Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Digiwave AR500 rotator data and tweaks
I don’t post often but thought I would add some data to the forum, if its not already known. This may help with future troubleshooting and preventing problems before they occur.
I purchased a AR500 Digiwave rotator from Lowes.ca for $123. It arrived within 24 hours and I proceeded to look it over. My experience has led me to make sure Chinese made devices work before installing so I removed the bottom plate from the drive unit to look it over. Case serial #1000501
The first thing I noticed was that three of the four 3\8” cap screws that hold the motor unit mounting plate to the case were loose by several turns each, only one screw was tight. I removed these screws completely and removed the motor assembly plate for inspection. Pleasantly surprised to see that all gears were metal and lightly greased with a white grease.
I measured the voltage of the 2 AA that came with it for the remote control and found one was dead, indeed the bottom of the cell was corroded, the other cell read 1.56V (normal)
Things found and fixed:
1 – The metal arm that sets the drive backlash only used one screw though there was a second threaded location for another screw which I added.
2 – The motor wires, #30 gauge or so looked like they could break with vibration so secured them with silicon caulk so they cannot move.
3 – Used removable loctite (#242) on most screws and nuts and reassembled the unit.
4 – Greased the main bearing (under the large rubber ring) as there was no grease. This is a machined aluminum bearing surface that rides on a stainless steel shim.
On the bench I measured the operating voltage and current to the motor on all 3 wires. Connected to the controller.
All measurements are with a Fluke model 83 multimeter and are 60 Hz AC, both rotation directions are shown, 3 feet of #18 wire were used for the test:
Terminals 1,3 20.1 V, 20.5 V
Terminals 2,3 25.2 V, 20.1 V
Terminals 1,2 35.3 V, 35.3 V
Terminals 1 628 mA, 786 mA
Terminals 2 631 mA, 782 mA
Terminals 3 648 mA, 652 mA
Stalling the motor produced very little increase in these current value, perhaps 50mA or so
After running the unit on the bench for 4-5 minutes I read the temperature of the motor winding and found a max of 53 degrees C using an IR thermometer.
Hope this helps someone.
Last edited by samson51; 2017-02-14 at 09:06 PM.