Antenna rotors are motor-driven devices that allow the users to conveniently rotate their outdoor TV antenna. A fixed roof outdoor antenna with a narrow beam width often fails to accommodate arriving signals from widely spaced directions. A rotor or rotator helps to get the desired TV signals by orienting the antenna in the direction of the specific channel’s transmitting tower.
An antenna rotor can help in eliminating different types of signal interference and/or adjacent channels through re-orientation of the antenna. It’s also useful to fine tune or increase the clarity of the TV signals that falter due to atmospheric or other conditions.
The control unit of a typical antenna rotor is placed near the indoor TV set. It comes with a digital display and a direction-calibrated knob. It’s manually operated with the control unit or by a remote to rotate the outdoor antenna automatically in the desired direction.
How to Install an Antenna Rotor
Installing antenna rotors aren’t difficult and average homeowners can do it themselves. Here are the steps to install antenna rotors made easy.
- Remove the fixed antenna from its current position and attach it to a short section of the mast. Keep the base mast fastened as it is.
- Measure the length of the existing mast of the antenna. The motor of the rotator will be placed on the top of the base mast. So, the existing antenna mast shouldn’t be longer than necessary to rotate. If the antenna is large with boom braces, a 3 ½ feet mast is enough; if the antenna is small, a shorter mast is ideal. In such a case, cut the antenna mast in length and reattach it with the mast.
- Attach the transmission line to the antenna terminals after removing the old transmission wires.
- Remove the access plate at the bottom of the rotor’s drive unit housing to attach the rotor wire. The most practical rotor wire has three conductors. All Channel Master Antenna rotors come with three conductor rotor wires. To attach, first strip 2 inches of the insulation on all conductors with the help of a wire stripper pliers and twist the wire strands together. Make sure there are no loose strands otherwise it might result in a short circuit or degraded performance.
- The rotor wire is colour The primary wire is red in colour and is connected to Terminal 1. The wire next to the primary wire is black in colour and is connected to Terminal 2. The third wire is connected to Terminal 3. In some conductors, the rotor wire is not colour coded. Here, the primary wire might be wider and you need to connect it to the three terminals in order.
- After you’ve connected the wires, cover each of the three connections with an insulating material to prevent rusting and corrosion. Then, fasten the bottom access plate of the drive unit or rotor housing.
- Now, attach the rotor housing over the base mast with ‘C’ clamps. Keep rotating the unit housing until the access plate faces your position and then fasten it.
- Place the short mast in position with which you had attached the antenna (as mentioned in Step 1) above the rotor unit housing. Make sure that the antenna terminals reside on the opposite side of the rotor housing terminals. Rotate as necessary before fixing it with clamps.
- On the base mast, about 4-6 inches below the rotor housing, attach a two-wire standoff. Attach the antenna wire and the rotor wire on each of the two portals of the standoff.
- Additional standoffs should be installed at 10 feet intervals. The number of standoffs used depends on the distance between the antenna and the entry point into the house.
- Drill an access hole to enter the antenna wire and the rotor wire into the house. You can also feed the wires through a window.
- Connect the antenna wire to the TV terminals that exist at the back of the TV.
- Connect the rotor wire to the control unit in the same way you had connected wires at the rotor housing, as stated in Step 5.
- Lastly, synchronize the control unit with the rotor drive unit housing. For a fully automatic system, plug in the control unit and turn the knob clockwise and let the antenna rotate until it stops. As the antenna rotates, the control unit clicks. When it stops rotating, turn the knob anti-clockwise and let it rotate until it stops. Thus, the synchronization is successful and the installation is complete.
Remember, there could be variations in installation procedures depending on the model of antenna rotors. Always make sure to check the instructions given on your product manual sheet before installation.