Von Weise V76-5 Refurbishing Project

TvMind

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 26, 2011
57
5
Montreal
After 25 years of faithful service it's now time to change the acme screw - already done (thanks to friend in C-band since it's inception who still has parts and the tools to do this). Sorry I couldn't witness this and share for safety/covid reasons (no pics either)

Now I have brushed all the rust and gunk from the screw, using variously electronics grade degreasers, IPA, brake fluid. Now that I have the thing apart I am tempted to dismatle further to access the gears and have a look, but my friend discourages me from going any further. Am I asking for trouble? i.e. throwing alignment off etc. The reason is I suspect some rust may have got inside somehow and from my VCR experince the gear grease probably has dried out by now.

I did acquire this antenna from the previous original owner who had for 10 plus before me, so all in all some 32 years in operation , not bad! Oh and this time I got an "accordion" , the real McCoy not this makeshift jobs. :Let's see what else, previously my actuator mount bracket had some play in it at it's pivot or mounting location, but it never gave me any trouble except on Ku with strong winds. I have PB Blasted this sucker to death and have never managed to get it to budge. I am happy to leave it alone and the "play" reduces the stress on the jack, as I have never been able to perfectly align this to the antenna - if you get my drift i.e. I have never come across instrunctios on correctly installing and aligning the actuator MOUNT in any of the classic writeups, and beleive me I have them all.

Lastly , on greases, should I go with the standard heavy duty automotive greases or as someone suggested "moly" grease (have a tube from my car repair days) - it is a "rust" color. Says adheres to metal better. Oh and one more, is it a good idea to paint the inner and outer tube, purely for cosmetic reasons of course; worried if paint chips it may cause more problems than it's worth. I also cleaned the outer tube insides of the rust and dirt but am tempted to get some grease in there as well, so the inner tube moves more smoothly and quietly - going for smooth and quiet here folks, hence lubing the plastic gears as I mentioned.

I am probably leaving out a dozen more questions, the mind boggles. Btw, this is so much fun and can't wait to mount it and set the limits on the cam.
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2016
373
164
North Eastern
I'd like to see what the guys here with VW experience have to say about the motor section.
After all of those years a good cleaning and greasing can't hurt. Use your camera phone to document all steps of disassembly.
Any of the various actuators I've torn down have the same general idea. Motor, gear reduction, limit switches, and pulse generator are in the same general way of thinking.
Limit switches can be reset after reassembly. Retract is easy. Crank the actuator in all of the way and turn it out 3-4 turns.
The lower motor limit can be set on the bench. A 12 volt car battery will run it just fine. With the lower limit set you can bolt the gear box/motor back on.
Upper limit can be set if you know how far the arm was extended previously. You definitely don't want it out so far the arm runs out of thread and binds. Or so far out you risk dish flop. That's where you set the upper limit switch.
Beware that 12V will tend to shut the motor off sooner than 36 volts because the motor will really be spinning fast and overshoot the off position a little bit.
You'll want to use a sticky grease. Thin greases will sling off of the faster running gears.
Be super careful putting the gear train together and the cover plate back on. Everything should just fall in place. No binding. You don't want to break any plastic gearing. You took photos. Right?

The motor is kind of tricky. If you've worked on VCR's and stuff like that, a day at the beach!
Be very careful of the brushes when taking apart. Look for wear. They shouldn't be little stubs. I see the hardware stores have specialty brushes and I've seen some that look like they would fit the bill. I've never needed to replace them though.
Be careful soaking with solvents. The magnets are glued in. Elektra-Motive in the can works ok in moderation.
Shine the commutator up with crocus cloth or very fine sandpaper. Lightly.
Clean out the bronze bushings of old grease. Q-Tips and solvent. Then thin grease sparingly. Also make sure the armature shaft is shiny. Don't mix up spacers and shims.

Hopefully the pulse generator is in good shape. Then reed switch should be replaced. Hall switches last until they puke. If the reed makes good counts on your controller you should be good to go.

Wiring needs to be looked at. Limit switches should have a definite "click". Wires cut, stripped, re tinned, and re soldered where needed. Don't lose your terminal strip screws.

A couple of hours work and the experience is rewarding.
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2016
373
164
North Eastern
Hmm call me crazy but why just buy another one? You have got your money worth out of that one geez
Could be we're tinkerers and good with things like this. Could be that tearing something like this down while sipping a few cold brews makes for a relaxing Sunday. I really hate throwing out hunderds of bucks in the junk bin when a few hours of work might give a few more years of use. I was just going to buy a new Stihl chainsaw. 400+ bucks because my old one STB. That price was without a bar and chain. Tearing the carb down for a good cleaning and replacing the coil wire cost all of 6 bucks and gave me a 2 pull 2 stroke.
 

Need2learn

SatelliteGuys Family
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 13, 2018
94
62
USA
I never said you didn't know how it fix it, must don't know but so much about it, you are posting on how... there is only like 3 components, the sensors, the motor, and a long screw which turn it, you can trying taking it apart and cleaning the contacts on the sensors, and greasing up the long screw so it will turn easier.
 

johnnynobody

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 2, 2009
3,316
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42N 103W
Okay,you're crazy :biggrin
Why do we?Because we're old,we know how and we fix things.I know that may be a foreign concept to the young'uns but there you are.
It also helps to be poor and cheap :oldwink
I know your comment isn't directed at me but I'm a cranky old geezer and I'm not rich. Even if I know how to fix stuff I have been having others do it or I replace it. Costs money but after 40 years of doing this kind of stuff makes me want to replace it or have someone else fix it. Especially if it takes away too much from my leisure time. If I have to wait a month for something to be fixed or replaced, I'll do it myself. Anyway, I'm not looking forward to assembling my new TEK 12 footer or my new 10x10 metal shed but I'm going to take the plunge and do it myself. The stuff is here but I'm waiting until hail season is over and before the snow flies again. I'll probably have someone pour the concrete for the shed though......
 

Need2learn

SatelliteGuys Family
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 13, 2018
94
62
USA
Dude that is cool, I understand and that is why I was trying to help.. if you are having too much trouble shoot me some pictures and I see what I can do.
 

waylew

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 23, 2010
2,588
956
northern WEST new york
I know your comment isn't directed at me but I'm a cranky old geezer and I'm not rich. Even if I know how to fix stuff I have been having others do it or I replace it. Costs money but after 40 years of doing this kind of stuff makes me want to replace it or have someone else fix it. Especially if it takes away too much from my leisure time. If I have to wait a month for something to be fixed or replaced, I'll do it myself. Anyway, I'm not looking forward to assembling my new TEK 12 footer or my new 10x10 metal shed but I'm going to take the plunge and do it myself. The stuff is here but I'm waiting until hail season is over and before the snow flies again. I'll probably have someone pour the concrete for the shed though......
No,not directed at you at all.If you want it and can afford it,go for it.
The reply was directed to Mr Helpful whose entire help in this thread consisted of telling someone to go spend their money.Not what the original poster inquired about.If someone wants to fix something and can fix it,telling them to go buy a new one aint helpin.
And that's as far as I'm going with this.
 
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arlo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2016
373
164
North Eastern
I even still got some use out of an old broken actuator. I took the outer pipe and used a piece of it to adapt over a direct tv mount to a bigger dia. to fit my orby tv dish onto.
Atta' boy. Heaven forbid I took my neighbors old TV antenna off of his hands to make a repurposed 2 meter yagi.
Hah. And that's as far as I'm going with that.
 

Captain Midnight

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 16, 2019
189
104
Greers Ferry, Arkansas
I have the same model VW arm recovered from an old BUD and it will not come in and out. When power is applied, it just rotates. I am thinking the inside is seized. Anyone know how to take it apart?
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2016
373
164
North Eastern
I have the same model VW arm recovered from an old BUD and it will not come in and out. When power is applied, it just rotates. I am thinking the inside is seized. Anyone know how to take it apart?
?

 

TvMind

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 26, 2011
57
5
Montreal
I'd like to see what the guys here with VW experience have to say about the motor section.
After all of those years a good cleaning and greasing can't hurt. Use your camera phone to document all steps of disassembly.
Any of the various actuators I've torn down have the same general idea. Motor, gear reduction, limit switches, and pulse generator are in the same general way of thinking.
Limit switches can be reset after reassembly. Retract is easy. Crank the actuator in all of the way and turn it out 3-4 turns.
The lower motor limit can be set on the bench. A 12 volt car battery will run it just fine. With the lower limit set you can bolt the gear box/motor back on.
Upper limit can be set if you know how far the arm was extended previously. You definitely don't want it out so far the arm runs out of thread and binds. Or so far out you risk dish flop. That's where you set the upper limit switch.

Beware that 12V will tend to shut the motor off sooner than 36 volts because the motor will really be spinning fast and overshoot the off position a little bit.
You'll want to use a sticky grease. Thin greases will sling off of the faster running gears.
Be super careful putting the gear train together and the cover plate back on. Everything should just fall in place. No binding. You don't want to break any plastic gearing. You took photos. Right?

The motor is kind of tricky. If you've worked on VCR's and stuff like that, a day at the beach!
Be very careful of the brushes when taking apart. Look for wear. They shouldn't be little stubs. I see the hardware stores have specialty brushes and I've seen some that look like they would fit the bill. I've never needed to replace them though.
Be careful soaking with solvents. The magnets are glued in. Elektra-Motive in the can works ok in moderation.
Shine the commutator up with crocus cloth or very fine sandpaper. Lightly.
Clean out the bronze bushings of old grease. Q-Tips and solvent. Then thin grease sparingly. Also make sure the armature shaft is shiny. Don't mix up spacers and shims.

Hopefully the pulse generator is in good shape. Then reed switch should be replaced. Hall switches last until they puke. If the reed makes good counts on your controller you should be good to go.

Wiring needs to be looked at. Limit switches should have a definite "click". Wires cut, stripped, re tinned, and re soldered where needed. Don't lose your terminal strip screws.

A couple of hours work and the experience is rewarding.







Hi Arlo and everybody. Thank you for the excellent write up, it was very helpful - at least it gave me the confidence to go ahead with a complete stripdown and rebuild - losing my nerve in my old age :(

Well, I am happy to report that the job is complete and am very happy with the results. I did everything Arlo suggested, and indeed the magnets had come unglued - overnight with RTV cement fixed that up. This cleared up the grinding noise too. Lubed the bearing with a drop or two or oil. I took apart the gears and redistibuted the surplus gear grease. The bushings are in good shape, cleaned everything up, polished the armature and reseated the shaft "cap" so it was flush with the lock retainer - I remember an old open reel that had this skewed and it made an awful noise- also added a drop or two of oil to there as well. Motor is quiter than it's ever been with no load at least.

Next I spent a good deal or cleaning the acme screw to a shiny new polish - I had to use the grinder on a stubborn area no amount of wire brushing and brake cleaner could remove. For the grease I used Moly from my Volks repair part, a rust coloured thick "anti-seize" grease perfect for this purpose and the extreme Canadian temperatures. I applied several coats with a small brush.
This should last a long time, I hope.

The acme screw/inner tube job was performed by my retired satellite installer gent as I mentioned and he did a nice job, even greased up the ball joint - one little problem though was one of the tabs was protruding and rubbing against the wall of the outer tube so I filed this down a bit and used my trusty circles template 1 1/2 " to verify it would pass over the acme nut area without binding. My outer tube inner wall was tighter than his (he gave me another to play with - what a nice guy). I cleaned mine and used a circular brush but the inner wall was rough and it's a narrow squeeze as we all know between the inner tube and outer tube wall (0.25 " dia.).

I set the lower mechanical limits on the bench with my laboratory power supply for exactly 33.75" (retracted) from back of motor cover to end of inner tube body, as per the diagrams out there (it is roughly 3-4 turns as many suggest, but being a stickler for precision well.... I verified the extended/upper limits and set the cam for 57.75" (33.75 + 24 "). I want to cover 133 W to 55.5 W (two AOR birds , 58 W being the other one), like I had before. Irealize this puts a good deal of strain on the nut/motor etc, but this is how I had it for years. In hindsight I realize I shouldn't go east of the zenith satellite (74 W for my location), if I don't want to push my luck, but I just got to have those international news channels.

Today I stripped and tinned the wires, to quarter inch length, installed the actuator and tightened everything up on 133 W, just past it, my lower mechanical limit. But when I came back inside to set the soft limits in the receiver I had an accident going east to the upper limit...the actuator mount got loose and swung around and the dish flopped. I should have checked the mount before and tightened things up. I did PB Blast it last week, but still can't remove the 3/4 bolts and nut or tighten it, so this is what I will be doing today - as well as picking up some 3/4" hardware, longer bolt than is on there now. In the past I always left some play where the actuator connects to dish so it won't twist or strain the shaft and nut inside, and it never was a problem save on KU on windy days sometimes the signal would drop down. I don't want this much play at all if it is installed right. I have never seen anything besides those classic TVRO installation docs on how to adjust the actuator mount correctly. I am going to add washers and nuts on the new longer bolt to keep the shaft straight and unhindered on the lowest satellite then tighten the mount bracket there. Is this the procedure you guys use?

I hope there was no damage. My nephew is going to help me today. I will probably use my power supply to bring it down ( but the lower fixed limits are set). So will need to get up there remove the bolt to the dish and manually screw it back in.. oh joy!

I will check back in with another update, hopefully with good news. Can't wait to finish this one up and enjoy my BUD again just in time for the Fall/Winter season (I wrap it all up in insulation and a plastic covering to prevent freezing)

Thanks all and please let me know what you think should be done with the actuator bracket.

p.s. As for the person who asked why I didn't buy a new one, well I am electronics technician by trade and enjoy restoring my gear, especially when I can get a gentleman to help and give me parts he has on hand for free, besides there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride bringing something to their former glory and even improve things - I have been at it for 35 years with professional recording and musical instruments. Nothing like sitting back, cracking open a cold one and enjoying the fruits of your labour. Besides this was a team effort and got to see this retired gent after 20 years, albeit at a safe distance 'err present company included of course, esp. Arlo! Cheers mate)
 
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FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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Hi Arlo and everybody. Thank you for the excellent write up, it was very helpful - at least it gave me the confidence to go ahead with a complete stripdown and rebuild - losing my nerve in my old age :(

Well, I am happy to report that the job is complete and am very happy with the results. I did everything Arlo suggested, and indeed the magnets had come unglued - overnight with RTV cement fixed that up. This cleared up the grinding noise too. Lubed the bearing with a drop or two or oil. I took apart the gears and redistibuted the surplus gear grease. The bushings are in good shape, cleaned everything up, polished the armature and reseated the shaft "cap" so it was flush with the lock retainer - I remember an old open reel that had this skewed and it made an awful noise- also added a drop or two of oil to there as well. Motor is quiter than it's ever been with no load at least.

Next I spent a good deal or cleaning the acme screw to a shiny new polish - I had to use the grinder on a stubborn area no amount of wire brushing and brake cleaner could remove. For the grease I used Moly from my Volks repair part, a rust coloured thick "anti-seize" grease perfect for this purpose and the extreme Canadian temperatures. I applied several coats with a small brush.
This should last a long time, I hope.

The acme screw/inner tube job was performed by my retired satellite installer gent as I mentioned and he did a nice job, even greased up the ball joint - one little problem though was one of the tabs was protruding and rubbing against the wall of the outer tube so I filed this down a bit and used my trusty circles template 1 1/2 " to verify it would pass over the acme nut area without binding. My outer tube inner wall was tighter than his (he gave me another to play with - what a nice guy). I cleaned mine and used a circular brush but the inner wall was rough and it's a narrow squeeze as we all know between the inner tube and outer tube wall (0.25 " dia.).

I set the lower mechanical limits on the bench with my laboratory power supply for exactly 33.75" (retracted) from back of motor cover to end of inner tube body, as per the diagrams out there (it is roughly 3-4 turns as many suggest, but being a stickler for precision well.... I verified the extended/upper limits and set the cam for 57.75" (33.75 + 24 "). I want to cover 133 W to 55.5 W (two AOR birds , 58 W being the other one), like I had before. Irealize this puts a good deal of strain on the nut/motor etc, but this is how I had it for years. In hindsight I realize I shouldn't go east of the zenith satellite (74 W for my location), if I don't want to push my luck, but I just got to have those international news channels.

Today I stripped and tinned the wires, to quarter inch length, installed the actuator and tightened everything up on 133 W, just past it, my lower mechanical limit. But when I came back inside to set the soft limits in the receiver I had an accident going east to the upper limit...the actuator mount got loose and swung around and the dish flopped. I should have checked the mount before and tightened things up. I did PB Blast it last week, but still can't remove the 3/4 bolts and nut or tighten it, so this is what I will be doing today - as well as picking up some 3/4" hardware, longer bolt than is on there now. In the past I always left some play where the actuator connects to dish so it won't twist or strain the shaft and nut inside, and it never was a problem save on KU on windy days sometimes the signal would drop down. I don't want this much play at all if it is installed right. I have never seen anything besides those classic TVRO installation docs on how to adjust the actuator mount correctly. I am going to add washers and nuts on the new longer bolt to keep the shaft straight and unhindered on the lowest satellite then tighten the mount bracket there. Is this the procedure you guys use?

I hope there was no damage. My nephew is going to help me today. I will probably use my power supply to bring it down ( but the lower fixed limits are set). So will need to get up there remove the bolt to the dish and manually screw it back in.. oh joy!

I will check back in with another update, hopefully with good news. Can't wait to finish this one up and enjoy my BUD again just in time for the Fall/Winter season (I wrap it all up in insulation and a plastic covering to prevent freezing)

Thanks all and please let me know what you think should be done with the actuator bracket.

p.s. As for the person who asked why I didn't buy a new one, well I am electronics technician by trade and enjoy restoring my gear, especially when I can get a gentleman to help and give me parts he has on hand for free, besides there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride bringing something to their former glory and even improve things - I have been at it for 35 years with professional recording and musical instruments. Nothing like sitting back, cracking open a cold one and enjoying the fruits of your labour. Besides this was a team effort and got to see this retired gent after 20 years, albeit at a safe distance 'err present company included of course, esp. Arlo! Cheers mate)
Sounds like you did an excellent restoration job! Hope all goes well today! :)
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2016
373
164
North Eastern
To not take up a ton of real estate. I think I got what you are saying about the bracket. To shore it up where a long bolt causes the bracket to flex. I took a chunk of bar stock and bored a hole through it the right length. Then put a big hairy grade 8 washer on the the back side of the bracket where the nut was. Torqued that baby down and stiffened up the flex that was there.

Dish flop. I took a piece of heavy garage door spring about 3-4 inches or so and some 3/16" cable and a pocket full of crosbys.
Unhooked the actuator and figured out where it wanted to flop. Attached the spring to the pole and dish mount with cable so it was pulling back on the dish pretty good before over center and really good where it would normally flop over.
As Kelly Bundy said....Viola!
To put those eye bends in the spring I shoved some steel between the coils for a heat shield and me and Mr Mapp torch, vice and vice grips did our thing. I can get out to 47.5 but due the the content (for me) 55.5W will do.

Diving into electronics and mechanicals for years and out in the field fixing stuff where tossing it in the bucket wasn't an option teaches those with a non-disposable economy or mission critical tasks a lot. Just let the boss know straight up that a 'new one' not in stock will put him down for days...."But". And pat your pocket when you say so.
Great Job, dude!
 

TvMind

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 26, 2011
57
5
Montreal
Those are some great tips for the flop/strain-relief Arlo!
But right now I am dealing with the damage from this past Saturday's 'accident'.
I removed the actuator and took it apart. I found the acme nut came off and was sitting at the bottom of the acme screw range !! I should have expected as much, under load the compression he made was inadequate (remember I filed a protruding segment down - in hindsight should have never done this). Now I managed to expand the tabs to where I could almost fit the nut in again but ran out of ideas. I've thrown everything at it - tapered wood dowels (had to chisel out afterwards.) I used my mechanics pry screwdrivers to bend the tabs from the outside but stopped, afraid to distort or weaken them further <sigh>. He said he used a special tool, suspect some tapered tool (stepper drill bit without the steps - what is this called?). For the compression part he used he says "a vice grip without teeth", which would probably explain the uneven job. I don't blame him, age and "trembling hands" and all that.

Sorry for the nube machinist questions, but don't want to damage these tabs further as they carry the entire load! (crazy design). I will probably fashion some jig in the vice to compress the tabs flat and tight unless you guys come up with a better plan. I was going to try a sledgehammer and punches as a last resort, but that sounds brutal and may damage the acme nut and tube. I would go back to him but really don't want to bother him.

In other news I did finally manage to loosen the nut on the actuator mounting bracket - generous dose of PB Blaster and lots of elbow grease.

Once this is ready to go I am going to s
Sounds like you did an excellent restoration job! Hope all goes well today! :)
Thanks for the compliment and good wishes.
 

TvMind

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 26, 2011
57
5
Montreal
Oops, sorry about the messy reply. The laptops keep crashing with this site so had to switch to the phone's browse.

Finally feeling a little depressed about this. I even contemplated using LG's method (thanks man), it makes sense as the tabs are not disturbed except for the cut.
I will drop by my garage ans see if he can suggest something.

THe saga continues.
In the meantime I am painting the dish mount and touching up the reflector where it is chipping on the lip in places ( tapping with a broom handle to clear off the snow feom blizzards!)
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 4, 2016
373
164
North Eastern
Those are some great tips for the flop/strain-relief Arlo!
But right now I am dealing with the damage from this past Saturday's 'accident'.
I removed the actuator and took it apart. I found the acme nut came off and was sitting at the bottom of the acme screw range !! I should have expected as much, under load the compression he made was inadequate (remember I filed a protruding segment down - in hindsight should have never done this). Now I managed to expand the tabs to where I could almost fit the nut in again but ran out of ideas. I've thrown everything at it - tapered wood dowels (had to chisel out afterwards.) I used my mechanics pry screwdrivers to bend the tabs from the outside but stopped, afraid to distort or weaken them further <sigh>. He said he used a special tool, suspect some tapered tool (stepper drill bit without the steps - what is this called?). For the compression part he used he says "a vice grip without teeth", which would probably explain the uneven job. I don't blame him, age and "trembling hands" and all that.

Sorry for the nube machinist questions, but don't want to damage these tabs further as they carry the entire load! (crazy design). I will probably fashion some jig in the vice to compress the tabs flat and tight unless you guys come up with a better plan. I was going to try a sledgehammer and punches as a last resort, but that sounds brutal and may damage the acme nut and tube. I would go back to him but really don't want to bother him.

In other news I did finally manage to loosen the nut on the actuator mounting bracket - generous dose of PB Blaster and lots of elbow grease.

Once this is ready to go I am going to s


Thanks for the compliment and good wishes.
Photos?? Good clear ones?
 

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