page booklet and it is also found on our go-to manual website. You can access it here and the same warning applies about costs.

The King Connect website seems to have at least one manual. This link takes you to a shortened OA8200 & 8201 (white is the former and black is the latter model), owner’s manual. You can access it here by clicking this link.

King Jack Antenna Parts List


The owner’s manuals do have diagrams that show all the parts of each section of the company’s antennas. The OA8501 manual may be too short at the link we provided above to list all the parts and their parts numbers.

The OA8201 has a short list of parts and parts numbers on page 13 of the manual. It is section 8 and should be listed in the table of contents. We did check the King Connection website and they list manuals but they do not list any parts for their products.

The OA8300 owner’s manual on that website does list the wall plate’s parts and their model numbers. To get a parts list you may have to go to the King Connect website and look for a dealer in your area. Then call or email the dealer and ask them.

Camperid.com does carry replacement parts for a variety of antenna brands including King. If you can see a part number on your current antenna that will help you locate the right part on their website.

King Jack Antenna Troubleshooting

According to the OA8501 manual, while you are under warranty, you need to contact a King-certified dealer or King directly to get any work done. Then if you go to the certified dealer, they must get permission from King before they do any repairs.

The long version for the OA8201 antenna model does contain a troubleshooting flow chart when you are not under warranty. You will find that flow chart on pages 8 & 9 of the manual or pages 10 & 11 on the downloaded version.

On the KingConnect.com/support web page, you will find a library of information for all of their products. Plus, in the About Us section, they have a contact us web page for tough questions you can’t find an answer to elsewhere.

There is a troubleshooting manual on our go-to manual website but it is just the same pages as you will find in the extended owner’s manual we already linked to.

King Jack Antenna Installation


All the installation instructions will be found in the different owner’s manuals. There are several pages with diagrams showing you step-by-step how the antenna is to be assembled and installed in your RV or trailer.

The instructions for the OA8501 start on page 3 of the manual we linked to earlier. If you need help with installation, just go to the King Connect website and click on their dealer locator navigation link.

That locator will help you find a dealer near you who should be able to do the installation for you. Call or email first to make sure they have an opening in their work schedule for you.

The installation is not going to be that difficult to do if you are an experienced handyman. Just make sure to seal any openings you create. You do not want any leaks after you are done.

Some Additional Words

King Jacks antennas are one of the most popular brands and products you can buy. Between it and Winegard, their products fill most of the slots on the top 10 best list.

You are getting a good product when you buy a King Jack’s antenna for your RV. The attenuator is designed to protect your TV as well as your reception. Making full use of this little device ensures that your TV viewing time is top-notch.

It is a small but important device to know about.

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