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Eagle Aspen ROTR100 Rotor Warning

I have an Eagle Aspen ROTR100 rotor that has been installed for approx. 2.5 years, and had worked well overall. As a result of a recent wind storm it appears one of the "brakes" that locks the antenna is damaged. I can free-hand turn the antenna clockwise. I cannot move it counter clockwise. I contacted the manufacturer via an email address on the instruction sheet to inquire about repairs or parts. Their response was prompt, but this was the answer: "I am sorry the product has been discontinued and we have been out of parts for several years now." So, beware, if you have one of these rotors and they break, you can't get parts. Looks like an AR-500 is on my Christmas wish list....
 

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^^^ And this is why I like the Hy-Gain rotators: The same tried and tested products have been on the market for over 40 years, their design has changed little over that time, and you can still buy absolutely every single part for their rotators. Every single bolt, screw, spring, nut, component, motor. Everything.


I have a Ham 5 with a manufacture date stamped on it of August 1974. It's still going strong today.
 

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Hey,

I picked up a Hy-Gain AR-500 rotor and was wondering if anyone could comment on some questions?

1) Is there a specific rotor cable I could get locally (e.g. Home Depot, Home Hardware, etc.) or do you normally need to get this online? Based on the AR-500 datasheet [PDF download link] they recommend 20AWG3.

I read through some of the earlier posts but it wasn't clear what the latest recommendation is. For reference this is an attic install, need a cable run ~50-100ft.

2) How do you normally make the PVR aware of the different rotor settings? In my location there are essentially 3 rotor settings I'd like to have, where the vast majority of channels use position A, one channel would use position B, and another channel would use position C. I am using Windows Media Center.
 

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If your needs are for 3-conductor minimum 20 AWG, then you could use standard 16 gauge extension cord with the ends cut off (often the least expensive way of buying that kind of cable in the big box stores). I used that very successfully for many years. Other than that, some kinds of sprinkler wire are usable (provided it's at least 20 AWG).

As far as programming a PVR or HTPC to operate a rotor, I don't think it's possible, least I've never heard of a PVR or HTPC that's capable of that!
 

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mark_aok,

Any 3-wire cable 22 gauge or thicker should work just fine for a 50’ – 100’ cable run. The lower the gauge #, the more current the wire will support and the lower the voltage drop across long runs (lower resistance). If there’s not much cost difference 20 gauge would be better than 22. Stranded wire is usually recommended (especially for outdoor installations) because it withstands flexing much better than solid conductor wire. For an attic installation, wind flexing won’t be an issue so even solid core doorbell wire would probably be OK. Doorbell or 5 or 7 conductor sprinkler valve control wire sold at Lowes & Home Depot would also be more than adequate for your needs. You can always double up on the strands if you have extra. Just make sure you match the colors you pair on each end.

I have an NTE/ECG U-106 3-wire rotor that I bought before I knew better. I bought the U-106 because the literature said “Digital display indicates antenna position during operation” & “Pre-set to 12 TV/FM station directions for automatic antenna positioning”. What I didn’t pick up on was that the bearing readout was a 2-digit display. North is 00 or 36, east is 09, south is 18 and west is 27. My street is aligned with True North and my house sits squarely on the lot facing east so visually it’s easy to determine array alignment. This might not be the case with your attic install. I would recommend having a signal strength or SNR meter to assist you with antenna alignment. I hope you don’t need it but even after a fresh calibration, manually turning my rotor to display “18” can have me pointing somewhere between ~175 & ~185. Fortunately, if you “bump align” for max SNR and memorize the location to a pushbutton it seems to return to that location –at least until the rotor goes out of calibration.

Like the AT-500, the U-106 is a three wire rotor that uses a timing circuit for calibration. 3-wire rotors use AC synchronous motors that run at a predictable speed, and the control box simply runs the motor for the amount of time needed to turn the antenna from where the controller thinks it is to where the controller wants it to be. Over time, the position error grows…

After moving it to “home” or 00 deg., basically, you rotate it full clockwise (360 deg.), hit a button labeled “Initial” and it memorizes the time it takes to return to 00 or “home”. Unfortunately, mine frequently requires recalibration. Since my signals come from four directions, it’s fairly easy to detect when it needs calibration because when I turn the array there is either nothing there or the signals are barely watchable. I probably have as much calibration mileage on the rotor as actual array turning mileage. Sometimes, when the calibration goes off, it won’t fully turn to a true 360 so to get it full clockwise you have to power off, power on with a “reset” turn some more and repeat the process until it visually has the array pointing north. I’ve since read that other folks are experiencing the same calibration issues with other brands of 3-wire rotors. I think AntennaCraft, Centronics, Channel Master, Magnavox, Philips, RCA, Stern and probably others sell this same design under their own labels. The AR-500 control box & rotor head look identical to my NTE/ECG U-106.

Please report back and let us know how yours works out.
 

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Thanks guys,

After pricing a couple different types of cables it looks like the cheapest (and most readily available) option is an extension cable, I'll pick up a 100ft extension cable and install it.

Regarding allowing the PVR to control the rotor here's what I'm thinking from a high level:

-> Use a USB or Ethernet based IR transmitter such as the "USB Infrared Toy" http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/USB_Infrared_Toy which will sit in front of the Rotor's control box.
-> Software will be running 24/7 either on the PVR, an embedded device like a Raspberry Pie, or potentially on the HD Homerun itself using custom firmware. The software will do the following:
-> Poll HD HomeRun tuner and determine when tuner0 or tuner1's channel changes
-> Determine the most optimal rotor position...this could be either brute force or an elegant design using pre configured channel/rotor angle settings to determine the best rotor position to allow tuners 0...n to all be able to tune their respective channels
-> Request the IR transmitter to signal the rotor to (potentially) change the rotor position when the channel changes.
-> The software should be open source and flexible so that we can dream up new requirements...based on Pete's comments perhaps things like rotor auto recalibration could one day be implemented.

Also based on Pete's comments many of our rotors are likely identical, so the IR codes would presumably be the same.

Any thoughts or feedback? I am becoming quite interested in this potential project but don't want to reinvent the wheel in case anyone already has sometimes similar set up.
 

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I believe hy-gain offer computer controlled rotor controllers, but I think they are typically only for the more expensive models.
 

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^^^^^
Refresh my memory: What is your setup again? I know that you have a tower, but is there a thrust bearing, or is the mast directly connected to the rotor?!
 

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CM-9537 Control & CM-9521A Rotor proplem

Hello everyone,, I have a problem with cm controller 9537, I live in Europe, where the voltage is 230 volts 50Hz. I made the change that give the instructions (50 Hz POWER: UP, DOWN, and SYNC) but now the system loses 50 degrees,, ie when the controller counts 310 degrees the rotator has reached a full rotation on 360 degrees north. The Synchronization of controller does not fix anything. If I put controller at 60Hz(UP and DOWN in togethe r),, now controller counts 360and stop ,, but the rotator stops at 310 degrees before north, losing 50 degrees .

CM-9521A Rotor is ok with old controller...


Any help please tnks..
 

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You may not be able to mix different models of controller and rotor. They may be designed to function differently - in the way that they they try to synchronize the "AIM" of the rotor. We have only been "guessing" how Channel Master actually accomplishes that. And it could be different - for different models of Rotor / Controller pair.

You may have to use the correct model of controller - that was originally designed for / that came originally with - the rotor.

You may not be able to "mix and match". You may not be able to "interchange" different models of controllers / rotors from CM.

There may be a fundamental differences in the method of control / synchronization.

Must probably use "OLD CONTROLLER" with OLD ROTOR.

If "OLD CONTROLLER" no good - must probably replace with correct model / same model of "OLD CONTROLLER".

[ I suspected that CM was using some sort of "frequency counting" to estimate movement. Others suggested CM did some sort of "timing" - but that is close to the same idea. But none of us knew for sure - how CM actually did it. The pictures and electronic parts lists might have given some hints. Counting frequency would be similar to counting the revolutions of the magnetic field in the motor - and deducing from that, how much the rotor turned. But that might not be totally accurate either - magnetic "slippage" during startup or stop - in the motor. But maybe they have a way to account for/estimate that slippage too. Not sure. Mine still works pretty well - after my mechanical fix (slipping gear!) ]

Thanks for the "LIKE".

Suggest - try to get a correct replacement, new good/working correct controller or fix original. Otherwise - who knows ?? A different model controller may not control rotor properly due to different design / different concept of aim control.
 

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AETOS! Great Work !

So Question:

? The model of controller you have, needs a different "crystal" - crystal with different frequency - for the correct timing (estimate) of the rotation ?

Given that you're operating the rotor at 50 hz power frequency in Europe, rather than 60 hz power frequency - in North America.

Very interesting.

Not sure - but that may suggest a number of things about this CM rotor / controller:

- The motor might be turning at a speed related to the power frequency.
i.e. An AC type motor. ( might be true, if the rotor power adaptor and controller are feeding, an AC signal, for example, 18 VAC up the rotor control wires. )
[ when I opened my CM rotor up, it looked like the motor had 4 poles / 4 windings inside - just from memory ]

- The CM controller is actually doing a "timing" estimate of the rotation, based *NOT* on the AC power frequency - but rather based on a different internal electronic "clock" run off the frequency generated by a timing crystal.

- ? Does CM have a fundamental concept design error, in the controller? When trying to use it on a 50 hz power system ? What ! Needs a different crystal to make it work correctly on 50 hz ? Or is that just because of (Aetos) mixing and matching different CM controller and CM rotor model pairs ? Really not sure - but wondering.

Is that what you found ? Aetos ?

[ I take it by your posts, your "shop" / abilities / and level of knowledge - you may be an electronics technician / eng / or very skilled and knowledgeable in these areas. Practically and theoretically. ]

Again, congratulations, and good work and very interesting. Thanks for posting.

Happy rotating ! [ "Everybody Spin ! " (? or Twist was it.) - from a Frank Zappa song ]
 

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the rotator model is channel master 9500 , 3 poles/3 wires
power adaptor 18 VAC /1A (230v-50hz)

controller is model 9537 that as the instructions "say'' work(?????) both of 50/60hz.

Before modify : rotator makes 1 minute and 12 seconds for a complete rotation,,
and controller do 1 minute and 29 seconds to count from 000 to 360. (ceramic resonator 4 Mhz)

After modify : rotator makes 1 minute and 12 seconds for a complete rotation (as before),, but now
the controller do 1 minute and 13 seconds to count from 000 to 360.(crystall resonator 2.276 Mhz)..

im a radioamateur... all the best,, tnks..
 

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Thanks.

I think #Poles in motor may not necessarilly equal #wires up to rotor.
( I think: 3 wires just to give direction of rotation. clockwise, or counterclockwise, and a ground/return wire)

Yes - That is the question I may have for CM - Channel Master.

If CM says "It should work with both 50 and 60 hz" and provide menu to switch.
Then why does it not work correctly at 50 hz? Why was the user required to install a different crystal ?

Fundamental CM concept design flaw ?

So then, when switch to 50hz operation - should have a 2nd crystal inside ?
and switch to use 2nd crystal instead - on 50 hz operation?

CM - Design flaw? Missing 2nd crystal ? / not installed ? Not correctly planned for? (Not sure)

What's up with this? Should CM be advised / informed?

Not sure. But interesting anyway.

Thanks Aetos "radioamateur" - happy listening and transmitting.

Glad you got your rotor to work, hopefully - correctly now.
 

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I'm not sure what happens. My opinion: wrong planning and programming (at least for 50Ηz /230v operation)

Ηave a good day ..
73s as amateur say!!!
 

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Rotor recommendations?

It seems I'm going to have to be ready for spring for well over 100$ if I want one. What do I get for how much money and what are the good ones and what are the acceptable ones?
 

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Rotator lock

Hi, My rotator Channel Master doesn't turn. Water probably enter Inside.

How many volt and amp for test directly with transformer or charger ?

Thank!
 
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