Outdoor Sign Rotators

Semco Outdoor sign rotators have been used for over half a century to attract attention to your sign and your company. These heavy duty machines are strong, reliable, and have a simple design that makes them low maintenance and easy to service. 

Our designs typically come in three styles we call Figure 1, Figure 1A, and Figure 5. These mount either inside the sign or below the sign and come in a variety of sizes to suit your sign size and weight. 

The Figure 5 and Figure 1A models will need to support wind loading so you can use the Rotator Size Calculator below to determine the rotator model.

For Figure 1 installations, see the Figure 1 section below to determine your rotator size based on the sign size and weight – not wind loading

Semco outdoor sign rotator types
Sign rotator installation types

Rotator Types (Fig 5, Fig 1A, Fig 1)

T-Model rotators mount under the sign. We call this the Figure 5 installation. The rotator takes the wind loading. Sign turns above rotator.

F-Model Figure 1A installations place the rotator at the bottom of the sign. The rotator takes the wind loading. Rotator turns with sign.

F-Model Figure 1. This model is used for larger signs, the sign pole takes the wind loading not the rotator. Sign turns with rotator.

T-Models (figure 5) are usually the simplest to install. The rotator mounts to a plate welded to the sign pole. The sign is mounted to the rotators turntable plate.

F-Model Figure 1A – The rotator is housed inside of the sign. The sign frame attaches to the base of the rotator. The sign is then lowered onto the plate welded on the sign pole. The rotator frame turns with the sign. 

F-Model figure 1 – The rotator is housed inside of the sign. The sign frame attaches to the base of the rotator. The sign is then lowered onto the plate welded on the sign pole. A split plate roller assembly is attached to the inside of the sign to support the bottom. The rotator frame turns with the sign. 

  • A note on any rotating sign: Balanced signs will always perform better, last longer, and require less maintenance. 
  • Many cities do not allow outdoor rotating signs so check local codes before starting your project
  • A large outdoor sign is like a sail! Check your local codes on wind speed ratings. Hurricane wind ratings require larger rotators than our calculations charts recommend.

We supply information below for you too determine the proper rotator model based on your installation but feel free to call us if you want a recommendation from us.

To determine the proper size rotator consider the following:

  • type of installation – Figure 1, 1A, or 5
  • Maximum sign length or area rotator can support
  • Maximum sign weight
  • “V” number to meet wind loading where applicable
*Use the formulas below to determine the proper sign rotator size for your installation. See warning below 

T-Model Figure 5 and 6 Installations

Semco Outdoor sign rotator size formula
  • Figure 5 – The rotator will be subject to wind loading and sign weight base on shape and size of sign
  • Fig 6. Stub shaft bearing support in top of the sign when supported by building structure. Rotator size base on sign weight and area
Calculate the "V" value and check that sign area and weight fall within the rotators range

Fig 5 Rotator Sizing Chart

Rotator ModelMax Sign Length*ValueSign Weight CapacityMax Bending Moment LBS
TS8ft (2.4m)30300 lbs / 136kg600
TM8ft (2.4m)45600 lbs / 272kg900
TL8ft (2.4m)751000 lbs / 450kg1550
TG20012ft (3.6m)1801500 lbs / 680kg3620
TG24312ft (3.6m)3502000 lbs / 907kg7000
TG29312ft (3.6m)6202500 lbs / 1134kg12400

To calculate “V” Value multiply area of sign x 1/2 sign height (D) above the rotator’s turntable plate in ft. See warning below and double check with us to be safe.

Example 1: 1000 lb sign measuring 10ft wide x 5ft tall  = 50 sq ft x (D) 2.5 = 125(V) The recommended rotator is the TG200 because the sign length is under 12ft, the weight is under 1500 lbs, and the value of 180 is higher than the calculated sign value of 125.

Example 2: 1000 lb sign, measuring 5ft wide x 10ft tall = 50 sq ft x 5 (D) = 250(V). The recommended rotator is the TG-243. Taller signs have higher bending loads.

*Warning: Using a rotator that does not meet wind, sign area, and weight loads can cause the sign to fall resulting in property damage, injury or death. Please confirm the sign size, shape, and weight when inquiring or purchasing a rotator. Our sizing is based on information you give us.

Figure 1A and 2 Outdoor Sign Installations

Semco Motion Products Sign rotator installation drawings
  • Figure 1A: Rotator mounts inside sign in lower half. The rotator size based on sign size and weight
  • Figure 2: Rotator mounted on top of sign, usually hanging. Same wind loading as Figure 1A

Figure 1A Rotator Size Calculations

ModelMax Sign LengthMax Bending Moment
Ft Lbs
*ValueMax Sign Weight
(Balanced)
FSThe 8 ft / 2.4 m 600 30300 lbs / 136kg
FMThe 8 ft / 2.4 m 90045600 lbs / 272 kg
FLThe 8 ft / 2.4 m 1550751000 lbs / 454kg
FG-20012 ft / 3.6 m36201801500 lbs / 680kg
Fg-24312 ft / 3.6 m60003002000 lbs / 907kg
FG-29312 ft / 3.6 m120006002500 lbs / 1134kg

To calculate “V” Value multiply area of sign x 1/2 sign height (D) above the rotator’s turntable plate in ft. See warning and double check with us to be safe.

Example 1: 1000 lb sign measuring 10ft wide x 5ft tall  = 50 sq ft x (D) 2.5 = 125(V) The recommended rotator is the TG200 because the sign length is under 12ft, the weight is under 1500 lbs, and the value of 180 is higher than the calculated sign value of 125.

Example 2: 1000 lb sign, measuring 5ft wide x 10ft tall = 50 sq ft x 5 (D) = 250(V). The recommended rotator is the TG-243. Taller signs have higher bending loads.

F-Model Figure 1 & 3 Outdoor Sign Installations

Semco Motion Products Sign Rotator drawing

Figure 1 rotators mount inside sign near top. A split plate roller assembly at the bottom of the sign acts like a bumper allowing the sign to float a little when it is windy. Some of the largest rotating signs are of this design. The sign pole, not the rotator take the bending moment caused by winds. the rotator supports the sign weight and needs a high torque drive to push the sign through winds up to approximately 30 mph.

Figure 3 rotators are usually hanging. These have support top and bottom so there is no wind loading.

 

Semco Sign rotator F-model Dimensions
ModelMax Sign Area Sq ftMax Sign Wgt lbsMax Sign Length ftABCDBase Depth
FM75750124-1/2"2-1/4"13-5/8"24"8"
FL1501000154-5/8"2-3/8"14-7/8"30"8"
FG2001501500155"2-3/8"14-7/8"308"
FG2432002000205-1/2"2-5/8"16-3/8"30"10"
FG2932002500206-3/4"2-5/8"16-3/8"30"10

Figure 1 Rotator Sizing Chart

ModelMax Sign area Sq ft
Max Sign WeightMax Sign Length
FS Fig140 sq ft / 12 sq m350 lbs / 160kg8ft / 8.43m
FM Fig 175 sq ft / 23 sq m750 lbs / 340kg12ft / 3.65m
FL Fig 1150 sq ft / 45 sq m1000 lbs / 454kg15ft / 4.5m
FG200 Fig 1150 sq ft / 45 sq m1500 lbs / 680kg 15ft / 4.5m
FG243 Fig 1200 sq ft / 61 sq m2000 lbs / 907kg20ft / 6m
FG293 Fig 1200 sq ft / 61 sq m2500 lbs / 1134kg20ft / 6m

Please call if you have questions or would like help in choosing the proper rotator for our project. We are happy to help you and help you feel comfortable bidding, presenting, or installing our sign rotators for your customers.