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  • Free small metal gears

    Since I build model engines, and things to run with model engines, I am always on the lookout for small gears. Back in the day, when I was a kid, we had this small gearmotor thingy (I can't remember what it was called) that mounted on the television antenna, and by operating a simple control box in the house, it would turn the antenna for better reception with a small internally mounted electric motor. I have always had a suspicion that they were full of gears, because the antenna moved very slowly. Today wifey and I were out for a drive, and lo and behold, there was one setting at the end of a rural driveway with their trash barrel, complete with a small peice of antenna still attached to it. To wifeys great embarassment, I stopped and threw it in the back of my pickup. After a half hour of disassembly (involving a lot of bash and crash) this is what it yielded. The largest gear is 3" diameter x 3/16" thick, the mating pinion is 1/2" dia. x 1/2" thick, and then all of the other gears get progressivly smaller diameter and thinner, right down to the drive pinion on the electric motor which is about 5/32" diameter. I never checked, but the overall ratio appears to be about a gazillion to one. I will save these for some future project. I just thought I would let you fellows know, in case you have one of these setting up in the garage rafters, gathering dust.---Brian

    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    found some good ones on a laser toner cart recently, quite well made
    mark

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    • #3
      Originally posted by brian Rupnow
      Since I build model engines, and things to run with model engines, I am always on the lookout for small gears. Back in the day, when I was a kid, we had this small gearmotor thingy (I can't remember what it was called) that mounted on the television antenna, and by operating a simple control box in the house, it would turn the antenna for better reception with a small internally mounted electric motor. I have always had a suspicion that they were full of gears, because the antenna moved very slowly. Today wifey and I were out for a drive, and lo and behold, there was one setting at the end of a rural driveway with their trash barrel, complete with a small peice of antenna still attached to it. To wifeys great embarassment, I stopped and threw it in the back of my pickup. After a half hour of disassembly (involving a lot of bash and crash) this is what it yielded. The largest gear is 3" diameter x 3/16" thick, the mating pinion is 1/2" dia. x 1/2" thick, and then all of the other gears get progressivly smaller diameter and thinner, right down to the drive pinion on the electric motor which is about 5/32" diameter. I never checked, but the overall ratio appears to be about a gazillion to one. I will save these for some future project. I just thought I would let you fellows know, in case you have one of these setting up in the garage rafters, gathering dust.---Brian

      It's and antenna rotor. My parents still use theirs.

      Brian
      OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

      THINK HARDER

      BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

      MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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      • #4
        Wish I had a buck for every one of those antenna rotators I helped
        install. :-)
        ...lew...

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        • #5
          I must have got a buck or more for every one of those I helped. Those bucks are sooooo long gone now. Used to be about every three days I installed one. When it got to be more than about $500 plus labor, it was over. Just a few weeks ago, I saw one laying in the bush behind the cabin we stayed in for the weekend. Left it there.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #6
            Originally posted by brian Rupnow
            Since I build model engines, and things to run with model engines, I am always on the lookout for small gears. Back in the day, when I was a kid, we had this small gearmotor thingy (I can't remember what it was called) that mounted on the television antenna, and by operating a simple control box in the house, it would turn the antenna for better reception with a small internally mounted electric motor. I have always had a suspicion that they were full of gears, because the antenna moved very slowly. Today wifey and I were out for a drive, and lo and behold, there was one setting at the end of a rural driveway with their trash barrel, complete with a small peice of antenna still attached to it. To wifeys great embarassment, I stopped and threw it in the back of my pickup. After a half hour of disassembly (involving a lot of bash and crash) this is what it yielded. The largest gear is 3" diameter x 3/16" thick, the mating pinion is 1/2" dia. x 1/2" thick, and then all of the other gears get progressivly smaller diameter and thinner, right down to the drive pinion on the electric motor which is about 5/32" diameter. I never checked, but the overall ratio appears to be about a gazillion to one. I will save these for some future project. I just thought I would let you fellows know, in case you have one of these setting up in the garage rafters, gathering dust.---Brian

            Good post...one of a kind reduction train.

            A thought...with the advent of digital over the air television, antennas and antenna rotators are becoming much more important.

            TMT

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            • #7
              HD sucks in my area!
              mark costello-Low speed steel

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              • #8
                Depending on the rotor type you may have disassembled the golden egg.

                http://www.rotorservice.com/prod1%20rotor%20sales.htm

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dp
                  Depending on the rotor type you may have disassembled the golden egg.

                  http://www.rotorservice.com/prod1%20rotor%20sales.htm
                  Why are they so damn expensive?

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                  • #10
                    So what do you do with a bunch of little free gears???---well of course---You add a couple of pulleys and brackets and make a gear reducer. Only thing is, the gear reduction is so massive, I have no idea what I'll do with it unless I build a steam engine powered model stump puller---
                    Brian Rupnow

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                    • #11
                      Proves you just have to keep your eyes open.

                      Years ago, I did a job right beside an unattended rural garbage dump. One afternoon, I took a couple tools over and ripped the transmission out of an old wringer washing machine. I got a gear set amounting to roughly 100:1 reduction complete with a pin and link for the agitator movement.

                      I have the +/- 4' linear actuators and what I think are stepper motors that drove them to tuned the old style 8' dish.

                      I managed to collect a few gears and sprockets from assorted other machines too, including 4 worm and worm gear assemblies.
                      Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit

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                      • #12
                        Another source for small gear trains is old drill motors, either corded or battery-powered. There's LOTS of these in the scrapyard, and most of us probably have one or more laying around under the bench.

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