Check the Controller Voltages
The very first thing that needs to be done when experiencing a problem with your SteppIR antenna is to check the voltage between the pin pairs that feed the motor windings. This information is critical to our technical support staff and you can save a lot of time by having this data available before contacting us.
When making these checks be very careful not to short the pins together or to ground! It only takes a momentary short to damage a driver chip.
Instructions as follows:
- With the DB-25 connector removed from the back of the controller, measure the voltage between the pin pairs that feed the motor windings. For example, pins 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 when referring to the driven element. The other elements pin pairs are listed in the troubleshooting guide. These are the same pairs you use to check the resistance of the motor windings.
- With the controller power plugged in, you should read approximately 3.5 VDC across each pin pair. At this point, change bands using the controller's band change button. As an example, switching from 20m to 10m generally gives a long enough run to get a good reading. You should be reading on your volt-ohm meter approximately 20 to 25 VAC using a 24-volt power supply. To check the next pin pair, you can then change bands back to 20m and so on through the wire pairs. If you have significantly different values at any point in the test process, you can be reasonably certain that you have a damaged driver chip for that element. Please be aware that in some cases, we have seen driver chips partially damaged, causing them to work part of the time. This can be confusing in the test process.
- When measuring the voltages, a suggestion would be to use a bare 25pin dsub to plug into the SteppIR controller and then insert a paper clip to penetrate the pinhole. Usually about .75" long will do the trick. Again, be careful NOT to short the pins. Even if the controller is turned off, there is always voltage going to the pins with a SteppIR controller. We do this to "lock" the stepper motors, and minimize the need to calibrate the antenna on a regular basis.
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