Originally Posted by tigerbangs
if you need a really rugged rotator for HD TV use, look at the Hy-Gain AR-40, which is a much more heavily built rotator than any of the Channel master-Crown models. Norm's Rotor Service sells them: rotorservice.com.
Thanks for the info. I think I priced the AR-40 once and it was somewhere around $350 - $400. At the time, I'd figured a $70 rotator made more sense if it could actually do the job. But, now I'm thinking perhaps not, considering the high winds we get here.
The higher price might be well worth it.
I'm now wondering if having a rotator is worth the bother and expense. I have two separate antenna setups, and each has a rotator. On each, there are really only two different directions we use. So, I could just install dual fixed antennas for much less money than buying two better rotators. A Winegard 9032 only costs around $35 and the Winegard 8200 around $130. It would just mean running more wire, more amps, and more coax-switch boxes. So, it's all kind of a toss-up. In some ways, the rotator makes a simpler setup. One is 500 feet from my house and I've got 14 gauge UF cable running to it. I'll have to check and see if this HD AR-40 has higher current demands. 500 feet is a long run when it comes to voltage drop.
Around 25-30 years ago, I built my own 14' satellite dish and had similar problems with a dish positioner. The factory made units kept breaking on me. I finally converted a HD gear-box and winch setup to move my dish around. It was extremely heavy duty and extremely crude, but worked great. At that time, I think there were 14 different positions I needed, to move that huge wooden 14" dish. We used a kitchen timer to guess where it was and where it was going. I wrote down how many seconds between each satellite position and then counted seconds when running the winch.
Obvioulsy, nothing quite that convoluted is needed for a TV antenna rotator.