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Reviews Categories | Antenna Rotators & Accessories | Alfa-SPID rotor Help


Reviews Summary for Alfa-SPID rotor
Alfa-SPID rotor Reviews: 42 Average rating: 4.4/5 MSRP: $1055
Description: ALFASPID rotors are of a high quality with Torque to spare. They are custom made to withstand the harsh Canadian conditions.

Product is in production.
More info: http://www.alfaradio.ca/alfaspid.html
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K1LU Rating: 5/5 Jan 26, 2012 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Very good Rotor & Service  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased the Alfa-Spid Big RAK about 2 years ago, at which time also purchased an R-21 control by GRE. Installation into top section of Tri-Ex LM470D was simpler & quiker than anticipated. It requires only a 4 wire cable. It easily handles a 22' steel mast with 1/4" wall + 4L SteppIR at 72' and a 2L M2 40M beam at 85'. Instruction manual is good but does not contain a schematic nor a picture of chassis containing electronics.

Live in valley that is prone to frequent lightening year round. Was hit recently and quickly determined, using a VOM and the trouble shooting suggestions in manual that the problem must be the "reed switch." Physically checked it out---reed was burned. Access to the electronics in the rotor couldn't have been easier. Remove 5 screws that don't come all the way out of the plastic cover, so little chance of losing any of them. The chassis pops out with a slick of the wrist with screw driver on edge of plastic chassis. On rear is reed, cut it out and solder in new one using a piece of scotch tape to hold the device in place. Be very careful with reeds---made of glass, very tiny and delicate. Don't put any pressure on it or leads; otherwise, you might break a couple as I did. Make sure wires inside the reed lay parallel to the chassis, not perpendicular. Takes 10 to 15 minutes to perform this repair.

This type of event has occurred with other rotors that I've owned, but this was the absolute easiest to repair---absolutely no need to take rotor down.

The shipping container that the rotor comes in is not really strong enough for the task. It will probably be crunched when received, but fortunately the rotor is wrapped in lots of bubble type material and thus no injuries to the it.

Found that calls and e-mails to Hy-Gain (Distributor) and Alfa-Spid, Ltd. gained immediate responses. Parts are available from Hy-Gain or Alfa-Spid, but if might be quicker to get electronics from a company like Mouser if you are somewhat impatient as the writer is. Also, I found that Green Heron Engineering is very quick to respond to calls and e-mails regarding their products. And the follow-up by these three companies was very good as well.
Jim K1LU
 
IK8TEO Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2011 09:06 Send this review to a friend
Spid RAU  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello everyone,
I bought the Spid RAU, the smallest of the series, after carefully reading your comments on eham.net and now that it's mounted I can tell you my experience.
I needed a light and strong pole mount rotor, with no cage, and I was immediately struck by the RAU for its mechanical and electronic.
It mount bearing drive shafts used in off-road and has a mounting system with 4 pins passing, easier and more effective use of traditional brackets.
The rotor uses reed switches and not the classic pot that has no limits in the mechanical rotation and can be reset to zero degrees at any position you are. It has a resolution of 1 degree.
I use the Spid RAU to turn my 2 element yagi dynamic, supported by poles arise by force of arms. The system is simple, light and effective and it is visible on my page or QRZ.com or on my channel on Youtube.
The rotor, double worm, has absolutely no side play and is powered by a 4-conductor shielded 1.5 mm long by 25 meters.
Tested directly next to the radio station did not generate any interference, both in HF and VHF / UHF.
Excellent control box, small and full, with the functions you use in manual, preset and control computer. It has the round flat type CB microphone but there is also a preferable version with terminals.
Do not use the mouse options so it is very sensitive to RF.
I bought it directly from the factory by friendly and very helpful Mr. Bielecki.
After 20 years of amateur radio I can say that the Spid RAU is much higher than many other famous rotors.
Best 73 de Francesco IK8TEO
 
K6UM Rating: 4/5 Sep 22, 2010 14:21 Send this review to a friend
Good so far  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After losing my 3rd HD73, it was time for a bigger rotator. I liked the worm gear drive so I chose the RAK. It has gone through two mild winds with no problems. I was unable to get the RS232 connection working in any emulation mode with any of my software. I discovered PstRotator, which controls the RAK in native mode. I can now control this rotator in WriteLog. The 4 rating is only due to not having a big wind storm to see how it handles that.
 
DK3NG Rating: 1/5 May 26, 2010 13:57 Send this review to a friend
Would not buy it again  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have an RAK and a RAS. Both suffer from the same problem in that they lose directional calibration at random (no, it's not mechanical slippage!). While I can live with this on my RAK which turns a three-element HF beam as it is relatively easy to reset the controller, it is INTOLERABLE on my RAS which is employed in a four-antenna 144 MHz EME array. If the system loses its settings at night time there is no possibility of recalibrating the controller (needs to be done on sun noise for best results). When directional calibration is lost, indication can be off by as much as 100 degrees. I have had two replacement controllers sent by the Polish manufacturer - all to no avail.

I was contacted by a chap claiming to be a director of the Canadian parent company offering to help resolve the problem. After answering his many questions relating to symptoms, measurements and so on and providing a raft of suggestions concerning possible improvements, I never heard from him again.

I was offered a complete refund by the German distributor but have not taken the company up on it (yet) because removing the rotator from the antenna is a project in itself.

I am now working on setting up a non-proprietary controller.

In my view, the company have some important quality problems to address.

Mechanically the rotators appear to be ok, although the mast clamping arrangements leave something to be desired, too.

As I said, never again!
 
KB2HUK Rating: 5/5 Apr 10, 2010 14:48 Send this review to a friend
Like a polish tank !  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a Alpha Spid rotor up for 10 years and it has weathered some very bad Buffalo New York storms . Never a problem easy to use and great customer service . Some calls were made to the company and the nice folks there always took the time to answer all my questions and make suggestions. I am very satisfied ! John
 
KC0BMF Rating: 5/5 Jan 5, 2010 18:22 Send this review to a friend
The RAS is GREAT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I've had my RAS az & ele rotor for a year now and really enjoy it.Haven't had any problems other than operator error. I have 2 of M2 biggest oscar antennas the 2MCP22 and the 436CP42 U/G and the RAS handles them very easily. I was sorry to see others had trouble, but if your antenna becomes misaligned do to strong winds its a pretty easy fix just point your antenna north and reset the controller. No need to pull the antenna. And as far as its weight, it is heavy, ITS MADE OF STEEL LIKE EVERYTHING USE TO BE THAT LASTED FOR EVER.. If I can find 1 more Cushcraft 13b2 (that will give me 4) I'm going to mount them up on the Spid and try a little QRP EME and am sure the Spid will handle them. I do have a little noise on VHF, but it looks like, by reading, that there are some pretty easy fixes. And its not enough that it bothers me. I'm putting up a 72' crankup and it will have a Spid on it also.
 
EI7BA Rating: 5/5 Dec 11, 2009 14:29 Send this review to a friend
Solid and reliable  Time owned: more than 12 months
I said I'd check back when it had gone through an irish winter..Well, that was nearly four years ago, and it's still trouble free. I love the positioning sensor.. It's so simple. No pots to burn out, and you don't even have to set it up in any particular direction. Just tell the controller where it's pointing, and "Bob's yer uncle". After four years of salt-laden Atlantic gales, there's no sign of any slop in the gearing. I paint it every summer, and renew the grease. I bought another one this year for my other tower.
 
LA5ZO Rating: 5/5 Oct 1, 2009 11:18 Send this review to a friend
Excellent rotator  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Just recently bought the smaller SPID AZ rotator (RAU).
Use it to turn an Optibeam OB9-5 - which it does with no trouble at all.

Unfortunatly the rotator was delivered with a faulty gearbox -
but SPID manufacturer in Poland expeditedly sent me a new one that works just fine.

Mechanical installation was easy as was the Wiring, which had just a 4 lead cable.

The controll-box is small and easy to use with a few neat features. The built in RS-232 interface works fantastic with the latest Ham Radio Deluxe.

Geir/LA5ZO

 
VE3YZR Rating: 5/5 Dec 30, 2007 16:00 Send this review to a friend
Very good value  Time owned: months
I've had Tailtwister, HRD 300 and a Create brake, I've also tried Yaesu's (not the 2800) and they've all broke. Either the gears, cheap casting, etc.

I like the double worm drive of this one, the clever mounting system that easily allows it to be mounted anywhere in the mast line and you can route the cables through it.

For the Canadian weather with wind and ice, experience has demonstrated that no less will do.

I have not tried the Prosistel which is about the only one commercially available for me to try left, this Alpha-Spid unit is very flexible: varying PS voltage will control speed, controller is computer ready and it just works.
 
KL7AR Rating: 0/5 Oct 10, 2006 13:30 Send this review to a friend
Over rated and cheap  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Well for all of you people that put in glowing reports "GOOD LUCK". I purchased an AlfaSpid when I put up my new Force 12 620/340 beam. It weighs about 250 LBS.on a 50 foot boom. The 1st thing I found was that rotator was hard to install and badly engineered. With the pipe to pipe monting system, if you have a problem and you have to remove the rotator be prepared to lift your antenna up 6 inches to enable you to get the unit out of the tower.The locking bolts are flat on the ends thus if you are using a harden steel mast they will slip and allow the antenna to turn. This happened to me in the first wind storm with 50 MPH winds. I was forced to remove the factor bolts and replace them with bolts that were tappered on the ends and then dimple the mast. This worked a little to well. In the next wind storm 65 MPH winds the rotator was completely destroyed. It was ripped apart allowing the beam to swing in the wind and destroy the coax feed line. Between the crane to get the antenna down and the replacement coax the repair was $1000. BIG MISTAKE TO BUY AN ALFASPID. One thing I noticed was that during the wind storm the gearing would allow the boom of the antenna to move 5 to 6 feet. This constant slamming of the antenna against the gearing in the rotator I am sure hastened it's failure. BAD DESIGN! The controller is noisy on HF. The unit has no "Soft Start or Stop" therefore when you turn it to a heading it takes about one minute for the unit to stop ocsillating around the assigned heading. When I decided to look for a rotator that could handle the elemnts up here in Alaska I talked at lenght to the people in Canada at the factory and they assured me that their product could handle the load. "THEY LIED". It will definitely not handle any kind of large array for very long. When I pointed this out to AlfaSpid they started back peddling, they told me I should have put a long drive shaft down to the base of the tower to take up the stress load." Baloney" it either will or will not do the job. Why would anybody buy a rotator which you then need to modify and hope the wind does not blow. To their credit they did give me a new unit. ANYBODY WANT TO BUY A NEW ALFASPID? I replaced the rotator with a PRO.SIS.TEL. 71D. It is worth the money and has not failed me yet.
 
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