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[TowerTalk] Rotator control refurb

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Rotator control refurb
From: (David Cook)
Date: Fri Aug 15 23:42:29 2003
I've inherited a CDE Ham-II rotator and after playing with the thing to
verify that it's still operational, I have a few ideas for improving the
operation of the control box. It's interesting to see that Hy-Gain has,
apparently, made no changes to the controller box after all these years, so
I'm wondering if my ideas are at all reasonable. And I'm sure that many hams
have tinkered with these controllers over the years. So, I have a few
questions for you folks about the whys and wherefores of the controller
operation, and also would like to ask for pointers to sites on the Web or
QST articles on this subject.

My first question is why is the brake control a separate switch from the
rotation controls? Reading the manual, it states that you need to disengage
the brake, depress one of the rotations switches, let up on the rotation and
let the inertia of the whole assemble wind down, then leggo of the brake
switch. Why didn't they just couple the rotation switch to the brake switch
and put a delay in the circuit so that the brake re-engagement is delayed a
second or two after the rotation switch is released?

The next question is why do they provide two switches for CW and CCW
rotation? Not that I would ever do this, but looking at the schematic I see
that if I were to depress both rotation switches at the same time, the motor
would be totally stalled. Seems to me the smart thing to do would be to have
a toggle switch to set the direction, then another switch to actually start
the rotation.

So you can see where this is leading. I can design my own replacement
rotator controller box, but as I said, I'm sure many hams have already done
this before, and probably thought of a lot of other ideas I haven't thought
of yet. Thanks for any suggestions and/or pointers for more info on this.

73, Dave, WA0TTN

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