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winegard rayzar review

Winegard Rayzar RZ8535
Automatic HD Antenna Review

Winegard recently shipped us their newly released Rayzar automatic digital HDTV broadcast antenna for us to review. The product was released in December 2014 and is now availabe from Winegard dealers.

For our review and testing of this product we decided to to use an older model RV that had a 1998 Winegard Batwing antenna. We wanted to see how old technology stood up against this new automated product.

Winegard Batwing Antenna that we
used for testing.

winegard HD rayzar review

The Rayzar RZ8535 is pictured above located on the roof of the RV so that you can get an idea of its size. It is 7" high and 18.5" wide (including the attachment legs) with a UV protected plastic dome. The operating voltage is 10 - 13.8 VDC. The unit weighs 4.5 lbs.

The Wingard Rayzar instructions do say not to install the antenna on or near metal objects
. This mentioned for RV's with a metal roof.

The Winegard Rayzar comes in the following models: RZ-7500, RZ-7535, RZ-8500 (white) and the RZ-8535 (black)

The approximate selling price of the Winegard Rayzar is $359.00.

In the box is a roof plate, a ceiling plate, a roof cover plate, a single entry cable plate, a 72 inch coax cable, a 20 foot coax cable, hardware and a control panel.

The roof plate and ceiling plate are supplied to cover an existing hole made for an antenna that is already on the RV. The Rayzar does not require any holes in the RV roof to install it as it mounts onto the roof with screws. One would route the cable down through the existing antenna hole or drill a small hole for the cable.

The control panel is installed in the RV. If there is a control panel from an existing antenna then one simply replaces that with the new control panel.

Below is a picture of the Rayzar control panel with an explanation of what each feature on the control panel is for.

winegard rayzar HD Antenna review

Test Results

For testing we used the 1998 Batwing Antenna on the RV elevated to full height, and a 19" flat panel TV. We used the same TV for both tests. As the Batwing Antenna is directional we adjusted it 4 times - 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions and recorded the total number of channels found at each position, we then used the most channels found as our result.

We then connected the Rayzar control panel and ran 6 scans on the TV. The Rayzar control panel has a positive and ground to connnect a 12v supply to, and then antenna in, Cable in and TV out connections. When the control panel is turned on one can hear the Rayzar units motor start hunting for channels up on the roof. As the unit hunts for the best direction for channels the LED's on the control panel show in which direction the unit is rotating. After 2 - 3 minutes the control panel will show the TV frequencies found at the current position. This is the number of RF signals available. The actual channels found on the TV will be 2 to 3 times more than this number due to multi-casting.

Below are the test results from each antenna.

Channels found by the 1998 Batwing Antenna (below)

winegard rayzar HD scan review

Channels found by the Rayzar (below)

winegard rayzar HD scans found review

Side Note
Tip, if you have an existing Winegard Sensar antenna, there is a Winegard SensarPro (links to Amazon product Information) control panel that is helpful in finding the strongest signal strength. Slowly rotate the Sensar antenna until the strongest signal strength is located then run a channel scan. This ensures you have the antenna pointed at the strongest signal source and you do not have to run multiple TV scans to find the best signal strength.

Rayzar Picture Quality

There were a few channels (2-4) where the channels were pixelated and breaking up which would nornally require a small adjustment of the antenna. We did not get the same breaking up on those channels with the Batwing antenna.

winegard rayzar HD review

It seems that the Batwing crank up antenna still has the advantage of height over the Rayzar and the Batwing is manually operated with fewer working parts to break down.

It's a postive for not having to drill holes for a crank handle and the unit self adjusts to the best position for channels. Some RV's have high ceilings and it's a positive for not have to try and reach the crank handle. If you do not have any problems reaching the crank handle, upgrading from a Batwing antenna to the Rayzar might not make much sense to existing RV owners.

If you find yourself doing multiple TV scans trying to find the best quality signal then it would be cheaper to puchase the
Winegard SensarPro.


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