Badlands Special Ops
Early morning finds me in the Badlands of southeastern AB, where I set up my stationary mobile operations.
Of course, I continue to run tests with my newly constructed 12 VDC antenna/mast rotator mounted in the hitch receiver of my mobile, and the rotator may be seen in action by clicking on the link provided below.
It goes without saying that the mast was extended to its maximum height after the testing was finished, but initially with the antennas mounted in place, and with coax feeds also in place, it allowed me to observe how everything responded to the mast being turned by the rotator.
Needless to say, there are no stops or indication of where the rotator is pointed other than visually, and in theory you could keep turning the mast through 360 degrees and continuing on to 720 degrees.
I did exactly that, and as long as there is enough slack in the coax feed-lines, it proved to be not a problem, as the coax spooled up nicely around the mast, and then un-spooled when the rotator was reversed.
To keep track of the direction the antennas are pointing in when operating from the radio-stack position, I placed a reference marker on the lower section of the mast visible through the back window of my mobile, that has the 4 main compass headings visible to me.
When setting up in the field, the front of the log-periodic is positioned perpendicular to the Inverted U on the mast in relation to the main compass heading that my mobile is pointed in, therefore allowing me to easily keep track of where the antennas are pointed.
Of course it goes without saying that on more pleasant days weather wise, or in the summer months, when I set up my operating position outside of my mobile, its a given that the antenna array is in view, and this allows for easy management of the direction the antennas are pointed in.
Although I've mentioned it elsewhere as to how I control the rotator, it is done with a two button keyfob transmitter communicating on 340 MHz with the 12VDC reversing polarity controller mounted in the cargo bay. The controller is temporarily connected to the rotator via a two conductor power cable that is coiled up and stored in the cargo bay when the rotator is removed from the hitch receiver.
Typical of all the 12 VDC devices that are used daily in and around my mobile, the controller/rotator cable, and the gearmotor at the rotator are equipped with powepole connectors.
The bottom line is......I should have built a 12 VDC rotator for my mobile antenna array a long time ago, I love it, especially on a cool blustery kinda day as seen in the video.
Now back to playing radio in the badlands of southeastern AB.
Click on the photo for a closer look......
Antenna/Mast and rotator in action.... http://www.jerryclement.ca/HamRadio/HamRadio/i-Rv2PrGx
A closer look and description of how the rotator came to be from its beginnings to the finished device.....
A take on the reversing polarity controller used for controlling the rotator.....