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Re: [TowerTalk] Or2800DC smoking control box

To: <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Or2800DC smoking control box
From: <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2012 02:39:41 -0000
List-post: <">>
I'm not familiar with the Orion rotator, can you apply voltage from a 
separate power supply and see the rotator turns without the controller? 
BTW, Green Heron Engineering makes a great controller!

Subject:[TowerTalk] Or2800DC smoking control box
From:Nathaniel Lee <>
Date:Thu, 31 May 2012 17:07:37 -0700 (PDT)

Hi All,

I am hoping for some help here with the DC rotor box from M2. The rotor and 
were installed brand new along with the rest of the installation and worked
fine at calibration on the dining room table and again for 2 days. After 
the rotor box smoked. I sent the box to M2 and it returned today and smoked
again upon wiring it in and I did not even have a chance to spin the antenna
before the magic smoke appeared. It also still smelled smoky coming out of 
shipping container.

Before doing so, I checked the wiring from the tower to confirm the motor
winding was not shorted and indeed, it had a few ohms of winding resistance.
The cable is not undersized for the distance either 200'. I actually tested 
rotor cable immediately after discovering the smoked box and it has not 
in terms of the measurement of the motor wiring's resistance for the last 3
weeks being without the box.

The M2 people are suggesting something is wrong at the tower level. Since it
cost a pretty darn big penny to have it all installed and I need a hip
replacement soon, I am not running up and down the tower for this. Someone 
has to go twice in order to retrieve and reinstall. $$! I checked the tower
ground which is tied into the station ground and upon separating the two, 
resistance was minimal, on the order of an ohm.

They suggested checking the house wiring for a missing neutral? Really? 
else is smoking and the tail-twister in use at another tower performs
flawlessly and is also tied into the same ground. Everything else is just 
Not even a hot chassis. I am using braid everywhere for inside grounding and 
goes to two 8' ground rods only about 5' away.

How do I check for a missing neutral without getting zapped in the process?
What else can I look for? I am peeved that it worked for 2 days without
incident because it indicates it was not an installation error. Nothing has 
a chance to deteriorate. I suppose testing with a light on a 2 prong plug 
indicate a missing neutral?

Nat Lee

Somersworth, NH 


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