Quantum FX ANT-104 Review
Comments coming soon!
Here is the box, along with the A Neutronics for comparison.
Box and contents. You can see the rotor is hard wired with about 45 ft of what Im calling RG59.
Here are the 2 pre-assembled boom sections that you join together. Notice the driven UHF loop is on the backside boom.
It slides up and you put a small screw into its plastic mount and the boom, after you join the 2 booms together.
Looking down the barrel, of fully assembled Quantum FX ANT-104.
Topside view. All the elements are thinnish walled aluminum tubing.
Seen here next to naked A Neutronics 891 for comparison.
Another side view, notice the stamped wing nuts on top to secure the booms together and the rotor to the boom. These would collect and hold water....probably should be replaced with regular nuts. Then again this antenna doesnt seem particularly outdoor weather worthy.
Here is the remote and controller box which contains the amplifier. This box is made of tougher plastic than the A Neutronics....and has the on/off and reset button on the top of the unit. The remote is made of the same tough plastic. The remotes battery compartment seems ill shaped, having too much volume, but a very tight squeeze for the batteries from end to end. I had some difficulty getting them to seat properly, but eventually strong armed them in there, where they stayed firmly with use.
Here is the backside of the controller box. Unlike the A Neutronics, it uses standard F connectors on all parts. 2 TV outputs (one pre-wired 6 ft. coax), 1 Antenna in, and the 6 ft. power cord. Labelled with raised lettering (back of top of box), kind of hard to see, but the over exposed picture makes it seem more difficult. I liked this box/remote design and function better than the A Neutronics.
The rotor control worked pretty well on this unit. It seems a bit under-engineered and imprecise. I think its probaby a similar pulse driven motor that divxhacker uncoverd on the first page of this thread. But it works, which is more than I can say for the A Neutronics. I might try the A Neutronics rotor with this units box and remote....speaking of which, see the zip lock bag they are in in the 2nd picture from the top....it looks like maybe these are an add in for the US market or some such....which is a step up from the straight Chinese product that the A Neutronics (which has been around since at least 2003) seems to be. Many of these recent Chinese antenna invaders with rotors seem to be shipping with this remote/box combo....and as replacements for the original remotes/boxes...which as far as I can tell, is desireable.
Generally the quality is fair. The assembly was a bit complicated but not terribly. The elements are all pre-attached to the boom except for the one driven UHF element which is on the boom and just needs to be slid into place and screwed into the pre drilled holes. The plastic frames are work good for the smaller UHF elements, but the for the longer VHF elements in the rear, they are undersized, and would easily be blow out of whack by moderately strong winds if mounted outside. That is a big fumble IMO. If you just twist the antenna back and forth they move around abit and can sit kindof cock-eyed in relation to each other. But kudos for aluminum tubing elements and boom..although I think a little higher wall thickness would have been good on the aluminum tubing. This thing couldnt take a fall from shoulder high very well, with extended elements.
Tuner used is Vizio GV42LF LCD. Here is My TVfool
at the Window Lamp location to help understand the review. I am 45 miles South of the tower cluster, flat land, over water for a good part. I also have one station WJWJ 16 that is in the other direction and closer at 23 miles or so.
This antenna was great on UHF....bringing in all of my UHF stations and even 16 (RC 16) off the backside. Just right there in the window on the sweet spot lamp.
However it didnt pick up channel 7 WITV PBS (RC 7). So I investigated further. During assembly the twinlead wire (seen below in the photographs) was connected as per instructions to the largest rear element. There are dual folded dipole elements directly in front of the large rear element. I thought that maybe they were having a deliterious effect on the rear element and VHF Hi reception.....so I spun the antenna around and faced the backside of the atenna toward the Ch. 7 tower and bam, locked a signal but right on the digital cliff. So I walked the unit outside and right out the door aiming the antenna "backwards" picked up Ch. 7, then I spun the antenna around facing "frontwards" toward the broadcast towers and lost tuner lock on the signal immediately.
How to solve this problem?
I decided to disconnect the VHF twinlead from the rear element and attach it to the upper longish folded dipole directly in front of the long rear element. This improved forward VHF High performance allowing me to get an image on the screen. However performance was better on Ch. 7 using the larger rear element and pointing the backside of the antenna towards the tower.
Im thinking about removing the 2 midsized longish elements and seeing how that works. It may affect UHF performance negatively (or it could feasibly improve it). Anyways, the other Chinese antenna I have coming with the single VHF Hi dipole and the UHF reflector screen behind it (seen directly below), may be a better solution, increasing both forward UHF and forward VHF reception. Should be interesting.
Regardless, the UHF performance on this antenna was very good.
Here you can see the twinlead VHF connectors, they slide up between the plastic fitting and the aluminum tubing, and you drop the screws through them to secure. It was easy to change from the rear element to one of the forward elements.
Notice also the closeup of the stamped steel wingnut I was talking about earlier, that would tend to hold water.