[amsat-bb] Re: G5500 and LVB tracker interface

Mark L. Hammond marklhammond at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 13:54:10 PDT 2011

Hi Chris,

Good for you!  I'll give some quick replies below (not all points, just some...)

At 09:22 PM 9/8/2011 +0100, Chris Bloy wrote:
>Hi Group,
>I have finally order the fibre glass pole from Moonraker of all places and
>am awaiting its replacement after being damaged in post!
>Anyway, I have also received and played with my new shiny LVB tracker to
>interface to the G5500 and have a couple of questions that may you guys
>could help me with!
>a) I have calibrated the rotator with the G5500 and it would appear at 0
>degrees on the LVB tracker, the control box is at 0? If I use the controls
>on the control box it moves about 2 degree to the stop point. Is this normal
>or have I missed something as I have recalibrated several times!

Have you done the needle calibration as described in the G-5500 manual?  That is important, too.  If I can get things within a deg or 2, that's usually about the best I can get...so you might be "there."

>b) The tracker has a USB interface and uses a virtual serial port to
>communicate with, but it seems to disconnect quite a lot when using NOVA
>during the testing?

A few months back I removed the USB interface and installed a MAX232 chip so I can use a "real" serial port.  It is MUCH, MUCH more stable.  It's bullet-proof like this, basically.  I too had port issues using the USB interface; I urge you to move to serial if at all possible.  

>c) What are the recommended settings for NOVA as I am not sure I understand
>them 100%! I know it uses the G232A command set and does control the
>rotator, but I am not sure I have set the interface section correctly.. Do I
>set the maximum azimuth to 450 and leave the azimuth setting to 0-360?

Suggestion--move to SatPC32 so you can have full frequency control AND tracking ;)   I loved NOVA in its day, but without frequency control it falls off my list pretty quickly...


Mark N8MH (okay, maybe I did comment on all points...hi hi). 

>Sorry for the questions, but I know how to use it once its been working,
>just never had to create all this from stratch.
>I have checked the archive on AMSAT-BB and not found much to help, although
>some hints to actually get the rotator talking did come from the group!
>Many Thanks,
>Chris Bloy - M0DQO 
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