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CDE Rotor

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KD8DVL, Sep 4, 2008.

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  1. KD8DVL

    KD8DVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am wanting to know if anybody would know.
    I have a CDE AR-22R rotor and I am trying to find out how many volts does the control box put out on it?
    Because I have 3 of these rotors and they start working real good for just a few minutes while I am turning the rotor and then it stops and just humes. :confused:
    So I want to check and make sure the power supply isn't bad in the control box.
    Also does anybody know where I can find another motor or power supply for this rotor?
  2. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ken -

    Norm's Rotor Service covers this question --
    and may more FAQ on their web site!


    4. What happened to CDE and Telex/HyGain?
    The Cornell Dubilier Electronics company sold their rotor division to Telex/Hy-Gain in 1981. Hy-Gain decided to support only the AR-22, AR-40, CD45-II, Ham-4, and Tailtwister rotors. All rights to the other rotors were assigned to Norm's Rotor Service.
    Today we are the only facility with parts for the original units.
    We have almost all parts for the AR-22, AR-33, AR-40, AR-50, BT-1, TR-44, CD-44, Ham-M, Ham-2, and Ham-3 rotors. Telex/HyGain sold the HyGain line of rotors to MFJ in May of 1999 (Of course, we also have parts for the rotors that Hy-Gain continues to support.).

    18. How can I tell if my motor capacitor is bad?
    If your rotor does not run or is hard to start, expecially in the colder months, the motor start/run capacitor is a good bet for the fault. Most motor start/run capacitors are 108-155 mfd. caps, but these are bipolar capacitors. It's often difficult, in today's market, to find these capacitors. When checking a capacitor, it should be within 20% of rated capacitance and must show no signs of corrosion or burning. DO NOT use a D.C. capacitor as a motor start/run capacitor. If you suspect a bad capacitor, you can obtain one from many electric motor shops. Just disconnect the wires from terminals 4 and 8 on your CDE/HyGain box and clip lead the new capacitor in place to test. (See question/answer 14 for precautions.)

    14. Can I use a Ham-2 rotor control box with my T2X rotor? Are the Ham-2, Ham-3, Ham-4 and T2X control boxes interchangeable?
    Yes, for the most part, all of the 8-wire rotors except for the TR-2 series are interchangeable. You can use a TR-44 series 3; Ham-M series 3, 4, or 5; CD-44/Ham-2; CD-44/Ham-3; Ham-4; or T2X control unit with any of the listed rotors or vice versa. However, the Ham-M and TR-44 series 1 and 2 rotors were wired differently and are not interchangeable with anything else. So, trying to use a series 1 or 2 control on a newer rotor will destroy the rotor pot instantly.

    To be sure that you have one of the interchangeable controls, verify that the motor start capacitor is across terminals 4 and 8. To verify that the rotor is one of the interchangeable models, look for the 500-ohm pot resistance across terminals 3 and 7. If your rotor and control unit pass these inspections, they are interchangeable with others which also pass.

    12. Why does the direction indicator meter stop and start and give an erratic indication when my rotor turns?
    Contrary to popular belief, this problem is caused by a dissimilar metals problem in the rotor. The rotor pot, which is the sensor for the position indicator, is made of tungsten wire with a copper wiper. The pot shaft is turned by an aluminum housing. This combination causes corrosion to accumulate on the pot, which then causes erratic movement of the meter. The condition can be cured by cleaning the pot every year or two with an old toothbrush and some contact cleaner.

  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    First, last, and every step in between is to replace the "start" capacitor. It's like a computer hard drive; it's not a matter IF it will fail, but just a matter of WHEN. It's the weak point in the system.
    If you don't have a local parts store, try an appliance repair shop. The value isn't extremely critical, but try to keep within 10-20% of the original value, but don't settle for a lower voltage rating. ALSO, be aware, it's a non-polarized capacitor, and has a very difficult job of passing a lot of AC current on startup of the motor. You definitely can NOT use a standard electrolytic capacitor as a replacement; to do so would cause component failure in short order, perhaps with explosive results.

    Even if there are other problems, replacing the capacitor can't hurt, and often solves 90% of the problems.
    Typically, the rotator motor runs on 24-36 Volts AC.
  4. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    IF you had to purchase a REBUILT AR-22 model, look at these prices!
    Definitely worth getting repaired for that HDTV antenna or small VHF/UHF yagi.

    AR-22 Rotor and Control - Designed to rotate large television antennas.
    Will support stacked arrays and deep fringe area antennas. $249.00

    AR22 Rotor Only - $179.00

    AR22 Control unit (box) only - $79.00
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    GASP! And to think I paid $59.95 for my AR-33 from Allied Radio in Chicago... then again, that was in 1967. Still works, but I've been through four motor start caps in that period.
  6. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is the rotor turning through 360 degrees? Turn the control knob both ways. If the control box "clicks" and then stops but then "hums" you will notice that there is a lever on the bottom of the control unit. Move that lever back and forth until the control box stops "humming".

    The AR-22 series does not have a brake and they WILL drift in heavy winds. To recalibrate the box with the rotor you turn the control all the way counter clockwise and then see if the box indicator stops but the control box still "hums". If so, then move the lever until it stops. If the indicator stops and the box does not "hum" then turn the control all the way clockwise and see if it stops before getting all the way through. If so, then move the lever until it stops.

    If you do need a new starting capacitor then get one of the proper value that is designed for motor starting and is in the 120 VAC range. You can get this at electrical supply stores, motor rebuilding shops, W.W. Grainger, and so forth. The capacitor will be larger in diameter than the original but it will last many times longer than the 65 volt original capacitor. Also, the 120 VAC capacitor WILL cost between 1/3rd and 1/2 as much as an "exact" replacement capacitor from an amateur radio dealer. You will have to cut the leads from the original capacitor (right at the capacitor) and then solder them to the terminals on the replacement capacitor since those are designed for "push on" connectors.

    You will not be able to use the original capacitor clamp to hold the new capacitor in place because the new one is of a larger diameter. However, there is plenty of room in the AR-22 control box for the new capacitor.

    I have 2 AR-22 rotors one of which is on my "short" tower to turn my VHF yagis. Both of them are over 50 years old and are still going strong. Now I have replaced several starting capacitors over the years but the rotors themselves are still working fine.

    Glen, K9STH
  7. KD8DVL

    KD8DVL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I took the rotor off the tower and hooked the control box up to it with 5 foot of wire what it does I can turn it ether way S E W N all the rotor does is hum I can try taking my hands and helping it turn it will start turning real slow and then stop and hum again.
    What I was wanting to know should I put a new Capacitor in the rotor or the control box?
  8. AD4QP

    AD4QP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The starting capacitor is located in the control box soldered to the terminal strip. There is no capacitor in the rotor itself. Good luck. :)
  9. W8RID

    W8RID Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    CDE Ham 2 Rotor Controller Faceplate

    I have a N centered faceplate.

    I would like to get a S centered faceplate.

    I am on the list with Norm's Rotor (if one comes in)

    Is there anywhere where I can get one or download one??

  10. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Ham II uses a meter for the direction indicator. On the Ham II that I owned for several decades the south center meter scale was printed on the back of the north center meter scale. You have to carefully remove the meter scale (2 screws if I remember correctly) and then turn it around.

    Now I do not know if all the Ham II meters have this. But, the one that I had definitely had the south center on one side and the north center on the other side.

    Glen, K9STH
  11. 221

    221 QRZ Member

    CD 44 Repair

    Hey Fellas,
    I am new to the forum and I really don't know if this is the best place to post. However I will give it a shot. Does anyone know of a good thread with complete instructions on how to repair a CD 44 rotor? I also need a few pictures to help me along. Got any ideas? Thanks in advance....221
  12. KM5FL

    KM5FL Ham Member QRZ Page

    As you probably know, the CD-44 rotor is no long being produced.. However, it is almost identical to the (in production) CD-45II.. Repair procedures and 99% of the parts are interchangeable.. Parts are avaliable from Norm's Rotor Service.

    If you'd like a copy of the 12 page manual, PM me and I'll tell you how to get a copy...

  13. N5VAB

    N5VAB Ham Member QRZ Page

    TR-2 Indicator Problem

    I was given a TR-2 CDE rotor and controller which was working fine after cleaning it up and replacing all the indicator bulbs which were burned out but while rotating my 13 element 2m beam with it I heard a light pop in the control box and the indicator bulbs will not light to show direction although the rotor still turns. I have been using it for a month now. From what I can see inside the only thing that can be wrong is that the winding in the paper wound transformer for the light portion (one transformer for lights and rotor) has burned in two. Would anyone know of another possible cause or know where I could get parts for this old T.V. rotor? Thanks :confused:
  14. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    What bulb number and voltage did you use for replacement???
    I though the bulbs were ~ 24 Volts ... if in parallel.

    CDE/HY-GAIN Bell Rotors History
    by Craig Henderson, N8DJB --- CEO of C.A.T.S.

    The general line of "bell rotors" was developed by engineers at Cornell Dubilier Electronics about 1950 starting with the TR-2 and TR-4 series of rotators designed for directional TV antennas which were just then becoming popular. These models were meant to compliment their existing line of smaller rotators and in many cases, turned out to be the `big brothers" as some of the control units would work on both series.

    As "Ham Radio" antennas became larger and larger during the 50's, the need for larger rotators became evident, so sometime about 1956, work started on a heavier design with a separate brake feature to keep the antennas from "windmilling." This eventually ended up as the HAM IV that we know today.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  15. KA9MOT

    KA9MOT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had the same problem with my CDE AR-22XL. I took it apart and the grease inside was so old it was solid. A couple hour soak in brake cleaner, and some new white lithium grease (make sure you get all of the old grease out, they are incompatible), and that son of a gun works like it is, if I could find a way to get a quieter control box, I'd be a happy camper.
  16. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    You mean you don't "like" that clickity clack of the AR-22! :rolleyes:

    I have 2 of them, both about 50 years old, that are still working fine. One is on my "short" tower (with VHF antennas only) and the other is my "spare" right now. The only thing that goes out is the starting capacitor in the control box.

    Glen, K9STH
  17. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    On the subject of motor start capacitors, I've successfully replaced the dead non-polar capacitor in my TR-44 box (ca 1963) with polarized electrolytics in series (back to back). The trick was to use diodes to "steer" reverse current around the capacitors. I used capacitors with an AC current rating higher than the motor current. The rotor has gotten plenty of use over a couple of years w/o failure.

    Bryan WA7PRC
  18. W8RID

    W8RID Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would agree with KM5FL. Norm's Rotor Service is the place to go. I have dealt with Norm for years and he bends over backwards to help you out. I had an email session with him one afternoon trying to trouble shoot a problem and decide if I needed to send it to him. Did end up sending it to him after we exhausted everything through email messages. He is good, fast and price is reasonable. I highly recommend him.

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