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SatTrack control



I just completed the SatTrack Automatic Antenna Tracking System
kit from C&S Engineering.   Bought a couple of the Gemini rotors 
from Walmart at a bargin price, the last two.

I bought the kit $89, which included the PC board and software on a
3.5'' disk.  Disk also contained instructions and drawings.  It went
together with only a few problems....seems two caps were left off
the parts placement sheet, but were on the schematic....sent an Email
to Chuck Lewis & he replied within a couple of hours confirming that
the schematic was correct.  I spent more time punching holes in
a RS box than populating the board.   

A plate was supplied  for an additional $5 to mount the two rotors
together and that went together rather easy.   I mounted them on a
5' mast set in an old Christmas tree stand, hooked up some 8 conductor
rotor wire & I was in business.  It didn't take long to calibrate the rotors,
but had to swap a couple of wires to make the Azmith motor go clockwise.

The software runs in dos, and after starting it up, it takes you to
InstantTrack, and you pick a satellite, hit the "R" key and then exit
InstantTrack.   From then on the software takes control, first going
to the "HOME" position (Due North, and 0 degrees elevation).  In 
a matter of seconds it "homes" in on the satellite and seems to
be very accurate pulsing the motors in 1 degree increments.  If
the rotors get out of the calibrated range, a small relay on the board
disconnects the 12 V. supplies.

This seems to be a cheap way to go if you don't want to spend
$800 or so on expensive AX/El rotors and interface.  I haven't
mounted it outside yet, but waiting to make a waterproof cover
for the Elevation rotor.   I'm going to put some small antennae
on it & let you know how it flies in the outside enviornment.  
I am satisfied that it is consistantly accurate in tracking a satellite.
Just don't know how large of antenna it can tolerate, since these
things have no breaks... figured I tie the thing down in windy weather.

More to come....

73 de Bill, N4DH
==========================================================
Bill Richarz <N4DH> ex WA4VAF    | Internet: wricharz@charlotte.infi.net 
10035 Little Creek Rd.           | Packet: N4DH@W4BFB.#CLT.NC.USA.NA
Charlotte, NC 28227              | Phone: (704) 545-9368
        HomePage: http://www.charlotte.infi.net/~wricharz
                     Alternate Email: n4dh@juno.com
==========================================================           




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