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Author Topic: Where to buy antenna rotor cable connectors  (Read 869 times)
K6UJ
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Posts: 1138




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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2017, 08:34:43 PM »


Yes, a basic 4 pin trailer wire kit.  For an 8-wire rotor you'll need four connectors, one male/female pair for the rotor, and another male/female pair for the cable you're going to connect to it.  You want to used a mixed gender set for the connections so that you can't mis-match when you plug them in.

The beauty of using these is they're ultra-simple, they're easy to source (wal mart and any auto parts chain carries them), are made for an outdoor environment and really cheap.  You can use a more unique connector, pay more, and make it harder and more time consuming to deploy if you want, but I don't enjoy doing that hanging off a tower.

One more tip, I use the resistor color code for the colors of the rotor cable.  So 1 - 8 in order is whatever colors are in the cable most closely match the corresponding value.  Black ends up being #1, gray or white ends up being #8.  Way better than coming up with an arbitrary order you have to write down or scribble with a sharpie on the back of the rotor box, or forget and have to climb the tower to look at the rotor to see how it's wired.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM



Mark,
I like the resistor color code, good idea !   The Orion 2800 uses 5 wires, I found this connector on line that should do the trick.  I think it is the trailer connector scheme you are talking about.   I like the trailer connector idea, when you consider how they are used, hanging on a trailer cable,  they should give a good heavy duty connection, that is reliable.   Emphasis on the reliable part, I don't want to be climbing the tower fixing poor connectors which will of course happen when I am trying to work a new country  Cheesy Cheesy
Here's the connector I found:   http://www.hopkinstowingsolutions.com/products/trailer-wiring-connectors/5-wire-flat/47890.html

Bob
K6UJ
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N2SR
Member

Posts: 652




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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 03:21:03 AM »

Thanks for the info Tom,  I kinda like the easy to find trailer connector idea.  They are obviously rated for outdoor wet environments  Cheesy   Sounds like you have a bullet proof arrangement with the PVC box.  FB on your M2 2800 turning the F12 2EL 40.  I am putting up a JK Antennas 3 EL 40 and I also have the Green Heron RT-21 controller.  Hope to have it up and running in a couple of weeks.  Want to be ready for the Bouvet Dxpedition in January.  Will be an ATNO for me.  From the propagation charts available on their webpage we should have good results on 40.   Also looking at the decline in the sunspot cycle, 40 may be our money band for a few years !

Bob
K6UJ

I don't like the trailer connectors because you have to splice both ends, and you then have to weatherproof three connections.   The large pin to pin connectors are hard to weatherproof because there is such a large change in "diameter" of the connector in a short span.   IE: the connector is large, but you are using a small cable.  So what happens is that you end up using a lot of tape, so you have to be careful about getting a seal on each previous wrap of tape.    But, YMMV. 

With the grey PVC box, I usually keep them horizontal, and the one for the Orion is actually directly underneath the rotator.  I used short lengths of small rope and "tied" the box to the bottom of the rotator plate. 

JK has some good antennas.  GL with your 3 element 40.  I don't need 3Y/B for a new one, but I do need them on 80 and 40. 

I have always used the resistor color code.  That was taught to me by an old ham in my Novice days.   His commentary on why is because even if you don't have a diagram, someone else will easily be able to tell how something was wired.   Sometimes though, motor wires need to be "out of the mix" where you use say, the heavy white and black for the motor wires, and then use the color code for the control wires (starting from say brown).   I use sprinkler system wire for control wires from the shack to the base of the tower, and the one run does not have black.   
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If no one is doing it that way, there is a probably a very good reason.
K6UJ
Member

Posts: 1138




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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 08:10:50 AM »

Thanks for the info Tom,  I kinda like the easy to find trailer connector idea.  They are obviously rated for outdoor wet environments  Cheesy   Sounds like you have a bullet proof arrangement with the PVC box.  FB on your M2 2800 turning the F12 2EL 40.  I am putting up a JK Antennas 3 EL 40 and I also have the Green Heron RT-21 controller.  Hope to have it up and running in a couple of weeks.  Want to be ready for the Bouvet Dxpedition in January.  Will be an ATNO for me.  From the propagation charts available on their webpage we should have good results on 40.   Also looking at the decline in the sunspot cycle, 40 may be our money band for a few years !

Bob
K6UJ

I don't like the trailer connectors because you have to splice both ends, and you then have to weatherproof three connections.   The large pin to pin connectors are hard to weatherproof because there is such a large change in "diameter" of the connector in a short span.   IE: the connector is large, but you are using a small cable.  So what happens is that you end up using a lot of tape, so you have to be careful about getting a seal on each previous wrap of tape.    But, YMMV. 

With the grey PVC box, I usually keep them horizontal, and the one for the Orion is actually directly underneath the rotator.  I used short lengths of small rope and "tied" the box to the bottom of the rotator plate. 

JK has some good antennas.  GL with your 3 element 40.  I don't need 3Y/B for a new one, but I do need them on 80 and 40. 

I have always used the resistor color code.  That was taught to me by an old ham in my Novice days.   His commentary on why is because even if you don't have a diagram, someone else will easily be able to tell how something was wired.   Sometimes though, motor wires need to be "out of the mix" where you use say, the heavy white and black for the motor wires, and then use the color code for the control wires (starting from say brown).   I use sprinkler system wire for control wires from the shack to the base of the tower, and the one run does not have black.   



Tom,

I am exploring all the options for the rotor cable connectors.  I see your point of the extra splicing and sealing concerns.  Could you give me more info on how you configured the PVC box ?  Box size and supplier, did you put a screw post terminal strip inside ?  How did you seal the box ?  We are having some decent weather now about 65 degrees and sunny, good time to work on this stuff. 

thanks,
Bob
K6UJ
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