Antenna elevator - re-purposed garage door lift on RV?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by WQ6N, Mar 15, 2020.

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  1. WQ6N

    WQ6N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Living out of a RV for a few months now. Currently I have a Tarheel 100A-HP mounted on the passenger side at the rear of the RV. It's still a tree catcher, so I get on a ladder and remove it during transit. The older one gets the less ladder is recommended (we all get there).

    I was browsing a few web sites, including K0GB, trying to get ideas for something less dangerous but functional. I think I saw somewhere that someone had a elevator mounted on the rear of the RV. I began to ponder the re-purposing of a garage door lift to serve as the elevator. I am wondering if anyone else has done this?

    I have an generator exhaust extension, very similar to the Gen-Turi, made out of 2in by 8ft EMT Conduit, that is mounted to the side of the ladder. A flexible exhaust line connects the output of the generator exhaust to the venturi. It would not be hard to attach the garage lift to the EMT, which is cool to the touch during operation. Or, I could mount the channel on the other side of the ladder to the 90 degree ladder stand-offs. That's the easy

    Since this would be in the weather, the motor assy connecting to the drive sprocket would be a consideration. It is also understood that anything above the ladder is fair game to trees as well. My 2in EMT Conduit is not exempt from these conditions. The first design was 1 1/2 inch EMT and it did not take long before it was bent. Maybe if I kept the elevator the exact length of the RV ladder it may survive.

    Again, I am not sure if anyone has gone down this path with lessons learned to share? I do like the idea of bringing down the screwdriver antenna to one with both feet on the ground. This would also allow one to add/remove radials as needed (I do try and put up at least one elevated radial).

    I am looking at installing a Lift & Lay system but am constrained due to not compromising my expensive roof Rhino surface. Bonding, grounding, radials, and cable runs are to be considered. It's too late to add a metal mesh underlay as the one fellow did a while back. Even with this in place, one still has to climb the ladder to incorporate the radials. It's starting to sound like a better method with the elevator idea. Putting the Lift & Lay on the elevator is an more complex option.

    Open to ideas and lessons learned. 73, JohnF
  2. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you looking for a Genie ?
  3. WQ6N

    WQ6N Ham Member QRZ Page

    No clue as to the Genie potential. I am about to replace an old Lift Master that has a chain drive. The car rides on a T-bar vice a U-channel.
    Probably could use micro or magnetic switches for the limit switches. This is just a feasibility discussion at this point.
  4. F5VHZ

    F5VHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Open to ideas and lessons learned. 73, JohnF[/QUOTE]
    Hello, i designed a unit that uses air conditioning vent openers. They operate on 13volts, have end stop cutouts so you can only go back if youve gone forward to the end stop switch, both directions.
    Just mount a tube across the top of your vehicle left to right, and mount it on a support with a bearing so that it can rotate. Next fit a support for the actuator, and a lever mounted on the tube. Operating the actuator will rotate the tube through 90 deg. It takes about 5 secs. Just mount your antennas across the tube using gutter mounts, and when you get into the trees, just reverse the polarity on the actuator to rotate the tube and lay flat all the antennas. Once in the clear, reverse the polarity again and they will be rotated into position again. You only need a 2 pole changeover switch and can leave it powered up... It cuts out when the end stop is reached and no more current is drawn.
    Inside my actuators there was a circuit board but that is not required. Just remove the board and use the the contacts on the slider.. I managed to get two from a skip when a building was renovated, so cost nothing. Ive still got them 20 years later still working.
  5. WQ6N

    WQ6N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Always good to hear new idea's. I didn't pursue the idea and just tossed the old lift. Too many negatives to deal with.
    The gentleman that I purchase my Lift & Lay from, designed a antenna lift out of a airplane airleron motor.

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