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When choosing an antenna motor, there are several factors to consider to ensure receiving the best antenna motor for the money. In high wind areas or for very large antennas, consider purchasing a motor with steel gears. Some motors use plastic gears that can strip in breezy or icy conditions. It is always best to purchase a motor that has the highest horsepower rating. This will help the motor last longer by allowing it to work more easily and efficiently.
Some antenna motors are rated for light duty. These should only be used in low wind areas and in no ice areas with the use of a very small antenna. Using this type of antenna motor on a large antenna in an icy or windy area will result in stripped gears and a broken antenna motor. Make sure to read the packaging for the motor's intended use.
Purchasing a heavy duty antenna motor will allow the motor to be used in windy and icy conditions with a larger antenna. The heavy duty motors are equipped with steel gears, or in some cases steel screws, which turn the antenna. These heavy duty units are capable of holding a large antenna in place during a high wind and will also break the antenna free if it becomes covered with ice.
Compare the antenna motor case when choosing a new motor. A plastic case will not survive in a windy and cold environment. In some instances, the gears will actually crack or break completely through the case when attempting to turn a large antenna in the wind or ice. Metal motor cases will prevent such breakage problems and provide much longer service in most cases.
In heavy ice areas, choose an antenna motor which can be mounted low on the antenna tower. This will allow the user to break away any heavy ice accumulation before attempting to turn the antenna. Motors which only mount at the top of the antenna tower are more difficult to maintain and can lead to serious injury from falls in inclement weather. Some motors incorporate a heating device to aid in the removal of ice, this is a must have feature in many areas of the world.
Another feature that is often a deciding factor in the decision-making process is a neutral position in the motor's transmission. In the antenna motor, there is a neutral position which disengages the gears, therefore allowing the antenna to turn freely. This function is very helpful when servicing the antenna. The antenna can simply be turned easily by hand in any direction, allowing the work to be completed on the antenna or the motor.
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