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Books, kits and accessories for the active ham
Rotor-EZ by Idiom Press

Hands-Free Rotator Control Plus RS232 for CD45, Ham-II, Ham-III, Ham IV and All TailTwister Rotators


Do you own one or more of these fine rotators? If you do, you know that for all their faults they are still some of the best rotators available. Now, by adding Rotor-EZ to your rotator control, you can bring these units up to date, with all the features of rotators or rotator controls costing hundreds of dollars more, while eliminating the faults!

Rotor-EZ starts by adding a really neat and unique Auto-Point feature, which is easier to use and more accurate than the "preset" capability offered by any competitive rotator or rotator control. This allows you to quickly, simply and accurately point the antenna, then press the brake paddle momentarily and let go, freeing your hands for other things, perhaps such as panic band change thanks to a packet spot called in for a needed station.

Rotor-EZ protects your rotator, with electronic end stops, provision for coasting, and start-up jam prevention, especially useful for TailTwisters. You lose no utility with these features, but add significant protection for your rotator, antenna and tower. These features can be bypassed if desired.

Rotor EZ Circuit Board

Rotor-EZ offers full support for antennas set at 90° to the main antenna. Ground a circuit lead and the meter needle moves 90 degrees to show the bearing for the offset antenna. And, an LED lamp pulses to remind you that you are in the offset mode. Perfect for the forty meter "shorty-forty" or the WARC band offset antenna sharing the mast with your tribander!

Full RS232 control is an available option for Rotor-EZ, offering full compatibility with all the popular logging and contesting programs.

Rotor-EZ is offered as circuit board kit or prewired and tested board that you add to your rotator control unit. Everything needed except solder and tools is included. Featuring sophisticated microcircuitry and firmware, the board can be assembled and installed in a few hours. All functions are accomplished in the control unit, and no tower climbing is required to fully implement Rotor-EZ. The board fits in and works with all Ham-M, TailTwister control units that have three control paddles on the front. If you do not have the time to add Rotor-EZ to your rotator, contract assembly and installation are available. Contact Idiom Press for further details.

If you're interested in the Rotor-EZ enhancement, you might also be interested in the Rotator Illuminator, a three-LED replacement board for the incandescent bulb in your rotator control box.  Never have to change the bulb again!

Operating modes

Manual Mode: The rotator control works as before; pressing the brake and a paddle turns the antenna. However, Rotor-EZ provides an automatic 5 second time delay before the brake resets after paddle release, allowing the antenna to stabilize before the brake locks. (Note that after Rotor-EZ is installed, the LED's - if supplied in the original configuration of the box - do not light when the unit is manually controlled, although the meter functions as before. However, normal operation using Rotor-EZ will rarely require manual operation, and when using the Rotor-EZ features, the LED's do illuminate as appropriate.)

Auto-Point Mode: What was the calibration knob becomes your pointing control. (The calibration function is now an internal one) When you turn the knob, the meter function automatically switches from reading the existing antenna bearing and instead becomes the aiming pointer, captured by the aiming logic of the circuit. Rotate the knob, moving the needle easily, precisely and accurately to your desired bearing. Then, a brief press of the brake paddle begins rotation, and your hands are free! The meter needle returns to its normal function, tracking the antenna as it moves. When the antenna reaches the new bearing, rotation stops, and after a 5 second delay the brake sets. LED's signal the motion, and how near the antenna is to the new bearing.

If the TailTwister program option is selected, (All program options are selected by PC board jumpers) when command execution begins the rotator first pulses in the opposite direction for 1 second in case the brake is stuck, pauses 1 second, then turns in the proper direction.This routine virtually ends Tailtwister start jams. If the antenna still does not move within a few seconds, an LED signals a rotation problem and the rotation command is cancelled.

Another program option adds electronic end points. If enabled, this Rotor-EZ option limits the rotation range to exclude the last 5 degrees on either end of the scale, preventing the rotator from jamming on the end stop. The rotator can still be manually turned into these areas if needed.

RS-232 Mode: RS-232 is an extra cost option for Rotor-EZ and adds a computer interface to the circuit board. With the RS-232 option, Rotor-EZ works with any logging or contest program that recognizes the Idiom Press Rotor-EZ protocol or the Hy-Gain DCU-1 protocol. (The DCU-1 protocol doesn't allow the current bearing of the rotator to be read, however.) A nine pin RS232 serial port connector offers access to your computer.

90-degree Offset Capability: now standard in all units. When active, the offset moves the meter needle 90° right or left, supporting the offset antenna. The plus or minus offset is controlled by a circuit board jumper. Grounding a circuit board lead, either by a switch added to the control box or by an external control such as a set of relay contacts, activates the offset capability. While active, an LED blinks to assure recognition by the operator that the control is in offset mode. (This notice can prevent some stupid mistakes of the type that tend to occur at 2 AM.) The 90° offset capability is fully supported in each of the three modes (manual, auto-point and RS-232).

What differences will Rotor-EZ make to your operating? Active operators using Rotor-EZ tell us that they find they use their rotators a good deal more because of the greatly enhanced convenience. Checking out long path, looking down secondary propagation paths, or testing for crooked path signals are all easier. Also, they find themselves tuning different bands more frequently, because turning the antenna for the optimum path on a different antenna is so easy and painless. In short, they wonder how they ever got along without it! You will too!


Note: the Rotor-EZ works only with CD-45, Ham-M series & Tailtwister Control Boxes having 3 control paddles. Also note that the knob in the photo at the top of this page is not supplied as a part of the kit. Most units have an existing knob which is normally used.

The Product

Rotor-EZ is supplied either as a kit or as a preassembled board, with or without RS-232 capability. The preassembled board must be wired into the control.

Product Reviews

We know the Rotor-EZ kit is great, but you don't have to take our word for it. See what your fellow hams are saying about the Rotor-EZ on the Product Reviews Web Site:

Also, read the QST magazine product review for Rotor-EZ in the March 2001 issue, in Adobe PDF format here:

QST Review of Rotor-EZ

Pricing and Ordering

Price Description USA
 $ 99.95    Rotor-EZ Basic Kit, No RS232   $ 5   $ 10 
 $ 129.95    Rotor-EZ Basic Kit, With RS232   $ 5   $ 10 
 $ 129.95    Rotor-EZ Assembled & Tested, No RS232   $ 5   $ 10 
 $ 164.95    Rotor-EZ Assembled & Tested, With RS232   $ 5   $ 10 
 $ 40.00    Rotor-EZ Serial Upgrade Kit
 to upgrade existing non-RS232 boards to RS232
 no charge   $ 2 
 $ 10.95    Rotator Illuminator LED Light Kit more info   no charge   $ 2 


Kit Building and Installation Assistance

Charley Snodgrass: Charley provides complete services for CDE / Telex / Hy-Gain rotator control boxes, including repairs and installation of Rotor-EZ boards and Rotator Illuminator LED light kits.  Please contact Charley at charley468atjunodotcom.

Digital Audio Equipment: Digital Audio Equipment provides professional assembly and/or installation of your Rotor-EZ Kit. For pricing and additional information, see their web site at:

Ham-M, TailTwister, Hy-Gain and DCU-1 are registered trademarks of Hy-Gain

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