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Reviews Categories | Antenna Rotators & Accessories | Radio Shack Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack
Reviews: 11 Average rating: 2.5/5 MSRP: $79.99
Description: TV Antenna Rotor
Product is in production.
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WB0KWJ Rating: 1/5 Jul 1, 2016 02:31 Send this review to a friend
Low cost, low quality for very light antennas  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is an old rotator and controller, redesigned several times. They are sold under a number of brand names. If you get one or both parts, you do not know exactly what you are getting. The rotator unit might have plastic gears, metal, or a combination. The control boxes are similar, often using nylon or cheap plastic gears. Some of these sets are still in operation after decades. Others fail in days.

The rotator unit is good for only a small, light TV antenna or something similar, such as a 4-5 element, 2 meter beam. Anything much more will usually quickly wear out the gears. Most of the controllers seem to be similar, with plastic gears that will eventually, inevitably, wear out. The controller is astonishingly loud electrically and mechanically when it operates.

There is no authentic position feedback in these. The three-wire control simply supplies current to either a forward or reverse motor winding. The position indicator operates by running a motor in the controller at the same speed as the motor in the rotator unit. That is, the indication on the box is a guess. Users will end up resynchronizing the rotator and controller often. Since the gears in my controller are stripped, I look out of a window at the antenna. If you need real position feedback, this is not the unit for you.

These sets are common at hamfests. Do not pay more than a few dollars, even if the one you see seems to work. Remember that when the rotator unit fails, you must climb on the roof or up a tower for repairs. That is, unless your rotator unit is conveniently located, or you are lucky and get one that seems to have some staying power, you will pay for the low cost in extra work and compromised safety.
AH7I Rating: 4/5 May 27, 2015 17:20 Send this review to a friend
It is what it is and does what it's supposed to.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The control box. It's heavy. The plastic gears others have mentioned are visible through the base. They appear adequate for turning the indicator. It has not broken.

The rotator. The case is metal. It's got a small motor. About the same size as a rotisserie motor for a home grill. The gears are metal. Mine appeared to be a bit shy on grease. Some was added.

It turns a 3 element 6m yagi without difficulty. Looking at the drive train, I suspect it would be stressed by anything larger than a 4 element 6m. Not so much from the weight but from the inertia. For example, a hex beam may not weigh any more than the 3 ele 6m but will have a lot more inertia.

Looking at the specs and photos, this looks like the Alliance AR-303 that sells for almost twice the $ and has received similar reviews.

I paid Radio Shacks full $60 for one and glad to snag a spare at the clearance sale for $30.
VE6AGE Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2014 19:18 Send this review to a friend
Great little rotator  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great little rotator for my Cushcraft VHF/UHF Yagi Beam. I bought it in Great Falls, MT at the local Radio Shack in the Holiday Village Mall. Paul, the Manager is a great guy and very helpful, Yes, I would recommend this little Rotator to anyone needing one.
W2SDR Rating: 4/5 Dec 31, 2013 06:36 Send this review to a friend
Works Well After Setup  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'm using my rotor with a Pixel receiving loop. After using the setup for a week the rotor stopped turning. Even before that the rotor would be constantly be going out of synchronization. I disassembled the rotor. This is done by removing the black rubber gasket at the top of the unit and then remove the 3/8" cap screws, accessed from the bottom on the rotor. The motor assembly then slips out of the housing. All that has to be done is to adjust the lash (play) adjustment between the motor pinion gear and the rest of the gears. It would bind because there was not enough play. Now the rotor works flawlessly. All these Chinese rotors appear to be the same. The Channel Master units and the NTE. Good luck!
KI5SO Rating: 2/5 Jan 30, 2012 15:56 Send this review to a friend
Didn't work out for me  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I hate giving bad reviews. Let me start by saying that the local Radio Shack didn't give me any problem about returning the rotor. Now, the story.
I bought a 4 element moxon beam out of the UK and needed a rotor fast. Oh boy, Radio Shack has one! I read the reviews and thought, well, maybe they have fixed the issues on the newer models. Bought one, used it on a test pole for several days, then it quit. Knocked around on it a little, it started working. Worked another day, then quick. Something was loose in the motor and I notice that the top of the rotor actually had some give to it. It wobbled like it would someday break apart. This was not much of a load. I also notice the motor winding and wiring was really flimsy. The rotor did not have instructions in it so I figured someone else had bought this one and it did not work so they boxed it up and resold it. Glad I did not put it on my final install yet. I'm going with a Channel Master or one with a prove reputation. I'm glad I got it back within the 30 days.
KE4VVF Rating: 4/5 Jan 14, 2012 20:56 Send this review to a friend
Ok for what it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had my Model:15-1245 Rotator for 11 years and it is still going strong. It rotates my Cushcraft A505S 6 meter beam (bottom) and MFJ-1764 dipole (top) very well along with the heavy 10 foot TV mast. Although it is slow (1 RPM) it is reliable. I do not use a thrust bearing.

Be warned, the inside controller is LOUD. Unfortunately they do not make a digital unit to replace the irritating controller.

I give this unit a 4 because it has been very reliable for over 10 years and has never failed me.
W0PV Rating: 3/5 Jul 30, 2011 11:24 Send this review to a friend
They can be repaired!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Used one for a 2m 5el yagi, worked great for years. Then put it under a Cushcraft A50-5S 6m 5el yagi @ 20ft. Worked OK for a while but stopped after a few weeks. Thought I burned it out.

But upon inspection found that the motor still hummed. Disassembled rotor completely, not too hard to do if mechanically inclined. Beware of loose ball-bearings on main shaft when removing main gear plate; held in place with thick grease only. Took all three gears off. Found first gear driven by motor shaft was rusted stuck. Probably not from rain entry but rather condensation (in Florida) and lack of lube from factory. Gears were NOT plastic!

Cleaned all with WD40. Worked till real free again. Greased up. Reassembled. Works great again now! And only took a couple of hours total.


If I ever get another or do maintenance on one it would be wise before installation to first do a partial dis-assembly, next to the cable terminal block just unbolt the motor and lay it aside, then spray WD40 liberally through the motor shaft hole onto that first gear and around on the other gears to help keep them from rusting.
N2SLO Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2010 15:45 Send this review to a friend
Never a Problem  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had mine for more than 5 years... I use it with my 8 element QUAD for 2M. The rotor mast to the boom is about 1.5 feet. You can see pictures my my antennas at I have not experienced any problems, it works fine. Not sure about the newer models, or quality. I try not to but anything at Radio Shack, it is not like it was in the 70's or 80's... This rotor does the job, for what I needed.
SWL377 Rating: 0/5 Dec 23, 2010 11:59 Send this review to a friend
Horrible  Time owned: more than 12 months
Thought I was getting a bargain when these closed out for $19.95. Wrong.

I used it on a lightweight scanner yagi antenna and I swear it didnt get more than an hours time on the motor before it failed. I hear the culprit is plastic gears that break.

Don't be tempted, even at $5 its a waste of money.
W7MJM Rating: 0/5 Nov 8, 2010 09:53 Send this review to a friend
Failed after a few days  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Addendum: Downgrading my rating to zero, since the manager of the RadioShack store from which I purchased the failed RS 15-1245A rotor refused to take it back for either refund or store credit, saying it had been more than 30 days since I purchased the item. In fact, they weren't even willing to recycle the worthless hunk of metal for me! All the store manager was willing to do (after I made a second visit to the store for the express purpose of speaking with him) was to hand me a card with the phone number of their district manager on it. I plan to call the district manager, but I'm not hopeful.

My advice: Don't even think of buying the RadioShack TV rotor. It's a waste of time and money. Go for a decent ham-quality rotor, like the Yaesu G--450A, and you'll be much happier!
Trying to save money, I decided to employ a TV rotor, in this case the RadioShack 15-1245, to turn my new Mosley Mini-32a. The minibeam is great (see my review under HF Antennas), but the RadioShack rotor is apparently not up to the task of turning it. After only a few days of use, the rotor became unreliable; currently it is refusing to turn at all.

The small 2 element triband beam is lightweight (8 lbs) with little wind surface area (2.5 sq ft), but even that was too much for the RadioShack rotor, despite the fact that the rotor is supposed to be able to handle TV antennas of similar weight and wind surface area.

Mast length above the rotor was only 2 feet, well within recommended limits for the 6 foot boom length antenna. And the above-rotor mast section was lightweight thick-wall aluminum; total vertical load on the rotor, mast and antenna combined, was less than 10 lbs.

There are other TV rotors out there which, I've discovered, have better reputations. But after my experience with this particular model, I've decided to upgrade to a Yaesu G-450A with GC-038 mast adapter. Even in a mast mount configuration, the Yaesu is probably overkill for such a small antenna, but I now figure it is better to err on the side of extra capacity when it comes to antenna rotors.

After I swap out the rotors, I'll post my review of the Yaesu rotor. As for the RadioShack rotor, I'll rate it a "1" to be generous; perhaps it's fine for one of those small "HDTV" antennas that I've seen popping up on rooftops, but for anything larger, forget about it.
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