Why aren’t the X-shaped elements on the HDB91X connected to anything?

Look at our top-selling HDB91X antenna and you’ll notice something weird. It has quite a few of the same X-shaped elements as our HDB8X... but… they’re not connected to anything. Several customers have noted this and wondered if their antennas are defective. I have to admit I wondered it myself when I reviewed the thing those many years ago when it first came out.

It’s supposed to be that way

There’s nothing wrong with your antenna and yes, it’s supposed to be like that. It all comes down to “economy of scale.” To keep costs down, the X-shaped metal piece was designed to do two different things. On the HDB8X it acts as an active element, picking up UHF and VHF signals. On the HDB91X, a very similar part acts as a passive director, focusing signals from a long distance on a single antenna element at the back of the antenna. The same stamping is used. This keeps costs down and it also creates sort of a “family relationship” between all of our Xtreme Signal antennas.

Because the X-shaped elements are passive on the 91X, they don’t need to be connected. The presence of these passive elements with no wires or connections makes this a yagi antenna; if it had wires it would technically be a log periodic antenna. A yagi antenna uses directors at the front to focus more signal on a single receiving element. The active part of the antenna is the double loop. It’s fairly small compared to the rest of the antenna. You might be able to see it at the left side of the image. The rest of the pieces are there to focus signal on that active element. Doing it this way makes the antenna more efficient without adding additional cost.

So don’t worry, your antenna isn’t broken, it’s not missing parts. It’s doing exactly what it should be doing, and the X-shaped parts at the front are definitely important, they’re definitely worth keeping there.

Is this the right antenna for you?

If you’re still in the shopping phase, you might be asking yourself if this is the right antenna for you. The HDB91X is specifically designed for people who are a long distance away from a major city. It works best pulling in UHF stations from over 60 miles away, when those stations broadcast from roughly the same place.

Does that sound like your situation? If not, you should choose an antenna that works best for you. You can start by doing your own research at a site like tvfool.com, or you can go straight to the experts. That way you know you’ll get a well researched, smart answer.

Get the right antenna from Solid Signal

When you shop at SolidSignal.com, you’ll find the best selection of hundreds of over-the-air antennas. You’ll also find the accessories you need to mount and manage your antenna perfectly. Not sure what you need? Call us at 888-233-7563 or fill out this form. You’ll get the perfect antenna recommendation.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.