Restoring an AJAX H to H

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stecle

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Feb 17, 2010
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I have decided to add another 10 footer to the farm and run it with a H to H instead of an actuator. The H to H motors generally don't do well here in the Canadian winters. I am going to give it a try with the assistance of a heat tape.

I had this AJAX in storage which I removed from a dish and replaced with a Von Weise. As soon as it got cold, it wouldn't move.

Connected just the motor to a mover and the motor turns fine and counts.

My plan is to disassemble everything and remove all the old grease and crud. I will then get the housing sandblasted and give it a fresh coat of paint.

Any advice before I start from someone who has done this before?

I appreciate all feedback.
 

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mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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I have decided to add another 10 footer to the farm and run it with a H to H instead of an actuator. The H to H motors generally don't do well here in the Canadian winters. I am going to give it a try with the assistance of a heat tape.

I had this AJAX in storage which I removed from a dish and replaced with a Von Weise. As soon as it got cold, it wouldn't move.

Connected just the motor to a mover and the motor turns fine and counts.

My plan is to disassemble everything and remove all the old grease and crud. I will then get the housing sandblasted and give it a fresh coat of paint.

Any advice before I start from someone who has done this before?

I appreciate all feedback.
You are on the right track. It is likely that the original grease in the motor assembly is partially contaminated (dirty) from years of use, or possibly never designed for subzero temperatures (F). I would check with local auto parts suppliers and see if they have recommendations and experience with various forms of lithium grease (usually white). Find one that has the lowest temperature rating possible (hopefully -30 to -40 C).
If you need to extend the range for colder temps, you might also temporarily use a heat tape when it starts getting sluggish, and fabricate an insulated cover for the winter.
Good luck!
 
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Magic Static

Magic Static

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While that is obviously an AJAK, I have not seen one quite like that before. Two of the three I have rebuilt were seized at the main polar shaft. I was able to beat out the shaft with a plastic mallet. The ones I have seen used a thick nylon sleeve bushing on that polar shaft and the whole thing cleans up nicely.
 
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primestar31

primestar31

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While that is obviously an AJAK, I have not seen one quite like that before. Two of the three I have rebuilt were seized at the main polar shaft. I was able to beat out the shaft with a plastic mallet. The ones I have seen used a thick nylon sleeve bushing on that polar shaft and the whole thing cleans up nicely.
Didn't they have two versions of the Ajak? A smaller one, and then the big daddy version. Maybe that's one of the smaller ones.
 
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mikekohl

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Didn't they have two versions of the Ajak? A smaller one, and then the big daddy version. Maybe that's one of the smaller ones.
There were at least three for the consumer market: Heavy Duty AJAK H-180,
Medium Duty AJAK Aimer, and a smaller unit known as the AJAK Patriot.

Yours looks very different on the attachment to the back of the dish (each antenna manufacturer made a matching mount adapter for the specific AJAK motor).
The 36 volt motor is identical to that used on a Big 3 U.S. truck manufacturer's windshield wiper motor, although there is a completely different winding for the AJAK product that required shutdown for at least a day from truck wiper motor production, to re-tool for whatever AJAK was ordering.
 
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mikekohl

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Jun 4, 2004
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Montfort, Wisconsin
Still more news. Yours definitely looks more like an AJAK Aimer. Pls see the attached file from Satellite Guys website (2008)
ajakaimer-pdf.27858

The AIMER was a bit lighter duty than the H-180, and depending upon the weight of your ten foot dish, may struggle at extreme ends of the satelllite arc, as well as have problems moving heavier dishes under extreme cold conditions. Good idea to verify its capabilities at the dish without a long cable run, under summer temperature conditions, before doing a lot of work refurbishing and possibly finding it might not be up to the tasks of operating in mid-winter.
Lighter four piece sectional antennas should be OK, but I would be concerned if you were trying an Orbitron SX-10 or perhaps a Winegard Pinnacle similar to what I am reconstructing for polar mount use. It's all about the weight and balance, and where you are on the arc. Considerably more current is required to go "up" towards the center of the arc from extreme east or west.
 
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stecle

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Feb 17, 2010
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Thanks to everyone for the great info. Here is the history of this Ajak. I sold a complete system to a customer, who read in some satellite guide, that H to H was the way to go. I tried to talk him out of it since the most Eastern Satellite at that time was S2.

He insisted and I installed it with a Unimesh Perf. The Ajak worked great until the temp started hitting -30C. It would kick the circuit breaker on the IRD. I contacted the distributor and they agreed to give me a new polar mount and a Von Weise actuator. I changed it out and the Ajak has remained in storage ever since.

I really want to access the satellites in the far East part of the belt. Right now I am safe until about 55W with a polar mount. The dish that I am going to be using with the Ajak is a 10 foot mesh which is lighter than the original Unimesh Perf. I know the Ajak will handle my dish, but what will happen when it gets cold. I am going to try low temp grease and a heat tape.

If it still freezes up this winter, I will sell it to one of you good ol' boys where it never snows. :biggrin
 
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mikekohl

Prehistoric Satellite Guru
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Jun 4, 2004
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206
Montfort, Wisconsin
Thanks to everyone for the great info. Here is the history of this Ajak. I sold a complete system to a customer, who read in some satellite guide, that H to H was the way to go. I tried to talk him out of it since the most Eastern Satellite at that time was S2.

He insisted and I installed it with a Unimesh Perf. The Ajak worked great until the temp started hitting -30C. It would kick the circuit breaker on the IRD. I contacted the distributor and they agreed to give me a new polar mount and a Von Weise actuator. I changed it out and the Ajak has remained in storage ever since.

I really want to access the satellites in the far East part of the belt. Right now I am safe until about 55W with a polar mount. The dish that I am going to be using with the Ajak is a 10 foot mesh which is lighter than the original Unimesh Perf. I know the Ajak will handle my dish, but what will happen when it gets cold. I am going to try low temp grease and a heat tape.

If it still freezes up this winter, I will sell it to one of you good ol' boys where it never snows. :biggrin
I did not see any temperature rating for the recommended red stuff to replace your existing grease. Experience in Alaska as well as the U.S. Upper Midwest gave me info on the use of lithium grease....so will suggest confirming whatever you purchase has the lowest operational temperature rating.
 
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Magic Static

Magic Static

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I have had no issues with the cold on my AJAKs, though it hasn't seen -30 more than once. I did have too much snow on it one time a blew the transformer in the V-Box. I used the red grease on my second one and it's been working very well.
 
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Magic Static

Magic Static

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The thing about red grease is it's lubrication qualities. Made for slow moving parts like a big gate hinge. It doesn't melt in the heat or rub off like other lubricants. It stays in place and doesn't dry out.
 
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stecle

Thread Starter
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Feb 17, 2010
274
118
Between the North and South Pole
I have had no issues with the cold on my AJAKs, though it hasn't seen -30 more than once. I did have too much snow on it one time a blew the transformer in the V-Box. I used the red grease on my second one and it's been working very well.
Where I am located, it is not uncommon to experience weeks of -35C. There is an arctic grease that somebody mentioned here on the board. I wish I could remember the name.
 
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stecle

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 17, 2010
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Between the North and South Pole
I was going through my Satellite warehouse (lol) and I found an old brochure for my Ajak. This is exactly what it looked like brand new.
 

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arlo

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Dec 4, 2016
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How about this stuff? It's supposed to work down to -65F/-53C. :)

I tapped a hole in the middle of my supercrap actuator tube and screwed in a zerk 2 threads.
Extended it fully.
Lucas super low temp grease was pumped in. The whitish/clear snotty sinus infection looking stuff.
The previous winter at -10f.....forget about it. Motor error on the ASC-1 because it was just too slow.
With the Lucas grease in it, -30 in N. PA. No problem. A bit slower but no issues really.
 
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