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El/az rotator options



Hello groups,

We are designing an amateur radio satellite system for the club station at
The University of Michigan (W8UM) and need some help in assessing our needs
and specifying hardware for the elevation/azimuth tracking system.

Our immediate plans are to use Yagi-Udas on 2m and 70cm for use with current
LEO satellites on these bands.  In the future, we plan to add capability for
S-band and higher frequencies.  Essentially, we want to be sure the system
we build today is able to meet the capacity and pointing accuracy
requirements of higher frequency satellite work.

Based on these requirements, we have found two options for the el/az
tracking system:

Option 1: Yaesu G-5500, W0LMD Satellite Tracker Jr. interface, cost ~ $800
Option 2: M2 OR2800PX and MT-1000A, cost ~ $3000

We understand that the M2 system affords much larger capacity (more, larger
antennas) and pointing accuracy.  But we are having a difficult time
assessing if the performance is worth the extra $2200.

To ask some specific questions,

1. What sort of pointing accuracy should we accept as a minimum?
2. Would the Yaesu system be reliable with a 2m Yagi-Uda, 70cm Yagi-Uda, and
a small dish?  (Assuming the wind load is within spec.)
3. Are there other el/az rotator manufacturers/products we should be
considering?

We would be grateful for any advice!

Thanks and 73,

Chris KA8WFC
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