Nevertheless, as I saw it, I had two options. Run out to Radio Shack...er, "The Shack", and buy another $70-$80 rotor to get things operational in a hurry, or plunk down the cash for a ham-duty rotor which would mean ordering online and a waiting period. Just how important was instant gratification?
There was another factor that came into play actually. I had someone at my house who could help me lift the antenna again and raise the mast back to the 45 foot level, but they were only going to be there for a few more hours...a few more hours today. That was almost enough to sway me to run out to buy another light-duty rotor (heck, I could buy nearly 4 of them for the price I was paying for ONE ham-duty rotor), but after thinking it through, why take a chance? Buy the right rotor for the job and be done with it once and for all. I also didn't relish the thought of lowering and raising the mast a couple of times a year to inspect, repair, or replace the rotor again.
But what all of this does convince me of is that using a small rotor intended for a tv antenna is NOT a good idea, despite what some manufacturers might say. Yes, the hex beam is a light-weight antenna and, yes, it seems to present a profile that doesn't catch the wind, but it is still somewhat unwieldy. A few folks on the yahoo group for hex beams had said as much and tried to warn the rest of us, but when you're trying to be cheap, well, you know how easy it is to try and save a buck. I've also heard/read that many of the less expensive rotors are now being manufactured overseas (ie, China) and aren't what they used to be. I don't know if I totally buy into that, I think it's an easy way to shift blame for what amounts to making a poor decision in the first place. All in all, I think these folks saying that you can use a light-weight tv rotor are doing people a disservice by saying it's feasible.
Anyway, hopefully I'll be back on the air by the middle of next week.