State of antenna rotators, 2011 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 03-13-2011, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Central NC
Posts: 183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 11
It's been like 25 years since I last bought an antenna rotator. Needless to say, things have changed since then.

What I'd like is a rotator that can doesn't need constant recalibration. That is, actually measures as it turns (as opposed to timing how long the motor is on). I'd like it to have a remote, and I'd like to have the remote do some translation (IOW, I'd like to tell the remote that I want channel 2, and have it turn to 275 degrees so I don't have to look up the location every antenna move). And I'd like to have decent gears and motor so it has a chance of lasting awhile.

From what I can tell, the current CM 9521A is not up to the task (a number of reviews refer to it as cheap, poorly designed and made junk). The CM, the current RCA VH126N, Phillips SDW 1850, etc. all seem to get pretty poor reviews.

The only thing I've found that seems to meet my criteria (such as they are) is the Eagle Aspen ROTR100.

Are there any better choices? Would I be better off haunting ham-fests looking for something from the 1990s? If so, what should I be looking for?

What's my best bet for a reasonable antenna rotator for a light HDTV antenna like a CM 4221 or maybe a CM 2016? These are light and small antennas that won't apply much wind load. Sitting on a 5' mast section of course.

Any rotator suggestions (and URLs) appreciated.
Bruce Watson is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 Old 03-13-2011, 06:11 PM
Senior Member
 
Tschmidt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Milford, NH
Posts: 303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
As far as I know none of the the TV rotors actually measure antenna position. The newer microprocessor ones use a chip to count power line cycles so they tend to be more accurate then the older ones with dual motors.

I purchased a NTE U-106 a couple of years ago. My wish list was somewhat different, did not want to have to use a remote to program the antenna since the intent was not to have to do it very often. Both the controller and remote have a number of presets so if you do not need too many positions might do what you want.

Seems to have held up well over the last couple of years. Had a windstorm that ripped shingles off the roof shortly after I installed the antenna - came thorough in flying colors.

We are using old style CM4228 UHF a YA-1713 VHF antenna. I used the NTE thrust bearing. Took a little filing to get it to fit due to the mast I used (I 1/4 EMT).


http://www.nteinc.com/ecgproducts/pd...na_rotator.pdf
Tschmidt is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 03-14-2011, 04:58 AM
AVS Special Member
 
ProjectSHO89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,627
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 54 Post(s)
Liked: 69
The ROTR100 DOES count the movement of the rotor itself using a Hall Effect sensor, it does not rely on timing or power line cycles. Once synchronized, it is very accurate and is highly repeatable.

It's a nice consumer-level rotor and should work okay for modest antennas. I wouldn't hang a big antenna from it or use a long mast, but with the antennas you mentioned, it should do fine if used with the shortest feasible mast.
ProjectSHO89 is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 03-14-2011, 12:05 PM
Member
 
sddave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Diego
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
If you have a store that sells Ham Radio Equipment. Talk to them.
sddave is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 03-15-2011, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Central NC
Posts: 183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sddave View Post

If you have a store that sells Ham Radio Equipment. Talk to them.

If I had one, I would. But I don't, so I'm asking on this forum. I hope that's not a problem for anyone; I thought that's what forums like this were for.
Bruce Watson is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 03-15-2011, 01:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ctdish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mystic,CT,USA
Posts: 1,347
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 22
These are light duty ham antenna rotators. They are much stronger that typical TV antenna rotators and have feedback from the outside to keep the indicator aligned with the actual pointing angle. They of course cost more both because of the better construction and smaller production runs. They do show up used from time to time and if they have not overloaded will still be very reliable. They do not have the remotes. Only simple knobs or buttons on the controller.
http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-002762
http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-007316
John
ctdish is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 03-16-2011, 06:58 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 144 Post(s)
Liked: 135
Quote:


As far as I know none of the the TV rotors actually measure antenna position.

Wrong!;

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=840847

Other than cost, the other issue is with any amateur rotor controller, they are not IR remote controllable (that I know of).

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
videobruce is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 03-16-2011, 09:17 PM
Member
 
mjsas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I can add a little bit of help. If the rotor has three wires between the control box and rotor it cannot have any feedback. The three wire rotors have a simple 2 phase induction motor. If it has four or five wires it probably has a stepper motor or feedback.
mjsas is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 09:37 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,075
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 144 Post(s)
Liked: 135
Or, in this case, if it uses DiSEqC, it will only have two.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
videobruce is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 03-26-2011, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Central NC
Posts: 183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I got an Aspen Eagle ROTR100 in and installed yesterday. It was a snap to install -- took well under an hour from opening box to completion. I'm guessing around 35-40 minutes.

The single cable system works really well. I don't see any signal degradation (which frankly doesn't make much sense). I figured that at least the distant channels would show some signal loss. But if it's there it's not enough for my crude instruments to measure. I'm just saying, this DiSEqC stuff really does work.

And the rotator seems to be fairly accurate and repeatable. I've moved it all around, big moves and small. No need to re-zero it yet. Good find, this rotator.
Bruce Watson is offline  
post #11 of 11 Old 03-27-2011, 06:46 PM
Advanced Member
 
LithOTA's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lake in the Hills, IL
Posts: 948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have the Phillips-branded CM version, for $70 it comes with a pretty nice memory remote. I was able to program the remote funtions into my Dish remotes, and I use a Radio Shack IR repeater to control the rotor from the bedroom, too.
The accuracy error can sometimes be annoying, but I've found that it stays accurate longer when I use the preset positions as opposed to munual up or down. Small adjustments will also hasten the inaccuracy.
As for the rotor unit's durability, using one of those mast bearings from Starke Electronic will certainly help it last longer, as it takes most of the lateral stresses off of the rotor.

My RabbitEars reception page-

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
LithOTA is offline  
Reply HDTV Technical

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off