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12 Volt rotor for small portable antennas

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KK6USY, Feb 24, 2021.

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  1. KC1NLX

    KC1NLX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Awesome. Found a reason to use my inventory of PVC beyond trying to fix leaks!
    KI5DNS likes this.
  2. N4CVX

    N4CVX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FYI, Dave Mathews, KI4PSR has done a lot of work with AZ-El and mechanical positioning motors (that's his professional specialty - control systems). If you email him at his ARRL address I bet he can give you some more ideas. Note, he is really busy with professional/work projects but Dave is a great guy and a friend of mine too.
  3. KI5DNS

    KI5DNS Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. KI5DNS

    KI5DNS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you sir for the information! I was curious as how the operator knows where the antenna is pointing using the rocker type switch. I guess most people turn the antenna until the signal gets stronger. I don't know, but eventually I'm going to build something like this as soon as I can!
    Thanks again, Brent KI5DNS
  5. KC9DDF

    KC9DDF Ham Member QRZ Page

  6. K0DHO

    K0DHO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have been thinking about this rotor build since seeing it, and potential ways of handling overturn.


    Eight wire slip ring
    • Wires one and two connect power to the motor
    • Wires two and three connect to antenna
    • Remaining four wires attached to a magnetometer, such as the arduino compatible HMC5883L
    One gains two abilities from this setup:
    • No worry about a contact switch or hall sensor and associated logic to keep the antenna cable from wrapping too much about the mast because the antenna can now spin infinitely via slip ring contacts
    • Magnetometer provides compass output to associated rotor control electronics which can then display in the shack where the antenna is presently aimed in relation to Earth's magnetic field

    Am suspecting there will be a ton of noise in the antenna lines in such a slip ring setup, but if it works, gosh wouldn't it be nifty. Fixin to try it.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
    KI5DNS likes this.
  7. K0DHO

    K0DHO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Slip ring wires with an HMC5883L magnetometer sensor

    1 - Motor ground wire
    2 - Motor power wire
    3 - S0239 soldered black
    4 - SO239 soldered red
    5 - Magnetometer pin 9 ground wire
    6 - Magnetometer pin 13 power wire
    7 - Magnetometer pin 15 interrupt line
    8 - Magnetometer pin 16 serial data line

    Programmed logic to include calculating which way to turn to arrive at the requested bearing most quickly.
    KI5DNS likes this.
  8. W9FL

    W9FL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think this rotor is intended for portable ops, where you can actually just look at where the antenna is pointing.
    WU3U likes this.
  9. KI5DNS

    KI5DNS Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. KI5DNS

    KI5DNS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let us know how it works! Brent KI5DNS

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