Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Norm's Rottator Repair  (Read 2849 times)
K2QB
Member

Posts: 104




Ignore
« on: January 13, 2012, 01:44:53 PM »

Well I might be in the minority but my experience with Norm's has been less than satisfactory. Originally I called and spoke with them regarding sending in my HDR300 for refurbishing. It had developed quite a bit of play in it over the years due to wearing. They were very helpful over the phone and per our conversation I sent my rotator in. My first clue of trouble should have been the lack of response from them when I tried to get some sort of update as to the status of my rotator once they had it. I did receive a rotator back after several weeks and yes it did look new. Amazing what a good cleaning, swapping a few parts and a fresh coat of paint can do. After about 2 months in service I noticed again that there seemed to be "play" starting to creep in again. I emailed Norm's and their suggestion was to check my installation to be sure it was installed according to Hy-Gains instructions, check my mast for slippage, check my antenna mount for slippage and to make sure I wasn't overloading the rotator and maybe I should buy a bigger rotator. His exact words were "I've done all I can do for you". Long story short on that, it was none of what Norm's suggested and was definitely the rotator starting to wear again. The antenna is an Optibeam OD9-5, just under 8 sq. ft mounted inches above the thrust bearing, so it is in no way taxing a rotator designed to handle 25 sq. ft of load. Fast forward another two months and the rotator is now moving 20 degrees or so back and forth, very similar to the original problem that I sent mine in for. My emails to Norm's regarding this have gone unanswered. So after spending well over $500 to have a rotator rebuilt to resolve a specific problem, I now have someone else’s rotator with the same problem and Norm's doesn't feel that they should stand behind their repairs or do anything to help resolve this problem. So now I am left to once again have the rotator rebuilt or buy a new one. As my mounting plate is designed to accept an HDR-300 I guess I'll be having it re-built again. Only this time it will not be Norm's, that's for sure.
Logged
W5DQ
Member

Posts: 1209


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 01:23:55 PM »

"I now have someone else’s rotator with the same problem and ......."

Two DIFFERENT rotors of the same brand / type with the SAME problem would lead me to believe either this is a design flaw in the HDR300 or a faulty installation but since you state that it is installed and loaded correctly, that would preclude that it may be a design flaw. While Alliance HD-73 rotors aren't in the same category of abilities as the HDR-300, I have had Norm rebuild several of them over the years and every one of them has been flawless. I tend to push my rotors hard and they don't develop any slack like you're seeing. I just serviced the HF beam rotor (rebuilt by Norm) due to a bad position feedback pot (weak point in the HD-73) and it was as tight as the day I put it up over 5 years ago. The HD-73 is rated at 10.7 sq ft in tower and half of that on a mast outside of the tower. I have them loaded to as high as 8 sq ft outside the tower and while they rock and roll with the heavy winds we get here in the Mojave desert (50+ MPH sustained winds just yesterday with the latest winter storm) they don't develop 20 degrees of 'play'.

I'd contact the manufacturer and discuss the issue with them and also post on eHAM to see if anyone else is experiencing the same degradation of accuracy with the HDR-300 as you are? You could have gotten a bad setup from Norm but my experience with him says I'd look for other suspect areas.

Good luck in solving this predicament. Tower/rotor issues can be a real headache.

Gene W5DQ
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 04:33:28 PM by W5DQ » Logged

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KB4QAA
Member

Posts: 2269




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 04:24:32 PM »

Point:  Norm can't responsible for the first instance of play developing.  Therefore the problem is either in the design or your installation!
Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 5879




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 05:40:11 AM »

Consider this as well.  Norm can't replace every part of the rotor.  Once play develops, it indicates wear, and a refurbishment sometimes can't correct that wear.  Maybe the parts just weren't available--or maybe it was impractical to replace them because it would bring the cost of repair to the cost of a replacement rotor.
Logged
K2QB
Member

Posts: 104




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 06:06:35 AM »

The "slop" WAS a design flaw in the earlier HDR300's and is well documented. Hy-Gain redesigned the shaft years ago to alleviate this problem. When I sent my rotator in to get refurbished I fully expected it to be brought up to today's standards. Seeing that Norm's send you another rotator in advance it would appear that I received a rotator that was not fitted with the new shaft. I paid well over $500 to have a rotator that would not have this problem again and that didn't happen. Norm's response to my problem and his lack of even acknowledging any further emails from me leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. And no, I was not beligiernt or antagonistsic in my emails to them. I simply asked what they could do to either rectify the issue or offset some or all of the cost of having another rotator rebuilt ensuring that it had the redesigned shaft installed. For what it's worth it is my understanding that Norm's was sold several years ago and the folks that had run it are no longer there. Maybe that explains the lack of customer service today.
Logged
W5DQ
Member

Posts: 1209


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 06:37:34 AM »

The "slop" WAS a design flaw in the earlier HDR300's and is well documented. Hy-Gain redesigned the shaft years ago to alleviate this problem. When I sent my rotator in to get refurbished I fully expected it to be brought up to today's standards. Seeing that Norm's send you another rotator in advance it would appear that I received a rotator that was not fitted with the new shaft. I paid well over $500 to have a rotator that would not have this problem again and that didn't happen. Norm's response to my problem and his lack of even acknowledging any further emails from me leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. And no, I was not beligiernt or antagonistsic in my emails to them. I simply asked what they could do to either rectify the issue or offset some or all of the cost of having another rotator rebuilt ensuring that it had the redesigned shaft installed. For what it's worth it is my understanding that Norm's was sold several years ago and the folks that had run it are no longer there. Maybe that explains the lack of customer service today.

Understandable but possibly the slop isn't something that can be retrofitted. Maybe a new tooling only to fix.

As to the selling of the business, I had not heard that. Very interesting as I have not had any slow response from them in the past but I did notice that the last business with them was a bit slower in coming but I wasn't in a hurry so it didn't bother me.

Gene W5DQ
Logged

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KE7FD
Member

Posts: 169


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 07:56:19 AM »

I've had good service from Norm.  Let's keep in mind that he's not the manufacturer of these rotors or responsible for the specs published with them.  Some of these rotors have been out of production for years and well prior to some of the beams mounted on them today (I suspect some rotor specs may be overstated).  Some of the rotors out there were "blips" on the screen while others have had many years of design review and improvement, again, all without Norm's involvement during the engineering phase and production.  For example, if the case of the rotor is made from an alloy that was state of the art when it came out but in time proved less than stellar in real life, again, not Norn's fault.  This is like expecting the garage down the street to take responsibilty for the engineering, design and manufacturing materials that go into your car.  He has spare parts it is true but he's not the one that designed the unit and can't turn back time to have the product made better.  He provides a service which if you think about it allows you and me time before we have to purchase the latest design in a rotor. 

I doubt any of us could do what he does without endangering ourselves were we to attempt to rebuild these rotots with the parts from our junk boxes.  The spares he has are what was left over from the production runs often times and that's when they're available.  An alternative approch to putting higher quality parts including the case is to fabricate them yourself using CNC techniques.  A modest 4 or 5 axis milling lathe ought to do the trick, using titanium instead of aluminum alloy as a rotor casing with titanium bearings and the like throughout and these should render a nice unit.

IMHO,
Glen - KE7FD
Logged
K2QB
Member

Posts: 104




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2012, 07:19:19 AM »

Glen your statement is understood but you may have not understood mine. The issue has nothing to do with the alloy casing. It is strictly an issue with the shaft that was acknowledged by Hy Gain and addressed with a new design using hardened stainless steel. As far as the HDR 300 being a blip, it is still being manufactured and sold as well as replacement parts for it. As far as being overrated, I would think that a manufacturer would actually understate the load handling capacity a bit to allow for some safety factor. In any event the rotator is rated at 25 sq.ft.....how much do you think it is over rated by? I'll give you an absurd 50% and guess what...at 12.5 sq, ft I am still no where near it.
I am fortunate to have two of these so I sent the spare to the Rotor Doctor to get rebuilt and it arrived yesterday with the new hardened stainless steel shaft installed as well as a new potentiometer. The old parts were included for my inspection as well. And guess what...didn't cost me anywhere near the $700 that Norm charged me and then told me to go buy another rotor! Being dissatisfied with the end product is one thing but the total lack of response to my emails and being told in a round about way to pound salt now that I have your $700 is upsetting to say the least. I appreciate everyones response and opinions and I now consider this issue closed. 73......
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!