[Moon-Net] metric bolts for RAK

Mitch VE6OH CIW308 mitch at andor.net
Mon Apr 5 01:58:57 CEST 2021

All the units we have have nuts in them so it does not make sense.  Humm


J. T. (Mitch)  Mitchell
Amateur Radio Call VE6OH / CFARS Call CIW308 / CIW930
780 446 8958  Cell
Past Director for RAC - AB, NU, NWT  RAC.CA
Celebrating 100 years of amateur radio in Alberta
Summer 2021   --   www.ar100.ca

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On 2021-04-04 17:00, Don Moman VE6JY wrote:
> That's surprising that the RAK (now) doesn't have nuts welded to the 
> pipe.  All mine have welded nuts, but they are older. The threads in 
> the pipe itself would not be strong enough. I will make an inquiry.....
> On Sun, Apr 4, 2021 at 4:27 PM Edward R Cole via Moon-net 
> <moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com <mailto:moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>> wrote:
>     Don,
>     Had several replies so will answer all here:
>     Sorry Alfa-Spid RAK nor Alpha-Spid (got it)
>     The RAK has just a round housing (call it a pipe).  No nuts welded
>     to it.  Thread is only the depth of the pipe (maybe 1/8 inch or
>     metric equivalent).
>     Therefore was concerned that over tightening would strip out the
>     thread.
>     Mast is what we call black-pipe; mild steel.  1.25inch I.D.
>     schedule-80.  Used same on my other antennas with no bends or
>     failures.
>     I have learned thru experience not to trust pipe bolts from
>     slipping so have been using a 5/16-inch bolt thru rotator pipe and
>     mast to help hold the pipe but small enough to shear if something
>     binds up. Well the rotator was installed in Sept. 2020 (six months
>     ago).
>     I did maintenance on antennas and cables last weekend and found at
>     least five loose set bolts.  Also the head of the 5/16 inch bolt
>     had been sheared off and weight of the array caused mast to drop
>     slightly (nut end of shear bolt was intact and bolt had bent
>     downward making removal impossible).  So I re-tightened the set
>     bolts figuring that would be OK for a couple months as I had plans
>     to do more work in warmer wx (still winter here).
>     This was a Sunday and only Home Depot open.  The good bolt outlet
>     is closed weekends.  Rented Man-lift returned on Monday morning.
>     So unlikely to find eight longer metric bolts on Sunday.
>     Guess I could have used lock-tight (never occurred to me as other
>     rotators never had this issue).  I use an identical RAK on my
>     2m-eme system and it free-fell 50-feet in a high wind storm yet
>     rotator was secure and undamaged; set bolts tight.
>     Well I will use lock nuts and longer M10 bolts, plus lock-tight. 
>     I will replace shear bolt with at least 3/8 inch diameter.
>     6m-eme array is very large:  25-foot long cross boom with 32-foot
>     long yagi booms.  That catches a lot of wind force.
>     Rotator may still turn the array in calm wx (??), but will require
>     re calibration, frequently.  Maybe, I  can delay until May wx when
>     easier to work without winter coats/gloves.  I have to replace my
>     elevation actuator and repair my digital encoder (which will
>     require dismantling).  Actuator arm is 40-inch long and weighs
>     probably 35-lbs or more; awkward to handle at 45-feet.  So I had
>     planned to rent the man-lift for this work.
>     73, Ed
>     At 01:15 PM 4/4/2021, Don Hawbaker wrote:
>>     My SPID has nuts welded onto the pipe. It’s an RAS.  Different
>>     model.   You have to be careful.  I have stripped the threads on
>>     at least one of the nuts.  Someday I will cut it off and weld on
>>     a new nut.
>>     73  WA3RGQ
>>     Sent from Mail <https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=550986>
>>     for Windows 10
>>     *From: *Edward R Cole via Moon-net
>>     <mailto:moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>
>>     *Sent: *Sunday, April 4, 2021 4:50 PM
>>     *To: *Andrzej Hoffmann <mailto:sp2fry at gmail.com>
>>     *Cc: *ak-vhf at mailman.qth.net <mailto:ak-vhf at mailman.qth.net>;
>>     moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com <mailto:moon-net at mailman.pe1itr.com>
>>     *Subject: *Re: [Moon-Net] metric bolts for RAK
>>     Well we got as windy day, today.  Only been a week since I
>>     discovered
>>     the Alpha-SPID set screws loose and tightened all eight of them.
>>     My 6m-eme array is free-rotating in the wind. Apparently the set
>>     bolts loosened up in only a few hours of wind, and the remains of
>>     the
>>     shear bolt has fully sheared off.  And all because the mfr was too
>>     cheap to supply stop-nuts (or lock-nuts) to keep the set bolts
>>     tight.  I actually tried adding a stop nut but that left too little
>>     thread to tighten the set bolts (nut needs to be thinner or bolt
>>     longer).
>>     So either try to find longer metric bolts in America or quit and
>>     smash everything to H and take up stamp collecting.
>>     Was considering trying eme with the new array pretty soon, but it
>>     will cost me another $233 to rent a man-lift just to tighten the
>>     bolts (again).
>>     Well, I will use a 1/2-inch shear bolt this time (equivalent diam
>>     to 10mm).
>>     I did test the RAK and its rotating ((evidenced by the change in
>>     direction on the indicator) so apparently not a gear failure -just
>>     not attached to the antenna.
>>     Hopefully array will not over-rotate and destroy coax lines in
>>     the process.
>>     73, Ed
>>     At 02:37 PM 3/31/2021, Andrzej Hoffmann wrote:
>>     >Hi Ed.
>>     >
>>     >If you have a problem with the metric screws I can send you some.
>>     >Write down the length of the bolt you need. The original ones are
>>     >probably 25 mm. As far as I know, they are M10 threaded screws.
>>     >
>>     >Vy 73
>>     >
>>     >Andrzej SP2FRY
>>     73, Ed - KL7UW
>>     http://www.kl7uw.com <http://www.kl7uw.com>
>>     Dubus-NA Business mail:
>>     dubususa at gmail.com <mailto:dubususa at gmail.com>
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>     73, Ed - KL7UW
>     http://www.kl7uw.com
>     <http://www.kl7uw.com/>Dubus-NA Business mail:
>     dubususa at gmail.com <mailto:dubususa at gmail.com>
>     _______________________________________________
>     Moon-Net posting and subscription instructions are at
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