How to Install an Antenna Rotor

By Josh Weber

Adding a rotor assembly to a fixed roof TV antenna can increase the range and clarity of TV reception. Adding a rotor assembly to a fixed-position TV antenna already mounted on a chimney or roof fixture can add significantly to TV signal reception, and is a task that can be completed by the average homeowner.

Things You'll Need

  • Antenna rotor motor assembly
  • Rotor wire
  • Antenna transmission wire
  • Electrical wire stripper pliers
  • Wire stand-offs
  • Screwdriver
  • Nut driver (various heads)
  • Extension ladder

Prepare the Existing Antenna

Step 1

Remove the antenna from its current fixed-position roof or chimney bracket by loosening the nuts on the "C" clamps and disengaging the antenna from the bracket. The base mast will remain fastened to the chimney or roof.

Step 2

Measure the existing antenna mast (pipe). The mast (pipe) should be no longer than is necessary for the the rotation of the antenna to clear the position of the rotor motor, which will be positioned at the top of the remaining base mast. If the antenna mast is longer than 3 feet above the junction of the base mast, remove and cut the antenna mast back to 3 feet in length and reattach it to the antenna.

Step 3

Remove the old and attach the new antenna transmission wire to the terminals on the antenna. Set the antenna aside.

Prepare the Rotor Motor Assembly

Step 1

Remove the access plate from the back side of the rotor motor housing.

Step 2

Using electrical wire stripper pliers, strip 2 inches of insulation from each of the three wires in the rotor cable wire bundle and twist the wire strands together.

Step 3

Note that the wire is color-coded. The red wire is the primary or reference wire that is connected to Terminal 1 in the rotor motor box.The wire next to the primary wire (the second wire) is connected to Terminal 2 in the rotor motor box. The remaining wire is connected to the third terminal.

Step 4

Replace and fasten the rotor motor access plate.

Step 5

Position the rotor motor housing over the end of the base mast, with "C" clamps loosely holding it in place at the top of the mast.Rotate the motor housing on the mast until the the access plate is facing your position, then tighten into place.

Step 6

Position the short mast (with the antenna attached) into position on the top side of the rotor motor housing. Rotate the antenna until the antenna terminals are on the opposite side from the terminals of the rotor motor housing. Tighten the clamps into place..

Step 7

Attach a two-wire standoff on the base mast, 4 to 6 inches below the rotor motor housing; after allowing two more feet than necessary in the antenna wire (to provide a drip line and ensure rotational clearance), attach the antenna wire to one portal of the stand-off. Connect the rotor wire in the second portal.

Step 8

Attach the antenna and rotor wire to additional stand-offs installed at 10-foot intervals (the number being relative to the distance from the antenna to the point of entry into the house).

Step 9

Feed both the antenna and rotor wires into the house, either through a window or by drilling an access hole.

Complete Control Box and TV Connections

Step 1

Connect the antenna wire to the antenna lead in the terminals on the back of the TV.

Step 2

Connect the rotor wire to the control box in the same order as was used on the rotor motor box, with the primary (red) wire fastened to Terminal 1 on the control box, the second wire to Terminal 2 and the the remaining wire to Terminal 3.

Step 3

Calibrate the control box to the rotor motor by plugging in the control box and turning the control nob clockwise to the due north position. The unit will click as the antenna rotates. Once the antenna stops, turn the control knob counterclockwise to the due north position and allow the antenna to fully rotate to a stop. The unit is calibrated and synchronized with the motor box.

Step 4

Use the sticker included in the installation kit to record the control-box settings for the best reception of favorite channels.

Tips & Warnings

  • Minimize the length of the mast between the rotor motor box and the antenna to avoid putting excess stress on the motor.
  • If additional antenna height is required, add mast length to the base mast, below the rotor motor.
  • Use stand-offs a minimum of every 10 feet to secure the antenna and rotor wire in place.
  • Allow sufficient slack in the antenna cable to allow the antenna to fully rotate around the base mast. (Observe one full rotation.)
  • Ensure that the rotor control box is unplugged before working on rotor installation.
  • Be cautious of overhead electrical wiring when positioning the antenna.