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[TowerTalk] TicRing / C31 or 19 XR info?

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] TicRing / C31 or 19 XR info?
From: (
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 09:18:20 -0500
Ordinarily I'd buy that argument.

However, the facts on TIC are that their engineering mistakes and quality
control have been attrocious for years.  The only reason they are in
business at all is that they have a unique product that is in high demand
by a very unique sect of the amateur market.

Yes they've made some improvements over the years, but it's always been two
steps forward and one step back for them.  Earlier designs/ production runs
had terrible problems with ring sections not meshing properly and frames
that were too flimsy.  They fixed a lot of this on the 1022B version, but
the 1032 remained unchanged (I'm not sure that it's been changed yet).  The
motors have had several iterations of the mounting method and some motors
dont work with some frames.  Some of the later motors required a supplied
shim for a mounting bolt because of a basic mechanical engineering error.
The supplied shim was too flimsy and crushed under pressure without
additional hardware fixing.
Later model motors removed the interal terminal strip, which I thought was
one of it's better features and used an external  trailer light type
pigtail.  Additional motors required splicing into the pigtail using
supplied Scotchlok connectors...something else I would never use, even
inside a box!.  All of this was simple and clean when the connections were
inside the motor enclosure on the terminal strip.

The control boxes have had their own set of problems.  None of them have
meters that are even close to accurate because of a hysteresis problem in
the meter driver circuit.  This problem still exists as far as I know.
Mostly we've just been told to ignore the meter as a heading indicator
except as a rough direction.  Luckily the pots are wirewound and the actual
heading tracks the pot setting very closely.  You just have to pretty much
ignore the meter as a heading indicator.  Later, the EC control came out to
add some smart control and RS232 interfacing.  However, they were so flawed
and poorly assembled that I doubt any of them ever worked properly.  In
fact, the one example I saw failed to indicate properly.  When I opened the
case, I'd never seen such a messy wiring job.  It was nearly impossible to
work on with all the "banjo string" wiring.  Just recently we were asked to
pay another $175 to trade in these boxes for a new improved model.  I didnt
feel like gambling with another $175 and will just stick with the old
"stupid" boxes.

I've got two of the early 1022's up on a 45G tower, but it was not a
pleasant experience to get them assembled.  Binding and gear mesh were the
big problems.  Once these were solved by jockeying ring pieces around and
some careful filing, etc., they've been pretty reliable.  The 1022B rings
were much better than the original, but my example still required a little

I havent seen their latest versions , so cant comment much about the
current state of affairs.

73, Ty K3MM

                    michael watts                                               
                    <>            To:     Glenn Rattmann 
<>, Steve      
                    Sent by:                    <>,          
                    owner-towertalk@cont        cc:                             
                            Subject:     Re: [TowerTalk] 
TicRing / C31 or 19  
                                                XR info?                        
                    03/04/2001 05:59 PM                                         

I have a ring rotor I am putting up and I have
assembled it and tested it in the shop first.  There
were none of the problems described in this post.  It
works fine and smoothly.

I think a lot of hams have some misconception about
their market clout.  The ham market is very small and
does not justify expensive tooling.  You should expect
to do some grinding and thoughtful finish work.  Hams
also seem to be really cheap (me too, I think).  If
you think $1000 is a lot to pay, it seems to me that
you are simply out of touch.  Let's see, what would I
have to pay for a piece of specialized commercial gear
for which there is a tiny market?  Maybe $10k?  Maybe
have to have it made up myself by a machine shop at a
cost of $20k or more?  I think $1k is a good price and
I don't really mind having to fiddle with it a bit if
I feel the manufacturer has made an honest attempt to
make a good product (UNLIKE MFJ, imho).

I think one of thing that leads hams to be very
demanding (and cheap too) are the relatively low cost
Japanese transceivers.  They are nicely tooled and we
get to where we expect that level of tooling on all
the products we buy.  But the transceivers are the
lowest common denominator - every ham has to have one.
 So the volume is much higher than for a specialty
item like a ring rotor.  I appreciate the trouble
taken by the maker to bring such a thing to the market
for my convenience.  It is probably more trouble than
profit for him.

But I don't mean to imply that we should not give the
makers feedback.  It is important to let them know
what experience you have had with their product.  The
good ones will keep trying to improve.  No doubt the
difference between the first fellow's experience with
his Ring Rotor and my experiece with mine is time and
the improvements made during the interim.

So mark me down as an endorsement for the low volume
but very nice to have available Ring Rotor.

Mike wy6k
--- Glenn Rattmann <> wrote:
> At 02:06 PM 03/01/2001 +0000, you wrote:
> >If you go with the ring rotator you will have to do
> some finessing with
> the ring part to make
> >it work smoothly. I had to grind the outer diameter
> of the ring to make it
> round
> >and I had to file the teeth of the gear on the
> inside of the ring to get
> >constant engagement with the motor. Put the ring
> rotator together on the
> bench
> >first to get it to work properly then do a trial
> assembly on the tower at
> a low
> >height to make sure all the parts clear the tower.
> I had to do some mods
> to get
> >clearance between the ring and the tower. I also
> had the grind the slots
> for the
> >motor to get full contact with the motor gear and
> ring gear.
> Wow.  I don't know the current retail price of this
> machine (I assume they
> are a kilobuck, or more...), but an additional price
> is described in the
> paragraph above.  If this customer's experience is
> true, and typical, the
> manufacturer probably needs to go back to the
> drawing board, or improve the
> manufacturing process.
> If this were a commercial-to-commercial product, I
> doubt he could hang on
> to his customer base for long.
> I guess that's why they call us amateurs.
> 73,
> Glenn K6NA
> --
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