eBay Antenna Reviews, Ratings, and Discussion

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#1
Well, I went shopping for DTV antennas, and was looking for an antenna with plenty of elements.

This one caught my eye:



I ordered it. However, what I got was this one:



That's the Walito 2602. Very similar to the QuantumFX ANT-108 I actually received:





Manual was riddled with Engrish. "Coockial cable" "Rotalon push button" "Emote controller" amongst correct spellings in repetitions elsewhere. Spanish language half had no errors. The remote control and power unit are covered with paper stickers. Needless to say, I was quite sunk. I asked the seller for a $10-$15 partial refund.

Then I tried it. Oooh. It worked.

Have a look at this raw, uncut video:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0viH7T11fA[/YOUTUBE]

Yes, I just realized my biggest goof: I HAD THE TV SOUND OFF! Well, I did say "raw," didn't I? Besides, I think the sound is gone on that TV. It IS beat up, as I have to bang it ala-Onslow to get it to work right.

You'll see a velcro-docked camera in front of the TV. That's a CVS one-time-use camcorder hooked to a custom computer cable, which is how the video was recorded. I have 7 of these cameras. They're wonderful, and cheap to replace if need be.


I mounted it "apartment style", on a short CD spindle, setting it on the TV.

Rotation motor didn't work, as it was a brushless "A/C pulse rotation" motor that are used in cheapo electric analog pool clocks. Sure it has few parts to corrode, but if it was parked in a midpoint, it won't budge. If it had a solenoid that tapped the motor to run, then it would work all the time. Another idea would be a plastic spring-tooth system so that the magnetic pole of the motor wheel would be at the correct position to move when power was applied. Maybe washing the sticky grease inside out with WD-40 could help. Cheap Tongcheng brushless motor. Yes, I took apart the motor from the A-Neutronics, to show what it uses inside.

I extended the dipole bar, and open the reflector cup.

All but one of the pre-transition stations came in. It would probably come in once I put the antenna in the attic.

Some pixelation occurred, but that's because:
I had 2 computers running in the same room as the antenna
There are 2 500 GB external hard drives running at 80% full capacity by the computers
Antenna was mounted 4 feet off the ground
There is a garage door 15 yards in front of the antenna
There's a digital radio clock running 6 inches behind it
The creator-autographed Naked Mole Rat on top of the radio clock is running interference

As for low-power stations, not seen in the test... they come in okay.

One more thing I haven't tested yet: I hope the remote control receiver box does not share the same fault I found with the A-Neutronics control box: The rotation motor control box reacted to a laptop's IrDA transmitter in "broadcast" mode. That means when the laptop was "broadcasting" in infrared, the A-Neutronics antenna jiggled around like it had a nervous tic. It frightened me at first until I found out what was going on.

Want more hardcore raw tests like this? Let me know.
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#2
Oh great divxhacker, Because of you mentioning Engrish in the forum, we'll be getting bombarded with all kinds of spam from over seas.:doh:
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#3
Divx, great review and great video. The CD spindle actually worked well as a mount.

All but one of the pre-transition stations came in. It would probably come in once I put the antenna in the attic.
How do the QuantumFX ANT-108 results compare to your previous antenna?

It looks to be made mostly of plastic. I wonder about the durability of mounting it outside or is it marketed as an indoor only?
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#4
How do the QuantumFX ANT-108 results compare to your previous antenna?
It works far better. In its current position, it pulls in the channels that we can't get post-transition, namely the VHF channels. Will check against the TVFool listing once it is set up in the attic.

It looks to be made mostly of plastic. I wonder about the durability of mounting it outside or is it marketed as an indoor only?
Yes, quite excessive amount of plastic there. The dipole ladder seems to slump under its own weight. Could have done without all that weight. However, the sections of the dipole ladder hold a piece of tubular aluminum just under the dipole arms - it can't be taken off without losing some reception.

It looks like it can be mounted outdoors, but still, that white plastic would surely age, though. The dipole ladder would sag, especially if birds landed/nested on it. It'll definitely need a little Tanglefoot or a plastic owl on it. The 50' of white coaxial cable (seen on the listing) it comes with has a cover for the antenna's coaxial connector to protect from rain. It also comes with a pack of regular zip ties, and a pack of small anchor-on-nails with really small zip ties so that, with a little work, someone could neatly lead the connection from the antenna into the house.

The WA-2602/QFX-ANT-108 actually looks like it would fit best atop an RV or camper as it collapses into a somewhat streamlined shape. Not too hard:

Take the sides and the side attachment screws off and stow them inside the camper. [They can't be folded when mounted, as the bottom would not close and be in the way. Leaving the screws in there risks loss during transport.]
Push in the dipole ladder
Close the top
Rotate it so that it faces the rear of the RV/camper.

Little wind drag there.
 
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Piggie

Super Moderator
#5
What was your previous antenna?

What bothers me about this type of antenna is it leads people to believe it has a tremendous range to replace conventional style antennas for fringe reception.

Plotting just the city of Rossmoor you are in the cat birds seat even at 30 miles from the mountain antennas.

It would be interesting to compare it to a Terk HDTVa side by side indoors. It may well have more gain than the Terk, because the Terk is a staggered log design that doesn't have a dedicated reflector.

This antenna should work very well in the LA market where LOS is almost never a problem. Though I think this antenna is over priced. TV Antenna Source Indoor/Outdoor TV Antennas - digital/HDTV

But that begs the question why not spend that much money on a HBU22. Which has less mulitpath on UHF than any of the above antennas. It will fit on most j-pipes and if needed the boom to mast clamp can be moved back because it's such a light antenna.

Remember that any antenna that is "compact" sacrifices gain and mulitpath rejection simply due to the laws of electromagnetic physics.
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#6
What was your previous antenna?

What bothers me about this type of antenna is it leads people to believe it has a tremendous range to replace conventional style antennas for fringe reception. ...

Remember that any antenna that is "compact" sacrifices gain and mulitpath rejection simply due to the laws of electromagnetic physics.
Attic installation didn't bring in all the missing channels., one of the channels was a tad spotty.

I tried hooking up the Quantum FX's amplifier to the old color TV antnna, and it worked perfectly on all the old channels.

Low power stations had a little too much snow. All the low-power stations around here are running infomercials, I don't care for that junk, so I deleted them off.

I plan to try something better in the upcoming months, but I need to sell some stuff to get research money for it.
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#7
Previous antenna was a Radio Shack 40 inch FM-VHF-UHF, can't find a photo of it anywhere online. The UHF grids on top and bottom open up, and the side elements for VHF swing out. Theres about 15 narrow elements welded onto the main bar. By the corrosion on it, it looks like it had 4 years of weathering age on it before it was moved into the attic 9 years ago after the house remodel. It's pretty old, not really made for DTV, as it is made for VHF reception strength. Hooking up an 18 db amplifier worked somewhat, but the splitter cut the reception down a bit. It's a good antenna, I'm waiting to try a 35db amplifier on it.

Oh, and I hope I get my refund, because I found the antenna that was used in the original eBay ad photo: QUANTUM-FX ANT-104 (ANT104) <br>TV Remote-Controlled Rotating ANTENNA (DTV & HDTV Ready) It's the Quantun FX ANT 104 Here's an eBay-worthy pic:


The A-OK-Deals seller no longer sells the antenna I ordered, just this one:

A Quantum FX indoor dipole-and-bowtie-mesh antenna. The bowtie mesh is on a rotor for those who don't want to get up to turn it.

Better than this one I found hiding in an eBay seller's album as I was raiding the listings for photos of kooky antennas:


Anyways, it looks like A-OK-Deals seller has decided that the DTV sales phase is pretty much over. Their main forte is Sirius radio antenna stuff - eBay Store - Sirius Satellite Radio: XM Radio, Remote, Antenna

I'll definitely look for something much better than any of the above to test.

What did I learn from all this? Walito, LAVA, and Quantum FX are pretty synonymous. Plastic with aluminum elements.

I'll do more extensive research before committing funds.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#9
Oh, and I hope I get my refund, because I found the antenna that was used in the original eBay ad photo: QUANTUM-FX ANT-104 (ANT104) <br>TV Remote-Controlled Rotating ANTENNA (DTV & HDTV Ready) It's the Quantun FX ANT 104 Here's an eBay-worthy pic:
This antenna is based on better antenna theory. it uses folded dipoles for directors and has 7 of them.

I am not too sure why they are using 2 folded dipoles for driven element (the ones broken in the middle with red caps. Unless it has a 2:1 balun because 2 folded dipoles in parallel would be about 150 ohm.

Then it has a VHF reflector. This antenna should have about 4 to 5 db on UHF and 2 to 3 on VHF.

I can't see where it says amplified which would be good for those that don't need an amp.

I might make a good attic antenna for someone that didn't need more than just a tiny bit more gain than rabbit ears.

However 50 ft of coax if hooked to it would just about kill the gain out of it if its not amplified.

$20 makes it the right price also to compete against antennas built to be outside for years. I am not sure how long the plastic mount or rotor would last.
 
#10
Well, DTV signals are supposed to be weak and mostly in the UHF band. The UHF grids are about 7 inches diagonally. Didn't work too good for DTV until I put on a salvaged 18db pre-amp. Post-transition, four channels moved back to the old VHF slots, and the 18db pre-amp only helped the UHF channels, I lost the ones that moved back to VHF.

I tried the 36db amp off the QuantumFX, and it worked at pulling all the green zone DTV stations. Low-power stations were too weak to be watchable. So the antenna would still work with a good amplifier. Using an amplifier is probably the best recommendation before replacing an existing antenna, right after replacing old, worn-out cable.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#11
Well, I went shopping for DTV antennas, and was looking for an antenna with plenty of elements.

This one caught my eye:



I ordered it. However, what I got was this one:



That's the Walito 2602. Very similar to the QuantumFX ANT-108 I actually received:





Manual was riddled with Engrish. "Coockial cable" "Rotalon push button" "Emote controller" amongst correct spellings in repetitions elsewhere. Spanish language half had no errors. The remote control and power unit are covered with paper stickers. Needless to say, I was quite sunk. I asked the seller for a $10-$15 partial refund.

Then I tried it. Oooh. It worked.

Have a look at this raw, uncut video:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0viH7T11fA[/YOUTUBE]

Yes, I just realized my biggest goof: I HAD THE TV SOUND OFF! Well, I did say "raw," didn't I? Besides, I think the sound is gone on that TV. It IS beat up, as I have to bang it ala-Onslow to get it to work right.

You'll see a velcro-docked camera in front of the TV. That's a CVS one-time-use camcorder hooked to a custom computer cable, which is how the video was recorded. I have 7 of these cameras. They're wonderful, and cheap to replace if need be.


I mounted it "apartment style", on a short CD spindle, setting it on the TV.

Rotation motor didn't work, as it was a brushless "A/C pulse rotation" motor that are used in cheapo electric analog pool clocks. Sure it has few parts to corrode, but if it was parked in a midpoint, it won't budge. If it had a solenoid that tapped the motor to run, then it would work all the time. Another idea would be a plastic spring-tooth system so that the magnetic pole of the motor wheel would be at the correct position to move when power was applied. Maybe washing the sticky grease inside out with WD-40 could help. Cheap Tongcheng brushless motor. Yes, I took apart the motor from the A-Neutronics, to show what it uses inside.

I extended the dipole bar, and open the reflector cup.

All but one of the pre-transition stations came in. It would probably come in once I put the antenna in the attic.

Some pixelation occurred, but that's because:
I had 2 computers running in the same room as the antenna
There are 2 500 GB external hard drives running at 80% full capacity by the computers
Antenna was mounted 4 feet off the ground
There is a garage door 15 yards in front of the antenna
There's a digital radio clock running 6 inches behind it
The creator-autographed Naked Mole Rat on top of the radio clock is running interference

As for low-power stations, not seen in the test... they come in okay.

One more thing I haven't tested yet: I hope the remote control receiver box does not share the same fault I found with the A-Neutronics control box: The rotation motor control box reacted to a laptop's IrDA transmitter in "broadcast" mode. That means when the laptop was "broadcasting" in infrared, the A-Neutronics antenna jiggled around like it had a nervous tic. It frightened me at first until I found out what was going on.

Want more hardcore raw tests like this? Let me know.
Hello all! First post here. Question for the OP, how far away are you from the broadcast towers? I have been exploring the little amplified rotating antennas before I make my move and some specs say way more than I believe. I am high on a hill and want to receive stations ~85 miles away. Nothing available locally around here so overload will not be an issue.

I currently have Dish Network but I only get the "Big 4" plus The CW via LiL in HD on the dish. I wanted to complement this service with all the HD plus the digital subs I could get. My receivers could actually add all these channels into my Dish programming guide.

Again, to the OP, how far away are you from the broadcast towers?
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#12
If you measure an antennas performance in miles you will often be fooled and disappointed. There are so many other factors in antennas that the mile maybe 40 miles for one person and 20 for the next the box will always read some crazy huge number like 100 miles.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#13
If you measure an antennas performance in miles you will often be fooled and disappointed. There are so many other factors in antennas that the mile maybe 40 miles for one person and 20 for the next the box will always read some crazy huge number like 100 miles.
All that you say is true for the most part. But wouldn't you say my question is a start? I am not saying one question + one answer = one solution. I am looking for input. I am exploring.

But hey little Piggie. Nice to meet ya.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#15
The towers there are 560 meters above sea level and the valley isn't a long way above sea level in comparison. So in terms of TV reception the coastal plains of LA are nearly perfect for TV reception.

The look down angle from a mountain transmitter's range is much better than one on a tower in relatively flat terrain that has to deal with obstacles in it's path, such as tall buildings and foliage.

Every location requires different styles of antenna is my point. What works great in one town won't in the next.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#16
Hello everyone.

Thanks for the excellent review and video Divx!

Ive been interested in info on those rotating chinese antennas. The one Lava ANT-104 just commented on was 1 of 2 or 3 similar style antennas that I was checking out.

I have the Quantum FX indoor antenna and its performing similar to the Radio Shack 1880.....very well. Recommended.

I also have the A-Neutronics AV-891 on the way. Id be interested in your review and comments on it Divxhacker, when you get it. I really enjoyed your video on the OP antenna and have posted a link to it on AVSforum in the Indoor Antenna thread.

Till tommorrow.



Lava 2065

Youtube Video





Lava 2805






Youtube Video






No name given

Frequency: 45 - 860 MHZ
Turning Degree: 360
Impedance: 75 Ohms
Wavelength: < 1,5
Gain: 25 - 35dB
Reception Range: 50 miles or more (Reception Distance estimate is based on line of sight open terrain factors)
Infrared Remote Control
VHF/UHF
Weight: 5 lbs.
NOISE REDUCTION
ULTRA SHARP
Infra-Red Remote System
45 Feet "F" type COAXIAL CABLE NOTE: You can add more coax if you need a longer run
Measurements : 29" Long X 26" Wide X 18.5" Depth

The last 2 were the ones I was considering acquiring and testing....which look like they might have a more substantial build quality (rotor housing looks robust and who would have thunk it ROUND!)....at least more robust than the others there.

There is also this crazy looking thing....

Youtube Video
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#17
NRA "Nitro" 3000




Here is the A-Neutronics AV 891 I have on the way. Looks promising with dual loops like the RS 1880, ClearStream2, and the Quantum FX indoor....plus reflector screens (and a bit further back than the table top models perhaps? that would be good I think). Concerned about the sizing (Ive been fooled by pics before).....and the rotor looks weak, amp mounted at balun box? We'll see.



I also have a Cornet ET-8DA here currently...havent really gotten it out and messed with it yet.....which is a lot like the Terk HDTVo....with log periodic UHF elements and fold out VHF folded dipoles. Should work well.

 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#18
Id be interested in anybodies comments on those antennas.

What are the driven elements?

Its tough to see the jumper feedlines.

It looks like the Nitro 3000's active elements are the longer aluminum tubes on the top and bottom on the frontside with a bunch of smaller directors in front of it........and the large VHF (High) dipole towards the rear. And it has a rounded corner reflector with a focus at where (on VHF frequencies? and on UHF frequencies?)

Is this a stacked UHF antenna combined with a VHF dipole all in front of a parabolic corner reflector?

Fascinating!
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#19
The No Name Antenna, looks to have the large VHF (High) dipole driven and combined with the middle sized UHF driven dipole with 5 smaller directors in front of it. Plus the VHF dipoles acts as a reflector as well and the mesh screen is reflecting UHF as well. And a decent looking rotor.

Seems like a somewhat sensible reasonable setup.
 
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EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#20
Piggie said this about the Lava ANT 104:


This antenna is based on better antenna theory. it uses folded dipoles for directors and has 7 of them.

I am not too sure why they are using 2 folded dipoles for driven element (the ones broken in the middle with red caps. Unless it has a 2:1 balun because 2 folded dipoles in parallel would be about 150 ohm.

Then it has a VHF reflector. This antenna should have about 4 to 5 db on UHF and 2 to 3 on VHF.

I can't see where it says amplified which would be good for those that don't need an amp.

I might make a good attic antenna for someone that didn't need more than just a tiny bit more gain than rabbit ears.

However 50 ft of coax if hooked to it would just about kill the gain out of it if its not amplified.

$20 makes it the right price also to compete against antennas built to be outside for years. I am not sure how long the plastic mount or rotor would last.

Note: The Cornet ET-8DA above.....the fold out VHF dipoles are plastic housings (presumably with some wire in there somewhere. This Lava ANT-104 is likely to be similar.....ie....those fold out dipoles and reflectors are NOT aluminum tubing but plastic with some metal in there somewhere.....Im guessing. Though from this video it looks like they may be aluminum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hOo6SLcn0M&feature=related

I noticed that fellow customized his antenna, adding a length of aluminum tubing to his UHF dipole as well.
 
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