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Re: [TowerTalk] Ham M rotor freezing to accessory shelf

To: "towertalk reflector" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Ham M rotor freezing to accessory shelf
From: "David J Windisch" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 17:34:51 -0500
List-post: <">>
Stand the rotator up off the shelf with a stack of, say, 5/16" or 3/8" nuts, 
or 1/4" washers.  73 Dave W8FGX

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Kelley N1BUG" <>
To: "towertalk reflector" <>
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 9:02 AM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Ham M rotor freezing to accessory shelf

> OK, I know this has got to be a dumb question, but here goes.
> Most of my ham career I never used real antenna rotators. I used
> homebrew contraptions or the like. Now I have an 80 foot tower with
> a rebuilt and "upgraded" Ham M rotor (yes I'm aware of the
> controversy regarding the "upgrade" in question) and a 100 foot
> tower with a Ham IV.
> The Ham IV works fine in all seasons and weather conditions, never a
> problem. The Ham M, however, is useless much of the winter. Snow
> melts off antennas above, water drips down and forms a thin layer of
> ice on the rotor shelf. The ice is just thick enough to seize the
> lower rotating part of the bell housing so the rotor can't turn. I
> have climbed up there several times (in past winters) to verify that
> is the problem. If I chip away or melt the ice all is well until the
> next thaw/freeze or rain/freeze event.
> I have a few questions about this.
> 1.) Why is this happening to the Ham M and not the Ham IV? Is there
> a physical difference in these two rotors that explains it? (I am
> currently unable to climb to inspect this -- a temporary situation,
> hopefully)
> 2.) How can I stop this from happening? Is it advisable to put
> spacers between the Ham M rotor base and the rotor shelf to provide
> more clearance for the rotating portion of the rotor? If so, any
> recommendations or potential pitfalls to avoid? Are there other
> possible solutions for this problem?
> 3.) I don't recall ever hearing anyone mention a similar issue.
> Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but, could there be something
> wrong with my "upgraded" Ham M that is causing this? I can't see how
> it could be assembled wrong and still work fine, aside from the
> icing, but...?
> Thanks in advance for any education and/or suggestions in this
> matter! In the previous couple of winters it was up there, this was
> a minor annoyance. If it was frozen and I wanted to turn it, I just
> climbed up and removed the ice. Now that I can't do that, it's
> driving me crazy! (er... more crazy? ;-)
> 73,
> Paul N1BUG
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