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Re: Antenna Pointers

Dave, N6YMM wrote:

1.	Are there alternatives to the KCT?

Wayne, W9AE replies:

The easiest alternative is to manually adjust the rotors.  A KCT is only essential for unattended operation.

If your interest is AO40, keep in mind that the AZ/EL will change VERY slowly most of the time.  If your antennas are easy to reach you could even get started with NO rotors.  Just run to the back yard to tweak the antennas every 30-60 minutes, whenever signals get weak.

I don't have one, but I think the KCT can be used with any rotor that sends a DC "position voltage" to the controller.  Basically, that's any rotor that requires 5 or more wires.  It definitely doesn't work with the new 3-wire TV rotors that use synchronous motors. 

The Kansas City Tracker/Tuner is nice, but very expensive and not compatible with many cheap rotors.  For analog satellite operation, my opinion is that automatic Doppler tuning is more useful than automatic antenna tracking.  Auto Doppler tuning SHOULD be really common because satellite tracking software can control satellite radios such as FT-847 and TS-2000 via a serial port.  No expensive interface is required.  It's a shame that most satellite tracking programs don't support auto Doppler tuning via a direct serial connection to satellite radios.  The only software that does that now is InstantTrack/InstantTune.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA

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