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Need help in finding a new roof motor!

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26 replies to this topic

#1 wenzl4007

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:03 AM

I have attached a image of my roof motor does anyone out there know where I can find another on like this? This is a brand new motor and after about being used a dozen times it has stopped working and this was just in testing the roof.  My observatory is close to being done but now I am waiting.  I have called two different phone numbers and sent lots of txt messages and even sent emails to two different email accounts for the place were I got the motor from. 

Some of you might recognize this motor and know who I got it from but this is not about bashing anyone.  The times that I have gotten a reply I was told one can be sent.  I have even said I would pay for the motor up front.  The motor will run but once you put a load on it stops turning the shafts. You can even stop it by just grabbing it with your hand. If anyone has ideas on how to repair it that would be great also.

 

Thanks for any help.

Attached Thumbnails

  • roofmotor1.jpg


#2 RobWest

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:28 AM

Sounds like maybe it isn't getting enough current? What is feeding it power? Too many feet of too thin wire will strip the current from it, I'm thinking extension cords or wrong gauge wiring?

 

If not, my town has an electric repair shop where he takes motors apart and tests the components, wiring and what-nots and will even rewind the coils if there are no replacements to be had... maybe your town has something similar?

 

Have you tried taking the motor off of the gearing and tried turning the gearing by hand? Maybe there is some binding there?

 

Or maybe the motor's 3.9 amps just isn't up to the task? How easy does the dome rotate by hand?

 

Harbor Freight used to carry motors, not sure if they still do or not or if they did, the ones they have would work. Theirs were for driving things like belt sanders, drill presses or other shop tools.

 

Hope you get it worked out!

Rob


Edited by RobWest, 03 December 2019 - 10:31 AM.


#3 mikerepp

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 10:31 AM

Is there a nameplate on the motor?   what you have is a gearbox motor combination.   You need to measure mounting and shaft sizes in lieu of the nameplate.  Grainger is the place to go for motors, gearboxes and combinations there of.   They have more in stock than anyone.  What's important is the mounting and the shaft sizes, the RPM needs to be close doesn't have to be exact.  Some dismantling and measurements are in order.


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#4 lee14

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:06 AM

You need a significantly more powerful motor. This one quite possibly overheated because it was inadequate for the load and overheated, possibly damaging the coating on the windings.

 

Lee


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#5 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:08 AM

You could try "Observatory Solutions" out of Durango, Colorado.

 

https://www.observat...s.com/index.php

 

I think I saw this same motor from them.

 

Observatory Solutions
PO Box 1323
Durango, CO 81302

970.903.3337


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#6 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:30 AM

Actually, this is where I saw that motor:

 

http://www.backyardobservatories.com/

 

To the left side click on "Obs accessories and Plans",  on the top middle it will say "Rack and Gear motor", that is the one you want!

Click on image, same motor.

 

Scott Horstman - Backyard Observatories
8411 Rodgers Road
Lodi, OH 44254
PHONE: (330) 667-3214

E-mail us: shorstman@neo.rr.com



#7 kathyastro

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:42 AM

Have you calculated the torque required by the roof mechanism?  It sounds like the motor is undersized for the application if you can stop the shaft by hand.

 

I assume it is a ROR?  Measure the linear force required to move the roof, using a spring scale.  In particular, note the extra force required to accelerate it to moving speed.  Then multiply by the radius of the winch or gear that moves the roof.  That tells you the minimum torque that the motor needs to supply.  Get a motor that will handle significantly more than that.


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#8 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:53 AM

Have you calculated the torque required by the roof mechanism?  It sounds like the motor is undersized for the application if you can stop the shaft by hand.

 

I assume it is a ROR?  Measure the linear force required to move the roof, using a spring scale.  In particular, note the extra force required to accelerate it to moving speed.  Then multiply by the radius of the winch or gear that moves the roof.  That tells you the minimum torque that the motor needs to supply.  Get a motor that will handle significantly more than that.

 fsta.gif

 

http://hyperphysics....ase/frict2.html

 

Slip Friction Formula.


Edited by GalaxyPiper, 03 December 2019 - 11:54 AM.

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#9 wenzl4007

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 01:04 PM

Actually, this is where I saw that motor:

 

http://www.backyardobservatories.com/

 

To the left side click on "Obs accessories and Plans",  on the top middle it will say "Rack and Gear motor", that is the one you want!

Click on image, same motor.

 

Scott Horstman - Backyard Observatories
8411 Rodgers Road
Lodi, OH 44254
PHONE: (330) 667-3214

-mail us: shorstman@neo.rr.com

GalaxyPiper this is where the motor came from.  I was trying to nice and not name the company. But thanks anyway for the help. Also thanks to everyone who replied.


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#10 f430

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 03:28 PM

You might consider something like this. The one I have has plenty of power and is well made. You'd probably have to chance your rack gear also, but this unit looks much less expensive than the one you're having problems with.

 

https://www.amazon.c...aps,189&sr=8-18


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#11 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:05 PM

Well, I think that is their signature motor mount. It may not be their fault. Like KathyAstro said,

 

Have you calculated the torque required by the roof mechanism?  It sounds like the motor is undersized for the application if you can stop the shaft by hand.

 

I would also check to see if there is any drag on the roof or you are trying to move it with snow on it. Remember, snow is 20 lbs per cubic foot. That's a lot of weight on a roof.

Could be just a bad motor too. But check everything out. Eliminate what is not the problem first.

Best of luck to you!


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#12 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:10 PM

You might consider something like this. The one I have has plenty of power and is well made. You'd probably have to chance your rack gear also, but this unit looks much less expensive than the one you're having problems with.

 

https://www.amazon.c...aps,189&sr=8-18

Those are great for small roofs, the rating if you noticed is for 1500 lb gates, that is not how much that motor weighs.

We are looking at motorizing our clubs roof, and it is close to 6000 lbs, so that motor would not work. 

We would need four of those motors.

Wood weighs quite a bit, so all of that has to be taken in consideration. If it takes a 15 HP motor to move 6000 lbs directly, you could say 15 divided into a 30 to 1 reduction gear box would mean we could move it with a 1/2 HP motor.

I would probably get a 3/4 HP motor just for insurance purposes to have adequate power, and I would never try to run it with snow on the roof.


Edited by GalaxyPiper, 03 December 2019 - 06:49 PM.


#13 techmgr

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:48 PM

What is the size of your ROR roof?  I have what looks to be the same motor on my BYO built 11'6" x 15'6" ROR (not certain that it's 3.9 amps - the maintenance info Scott gave me for the motor shows a picture that has a 4.5 amp motor).  Mine was installed in October 2016 and has worked well - so I do not think that the motor is undersized unless your roof is a lot bigger than mine or heavier (i.e. if you have a composite shingle roof).  Have you measured the voltage at the motor to be sure you are getting enough 'juice'? During the roof testing, were your limit switches set up properly? I guess it's possible that some damage might have occurred if the roof reached the physical hard stops before the motor shut off.  Has the transmission ever been opened for any reason that might have put it out of adjustment (binding)?

 

There is another thread on this forum about roof motors (https://www.cloudyni...-observatories/

 

I think MVO is/was the motor vendor, but I'm not sure they are still supplying.  I'm not sure if BYO is still using this type of motor - hopefully Scott will jump on here any give us an update.


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#14 f430

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:27 PM

       that is not how much that motor weighs.

 

I had to smile when I read that, because I lifted that motor/drive unit to its overhead mounting location with nothing but my two 74 year old arms!

Actually lifted it up and down several times while getting it fitted. 

Naw, I never thought it weighed 1500 pounds.

 

grin.gif


Edited by f430, 03 December 2019 - 09:29 PM.

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#15 wenzl4007

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:27 PM

What is the size of your ROR roof?  I have what looks to be the same motor on my BYO built 11'6" x 15'6" ROR (not certain that it's 3.9 amps - the maintenance info Scott gave me for the motor shows a picture that has a 4.5 amp motor).  Mine was installed in October 2016 and has worked well - so I do not think that the motor is undersized unless your roof is a lot bigger than mine or heavier (i.e. if you have a composite shingle roof).  Have you measured the voltage at the motor to be sure you are getting enough 'juice'? During the roof testing, were your limit switches set up properly? I guess it's possible that some damage might have occurred if the roof reached the physical hard stops before the motor shut off.  Has the transmission ever been opened for any reason that might have put it out of adjustment (binding)?

 

There is another thread on this forum about roof motors (https://www.cloudyni...-observatories/

 

I think MVO is/was the motor vendor, but I'm not sure they are still supplying.  I'm not sure if BYO is still using this type of motor - hopefully Scott will jump on here any give us an update.

Thanks everyone for the input.  This is 16 x 24 and the plans that are being used to build it are from BYO its their club house model two. So the motor is what BYO uses on this type of build. I even bought their rollers and tracks. I don't think that the motor itself that is the problem. What everyone seem to not have read was the fact the motor keeps running when you grab it with your hand but the shaft that you grab stops turning not the motor.  So I think its more in the transmission part of it. I guess of course BYO could have sent me the wrong motor.  Every thing was ordered at the same time. So BYO knew what I was building.



#16 f430

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 11:50 AM

Look under that cover on the transmission side for a loose V-belt.

 

Or, if it has gears, look for a missing key or loose set screw.


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#17 t-ara-fan

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 02:55 PM

 I don't think that the motor itself that is the problem. What everyone seem to not have read was the fact the motor keeps running when you grab it with your hand but the shaft that you grab stops turning not the motor.  

You didn't say that extremely important detail, so no surprise about what people think is wrong with it.


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#18 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 04:18 PM

Turns out that is the same motor that comes from the Harbor Freight wench motors.

 

https://www.harborfr...trol-62770.html

 

Here is a thread of how to convert one:

 

http://www.jimstar11...vo-mtr-mod.html

 

Again, good luck on getting it fixed. Hope this helps!

 

Clear eye's and open skies! (or is that the other way around?) belushi.gif

And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Edited by GalaxyPiper, 04 December 2019 - 04:23 PM.


#19 GalaxyPiper

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 04:41 PM

Look under that cover on the transmission side for a loose V-belt.

 

Or, if it has gears, look for a missing key or loose set screw.

Key, Key...funny you should mention that. I worked as a mechanic once for a Golf Course, and we had a John Deere tractor with a PTO on the rear. Funny thing was it was free turning. Once I had it apart, it turns out the Key on the shaft had sheared clean into two pieces! That was something to see. Once I put an new key in the key-way, it was as good as new!


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#20 wenzl4007

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 06:11 PM

Turns out that is the same motor that comes from the Harbor Freight wench motors.

 

https://www.harborfr...trol-62770.html

 

Here is a thread of how to convert one:

 

http://www.jimstar11...vo-mtr-mod.html

 

Again, good luck on getting it fixed. Hope this helps!

 

Clear eye's and open skies! (or is that the other way around?) belushi.gif

And a very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thanks for the links. Also to t-ara-fan...LOL 


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#21 t-ara-fan

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the links. Also to t-ara-fan...LOL 

I want a motor for my roof!  I get power from a Honda Generator (15A max at 110V), so I am not sure how the startup surge will go over. 



#22 kathyastro

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 08:28 PM

I want a motor for my roof!  I get power from a Honda Generator (15A max at 110V), so I am not sure how the startup surge will go over. 

You are wise to be concerned.

 

If the motor is 3.9A in normal operation, the starting surge is probably around 8A.  That is well within the capability of the generator, so you are not going to hurt it.

 

However, you could damage anything electronic connected to the generator.  The generator has a speed governor that controls the throttle to maintain a constant line frequency.  When a big load cuts in, like a motor starting up, the load makes the generator slow down.  The governor will quickly detect the slowdown and open the throttle.  You will hear the "vroom" from the engine when it does.  Even though the frequency quickly gets back to normal, two things have happened in the meantime: the voltage and the frequency dropped.

 

That is bad news for electronics.  Some devices will survive, but some may not.


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#23 mikerepp

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 08:34 AM

the start up surge for most AC motors is 6 times the running current.  This happens in a very brief amount of time but is significant when it comes to relays or contactors.



#24 mark77

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 09:35 AM

I use a 12 V DC motor that is intended for a dump truck tarp motor. They have enough torque to break your arm.  I use one for my dome door and one for dome rotation, both work without hesitation and the speed can be controlled with a simple voltage controller.  They cost about$130 on ebay  search for "truck tarp motor"

 

You can see how I have my door motor set up here http://www.skychario...meDoorGears.jpg

the motor is on the back side.


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#25 wenzl4007

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 06:42 PM

Thanks to everyone again for the advice.  I did hear back from the vendor (BYO) today I was told the new motors should be done today or tomorrow. One will be shipped to me along with the parts to fix the current motor. So we shall see how things go in the long run. Again thanks!


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