Antenna ID needed...time to replace?

bleech

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2020
8
3
Waukesha, WI
I discovered this morning that my antenna rotator kicked the bucket. The only reason I've used the rotator the last 10 years is because the mast bolts have loosened up and the antenna occasionally blows around in the wind. I went up to check things out today, finally. My setup is at least 20 years old, all of the bolts are rusted tight and probably have to be cut out, but structurally everything seems ok. If I replace the rusted bolts I won't need the rotator. Can anyone identify the antenna I have, and should it be replaced with something more modern? The built-in pre amp says Channel Master. Reception is generally fine when the antenna is pointing the right way, we are about 30 miles from the transmitters.
 

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907TECH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 29, 2018
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Alaska
The old antennas like yours generally are a lot better than a lot of the "modern" antennas on the market today. Today top sales are for antennas that do not look like antennas, buyers are more concerned with appearance than function it appears. Usually somebody doesn't want an ugly monstrosity in the air. If you are in Waukesha, I looked at a signal analysis you need the VHF capability of the old antenna, there is one VHF low (WIWN 68-1) and several VHF high. By all means keep the antenna.
 

bleech

Thread Starter
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May 12, 2020
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Waukesha, WI
Thanks for the help, exactly what I wanted to hear! I wasn't looking forward to replacing it , that thing is a real bear. Hopefully i can get another 20 years out of it. I actually watch the 68.x subchannels quite frequently, never have had an issue. My only complaint is the recent loss of the low-power WTSJ ( I watched Buzzr on one of the subchannels), they changed their signal pattern after the repack and I'm now just outside their fringe apparently.
 

arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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If it were me I'd tear down the rotator motor and see if it could be freshened up.
Id also spray the antenna down with Lime Away and brush it down and make all of the connections shiny then rinse it good with fresh water. Channel Master didn't put all of those elements there for look-see.
Consider a new CM-7777 preamp in the mix. Several models of them. Pick your flavor.
 
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TRG

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Get a can of pb blaster penetrating oil an give the bolts a good soaking. That stuff works great.
 

bleech

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2020
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Waukesha, WI
I was able to begin replacing rusted bolts with stainless steel today (a little torque broke them clean off), I also tested the rotor today with a new cable and it works great, the old cable was crumbling. As for amplification, there is a pre-amp installed on the antenna as well as an electroline drop amp in the basement. There is only one channel I would like to get but cannot since the repack...It is low power station that switched to a different type of transmitter. Is there anything I can do do get this station? Prior to the repack I was between the red and blue lines and could get reception about 75% of the time (red X marks my location)
 

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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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Step by step. Antenna lead in good shape? Amp working? Unplug the antenna amp to see if signal reduces?
30 miles away should blast in a signal.
 

Trip

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Jun 21, 2008
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I was able to begin replacing rusted bolts with stainless steel today (a little torque broke them clean off), I also tested the rotor today with a new cable and it works great, the old cable was crumbling. As for amplification, there is a pre-amp installed on the antenna as well as an electroline drop amp in the basement. There is only one channel I would like to get but cannot since the repack...It is low power station that switched to a different type of transmitter. Is there anything I can do do get this station? Prior to the repack I was between the red and blue lines and could get reception about 75% of the time (red X marks my location)
Post a RabbitEars Signal Search Map result. RabbitEars.Info

- Trip
 

bleech

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2020
8
3
Waukesha, WI
Thanks for the suggestion, here is the map: RabbitEars.Info

I can currently get all of the "fair" and better stations, and most of the "poor" Madison-market stations if I turn the antenna west. However, I have yet to get any kind of signal from WTSJ since it moved to RF 26 in February.

I'm pretty sure the equipment is operating correctly, I did have to replace the drop amp about 10 years ago, I get next to zero reception without it.
 

Trip

RabbitEars Webmaster
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Alexandria, VA, US
I'm going to guess that because WTSJ-LD is co-channel with WKOW, the ability to receive WKOW when aimed that way means that WTSJ-LD is probably just receiving too much interference. Unless you're able to do something to cut down the signal from WKOW off the back of the antenna, I'm not sure there'll be much you can do. You're considered to be inside WKOW's coverage area and outside WTSJ-LD's.

- Trip
 

bleech

Thread Starter
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May 12, 2020
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Waukesha, WI
I never thought to check that both stations used the same frequency, that explains a lot. I guess I will just have to live without that station!
 

waylew

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Aug 23, 2010
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I never thought to check that both stations used the same frequency, that explains a lot. I guess I will just have to live without that station!
Have you tried turning the antenna to different positions,might find a spot where you can get the one you want even tho it's not pointed right at it.
 

bleech

Thread Starter
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May 12, 2020
8
3
Waukesha, WI
I was able to replace all of the bolts and the rotator cable, and I was able to do some experimenting with antenna positions. No position was able to get a signal from WTSJ. However, when pointed SE I was able to get a signal from WFLD in Chicago (RF 24), which also carries BUZZR. It wasn't a super-strong signal, but it was something. I am considering getting a separate UHF-only rooftop antenna to get just this station since I cannot sacrifice the other stations in my market. Is there one that would be recommended that doesn't break the bank? I'm attaching a RabbitEars coverage map with my location marked with a red X
 

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FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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Central Pennsylvania
I was able to replace all of the bolts and the rotator cable, and I was able to do some experimenting with antenna positions. No position was able to get a signal from WTSJ. However, when pointed SE I was able to get a signal from WFLD in Chicago (RF 24), which also carries BUZZR. It wasn't a super-strong signal, but it was something. I am considering getting a separate UHF-only rooftop antenna to get just this station since I cannot sacrifice the other stations in my market. Is there one that would be recommended that doesn't break the bank? I'm attaching a RabbitEars coverage map with my location marked with a red X
You might consider one of these:


I use the 30-2370 with great success. Our most distant UHF station is 57 miles away, 2 edge and we get reliable reception probably 95% of the time.
 

FTA4PA

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Thanks! I should have stated that the station is 86 miles away. Might this one still work?
Highly unlikely you would get a signal strong enough at that distance even with a directional antenna like that but cheap enough antenna to give it a try I guess. :)
 

bleech

Thread Starter
Member
May 12, 2020
8
3
Waukesha, WI
You might consider one of these:


I use the 30-2370 with great success. Our most distant UHF station is 57 miles away, 2 edge and we get reliable reception probably 95% of the time.
I want to thank you so much for the recommendation of this antenna! I paired it with a Winegard pre-amp and so have gotten solid reception of WFLD. It's been up for three days and I've only had a few brief drop outs, with signal strength in the 50-55% range according to my Tivo Roamio.
 

FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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I want to thank you so much for the recommendation of this antenna! I paired it with a Winegard pre-amp and so have gotten solid reception of WFLD. It's been up for three days and I've only had a few brief drop outs, with signal strength in the 50-55% range according to my Tivo Roamio.
You're welcome! Glad it worked out for you. :) :thumbup
 

Larry1

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Aug 24, 2005
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Port Hope, ON Canada
have gotten solid reception of WFLD. It's been up for three days and I've only had a few brief drop outs, with signal strength in the 50-55% range according to my Tivo Roamio.
You will probably find reception will be dependent on the seasons. At that distance, the atmosphere plays a great factor in reception.
 

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