>>> I installed a brand-new Hy-Gain Tailtwister rotor for my U.S. Tower 70'
base-rotated tubular tower back in late September. I bought the rotor and
digital control unit (DCU-1) as a package.
I called Hy-Gain and they said that Tailtwisters typically have this
problem. They said that one solution is to "rock" the rotor back and forth,
which loosens it up enough to start moving. Unfortunately, the DCU-1 does
not have any manual controls (i.e., no CW and CCW levers), so the only thing
you can do is tell it to move in one direction or the other. It tries for
eight seconds and if it detects no movement, it shuts off. Basically, all
you can do is keep pushing the "Start" button. As yet, I haven't tried
"rocking" by setting the target on either side of the limits to make the
start commands alternate direction. Possibly that will get it started a
little quicker. When I pointed out that my Tailtwister is nearly brand new
(the marketing literature touts improved low-temp operation and the manual
says it will work down to -32 F), they said that even the new ones have this
Are others out there experiencing this kind of problem with the Tailtwister,
especially new models running with the DCU-1? >>>
The DCU-1 is a nifty unit with a bunch of nice features. One of the
computerized features is that it already includes a function that is supposed
to clear the brake automatically. What it does is back up 5 degrees each time
it is started up and then reverses and proceeds to the desired heading. You
don't have to rock it because it already does that. Rocking it may be helpful
for the manual control box with the 3 switches.
Hy-Gain does use a low temperature grease for the bearings and races so I
don't know why yours would be more sensitive to low temp.
>>>Since the rotor is base-mounted and very easy to access, I've considered
putting some heat tape around it (I've got 110VAC on a pedestal right next
to the tower.) It looks like the best place to wrap it would be around the
lower (fixed) portion of the rotor. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of
room down there, and I'm not sure I can get enough tape around it to make a
difference. I'd rather not have the heat tape riding around on the movable
portion. Of course, I'm not wild about having heat tape running all winter.
Anybody else tried this? >>>
Yes and it WORKS! I put some heat tape around my prop pitch and it only
took less than a minute to get it unfrozen and going in the morning.
73 and GL, Steve K7LXC
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