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Re: [TowerTalk] Rain Water Getting Into TX-472 Motors

To: "Rich Hallman - N7TR" <>, "Fred Hurd" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Rain Water Getting Into TX-472 Motors
From: "K0DAN" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:00:55 -0600
List-post: <">>'s been a few years since I replaced my tower motor (Tri-Ex 
LM470), it was a 1/2 HP Leeson, I think, and after a lot of searching around 
I think a new unit was around $300 +/-. Not cheap, but glad to find direct 
replacement. It has leaked & failed once, and I replaced the starter relay 
and cap, then sealed it up with silicone caulk (ugly, but very weather 
proof). I have the paperwork somewhere if you or others are in need. But 
these motors and their repairs are pretty generic. As you say, if you can 
find a motor shop who will repair/refurbish, that is definitely a way to go, 
but you need to bounce the price up against new. Even the mom and pop shops 
are getting $75+/hour, plus materials, so it does not take long to run the 
costs up. The key for ham tower owners is to realize these motors are 
generic and not built by the tower manufacturers. It may take some research 
to identify them, and you might need to do some modifications to install 
them, but there ARE options.
GL es 73

-----Original Message----- 
From: Rich Hallman - N7TR
Sent: December 12, 2011 07:28 PM
To: K0DAN ; Fred Hurd ;
Subject: RE: [TowerTalk] Rain Water Getting Into TX-472 Motors

I have heard of others taking their motors to a local electric motor
shop to be rebuilt.  Costs normally are pretty low compared to a new
replacement...and these motors are pretty common.

Rich N7TR

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of K0DAN
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 5:02 PM
To: Fred Hurd
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Rain Water Getting Into TX-472 Motors

I don't have that brand tower but the solution is rather generic.

A cover for the motor can never hurt, but when you search for a
replacement motor, look for something that is rated for "wash-down
service". This is still not a "submersible" motor (!) but is rated for
wet environments (think farm machinery, food processing, etc., electric
motors which are out in the elements or or spray washed frequently).

Even a wash-down motor can have its problems....those little
compartments which contain the control relays, starter caps, etc., can
leak, and should be inspected periodically, gaskets replaced, also
protected with a bead of silicone caulk.

If your motor is exposed to a lot of blowing rain, ice melt, etc., take
steps to identify the source and protect the motor. Run the motor
frequently...lack of use is a definite no-no.

Change the oil in the gearbox once a year and inspect/lube pulleys,
bearings, etc..

A small amount of annual preventative maintenance will go a long way to
extending the life of your motor, but eventually they will all need

Remember, the tower manufacturers don't build their own motors....they
buy them from electric motor suppliers, so if you look hard enough you
will find a suitable replacement and will not have to spend the big
(marked up) bucks by buying a replacement from the tower mfgr.

Hope this helps.


-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Hurd
Sent: December 12, 2011 06:12 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Rain Water Getting Into TX-472 Motors

The motor unit installed on my TX-472 US Tower has been soaked
internally by rain water leaking into the motor housing resulting in
motor rusting and corrosion internally. Now the motor is drawing too
much current to start up and blowing the electrical source fuse. Contact
with the motor manufacturer reveals that these motors were not designed
to be exposed constantly to weather but used primarily with generators
within weather protected housing.
I am curious if other TX Tower owners have experienced similar problems
with the motors being damaged by rain water. Has anyone found a
replacement motor that can survive heavy rain? Or is the only solution
using a cover over the motor?


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