[amsat-bb] Re: Setup Complications

Greg D ko6th.greg at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 17:37:38 PST 2013

Hi Joel,

If you're into homebrewing something, instead of fixing a rotor 
controller by making a new antenna, why not make a new controller?

The U1xx Rotor you have sounds like what I have.  The controller is 
simply a mechanical counter that moves a wheel either left or right 10 
degrees per "click" of the internal microswitch, stopping when the wheel 
aligns with the dial you set.

This can be done with a simple micro-controller chip and a bit of 
software you can write.

My controller does full Az / El control of a pair of rotors, with both 
manual and computer-controlled operation.  A lot more than what you get 
with the original controller, but you don't need to go that far.

Take a look at http://home.wavecable.com/~ko6th at the top of the page 
on the left is a link to the design document.  You can get a much more 
cost effective micro-controller chip these days, compared to what I 
used, but the principles are the same.  Experiment and see what you can 

Have fun,

Greg  KO6TH

Joel Black wrote:
> This is not going as smoothly as I had anticipated (does anything ever 
> go as anticipated?).
> I had initially planned on using my Arrow II antenna without the 
> diplexer and an old Alliance U-110 rotor. As you'll read below, that 
> doesn't look like it will happen anytime soon.
> Even though the group was helpful trying to get the Alliance U-110 
> rotor controller synced (sunc?) up, It does not work reliably. It will 
> turn in one direction, but not the other. I do not have the money to 
> send the controller off for repair and Norm doesn't repair the U-100's 
> and -110's. I could buy one from him, but again, that's money that 
> isn't in the budget. After this issue, I took the controller apart and 
> after a couple of hours, I finally get it to step in one direction 
> correctly, but I cannot get it to go in the opposite direction. 
> Shorting the shaft to the contacts in the controller rotates the rotor 
> correctly so I am fairly certain the rotor is good - I have a 
> controller issue. The online diagrams show a blow-up of the parts, but 
> not now to correctly put it back together (there is a tab on the back 
> of the black dial face and I'm not sure where that or the contacts on 
> the actual geared dial go. I'm going to reluctantly email Norm and ask 
> him, but he does this as a business and I don't want to interfere with 
> that. In the past, he has been nice enough to offer advice though. I'm 
> still playing with it and it hasn't "whooped" me yet.
> For now, I do *not* have a rotor I can use. I am looking at purchasing 
> another controller if I'm too stupid for Norm to help ;) . They're 
> fairly cheap on the "Bay of E."
> Without a reliable rotor, my pursuit has led me to QFH and Lindenblad 
> antennas. Which of the two would be the better performer? I have found 
> the pages with build instructions, but what do folks here think. I 
> know they will be poor performers compared to CP yagis, I'm not 
> looking for that comparison. I understand they're omni antennas with 
> CP. I'm okay with that. I realize I'm not concentrating all of my RF 
> in a narrow beam width. That's okay too. Yep, I will be disappointed. 
> I'm disappointed now with the rotor controller. :)
> I had initially thought that I'd put whatever I got inside the attic. 
> With an omni, that probably wouldn't be prudent. I have enough coax 
> for two runs to the chimney about 60' away.
> So, any thoughts comparing the QFH to the Lindy?
> Again, thanks for all the help getting me going again.
> 73,
> Joel - W4JBB
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