I'm building a sort of "screwdriver antenna". In my case I have a motorized roller inductor. This motor is placed near the bottom of the coil (the coil is placed near the center of the vertical antenna. In this photo of the antenna it's still missing a few more meters of top radiator. The red wire is the lower radiator. The black wire is DC power to the arduino).
As a test, I used a small but strong servo motor modified for continuous rotation. The antenna worked OK, I got it to tune in the calculated range. My idea is to replace that small servo with a decent stepper motor (so I can just count steps to jump between bands for rough tuning).
But having an arduino up there isn't a great idea. It's RF hell. There are rather strong E and B fields which would cause it to malfunction or just fry. I'm not sure if shielding it would help.
So I thought of just using very long leads (about 6-8M) between the stepper motor and its driver. I know it's not a good idea to do this, but, will this work? Would the driver get damaged?
Most antennas of this type are smaller than what I'm building. They use a mechanical linkage and keep the motor at the bottom. I want to avoid this as this would have other problems: finding a suitable material for the driving rod (I can't find fiberglass rod or tube long enough for my application), and the tolerances required for a mechanical linkage that needs to flex with wind (I will use ropes to hold the antenna but that doesn't mean there won't be some flex). Obviously, once finished, the coil will be covered from rain.