[amsat-bb] Alt-Az telescope mount for Antenna

saguaroastro@cox.net saguaroastro at cox.net
Tue Jun 1 16:58:24 PDT 2010

Hello all, I'm new to the boards here and was browsing through and saw a post a few weeks ago about using an Alt az Telescope mount as an antenna rotor. 

I didn't see a response so I'll add my .0661 Malaysan Ringgits based on my experience as an Amateur Astronomer.

First I have to presume that the OP already has the mount in question as a purpose made rotor could be had for a lot less money.  

First I'd think wind load on a typical antenna wouldn't be that much, but I would mount the antenna with it's center of gravity as close as possible to the elevation axis.  Since a telescope would be mounted with its CG ON the Elevation axis, you'd want to keep the  Antennas CG as close as possible to minimize and torque loads on the gears.  I'd also use a sturdy dovetail mount, though that being said it looks like the mount in question is more than capable of handling the weight. 

Also make sure that the antenna will clear all aprt of the mount though it's entire range travel.

As for tracking, I'm not sure if it will track fast enough. I couldn't find any specs in that regard.  I know the Meade Autostar can accept Keplarian elements and track sats. Quite frankly it looks like a pain to upload them and I've never tried it, though I've been tempted. 

Since I've gotten interested in working the birds (Still have yet to make a QSO, Building an antenna and amassing the needed equipment), I've been looking at my Orion EQ1 German mount as a possible rotor.  It's a basic Mount and I've figured if I mount the antenna with the beam paralell to the Dec shaft, alI have to do is set the lattitude comlimentary to the Max elevation (90 Deg - Max El) and point the RA shaft opposite the Max Elevation Azimuth, it will track the path of the sat.  It won't track using the Clock drive, but I should be able to keep up using the slow motion controls. That being said, substututing a faster motor shouldn't be too difficult for a later project. 

Hope this helps.

Now if someone could show me how to reply to  thread on the archives......


K7TEJ DM33vq

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