How to unstick a stuck TailTwister II rotator?
Darn TX-2 managed to stick at the end of rotation, and I can't get it to start moving in the other direction. Even tried jumping the limit switch stops for opposite rotation (via the AC motor cap terminals on the control box) to see I could rock it a bit to her started in the right direction. What is the easiest way to unstick these rotators? I can lower the tower, but hate to do it since the Rohn 25 is old and I don't like how it bows when at the 45 degree foldover point. Can they be assisted with a rope on the antenna boom to get them moving?
Mine stuck just like that one time. I did not feel like climbing the tower so it sat like that for about two weeks. We had a very windy day, about 35 mph winds, and that's when I finally got it loose.
I replaced my TX 2 with a Ham IV with a super wedge. That rotor has been working flawlessly for the last 10 years. The antennas on the tower are a 4 element mono band yagi for 20 meters stacked with a Crushcraft shorty forty.
My TX 2 stripped it's gears one time and wind milled the second time. We never could figure out why it wind milled. Could not find anything wrong with it when we took it apart. I left the Ham IV up there and never plan on putting the TX 2 up there again.
"Stuck at the end of rotation" is a big problem with Tail Twisters and has been since they first came out many years ago.
They should print a stern warning to never stop the rotator there.
I've used a 2-man operation to unstick them: One on the tower with a pipe wrench and the other down in the shack to push to button, communicating with each other via HTs. "Okay, I'm twisting the pipe clockwise, Pete! Push the brake and the CW buttons!" You can see how this goes...
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You are probably missing some teeth on the gear that turns it. The damage comes from the electric brake and it's rapid stop. I built a circuit into the control box that delays the brake activation for about 10 seconds which allows the rotation of your antenna to come to a full stop. It is kind of like striping gears on a car transmission by not having the clutch fully depressed. I am sure that the internet must have a similar delay circuit for modification of your control box.
Here is an excellent walk through by K5LAD on how to rebuild your Tail twister rotor.
Photos, advice, parts sources and humor, what more could you want?
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Geez, you guys are trying to scare me! I'm turning fairly small log periodic arrays for HF through UHF. Thankfully the gears weren't damaged, but the rotor isn't that old and wasn't abused or overloaded.
We had some extremely strong wind gusts today, and they were strong enough the rock the mast a few degrees within the slop range of the rotor brake. That was enough to get her free; and I have it parked mid rotation. Just ordered the Idiom Press controller board, and hopefully that will be the bandaid to keep it working. At least I'll be able to set the end travel limits via the programming to keep the rotor 10 degrees off of the interlock switches! Pete
I've got two of the Idiom Press boards in my two controllers. Best money you can spend to upgrade these boxes. If you got it with the serial port option, you can automate the rotation with several different computer controls. Makes a very cool station. I use HRD. With HRD it also integrate into the rig control and logging program so I can get a Spot reported, bring up the other stations info and with a double click get the antenna rotating. Very slick.
Idiom has been getting some bad press lately about delays. Hang in there. it'll be worth it.
The Idiom Press board does have a coast down feature that will prevent locking the brake prior to the rotor coming to a halt. It will also stop the rotation prior to the dead spot. It is a self preservation card for the rotor. You won;t regret installing it. Also, just a thought, you may want to consider LED lighting for the meter. I built my own from Radio Shack parts. A simple 5VDC regulator circuit with a 7805 and a couple of LEDs and it works (and looks) great!
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