Sometimes you have to shake your head and laugh...

Jason S

Jason S

Thread Starter
Ordinary Average Guy...
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 9, 2014
825
497
North Central Texas
I'm in a fringe location with one channel (two subchannels) that come in somewhat reliably... Planning to do some tests to see if there is a better location for my OTA antenna, I needed a converter box to go with my little 13" TV so I can do this all outside.

So make the 45 min drive to the former Radio Shack. They have one generic converter box, I decide to take it. I'm talking with whom I presume is the store owner about antennas, my testing plans, tell him what I have (Antennacraft Y-10-7-13) and what I receive. He describes the antenna he is using, I say '8-bay'. He pulls it up online, it's an 8-bay antenna... I ask how is it on UHF, he proceeds to tell me that it's specially designed for 'Digital' signals. At this point, I'm thinking I'm done with this conversation. He continues on with something about receiving stations from Arkansas (we're in SE KS so it may be possible) but I'm done listening.

I leave the Radio Shack and across the street is a TV/electronics shop. The sign on the store has 'Zenith' across the top, so I figure it's been established awhile. I haven't had a chance to visit this place yet and it's open. In the window is a Channel Master antenna rotator, it's an old store so I begin to think this may have promise. Go in and start talking with the owner. Ask about the antenna rotator and he says he'll only sell Channel Master because the others don't hold up. Then he says that the antenna rotators last a little longer now because the 'Digital' antennas are lighter and don't stress the motors... I thank the guy and leave.

Even though there may be some merit in the last guys statement, I'm thinking the antenna is not lighter because it's a 'Digital' antenna.

Should I expect more or is this really just how it is?
 
navychop

navychop

Member of the Month - July 2014!
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 20, 2005
54,338
19,617
Northern VA
Good liberal education. Feel good, collect trophies but learn little practical.
 
FaT Air

FaT Air

HOA Free Zone
Feb 27, 2010
6,668
914
97W 48N
Digital - the new 'buzz' word for advertising..
I'm afraid to say "that's the way it is today" but that IS the way it is today. I remember at a Rat Shak a long time ago, the salesman was trying to sell a package of 1/2 resistors to a guy that needed to slow down an AC motor.
About that rotator, CM had the best BITD. Have never had to replace any of them. Many other brands got replaced with a CM.
But I really doubt that's the case today.
Antenna design will be the same, no mater the modulation or frequency, until a different transport medium replaces radio waves.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TNGTony
TNGTony

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
804
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Moron electronics and electronics accessories sales people/store owners are nothing new. When I worked retail we had our share of moron sales people. One of the best VCR sales people I ever worked with in the 1980s didn't have a clue how to use one. When challenged by the store manager, he couldn't even turn one of them on! But he sold the heck out of them.
Now everyone QUIET. I need to hear this infomercial about the new HD sunglasses!
 
H

HoTat2

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 12, 2012
1,295
337
Los Angeles, CA.
Yeah, as you said the last statement about the CM rotor may have some merit. If by "digital antennas" he means antennas for reception in the UHF or UHF/VHF-hi band tipically used for DTV broadcasting being lighter and smaller, therefore having less wind load than burdening the rotor with the heavier and larger traditional tri-band antennas of the analog era that include VHF-lo band elements.

But the terminology of "digital antenna(s)" is nevertheless incorrect.

Sent from my SGH-M819N using Tapatalk
 
H

HoTat2

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 12, 2012
1,295
337
Los Angeles, CA.
Moron electronics and electronics accessories sales people/store owners are nothing new. When I worked retail we had our share of moron sales people. One of the best VCR sales people I ever worked with in the 1980s didn't have a clue how to use one. When challenged by the store manager, he couldn't even turn one of them on! But he sold the heck out of them.
Now everyone QUIET. I need to hear this infomercial about the new HD sunglasses!

You know many years ago when I was young studying electronics early on in college I thought a part time job in a local electronics store would be a great way to make some money on the side, and naively didn't really understand why many of the stores weren't so much interested in my technical knowledge, but if I had ever sold anything before or what "sales experience" did I have?

Didn't realize until later in life that your post is the obvious answer why.

So looking back I "shake my head" over how I couldn't see that back then. That is in vulgar translation... how good are you at talking fast?, running a virtual con?, playing fast and loose with the truth?, and/or otherwise just outright BS'ing people into buying things they probably didn't need to begin with?





Sent from my SGH-M819N using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jason S
Jason S

Jason S

Thread Starter
Ordinary Average Guy...
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 9, 2014
825
497
North Central Texas
During the Radio Shack discussion, one of the questions asked was "do I still have the big analog antenna or a digital antenna?" It's sad because something like this can just set people up for failure. Especially so if your best chance of fringe area OTA is VHF-hi and you're being directed to a 'Digital Antenna' that is optimized for UHF.
 
larrykenney

larrykenney

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 16, 2004
552
222
San Francisco, CA
It's amazing how people get informed about digital antennas or HD antennas by sales people or those wonder infomercials on TV.

I have a friend down near San Jose who said that his neighbor had a very nice all-band antenna on his roof, but he took it down and replaced with a new "digital antenna" because a digital antenna was better.

As for rotors, I went through two Channel Master rotors. The gusty winds we get during the summer when the fog comes roaring in was too much for them and they failed. I've now got a Yaesu G-450A that's a lot more sturdy... and yes, more expensive... but it's showing no signs of strain with the winds. Oh, wait, maybe it's because I put up a new digital antenna. :) It's an Antenna Direct XG-91 on top of my Antennacraft Y-10-7-13.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mr Tony
M

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
328
78
Mankato, MN
I guess with Radio Shack now that they closed most of them the closest to me is a franchise store about 20 miles away. I stopped in there last summer and spoke with the owner who actually knew his sh*t about TV antennas. I've stopped in a few times after that but the franchise stores they usually know their stuff.

The old corporate stores...not so much (I did work at some in the early 90's when they still hired knowledgeable people). When I moved into my apartment I needed a small outdoor antenna (since I couldnt put the HBU44 or 33 in the walk in closet). Asked the "clerk" where the outdoor TV antennas were. He takes me to the rabbit ears/indoor antennas. :rolleyes:

When I worked in the call center for a company like Fingerhut (general catalog of crap) people would call in and order indoor antennas and they lived in the back hills of West Virignia....or they lived 50 miles from the town and would ask me if "it would work there"....or the mythical 150 mile antennas
 
  • Like
Reactions: andy_horton
miguelaqui

miguelaqui

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 14, 2004
1,002
27
I learned A LOT from a manager of a Radio Shack back in the 80's! He sold me my first antenna system.


That was when, if you worked somewhere, you knew what you were selling. Specifically, in 1988, I remember his telling people to spend a little more and buy the RG6 because, with the local CATV going above 36 channels, they might see a difference and the cable would last longer.

He also was the guy to go to for CB needs.
 
M

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
328
78
Mankato, MN
I learned A LOT from a manager of a Radio Shack back in the 80's! He sold me my first antenna system.

That was when, if you worked somewhere, you knew what you were selling. Specifically, in 1988, I remember his telling people to spend a little more and buy the RG6 because, with the local CATV going above 36 channels, they might see a difference and the cable would last longer.

He also was the guy to go to for CB needs.
oh I agree. When I worked at Radio Shack in the early/mid 90's I actually took time to check out the products and see what they did and didnt try "to make a quick buck"...because if you did you knew it would come back. But even when you spent the time going through the product, there was always that one a-hole who would buy something and return it for a really lame reason (like oh this VCR doesnt record in 4 hour speed).

Speaking of antennas....I remember twice a year Radio Shack would put their VU90 & VU190 antennas on sale (29.99 & 49.99...regular price was 49.99 & 99.99). Usually was in March and August (August was before football season...March was spring time). Sold a TON of those VU190's to people (even though they could get by with the VU90) :)
 
dhett

dhett

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 4, 2013
130
48
Chandler AZ
On my last visit to a (now former) Radio Shack, looking for a cheap set of rabbit ears to hook up to a TV stick that I plug into my laptop, the manager suggested to me that an amplified antenna would be my best bet. Both the store and my home are well within 10 miles of the South Mtn. antenna farm in Phoenix, and I'd already experienced signal overload from an amplified antenna back in the analog days (when I knew less than I do now), so I proceeded to tell the manager why it was a bad idea to be hawking amplified antennas from that location. It was news to him, but unlike many people, he listened to me politely and actually learned something. Still, it was a far cry from the days when you could walk into a place like that and the person at the counter actually knew something about what they were selling. I would have expected such ignorance from a pimply-faced 16-yo register jockey, but expected the 40-something manager to actually know better. I guess that's part of the reason that store is now closed, while another about 5 miles away is still open.
 
harshness

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,232
3,150
Salem, OR
Antenna design will be the same, no mater the modulation or frequency, until a different transport medium replaces radio waves.
Thankfully, the inventors of fractal antennas didn't get the memo that there was no way to improve on the status quo sixty years ago.
 
harshness

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,232
3,150
Salem, OR
I would have expected such ignorance from a pimply-faced 16-yo register jockey, but expected the 40-something manager to actually know better. I guess that's part of the reason that store is now closed, while another about 5 miles away is still open.
What separates a 16 year old from a 40 year old other than 24 years of beatdown at the hands of customers that want results without investment?
 
dhett

dhett

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 4, 2013
130
48
Chandler AZ
What separates a 16 year old from a 40 year old other than 24 years of beatdown at the hands of customers that want results without investment?
I'm not sure what is meant by the last half of your question, but I would expect experience with the product to separate the older manager from the younger clerk. That, and the position of manager vs. the entry-level position should also carry experience with the product. Nevertheless, the discussion was polite on both ends.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mr Tony
Peter Parker

Peter Parker

Formerly Geronimo
Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 9, 2003
12,107
1,679
I would think that the digital antennas are lighter mainly because the digital signals themselves consist of 0s and 1s and as any schoolchild knows those are lightest numbers. Once you get up to a 7 or 8 it takes a real heavy antenna to grab them from thesky and send them to your TV box.
 
harshness

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
17,232
3,150
Salem, OR
I'm not sure what is meant by the last half of your question, but I would expect experience with the product to separate the older manager from the younger clerk.
Given that the lifecycle of a modern product is measured in months, you can only invest in so much familiarity. Every time Samsung or Apple release a new product, it all starts over again with new technologies being hyped and more bothersome, new buzzwords and terminologies being created.

The youngster has the advantages of not being jaded and a brain that is still soaking up knowledge at a pretty good pace. The elder perhaps has a better idea of what not to engage in and when to move on but a greater desire to get the last word. In the end, respect will probably win out over raw knowledge when it comes to customer service.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Top