Wednesday, March 17, 2010

EV's Best Recommended TV Antenna Rotors

Here are my favorite antenna rotators from yesteryear.

Norm's Rotor Service has many rotors for sale refurbed and new.  They bought the remaining stock of Alliance rotor parts and units.

Hy-Gain continues to make many of the CDE model rotors.  They bought up CDE when they went defunct in the 1990s.

All of these rotors listed with the exception of the Yaseu, which is made in Japan, are Made in USA.



The U-100 and U-110 are more or less identical units.  Made in USA, they are well built, and feature worm gear drives. 4 Wires.  The worm gear drives are desireable in these units, they are more precise and stout than all the others here.  However these units have two peculiarities.  1, they are only adjustable to every 5 degrees or so, and 2, the controller boxes make an annoying clunk-clunk sound as they turn.  Fairly commonly found on eBay, and available new from Norm's Rotor Service.

Here is a video which demonstrates...


The Alliance T-45 is a manual control unit, with a sturdy rocker bar, used to rotate the antenna.  Its not as nice for television use, because 1 revolution on most all rotors is once per minute.  The automatic dials are preferable.  It is 5 wire and has worm gears like the U-100 and U-110 above.  The rocker bar is nice, as it allows for precise control for zeroing in on a signal.  Unlike the U-100 and U-110 above, this unit is infinitely adjustable.  Uncommon on eBay.



This is the classic TV antenna rotor series from Cornell Dubilier Electronics.  The AR-40 is still in production by Hy-Gain.  High quality rotors.  One interesting aspect of these, is that they are not offset rotors...the masts, above and below come into them in a straight line.   5 wires.  Fairly common on eBay.


These are a bit more stout than the AR series, which means they can take more weight and wind loading.   These are 8 wire units.  Fairly common on eBay.

Channel Master

9515 HD (Heavy Duty)

These are very rare.  A sturdier version of the 9510A below.

Colorotor 9510A

The CM Colorotor 9510A is made in USA.  The RadioShack/Archer rotors below are the same units, under different branding.  3 wire.  These are preferable to the new Chinese made Channel Master rotors (which are seemingly branded by everywhere).  The older style controller boxes are a bit more hefty and solidly built. You can also use these with the newer 9537 remote controlled controller boxes that ship with some of the newer Chinese made models.  Pretty commonly found new old stock on eBay.


Orbit 360

Also known as the OR-360, and Gemini is affiliated with Philips.  These were made in the US and sold in Walmart in the 1990s and early 2000s.  Discontinued now, you can still find them used and new old stock on eBay sometimes.  Pretty good little units, though not as stout as the CDE and Alliance rotors recommended here.  5 wire connection.  I use this personally.  Uncommon on eBay.

Radio Shack & Archer


These are clones of the Channel Master 9510A, see above for details.  Pretty commonly found new old stock on eBay.  3 wire.


The Alliance HD-73 and TailTwister TX2*, Yaseu G450A, CDE Ham M, II, III, IV, and V series are good as well, but are a bit more expensive generally, and are overkill for television antenna weight and size.

18 gauge solid copper core wire should be used for runs over 100 ft, 20 gauge is fine for under 100 feet.

Thrust bearings are available to allow the use of taller masts with these rotors.  There are 2 types.
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  1. thanks for your time doing this. helped me a lot

  2. I am looking for wind load specs on an old alliance T-45. Can you help?

  3. I am looking for wind load specs on an old alliance T-45. Can you help?

  4. Many thanks for this brilliant post! Many points have extremely useful. Hopefully you'll continue sharing your knowledge around. tv antennas

  5. they are more precise and stout than all the others here. However these units have two peculiarities. outdoor antennas