Diagnosis…new & different

W4TUN’s Ham IV rotator suddenly stopped working, after several years of trouble-free service. All the usual things checked out, etc. So…a quick trip to SC & a refurbished Ham IV was installed. The Green Controller didn’t like that one bit. Nor did an old-fashioned Hy-Gain control box. Yet the new rotator checked fine on the bench. A bit of head-scratching & puzzlement followed, along with sending the GH box back to Jeff for repair. He reported a trace was burnt off the printed circuit board. Finally, once the original rotator was opened up, the light bulb finally went on–apparently a lightning strike was responsible for this failure, as the rotator’s motor was burnt up, both limit switches were burnt up, etc. Amazingly enough, the pot was still okay. So…some simple tests at Ray’s QTH showed the control line down the tower to be fine. But something was not right with the buried cable from the tower base to the Hoffmann box (where everything’s protected with PolyPhasers) at the shack entrance! Luckily, I was able to pull out the 66-ft of damaged cable & replace it. A few tense moments hooking things back up, but everything worked perfectly.  In 50 years of tower work, this was/is a new experience, which you don’t have every day. Nothing else in the shack was damaged, but the 6M Yagi (an M2) did show an upward shift in VSWR, albeit only slightly, now at 2:1.  If it was not the highest beam on the mast, and 6M possibly won’t be any good this season, we would have done something about that, but Ray elected to “wait and see,” a sound economic decision IMHO.

stay tuned…

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