DIY Antenna Rotor

Updated February 21, 2017

Antenna rotor systems are suitable for do-it-yourself projects. The project usually involves climbing on the roof, adding some simply low voltage wiring, and configuring the equipment. Antenna rotors can be used to direct television antennas at multiple broadcast towers. The system uses a drive-unit that's attached to the mast, and a control unit that's located near the television. The advantage of an antenna rotor system is that you don't have to go outside whenever you want to change the antenna's pointed direction.

Unbolt the U-bolts, or other attachment hardware that holds the existing mast in place on the roof. Lay the mast and antenna assemblage down carefully to avoid damaging either the antenna, or the roof. Watch for any overhead cables and avoid them as you lower the gear.

Mount the drive-unit to the location on the roof that the mast was attached to using the hardware in the kit. Lift the mast back up and drop it into the top of the drive-unit. Attach it to the drive-unit loosely with the included U-bolts. The drive-unit essentially replaces the mast mounting hardware. Then, point the antenna yaggi---the arm---south using a compass, and tighten the mast to the drive-unit.

Run the cabling down to the television. Include any grommets that came in the kit and follow the manufacturer's directions for connecting the cable's colour coded or labelled internal wires to the drive-unit and the controller. Connect the control unit to the power supply.

Press the "Sync" or similarly labelled button, and the rotor will turn 360-degrees and sync. Check that cables on the roof haven't snagged, and if necessarily increase cable slack. Press the "Up" and "Down" or similarly labelled buttons on the controller to move the antenna incrementally.

Things You'll Need

  • Rotor kit
  • Wrenches
  • Compass
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About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.