Question: One Screw-- And I Wrecked My Antenna??

mrlewp87

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Initially shopped for a "real" antenna and amplifier. I wimped out when learning the cost of decent, new rotor. Irony is, after trying out a cheap so-called "HD Digital" antenna- WITH built-in rotator, I bought a genuine rotor anyway. It was that, or mount a live camera pointed up there so I knew which way the darn antenna was facing!
The backstory; weeks ago I put this odd looking device- a Boostwave WA2802, if it helps- on top of a 2 pc. extension handle for a limb cutter, and hoisted it up to about 20 ft., fastened to the facia of our home. It worked! Tuned into the big 3, and FOX, CW, PBS, classic TV channel, and more. About a week later, I took it down in preparation for a possible hurricane, and the reality of adding the actual rotor system.
The problem; I'm a curious kinda guy, and did some continuity tests on the antenna, now secured to the new rotor. Harmless ohms readings with my digital MM. I found that the winged "reflectors" at the back, are direct to ground. The odd, tree-shaped flat "elements", if you can call them that, measured 37 ohms to ground, and 0 ohms to each other. Obviously connected inside the head of the thing. ( I know....it's all not relative to the reactive type impedance induced(?) by TV signals. blah, blah. haha)
So, as I'm probing the device, I notice the heads of the tiny screws holding the top element to the bar that extends from the head, are rusty already. I removed.....ONE screw! Thought I'd replace it, but instead just cleaned the rust off. Nothing shifted, moved, slipped, dropped-- anything! This screw was only 1/4 in. long, and I could see nothing at all in the hole that it may have held, besides the flat aluminum upper piece.
So, now with the screw back in place, I just had to apply the multi-meter leads one more time! Whadda y'know- now I'm only seeing 13 ohms from either element to ground!! Really?? It's just weird dumb, and stupid too. (ha) I couldn't make any sense of it at all, so carried on securing the new rotor, guy lines, and heavier ground cable. Finally up, and another 3 ft. higher at least, and it's inside to enjoy.
Oh, sorry 'bout yer luck. NOW, I'm only receiving ONE station, which is under 10 miles from home. Of course I ran thru all the TV's options again- AUTO Search, Manually inputting stations based on a list generated from online locators, etc. Tried bypassing the cheap control unit/amp that came with the antenna.
What else to try or test? It's baffling for sure, and frustrating as ----!
 
#2
It is good that you know how to use a meter. The greatest value of an ohm meter in antenna work is basic testing of coax and connectors for continuity and shorts. Without knowing the resistance value the designer of the antenna intended to be there other resistance testing of an antennas is not a worthwhile endeavor.
The antenna in question contains a built in amplifier of very poor quality that must be powered, and kept in working order over it's normally very short life span.
If you post a TV Fool report for your location we may be able to offer antenna advice. A rotator may not be the right answer.
TV Fool
While it may be possible to repair a damaged Chinese miracle antenna advice on how to do it will be hard to find.
Steve
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#3
:welcome: mrlewp

The antenna in question is commonly called 'a Chinese Junk', sometimes they work and if they do they have a short life span. Please follow RF Steve's link and provide us your free antenna survey. You indicated you tried your antenna at two different heights and had different results, which is common: television signals tend to travel like a 'stack of pancakes' or in layers and the signals may not be present at a given height above ground level but they may be only a few feet above OR below the tested antenna height. Good luck and keep us posted.

Jim
 

mrlewp87

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
image.jpg
[/B] I'm not going omni-directional, so I do need the rotor. As for other changes; rotor sits about 3 ft. below the antenna. The ground cable is wrapped around the nut that tightens the RG6 cable to the antenna head. As it was when all worked before, and I know the nut and cable shield are grounded anyway, if using a combo gnd block/ arrestor as I am, just before entering home.
Only thing new, is that this same gnd cable is now securely attached to the metal parts of the rotor, before going down the mast. Oh, the mast is mostly metal now,also.
I was getting nearly all the stations in green, in tvfool list. The pink ones mostly duplicate them, which we didnt receive before.[/B]
 

mrlewp87

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
About 3 ft. higher is all. I'm gonna state with confidence that no way would I lose all but one station. The others (maybe 14 or so) show no hint of existence at all. I'll add that I'm in N. central Fla. Flat lands for the most part. Also, I'm in the country, surrounded by acres of pastures. Trees are in a direction not even near the directions we tuned in on first try. Im not committed to this antenna, just frustrated when something doesn't work for an unknown reason.
If I get a decent antenna, I might be able to get some of those pink listings, ya think?
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#6
If you are feeding only one TV, you shouldn't need an amplifier.
My suggestion is to get rid of the antenna you have. Even if you fix it, it will fail rather quickly. Don't waste your time and money, let us suggest some antennas that will work for you.

question:
Do you NEED channels 2 and 5? They are VHF-lo and will require a larger (and more expensive) antenna.

Suggestion:
You may be able to get the strong stations to the S/SE off the back of an antenna pointed at the weaker stations @ 56 degrees, eliminating the need for a rotor.
 
#7
The signals to the south south-west are spread out 56 degrees apart most directional antennas have a half power beam width of 35 to 50 degrees. The signals are predicted to be very strong, some of them so strong they should be hard to steer away from. It might take some time and patience with aiming, but it shouldn't be too difficult.
If you want to try for the signals in red that could make things a lot more complicated, and you are not really going to know until you get a fairly large antenna and try. I agree with MrPogi the stations to the south are strong enough you might receive them off the back side of an antenna.
WRUF which transmits on real channel 5 virtual channel 10.1 is listed on Rabbitears.info as weather. There is no program information listed for WBXG real channel 2. Here is a link to the page I was looking at.
RabbitEars.Info
Click on the call signs for more info. I was surprised to see so many extinct transmitters listed in that area.
Steve
 

mrlewp87

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
I believe it's clear that I already bought and installed the new rotor. I made sure that the antenna couldn't turn anymore on it's built-in rotor base, then secured it to a short mast mounted to the new rotor. My intentions were to use only the amp portion of the thing.
Still, I appreciate the ideas about fixing a new antenna toward weaker stations, and already was surprised during earlier trials of the Boostwave, to have seen some great TV images while learning that the antenna was in fact 180 dgrs. in the opposite direction.
I hadn't expressed any special interest in the lower VHF channels, so not sure about that question regarding them. And RFSteve, did you mean to say "extinct" transmitters? If so, what info suggests that?
I had an antenna picked out before going cheap, and reconsidering the same one. But I am open to recommendations. I don't wish to go too large, in size or cost.
 
#9
I realize you already have a rotor. While I used a low cost(under $200) rotor for years with only a few minor problems. I'm also a person who enjoys working on antenna systems, and expects a few break downs now and, then. When offering advice on a forum I realize the person asking for advice normally does not want to deal with or trouble shoot the problems associated with the use of rotors, or amplifiers so I seldom recommend them if there is a simpler, more reliable way to acquire the desired reception. With your TV Fool report you will definitely have problems with amplifier overload. You Do not need an amplifier. While I do understand that the boost waves antenna in the way it is built is totally dependent on the built in amplifier without it is is dead.
If you look at the channel list on the link I posted to the Rabbitears.info page several of the channels listed have a white X in a red background on them indicating that they are no longer on the air. Rabbitears.info is not without error, but it is based upon the FCC data base, and is one of the most accurate sources of internet information we have. I can certainly point to where the Rabbitears site is a bit out of date for my location. The FCC data base is a bit slow to change, or correct errors.
There are 2 channels listed in your area as transmitting on low VHF real channels 2 and 5. The displayed channel numbers on the TV are not the channel number the signal is transmitted on and have no relevance to the type, or size of antenna needed. Real channels 2-6 normally require a much wider antenna. A strong signal might be received on an antenna not designed for those channels.
My antenna recommendations for your location. If you don't care about the two low VHF channels.
Amazon.com: Winegard HD7694P High Definition VHF/UHF Antenna: Electronics
Smaller and would work for your local channels.
http://www.amazon.com/RCA-Compact-O...1&sr=8-1&keywords=rca+ant751r+outdoor+antenna
If you want the low VHF channels.
Amazon.com: RCA ANT3037XR 1080 HDTV Outdoor Antenna with 110-Inch Boom: Electronics
The RCA ANT3037XR can be assembled with or without the low VHF extensions.
http://www.rcaantennas.net/docs/common/ANT3037XR/ANT3037XR_IM.pdf
Depending on how far you want to pursue this there are other things that could be done. I try my best to keep the things I suggest as simple and reliable as possible.
Steve
 

mrlewp87

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#10
Sorry about my absence. Had to let go of looking forward to a nice new, "real" antenna. Turned out the cable that I knew "had to be better" than what came with my $30 special, was the culprit. Apparently I stressed it too much at some point, and the center line broke. Used the cheap RG6 from the package, and we're back in bid'niss! Ha.
At least I'm getting all that I got before, and more. Well, at first anyway. The "more" was 9 more channels I found when aiming it into the netherland (<spellcheck error?) regions. Three were from FSU in Tallahassee, PBS stations. And over 100 miles away!! But that was once, in the morning. Looked great. These and 6 others, I've not been able to tune in again.
Could it be the outdoor cam that I installed on the short mast that turns with the antenna? It had been stationary, running to our TV. Rarely viewed it, but now it's lot's of fun viewing as it turns 360 dgrs. about 21 Ft. above ground level. The cam is small, and would fit in a 2" cube. Yes, it's metal, but below the antenna. Tried dis-connecting the power to it, but still can't tune in those 9 extra channels. It's odd, because the rotor housing is there too, perhaps 2 ft. below the antenna, yet I did tune in those extra 9 channels once. Still getting all the stations I did before installing the rotor, at least. So, guess we're done here as long as this thing lasts. I believe I had settled on the RCA, or Winegard antenna before getting this one back up. Forget which, but it had the angled reflectors at the rear. Thanks much to all.
 

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