Radio Shack RS 15-1892 - The UFOaka The Magic Mushroom, The Starship Enterprise, The Frisbee
This thing is GREAT! The geek factor is high on this one! LOL! Its freakin sweet! Its like a Smart Antenna without the tuner control interface.
I bought this one used....and it came with everthing but the instructions. Undaunted, i hooked it up, and found that I could set the channels and move the rotating antenna within the disc and set the positions and gain, pretty intuitively. I later downloaded and printed instructions in order to write this mini review. This one will be longer than others. Although I only have basically 2 different tower locations, this thing rocked, and would be 10 times more useful if I had more tower directions. Non the less, it was useful at my location....and performed excellently. This one was too close to call really with DB2 unamped, RS DA-5200, and the amped RCA ANT1500. Its got a nice backlit LCD readout for the Channel #, Direction #(kinda arbitrary), and Gain Level #. You can choose between 3 gain levels, 1-2-3, or Low-Medium-High, corresponding (according to the manual) to 13db Min, 18db Min, and 22db Min amplifier levels. I tried this out but ended up setting all my channels to high gain for no particular reason other than "let's go full blast...Warp Speed!" There are 12 selectable positions for the antenna within its disc. There are Plus and Minus buttons on the remote which change the gain level. There are also Left and Right arrow buttons that change the direction of the antenna within its disc. Additionally, there is a press and hold button to turn off the LED display backlight, and a number pad to input channels. The remote is pretty small, but fairly simple to operate. All the buttons are the same size, and its not backlit, and its kind of hard to read...but the layout is simple enough, and the buttons large enough to operate. There is one more large button on the remote with the label Store, for storing a group of settings for an individual channel once you have it set up in the right direction and gain for best signal on that particular channel. One thing to note is that when the antenna moves, the motor is audible, but not obnoxiously loud. Kinda reassuring actually, you can hear that its working. On the back there is a 75ohm coax output hookup and an Aux input, and a switch to choose between the antenna and the Aux input....plus the power input, comes with wall wart and 6ft of detachable coax, plus remote, and guide booklet. It has 2 telescoping Rabbit Ears that are adjustable but limited in motion by the disc. I didnt really test them out....nor any of the other units really. They are for VHF reception. This unit does not have an FM Trap, and can be used as an FM antenna via its Rabbit Ears. The disc measures slightly over 12", its a pretty large antenna. There are Left Right Arrow buttons for changing the antenna position within the disc, and Plus and Minus buttons for adjusting the gain on the front of the antenna left and right of the LCD info panel, plus the push and hold button for turning off the LCD backlight.
I only tested this unit on top of the Oppo 970 DVD player, it didnt make it to the North corner window like the RS Single Bow Tie and the amped RCA ANT1500 and some others did. It worked pretty good, from my original positioning. But later, after I figured out the remote and operation, I moved it some, but still on top of the Oppo to optimize its performance. I found that all my Charleston channels that are clustered tightly to the North East at 45 miles worked best on postion 8 and slightly worse on postion 7 and 9....and my alternate PBS station at 23 miles SW worked best at position 1 or 12....I probably could have centered its performance on one or the other by twisting the unit slightly clockwise or counter clockwise. With a little tweaking, I had this thing running the board on all my channels, but it seemed that the signal strength may have been a little less than the RS DA-5200. My Vizio GV42LF LCD doesnt have signal strength bars....that is why I havent been reporting them.
How to set the antenna for a channel?
This is how I did it. I first changed to the desired channel on the Vizio TV. Then I entered the corresponding channel # on the remote which was then indicated on The UFO's LCD screen, in order to set the antenna direction and gain settings to maximize its performance on that channel. Then I moved the antenna direction with the Left and Right Arrows all the way from position 1 thru 12, it became obvious when the reception locked on. Lets say that channel 8 and 7 seemed like the best candidates from the quick run thru the positions. Then I moved up to 9 to check, and it still worked but with pixelation and dropouts. Back to 8 then on to 7 then 6...oops getting worse again. A/B 7 and 8, physically twist or move the unit if you need to, and there you have it. Position 8. Then check the gain level. Boom you are finished. Push and hold the store button, the info on the panel starts blinking, then press the store button again, and its set. You may have to adjust the gain earlier, if you are overloading your tuner. I cant comment on the effectiveness of the gain adjustment.
None the less...
Pretty geekin' sweet! Beam me up Scotty!
Here is a link to the UFO on Radio Shacks Website, where you can read user reviews and link to the manual in pdf format.http://www.radioshack.com/sm-buy-the...i-2131034.htmleidt: The manual states that there are 99 channel presets available, Ch. 0-99.
Performance rankings.....based on EV's observations....Rough Guide
Channel Master 4220 with CM 7777 amp on roof
DB2 with Channel Master 7777 amp on roof
RCA ANT1500 amped
RS DA-5200RS 15-1892 UFO
DB2 unamped indoors
Classic Single Bow Tie
Channel Master 4220 unamped indoors
RCA ANT108 (very similar to the RCA ANT110 and the Philips MANT110 and others)
Channel Master 4030
My First Attempt at the Coat Hanger Antenna, Youtube Video Specifications.... amped
RS 1868 Delta
Philips MANT 510
My First Attempt at the Coat Hanger Antenna, Youtube Video Specifications