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Author Topic: Steppir Problem  (Read 352 times)
K5CQB
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Posts: 241




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« on: April 20, 2019, 07:54:40 PM »

I have a Steppir that I got used thanks to the extreme generosity of my elmer.  It was used when he got it and he had never used it. 

Once I put it up I noticed an issue.  The controller powers up fine and does not give me any errors.  When I switch bands via the controller or calibrate it I can hear the elements moving in the fiberglass poles.  When I key up the SWR is extremely high on all bands but 6m.  On 6m the best I can get it 2.5 to 1.  I put an antenna analyzer on it and even though I switch between bands the swr remains at 2.5 to 1.  Nothing changes regardless of whether I am using 1, 2 or all three elements.  Also strong stations are extremely faint. 

So I figure I have a connection problem inside the box and I bring down the driven element.  The insides look great but sure enough I get an open connection between the connector and the beryllium tape.  The problem seems to be in the spring contact.  So I lightly drag some 1200 grit emery cloth across the spring contact, confirm I now have a connection and re-install the element.  Unfortunately the problem remains.   I tune to WBAP.  When I change bands via the Steppir controller I can hear hash while the elements are moving and WBAP comes back in when the elements stop although it is not as strong as it should be. 

Has anyone else experienced this?  Hopefully I am missing something simple.  Any suggestions are welcome.

73,
Jim
K5CQB
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K6AER
Member

Posts: 5550




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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 09:55:37 PM »

You don't know which elements are moving! If the reflector or director is not adjusting at the same time you will never have gain and a low VSWR. Bring the antenna down and remove the fiberglass elements and place the elevated antenna over a cement driveway and tune the controller to 6 meters. Measure the elements when they come out. Then go to 10 meters and do the same thing. I have a feeling you have a bad connection to the stepper motors. With out both stepper windings connected the antenna will make noise but the motors will not turn.

You should see about 15-20 ohms on each winding on the motors. Their are two windings on each element. Be careful not to get any rocks  and dirt into the motor units. Make sure the elements are free of any junk as well. Also the winding have to be connected correctly or the motors will not move or in some poor attention moments, the winds can be connected in reverse.

Also make sure the pulse voltage is on each winding. You might have a bad driver bridge in the controller.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 10:07:53 PM by K6AER » Logged
K5CQB
Member

Posts: 241




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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2019, 02:44:23 AM »

Good points, thank you!
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N2SR
Member

Posts: 1088




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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2019, 06:23:22 AM »

If there was only a company you could call and ask about that antenna.

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If no one is doing it that way, there is a probably a very good reason.
K5CQB
Member

Posts: 241




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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2019, 06:28:52 AM »

Being Easter weekend I figured no one would be there. 
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K6AER
Member

Posts: 5550




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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 12:49:26 PM »

Normally no one is around on the weekend and like many of us they probably took off early for Easter.

I handled field warranty in the Rocky Mountain area when they came out with the 4 element beam in 2003. constructed and put up the antennas for Dayton and Visiala conventions. Hard work but very satisfying.

It is a great antenna with amazing performance but you have to pay attention to every detail.
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K5CQB
Member

Posts: 241




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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 07:24:02 PM »

Thanks for the help folks.  I found the problem today.  The motor on the driven element is frozen. 
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