Rotator Connector Replacement 2/11/2002

The new connector set which includes both the male and female connectors is available from C.A.T.S (formerly The Rotor Doc)

Henry - KM4O/W4HK (SK) and I did this same job on his rotator a couple of weeks ago and it was at that time I decided to get the replacement connector for my rotators. He and I did this job in one evening. This particular rotator is a Ham-M and it was in bad shape, requiring a lot of cleaning inside.

(Click the small pictures to see an enlargement in a new window)
The rotator before beginning. The outside didn't get a new paint job this time.
These rusty screws show you why we need a different connector.
Here you can see the lower bell housing removed. The BRAKE wedge is visible sticking out of the body and you can see the slots inside the lower bell housing that the brake wedge slips into.
Close-up of the BRAKE wedge. This was before cleaning so you can see how bad it was.
Here you see the buildup on all the wires and the old connector.
After removing the old connector and the BRAKE wedge mechanism, we're left with the wires coming from the motor and direction indicator resistor.

This close-up clearly shows the top of the resistor which fits into the top bell housing.
Here's the direction indicator resistor sitting on top of the motor. The copper wiper locks into a locator slot inside the top bell housing. The reduction gears turn a ring gear seen just inside the outer edge of the rotator in this view. It has 3 large lugs which fit into slots inside the top bell housing which does the actual turning. One of the lugs has a tab pointing inwards (seen next to the gear on the left side in this picture) which toggles the limit switch when it reaches the extremes of rotation. The proper way to reassemble the rotator is to connect the control box to the rotator as you see it here. Turn the rotator to the full South position in the Westerly direction. This will turn the gear until the tab pushes against the limit switch and stops the rotation. At this point, disconnect the control box, turn the position indicator potentiometer on the top to the full Counter Clock Wise (CCW) position. Then position the top bell housing upside down in an appropriate clamping device like this work table. Position the bearings in their race inside the top bell housing. Invert the motor assembly and carefully, WITHOUT moving the potentiometer, position the motor assembly over the top bell housing and align it so the serrated edge tab on the potentiometer will ingage the rectangular pot in the top of the bell housing. At this point, the lugs will align with the three slots in the bell housing and you can just carefully lower the motor assembly into the bell housing.

This is the same picture you saw before but after all the cleanup and reassembly of the top bell housing. Mount the bottom/brake assembly to the motor assembly and wire the connector per the instructions.
Here's a close-up of the underside of the new connector with the wires all connected. You can also see where the large black wire and the small black wire are connected to a ground lug mounted under a screw which holds the brake solenoid.
The new connector is mounted in the BRAKE housing. At this time you can connect the control box and verify that when the rotator is turned, the meter moves smoothly to both extremes. When you are satisfied with this, it's time to put the lower bell housing back on. Place the bearing assembly in the race as shown above
The connector is all mounted. The rust color on the bottom of this rotor is from an old steel mast which was used in the past and discolored the base. We're ready to put the lower bell housing in place.
This a view of the connector installation in a TailTwister (T2X) Rotator done 10/22/2002
The T2X rotator has additional bearings at the bottom of the lower bell housing. Here you can see the bearings and the new connector. I used high temp disk brake grease for the bearings. The advantage of this grease is that it is very sticky, doesn't harden and doesn't flow.
Here you see the lower bell housing of the T2X rotator. Note the heavy mounting ears on the outside, the heavy slots for the brake inside, and the races for both the lower and middle bearing sets.


Page updated June 27, 2007