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Author Topic: Turbo Tuner and Alpine Screwdriver Antenna Problems  (Read 3193 times)

Posts: 448

« on: July 28, 2010, 03:18:36 PM »

Hope this is not too boring a subject. BUT, about a year ago, I purchased a screwdriver antenna from
Alpine Antennas. (Model 100s) Due to work I was not able to install it until a few months ago. Before
I got around to installing it, I managed to buy a Turbo Tuner controller from a ham on
I finally got to install the antenna on my 97 Dodge 2500 pickup. Using a manual controller a friend gave
me, I set up the antenna and just used a chart and markings on the mast to use the antenna.
I then decided I had better use the Turbo Tuner I had bought (for IC-706 MKIIG) since using the system
I had was not safe and still required me to stop in order to re-tune when changing bands.
I followed the instructions that came with the Turbo Tuner (setting up the radio and the dip switches inside)
and could not get it to work with the antenna. I emailed and later received a phone call from Bill at Turbo Tuners and he helped me check things out. It turned out that antenna was drawing 1.4 to 1.5 amps when moving up and down! Too much current draw for the Turbo Tuner. And the stall current would jump to 3 amps!
So, I gave up on the Turbo Tuner and boxed it up and put it away. And went back to using a manual controller.
That worked well one day until I was re-doing my tuning chart and the coil jammed in the extended
position (was doing the settings for 80 meters). The motor would continue to run in forward and reverse
but, the coil would not move. I contacted Wesley at Alpine Antennas and he said that even though the antenna was out of warranty , he would repair the antenna at no charge to me if I would pay shipping and handling both ways. Well, since it was out of warranty and I expected I would have to pay for parts and labor as well, I was pleasantly surprised when Wesley said he would fix it for free.
I sent it out and got it back in just about a week. (great service and turnaround)
I reinstalled it a couple of days ago and for the fun of it, I hooked the Turbo Tuner back up. (after confirming that the antenna was working with my manual controller) To my surprise, it worked!!
And did so, until today. This afternoon ( 100 degrees if that matters) I went to change bands and nothing happened. Checked connections and then it worked again.........for a bit. But, when I needed to go up with band changes ( from 20 to 10 meters for example) it would extend like it was going towards 80 meters. So, I changed a dip switch inside from normal to reverse which should have fixed the problem. Instead of fixing it, nothing happened. Rechecked all connections and everything was fine. Had power to the Turbo Tuner ( it sends R4 in code when you first power the radio up) but, it would not move the antenna at all. Even setting the dip switch back to the original setting had no effect. ( when I would stop it from attempting to tune after a long wait, it would send the letter P for Park like I had initiated the park function, which I had not)
So, has anyone any suggestions on either a way to fix this or buying another Turbo Tuner (new not used) or maybe a better method of working with the manual controller and some sort of indicator to denote when in the proper position for the frequency tuned. (there is too much RFI coming from the antenna's motor to use noise level with the receiver to pre-tune and then key up for final tuning)
What methods do other screw driver antenna users use, other than a Turbo tuner or memory controller?
(this antenna has no counter switch in it)
Thanks for any suggestions.

Posts: 448

« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 04:36:22 PM »

Sorry about the double post, tried to delete the second one and it would not do it.
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