A-Neutronics AV ANI-851 eBay Chinese Rotor Rotating 360 Remote Control Antenna Review
Here is the box.
Here you can see the items in the box...now out of the box. Bugaboo:
This thing takes some assembly, and more than your average antenna or consumer electronics item.
Here is the Remote Control and Cables and Remote Controlled Controller Box for the Rotor. I dont know if the amp is in this box or at the antenna end. My guess is its here in this box...which is less than ideal. You cant turn the antenna without the Remote Control. (Edit: The amp could be in the box at the bottom of the mast where the white coax leads into.)
Here are the connections on the back of the box and the power switch. Bugaboo:
Note the proprietary connections
for TV1, TV2, and Antenna. Bugaboo:
The antenna itself has permanently attached
RG59 about 45ft long, which plugs into the box here. You only get one cord to plug a TV in, so you're screwed. (Maybe this is a foreign standard and you can find connectors like this...anybody know?...but I dont want the hassle. (EDIT: I guess you can use a splitter if necessary on the one 6ft adaptor cable as a solution.)
Here you can see the short 6ft or so cable with the proprietary connection on one end and the F connector on the other....which came with the stinger pre bent...so the unwary could run into an unexpected hassle trying to connect this blindly to the back of the TV.
Here is a picture comparing the size to the widely known DB2 and the Quantum FX Indoor which is about the size of the Radio Shack 1880.
Here is the balun for the VHF section of the antenna. You didnt know this had a VHF section? Well me neither till I opened the box and inspected the antenna. The 2 outside loops of the reflector screen which measure 16" wide and 9" high and are made of aluminum. There are 2 of them one on top and one on the bottom with 2" separation between them with insulators which stand them off from the rest of the UHF section reflector screen. The total size of the reflector screens together is 20" vertical and 16" horizontal.
You have to strip a small piece of RG59 coax that leads towards the rotor unit and somewhere joins the UHF signal....and connect the VHF balun box.
Here you can see the plastic housing of the rotor, as well as the aluminum shaft. There is the UHF balun box up front. The UHF loops are 9" horizontal and 7" vertical diameter, with a 17" spread from the bottom of the bottom loop to the top of the top loop which leave 3" spacing between or a little less because the loops go into the UHF balun box and disappear. Also note the attachment of the upper and lower VHF elements on the rear behind the VHF balun box. The spacing between the reflector screen(and VHF elements) and the the UHF elements is about 5.5".
The fit and finish of this antenna leaves something to be desired, as you can see the UHF loops are skewed and the reflectors vary from plane, the aluminum corners arent nicely machined. The reflector screen inside the VHF loops, are of low quality and the weld busted on one of horizontal steel bars and now I have a free floating spine on one of the reflectors.
The performance of this unit leaves something to be desired as well....it was dissappointing. I initially had high expectations for this unit, because the design seemed sound with the dual loops like on the ClearStream2 or the Radio Shack 1880....and seeing the VHF loops and matching transformer balun box, my hopes rose further. However this unit was marginal at best. I tested it against the highly regarded legendary Radio Shack 1880 and the RCA ANT108 basic unamplified Rabbit Ears & Loop(a good antenna for that category). The Radio Shack 1880 did well, bringing in all my stations (including VHF Ch. 7 with the dipoles adjusted horizontal and extended 15" each and Ch. 16 off the backside), except my weakest or most problematic channel 4 WCIV (Real Channel 34). The RCA ANT108 came in next and adjusting the Rabbit Ears similar to the RS 1880 above also pulled in Ch. 7 but on the digital cliff, and brought in all stations except Ch. 5 WCSC (RC 47) and Ch. 4 WITV (RC 34) including 16 (my closest and strongest channel) "off the backside" (well this si a bi-directional antenna so). The good performance of the basic RE&Loop is evidence of good atmospherics at the time of testing these 3 units as Im very familiar with this antenna and its performance over time at this location....which makes the A Neutronics performance even more dissappointing given its dismal showing. It was only stable on 2 of my strongest post transition channels (24 WTAT RC 24 and 36 WMMP RC 36). I wanted this to do better and tried to use the extra 45 foot of coax to walk it outside and find a better sweet spot....but I could only get Ch. 2 WCBD (RC 50) to lock and got pips of digital cliff on Ch. 5....it did bring in Ch. 16 when I turned it around and pointed in that direction....and I did find a lock on 7 in a sweet spot so the VHF loops are working...this was with a lot of dancing around with the antenna though. Bottom line....the basic unamped Rabbit Ears & Loop smoked it!
And to top it all off, I couldnt get the rotor to work, and couldnt figure out why for the life of me...trying to troubleshoot it....after some frustration....turns out the darn remote is a dud...no power on the remote and no rotor controls on the controller unit box. More poor quality.
I wanted to like this antenna....
Nicely sized 9" double loops for UHF with good reflector spacing....VHF loops maybe a bit smallish but the thought was great with insulated stands offs from the UHF reflector screen.....thick aluminum for the VHF and UHF elements....integrated rotor with remote control.....but alas....
Promising innovative design.
Thick gauge aluminum loops on UHF and VHF.
Non-standard connectors and permanently attached coax.
Somewhat difficult and complicated assembly.
Poor build quality.
Poor material quality.
Poor fit and finish.
Poor quality control.
Update on the A Neutronics...
Without most of the suspect Chinese electronics between the naked antenna and the tuner, this antenna is performing great (at least on UHF).
I hooked it up to a 6 foot coax with an F-connector adaptor to the short coax lead out of the UHF balun box of the A Neutronics front loops.
Picked up all stations....including my most troublesome Channel 4 WCIV (RC 34)....solid no pixelation......except for VHF High channel 7 WITV (RC 7).....but I didnt have the VHF loops hooked up, yet! This was UHF double loops only. Channel 16 off the backside....solid.
I referenced against the RCA ANT108 basic RE&Loop in the same location directly afterwards. The RCA was giving 16,24,36 (all with same RCs as call numbers) solid. Also it was giving bad unwatchable pixelation, basically frozen pixelated images from time to time, on 2 (RC 50), 5 (RC 47), and 7 (RC 7) and nothing on 4 (RC 34)
Cant wait to wire up the VHF loops and combine them into a UVSJ to see how it does on VHF High!
Its a shame the electronics are so shoddy on this thing. If everything worked as advertised, low noise amp, rotor control etc....then this thing would sing! Perhaps others got luckier than I. If so they got a very good antenna.
I hooked up the DB2 in the same location, for a double check. The naked A-Neutronics is at least performing on par with the DB2 on UHF. Indentical reception recorded.
Please read the following 3 pages for more details and pics of the interior electronics...