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Author Topic: Az/El rotator  (Read 4623 times)

Posts: 284

« on: September 23, 2017, 09:19:24 AM »

Many decades ago, I made a bracket to use a pair of AR22 (or was it AR33??) rotators for an AzEl setup.
I used a rubbermaid container so the horizontal unit would not get water in it. Had to change that every few months, because
the sun would dry it out.
Now, I'm looking for "Plug 'n Play".
What else is needed to make the Yaesu AzEl rotator work. I'm pretty sure you don't just plug that unit into your PC...another board perhaps??
Wondering if anyone who has one could fill me in??

Posts: 233

« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 01:00:23 PM »

G-5500 includes an interface jack for computer control, supported by the optional GS-232A Computer Controlled as well as many aftermarket control programs and interfaces

Posts: 534

« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 06:51:00 AM »

You need a tracking interface... I have an older unit from a company called Fox Delta that came with my used rotator, but more popularly there is the LVB:

You plug this into the jack that Mark has mentioned, then run a serial or USB cable from the tracker to your PC. (Or like in my case, I still manually hit the buttons and just use my tracker box as a glorified digital readout.) Because, unless I am wrong, using the interface that Mark linked to, doesn't work with most satellite tracking software out there... that interface is for more simplistic control. BUT, I could be wrong.

And the software of choice tends to be SatPC32:

While the logging suite HRD states that it does satellite rotator tracking, my understanding is most sat ops find it extremely problematic... however, that's second hand info and may be fixed by now... so, take that advice accordingly. I do know SatPC32 is VERY popular. Being a 'manual guy' I have no need of either program. I actually hooked up cables to my PC, but before I got around to installing any software, a nearby lightning hit created a static discharge that took out the serial chip in my tracker box and the serial card in my PC... only things in the shack damaged. (When I was a PC tech back in the 90s, serial lines were about the most susceptible thing to lightning damage I had seen; right up there with TELCO lines.) I took that as a sign; I decided to just keep doing things manually.  Cheesy

THEN the next thing you need to do is setup CAT control from your PC to your radio... the software above also takes care of controlling the rig and doppler tuning, IF you want to do that sort of thing. Because while some people think it's the greatest thing ever, it doesn't interface well with those of us (including rovers) that tune manually. I think folks still have the CAT control enabled and use it in modified fashion when on the air. - There are others on the forums with first hand experience on PC interfacing... maybe one of them will comment.

73 & GL, Kevin

« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 06:55:25 AM by N4UFO » Logged

Posts: 233

« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 03:03:03 PM »

BINGO.  Kevin nailed it.  Dave, don't be intimidated (assuming this sounds highly complex to you, please forgive me if I am incorrect).  This is actually pretty straight-forward, and you an get a wealth of assistance here and on the AMSAT message board.

Posts: 3160

« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 05:23:18 PM »

Go to YouTube and view the BATC Online presentation, YouTube subscribe to BATC Online.

Brian, G4EWJ presented at the recent BATV (British Amateur Television Club) conference “CAT17”
“DigiTwist” a low-cost satellite tracker.  Recently used for S-band reception of ISS video.
He uses readily available satellite TV parts (that every amateur asks “What can we do with this”).

Technomate TM-2600 M3 DiSEqC Motor — All Metal Geared

DigiTwist Project — BATC Wikipedia page.
DigiTwist is an experimental 2 axis satellite tracker, primarily for the HamTV transmitter on the ISS. 2 broadcast satellite dish positioners are connected together and are controlled by a dual Diseqc pcb. The estimated cost of the 2 positioners, the joiner bar and the controller is £130.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 05:32:39 PM by W9GB » Logged
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