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Re: "Precision" Antenna Pointing



 The best , and most accurate way to electronically align an antenna
system is to perform a solar. This process uses the solar almanac data to
precisely predict where the sun is at any given time at your location.
The idea here is to use the Sun as an RF source. You then use received
signal strength to  determine exact azimuth, and elevation of  the
antenna system. This process is the best method I know of to az-el align
an antenna system. I haven't done a solar in over 15 years, as I don't
work on site , at radar sites anymore. This work is usually done at a new
site, or after any antenna modifications were performed. I also
occasionally request solar's to verify the tilt of an antenna.
Azimuthally an antenna system is constantly checked by primary search
permanent echo's. So the azimuth is usually not in question.  The antenna
systems I deal with have a beam width of 1.8 to 3.5 degrees or so,
depending on the exact model of the radar system, and mode of operation,
Beacon or search.
 I have never tried this at home, my S band down link seem's to be
aligned,  thank you. Someone with a problem might want to consider this
method. Also over the years the accuracy of the consumer grade az-el
rotor control systems, has been questioned. My gut feeling is a best of
about + or  - 2.5 degrees. Anyone ever test this? 

73 Jeff kb2wqm



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