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Rotators for Amateur Radio

Aug 10th 2012, 03:03

K8IT

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
With the current cost of antenna rotators and, the lack of new low cost products to replace the Alliance rotators and CDE product line, I would like to challenge the Amateur Community to design a low cost rotator.
The new rotator should have these criteria.
1) Upto 10 square feet wind load
2) Meter or digital control display
3) Mast or tower plate mounting
4) Optional computer control
5) Azimuth and elevation operation
6) Cost under $150
7) Designed to be reproduced by most amateurs with hand tools. All parts should be "off the shelf " and not custom.


All feedback on this subject is desired.

73 Neil K8IT
Aug 10th 2012, 12:24

W0BTU

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I like this. Rotors are waaaay too expensive.

How about re-purposing something else? For example, years ago hams used to use military surplus prop-pitch motors to turn their antennas. There are probably some good designs in old QSTs from the late 40's and 50's.

There are off-the-shelf industrial power transmission components that would do the job nicely. It's been years since I had access to such printed catalogs (Google is your friend), but what comes to mind are those sealed worm-drive 90 degree gearboxes. They are available with or without mating electric motors, and are called speed reducers. They are available in a very wide variety of different sizes and configurations and are even available surplus. Some are so big you can turn an entire tower with them! Just add a couple of limit switches and a pot to indicate direction. An electric brake is optional, but they're available, too.

73, Mike
www.w0btu.com

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