Greetings to all Tower Talkers,
I wanted to provide an update to all that offered
lot's of very thoughtful suggestions with the problems
I was having with my new 4 Element. Though this is a
SteppIR specific issue, you all contributed a whole
lot of help to the evaluation process...THANK YOU!
Though a final diagnosis will probably only be
available after autopsy of the reflector motor, which
seems to have been the problem or a significant part
of the problem.
A heavy duty power supply was sent to me by Mike
Mertel last week, non-switching type. Prior to
installing it, I ran through the testing with short 10
foot cable at the base of the tower, total cable
length 80 feet. Initial switching up and down the
bands went ok, then the controller shut down.
Attempts were made at calibration, but the unit shut
down. Of interest there was quite a bit of noise
coming from the antenna motors, probably resulting
from unsynchronized motor activity? Anyway, a switch
was then made to the new power supply with the 10 foot
cable. Worked fine. Seemed like the non-switching
pwr supply "cleaned out the cobwebs" (sorry for the
non-technical description). No failures. I was able
to enter calibrate without any difficulty. With the
new supply, all seemed ok. Switch to the 500 foot
cable (new one from SteppIR)...worked fine, perfect.
Ok, now the test, back to the 33 volt switching
supply...standard SteppIR issue....worked fine...no
problem. Also of interest, the motors made no unusual
sounds...smooth. Next test, back to the original 500
foot cable that would not work previously, except with
one motor disconnected(only 3 of 4 motors connected).
Worked fine...perfect, first with the HD supply then
again with the standard issue power supply...no
problems at all.
Now to test the antenna...after going through the
troubleshooting guide and with some phone support from
Jerry, it appears that there is a problem with the
motor on the reflector. So, once that is changed out,
it should work fine...fingers crossed.
So what happened? Beats me. The SteppIR guys are
correct, it does work with cables greater than 400
feet. Maybe with this cable length there is an
increased sensitivity to increased motor load, causing
the power supply to shut down?All of you engineers out
there will most likely be able to provide a more
accurate analysis. Perhaps the dissection of the
motor will show what happened. All motors were
working when the antenna went up, so not sure what the
Hope this experience provided some usefull information
for all of you steppir users out there!
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