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Thread: Is Antennacraft still in business?

  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Is Antennacraft still in business?

    Apparently not.

    After seeing their website, and noting that they (supposedly) produce several models of all-channel antennas, I noticed that resellers' websites showed "discontinued, not available" on most Antennacraft models.

    So I thought perhaps the "discontinued" may have referred to those retailers discontinuing the products from the line of the products they resell.

    Then I noticed that the Antennacraft website boasted "50 years, 1961-2011" (most businesses would have dropped such a banner early in 2012).

    I then checked their address in Google Earth, which showed only 6 cars in a parking lot with about 60 spaces, on a Thursday.

    Checking with the yellow pages website gave the phone number to Antennacraft as (319) 758-8050. I called that number three times between 1pm and 4pm CDT. Each time, no answer, and no answering machine.

    Then I found an article dating from January stating that TE electronics (read Radio Shack) had announced that Antennacraft would need to find a "strategic buyer" or close.

    A check search of the Hawkeye (Burlington, IA newspaper website) showed the first two paragraphs of this article (you need to be a subscriber to read the whole article - note that newspapers are now disappearing from the internet as a source of research).

    http://www.thehawkeye.com/story/KPI-Concepts-042215

    As this means the only all-channel TV antennas now available are very large antennas with a lot of visibility and wind resistance, and it appears many may need all-channel outdoor antennas to watch OTA TV in the future, I think this is a catastrophic loss to OTA television.
    Last edited by Robert Grant; 05-05-2015 at 07:05 PM. Reason: clean-up
    Comparing Sporadic-E skip to skip on the AM and shortwave bands is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Comparing tropo to skip is like comparing apples and bacon cheeseburgers.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2006
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    Did you try - http://www.antennacraft.net/. Also, Solid Signal sells them and Radio Shack (IF you can find a Radio Shack, open). ! The website still showed the BIG antenna #1850, as available...

    Gary H.

  3. #3
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    Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
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    Default

    I had just talked to somebody @ Antennacraft (same phone number, likely) about 2 months ago, about those "cross wires" on my FM6. He was very helpful.

    This whole deal about "repacking" would have to get us back to using the low V channels (I think I read here that those frequencies are no use for cellphones and the like). Trouble is, folk may have already been conned into buying those, um, "HDTV antennas", most of which are UHF-only or hi-VHF & UHF.

    The whole OTA antenna "marketing" will have to be rethought---just ask the PTB at WPVI DT 6 in Philly how they feel about the current situation......

    cd

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Hickerson View Post
    Did you try - http://www.antennacraft.net/. Also, Solid Signal sells them and Radio Shack (IF you can find a Radio Shack, open). ! The website still showed the BIG antenna #1850, as available...

    Gary H.


    That's the website that I had linked to because it showed so many all-channel antennas.

    The problem with websites is that, when a person dies or a company goes out-of-business, there is nobody home to shut the gas off.

    Another hobby of mine is using old cameras. There was a company that had been processing an old standard of movie film since the mid-1970s, would up being the last lab to handle it, then branched out to handle other obsolete film processes.

    Three years ago, they went out of business, but their website is still there, with its address and price list, no mention of their demise. Now people are sending out their exposed film for processing and they never get it back - developed or not.

    If the Internet had been around when I was born, there would today still be a Studebaker website with 1966 Canadian-made cars and a dealer directory.
    Comparing Sporadic-E skip to skip on the AM and shortwave bands is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Comparing tropo to skip is like comparing apples and bacon cheeseburgers.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2005
    Location
    Enfield, CT
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    1,148

    Default

    We went through this topic in the WTFDA Facebook group last week when ex-WTFDA member Rich Wertman tried to contact them and couldn't get anyone to answer the phone. We found a link to an article about this. The general agreement is that they are gone.

    Although this closure is bad for TV DXers, it's worse for FM DXers. The FM6 was not the best FM antenna, but it was a yagi, had some gain and your average FM DXer/listener could afford one. What's left for FM DXers now? They could use a TV antenna, spend a few hundred for an Innovantenna or just make one themselves. I think they'll end up using a dipole or maybe a wire, if they don't just give up. Luckily us old timers have spare antennas for just-in-case.
    Mike B.
    Enfield, CT
    -72 30' W/41 59' N
    FN31RX

    Online since 1999 and still going at
    mikesdx.com

    Archives: The Original Mike's TV/FM Page with Tuner Mods and Lots of Old Stuff

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Robert,
    I emailed Stark Electronics (as they sold Ac), to ask about this. This is his reply - "Sorry I do not know and only sell Winegard now". Looks like, you're right. If you notice, on Antennacraft website, there is No contact info. No way to call or email. This antenna situation, is really bad ! Never thought, I would live to see the day, (I was happy with analog) ! !
    Gary H.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2013
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    Indiana
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    The demise of Antennacraft is a result of Radio Shack going under. The court ordered RS to either sell or close Antennacraft. Not sure why. Since nobody bought the company (other than the building and land it sits on) the technology of Antennacraft will probably end up in the hands of a former employee or two or at the local landfill.

    Since Antennacraft was still making and selling a variety of antennas for the entire TV broadcast spectrum, it would indicate that Antennacraft was not a money losing proposition for RS. Likely the downfall to RS was the continuation of other product lines that generated little public interest these days. And also, even on more modern products, the pricing through RS was not that competitive with other retailers and online retailers.

    I am hoping that at least one of the last three or four TV antenna makers left in North America will set up to the plate and market some new VHF only and FM only antennas to replace those lost with Antennacraft. If they UHF band gets hacked down even smaller in a few years many stations will start to migrate back to the VHF band and we'll need some new VHF only antennas.

  8. #8
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    A personal suspicion (impossible to prove without internal documents) is that Antennacraft was shut down at the behest of the wireless data interests supporting RS in their reconstruction. They certainly don't want to support any alternative to the content they deliver though their networks.

    I'm guessing that nobody got in option on the tooling. It was probably destroyed and scrapped.

    One also has to account for the those toy TV antennas being sold on the net to those who have never heard of "forward gain" or "lowband VHF". They don't understand what they really need in an antenna, but those new ones look cuter.
    Comparing Sporadic-E skip to skip on the AM and shortwave bands is like comparing apples and oranges.

    Comparing tropo to skip is like comparing apples and bacon cheeseburgers.

  9. #9
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    Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Grant View Post
    A personal suspicion (impossible to prove without internal documents) is that Antennacraft was shut down at the behest of the wireless data interests supporting RS in their reconstruction. They certainly don't want to support any alternative to the content they deliver though their networks.

    I'm guessing that nobody got in option on the tooling. It was probably destroyed and scrapped.

    One also has to account for the those toy TV antennas being sold on the net to those who have never heard of "forward gain" or "lowband VHF". They don't understand what they really need in an antenna, but those new ones look cuter.
    Two things are evident. First, it does seem as though certain entities in the communications industry are trying to put an end to OTA broadcasting as we know it. Second, I don't look for that to happen anytime soon though since people are cutting Cable and Satellite services en masse and switching back to OTA broadcasts and using the internet to stream other program content.

    I'm now having to figure out how to use either a single all band antenna or combine that along with a superior UHF only antenna in a challenging environment where I have a house. I may have to put up a fairly large all band antenna just for receiving and DXing VHF only and then use a high gain UHF only antenna on the same mast. Will look stupid and of course add weight to the mast and rotor.

  10. #10
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    I remember building two 5 element FM Yagi's back in the 1970's. I did not have hollow tubing, so I used solid. They are heavy, but worked well. Now with Antenna Craft going away, as mentioned there will be little available for FM DXing, other than building your own antennas or maybe buy a large low VHF 2-6 and rebuilding the antenna for FM. That i always an option and the boom is long and a person could add elements. But no quick easy solution. I just got back into FM DXing after years (25)out of it and I was shocked to see the FM6 was the only choice. A couple small suburban antennas now all that are left, other than the expensive professional models. There is a company in Southern Oregon that makes FM yagi's for FM stations. They have some nice large ones that will take winds of over 100 miles an hour, like placed on a mountain top, but they are spendy at several hundred dollars up to a Grand or more. Then there are a lot of TV/FM companies in Europe like the UK that still makes the big ones, but again lots of money and lots of money to get one here in shipping. Maybe be on the lookout for a used FM yagi at a garage sale or Goodwill? I guess people just do not DX FM like they used to. All of the young people don't even listen to the radio. They stream everything. It looks that will be the future unfortunately.

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