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Eagle Aspen ROTR100 DiSEqC antenna rotor

post #1 of 217
Thread Starter 

I was intrigued with this rotor since it is the first to use the FTA type DiSEqC control interface. Actually I never thought of this approach, even though I did have a FTA dish and DiSEqC motor.

The obvious advantage is you use only one cable between the control box and the rotor. The control to turn the rotor is through the coaxial cable. They do warn you of two things;
1. They recommend pure copper center conductor rather than the more popular copper covered steel which is less expensive. If you do use the cheaper cable it has a limit of 75'. With the pure copper the limit is 200'.
2. You are restricted to what pre-amp you use. The limit is 50ma at 17vdc.

Unfortunately, the price has gone up somewhat from initial release. To my surprise, of all companies WinegardDirect is now selling these and at the lowest price;



It's also available through Amazon (Beach Audio).;



The owners manual is here;


LL   .LL 


Updated links

Edited by videobruce - 1/1/14 at 5:59am
post #2 of 217
Thread Starter 

Ok, now for the bad news. There is no free ride with this single cable deal as I suspected. Their specs claim a loss of only 1db per device (2db total). Well, at certain frequencies that is true, but there are a few exceptions.

My measurements with a Spectrum Analyzer show a loss insertion loss depending on frequency. There are losses between 3 & 4db around the following frequencies; 493 (ch 17), 601 (ch 35-36), 675 (ch 47-48) & 710 MHz (ch 53-54).
This doesn't include the loss for each fitting in and out of the rotor & control box (probably around another 2 db total).

On the 1st attachment, two vertical divisions from the left is 470 MHz and one division from the right is 806 MHZ which is the current UHF TV spectrum. As you can see the trace is anything from flat. I did the test twice checking the 'null' of the scope with just the jumpers in line, then with both units connected.

BUT, there is a easy solution; Run a separate cable (or wire since you don't need to use another coaxial cable for a control signal) as you have done in the past and solder it to a 'F' fitting at either end and run your downlead as before. Done!

Ok, then what's the big deal? Repeated accuracy.

Any of the Channel Master clones imported from China are notoriously inaccuate especially if you 'rock' the rotor back and forth to 'tweak' the position of the antenna. No matter how many times you 'Zero' the rotor and control box out doing a full turn to 360 degrees and back to 0 degrees, it will never be accurate. Even with the solid state remote control box that Channel Master offers (9537), it doesn't help (much to my disappointment). 

For the tests;
I ran the rotor in both directions. 52 seconds was the duration between 0 and 360 degrees. Unlike all other CM 'clones' this rotor will go to 450 degrees which means you don't have to go all the way around just to go from 10 degrees to 350 degrees. There is no 'north' stop.
I rocked the rotor back and forth a number of times and it stayed within spec which is 2 degrees of accuracy.

One thing I did notice was the readout of the control box was faster than the speed of the rotor. Doing a 0 to 360, the readout reached 360 long before the rotor did. It was repeatedly off by 45 degrees. IOW's the box said 360, but the rotor was only at 315. Same in going the other direction. When the box read 0, the rotor was at the 45 degree point.
Mind you, it didn't affect the final result. The rotor just keeps turning until it gets to where it should. I plan to contact the manufacture and inquire.

Current consumption was measured at .07 amps when in standby and .08A in the 'on' state. This is another device that is never 'off'. To me, even though it isn't much, to draw 5-6 watts when the device isn't doing anything is just poor design.
I measured .13 amp when the rotor was turning and under high stress (holding the rotor with both hands to try to stop it from turning) the load was.18 amp. The box does get slightly warm after a while, but it didn't seem excessive.


The 2nd attachment is the circuit board inside the rotor. Note on the right the solder joints for the F fittings.

LL     LL     .



The following are pics of the interior of the rotor with the bottom plate removed (above w/ the circuit board), the gear assembly, the housing without the main plate and the main shaft of this rotor showing the ball bearing race. There was no shortage of grease applied. Also note the two main bearings are brass.



LL   .LL


added interior photos and clarified some text

Edited by videobruce - 2/12/13 at 4:43am
post #3 of 217
Thread Starter 

I contacted the company and they confirmed the timing difference (if you will) between the readout of the control box and the actual position of the rotor.
I brought up a perfect example of why this is bad. If you are hunting for the best 'spot' for a certain station and are doing a 0-360 (or vice a versa) and find a spot, when you take note of the readout, it will be incorrect as the readout doesn't track' with the rotor. He agreed and said he will bring that up with engineering (hopefully it will be addressed).

Regarding feeding the rotor with a separate power feed, here are shots of a piece of RG6 & a 20 gauge pair stripped. RG59 is all you need and if the run is short, say 30' or so, 22 gauge is ok. Much longer runs use 18. I prefer 20 gauge, but it is hard to find. Don't use 24 gauge, its too small.

Solder the conductors together being sure there aren't any strands of the shield wrapped around the center conductor (easy to have happen), tape, or better yet use heat shrink, then heat shrink the whole splice. The example was RG6, but RG59 is a better choice since it is more flexible and loss is of no issue. The connector used was a older (discontinued) early 'compression' fitting from Raychem.



corrected text

Edited by videobruce - 2/12/13 at 4:26am
post #4 of 217
How's the quality of the "build" compared to the Channel Master?

Does the gearing appear to be up to the task of long-term, heavy usage?


post #5 of 217
Thread Starter 
Compared to the original CM, it's lighter weight. Regarding the gearing, since I didn't remove the inner plate, I have no idea what's there.

When I purposely 'held' the top of the rotor to 'stall' it, it kept on moving, but I heard it strain, but surely not bad considering the 'load' I put on it (more so than with most any antenna would).

I surely wouldn't put CMs' classic parabolic antenna on it. Of course, I wouldn't put that on ANY 'consumer' rotor.
post #6 of 217
I have the CM 4228 on a short mast right above the rotor. Do think this would do the job?

Thanks again.
post #7 of 217
Thread Starter 
I surely hope so, since that is what I have.
The only ones I would question are those very long combos' (VHF/UHF w/ a 150" plus boom) or a 'stacked' array of UHF antennas. The turning torque isn't the major problem, it's the constant 'rocking' of the antenna on windy days.
post #8 of 217
Thread Starter 
The price isn't a killer. That issue with the display is only when the antenna is moving. After it 'docks', the display seems to be accurate. I will post back when it is installed, hopefully shortly. Surely what is there now, is a PITA especially when I have to rock it back and forth since aiming is critical with some stations.

I wasn't going to spend $300+ for a 'amateur' rotor for a TV antenna.
post #9 of 217
Originally Posted by videobruce
I surely hope so, since that is what I have.
The only ones I would question are those very long combos' (VHF/UHF w/ a 150" plus boom) or a 'stacked' array of UHF antennas. The turning torque isn't the major problem, it's the constant 'rocking' of the antenna on windy days.
I assume the TB-105 support bearing shown on the attached document would help with the rocking problem. That's what I intend to use.

Did you have a chance to install the rotor yet?




TB-105.pdf 56.412109375k . file
post #10 of 217
Thread Starter 
What I meant by "rocking" was moving the antenna back and forth to find a 'sweet' spot for a troublesome station with multipath or issues with a strong station that is overloading an amp and/or the receiver.
No, not yet. It will be awhile, as another project came up lately.
post #11 of 217
Thread Starter 
I finally installed this rotor.

I didn't realize or even think about it since I have worked with so many CM type of rotors that the nuts weren't the standard 7/16". But, since I as prepared, a handy "Cresent" wrench did the trick. One thing I didn't do and usually do was to cut down the extra long 'studs' and U clamps on the rotor since they are way too long.

What I noticed was there seemed to be more 'play' when I 'rocked' the antenna back and forth with everything in place. Itdidn't seem to affect anything. I did a few 0 to 360 and back. Also, I did some 90 to 3270 and 360 to 90 turns. I saw no issue and the motor seemed fine. Time will tell.

BTW, a 'RF' remote surely came in handy as I was able to work the control box from the peak of the roof.
Speaking of the universal remote, the OneForAll remote (9910RF) uses the Toshiba satellite code of 0790 to control the rotor.
post #12 of 217
Thanks for the feedback.

I noticed those U-bolts were very long in the pictures.

I'm anxious to hear back from you in the future on the reliability of the unit.
post #13 of 217
Any help on rotor selection for Winegard 6065p FM antenna--will only be using for Fm tuner and real confused on the BEST selection for the rotor.

I've been told by one intaller/company owner, who carries the Eagle Aspen, Channel Master cm9521a among others that the Eagle Aspen is a 'TV rotor' and because of some 'Controller' set-up is not suitable or will work well for FM reception??? Is that true? I thought the rotor JUST rotated the antenna--nothing to do with frequency, but NO idea on the Controller thing--Any knowlege on that??

Which is best for FM use reception?
post #14 of 217
Thread Starter 
The advantage of this design is it monitors rotor position as all other consumer rotors do not, or don't to it with any degree of accuracy. Unless you spend well over $300 for a amatuer radio type of rotor, these 'cheapies' are terrible.
Though I don't like 'one cable' DiSEqC protocol (only sounds good on paper) since it limits current that is available for the actual motor, which limits capability. It's never been a problem running a separate power feed to the rotor for all these years which I wound up doing anyway to skirt the loss of the ctl. box and rotor itself.

There is no best of anything, especially consumer. For FM, any rotor will do.

BTW, welcome to the forums.
post #15 of 217
Followed your better than antenna web link---wow is that nice!! Anything that gives me the same info,( direction in degrees etc.) for FM stations?
post #16 of 217
Thread Starter 
No one ever asked that considering the popularity of FM is close to zero with the advent of satellite delivered services.
post #17 of 217
With the multipath issues of 8VSB, one would think DiSEqC for rotor control or for n-way switches would be a natural conclusion, just like for FTA satellite receivers! UHF antennas are not that big to consider pointing two heads into different directions on the same mast.

I've got two azimuths about 90 degrees appart for most of my terrestial OTA HD needs. There doesn't seem to be one azimuth that will work for all, although the pictures seem great on analog. Tried 4-bay bowties and a big corner reflector/yagi to see if I could "get it all" with one antenna. This would work PERFECTLY if a DiSEqC 2-way switch position (or rotor azimuth) could be associated with each channel in the receiver.

post #18 of 217
Thread Starter 
With the multipath issues of 8VSB

There weren't 'issues' with analog??
post #19 of 217
Help! My offspring have made the IR remote for my brand new Eagle Aspen rotor ROTR100 disappear from my home. Does anyone know where I can get just the remote or is there a universal remote that will do the same functions as the original? I can't be expected to continue to get out of my chair and adjust the antenna from the control box, that is just un-American!
post #20 of 217
Thread Starter 
It emulates codes from a Toshiba satellite receiver.
I use the OneForAll 9910 remote (code 790).

BTW; welcome to the forums.
post #21 of 217
you've had it up for 8 months - still like it?
post #22 of 217
Thread Starter 
It sits in one position 99% of the time and I rarely turn it. No issues in spite of all the high winds.

Any previous comments still hold. For the price difference between this and a regular rotor, it's a no brainer unless you are using a large VHF/UHF antenna witha 170" or so boom or 'stacked' UHF panels or yagi's.

Recalibrating manual rotors was always a PITA and I didn't want tp spend $300-$400 for a Amateur Radio rotor which would be overkill.
post #23 of 217
Thanks, I currently have a 160" boom pointing in one direction

The main reason I am looking at a rotor is that I live in the FL Panhandle boonies with Dish Network but they lost the CBS feed (most of the good prime programs) from Dothan AL (80 mi away N) a year ago so I hooked up the offair ant. CBS offair was as good (or better than) DN's original feed of Dothan's CBS signal. Plus, the DN sys routinely drops sig in high wind/rain events and then has to reaquire the sats. ABC, NBC, and PBS are avail 30 mile+ to west Panama City or 60 Mile to ENE in Tallahassee So a good offair sys should do me fine i think even with HD.
So have been thinking of adding a rotor and switching to the bowtie CM 4228 to lower wind occilations and so I can go with a higher mast (currently 20 ft) .

Really appreciated your review of the ROTR100 - it looked good and your feedback pushed me over.
Any other suggestions?

One who knows enought to at least listen to others
post #24 of 217
Hate to resurrect an old thread, but wanted to post my experience...

A few weeks ago, the control box to my poor CM 9521A was fried by static electricity. Six months ago I chose the CM 9521A over this rotor because it looked beefier, and it is. But I was never happy with it because of the horrible sync issues, so I took it as an excuse to buy the ROTR100.

The ROTR100 looks like a toy compared to the CM. It's about half the size, which had me thinking I made a big mistake. But it seems to have no problem turning my 173” CM crossfire. I'm using a thrust bearing of course, I don't think it could support that load on its own. I noticed the ROTR100 has a lot more free play in it than the CM, but it hasn't been an issue.

I wasn't really too keen on the idea of running electricity through my coax. Mainly because I have a distribution amp, and I don't think things would end well for it... So I used my existing rotor cable. I simply soldered some coax ends to the rotor cable. It worked great, and I'm sure it's getting more juice this way.

So far, I'm extremely happy with this thing, I should have bought it from the start. It's so nice to be able to punch in a compass heading from tvfool.com, and have the antenna actually turn to that heading!
post #25 of 217
Thread Starter 
The ROTR100 looks like a toy compared to the CM.

The rotor boxes of both are around the same size. How do you figure it "looks like a toy"?

The motor is smaller, but it is the gearing that does the work. It surely isn't a CD-45 MkII;

Here is a site that sells and repairs amateur radio rotors (which includes TV rotors);

90%+ of these offer position feedback as this model does. Also note the price.
post #26 of 217
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

The rotor boxes of both are around the same size. How do you figure it "looks like a toy"?

The motor is smaller, but it is the gearing that does the work. It surely isn't a CD-45 MkII;

Here is a site that sells and repairs amateur radio rotors (which includes TV rotors);

90%+ of these offer position feedback as this model does. Also note the price.

I meant the drive unit is so much smaller than the CM, it *looks* like it wouldn't be able to to turn anything but a small yagi. It's actually so much smaller that I had to put a block of wood behind it so it would stick out from the mast far enough to not bind my support bearing.

I've actually got a few CDE rotors on hand, so I did consider throwing an AR-22 up there. But it would have required running a new 4 wire cable, which would be a royal pain. Plus, I'd loose the ability to control it with my remote, which I'd really miss... And the old clicker type rotors still loose sync from time to time.
post #27 of 217
Thread Starter 
The only time I would worry is trying to turn the antenna durning high winds.
post #28 of 217
New guy here.

I appreciate the helpful posts about the ROTR100.

Let me throw you a curve ball: I plan to install a rotor in my attic. The attic geometry argues for mounting the rotor upside-down, with the antenna suspended beneath it. This results in a tensile load on the rotor's bearings, not the compressive load for which it might be designed. I'm wondering if that would be a problem for the ROTR100.

Also, temperatures range from -10 to 115 Fahrenheit up there in The Attic of Doom. Can the ROTR100 tolerate that?

On the other hand, attic installation eliminates problems of wind, snow and ice loading.
post #29 of 217
Thread Starter 
You forgot one thing; the rotation will be reversed.
180 will be 360/0 and 90 will be 270 degrees.

That would be a larger problem. As far as temperture, how hot do you think it gets in the sun up on the roof?

As far as the bearings, I'm not sure, but a good question.
post #30 of 217
Hard to know without taking it apart. If it's anything like the Channel Master however, it only has bearings to support downward force. And if it were installed upside down the entire load would be put on a single snap ring.
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