niedziela, 18 września 2016

New antenna rotator controller on Arduino

During last IARU contest my rotator suddenly refused to work in one direction. So going right was done electrically and going left - manually - run to the antenna, rotate manually, run to the station.

Maybe this mode is good for health and fit but definitely does not improve station's results... Plan for this year is to repair the rotator but I was thinking already to replace the current steering device with something more advanced.

At least I would like to see direction of the antenna on some kind of map...

Currently the N1MM shows the arrow and digitally direction but not on any kind of map.

I found a project which looks promising and may be base for really good solution:

The whole project is described here:

My plan would be:

  • use the Arduino mainboard and LCD color touch screen
  • build computer interface with one of the common standards of antenna rotators protocols (supported by N1MM logging software)
  • use relay module to steer the engine. I have seen modules with 4 relays - maybe it could be also possible to use one of relays to switch on/off the 24V converter (it produces loud RF noise and can be powered only when needed). In such case separate power would need to be provided for the main unit.
  • the rotator could be powered from 12/24V or via USB.
Now discussing details with Piotr SP8QEP who is Arduino expert .

Update from a few hours later...

  • Atmega 2560 with LCD and relays box ordered

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