[amsat-bb] Basic TV-type AZ-only rotator for Orbitron?

Stefan Wagener wageners at gmail.com
Tue Oct 6 13:01:44 UTC 2015

Please refer to:


and the Amsat store:


for a "portable rotator system designed for arrow type antennas".
It actually does exist and it is a great project!

Hope this helps,

Stefan, VE4NSA

On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 5:39 AM, Daniel Cussen <dan at post.com> wrote:

> > Wondering if anyone could recommend a basic AZ-only rotator that is
> > compatible with Orbitron?
> >
> > I was hoping to find perhaps a low-cost television antenna rotator (or
> > similar) to give me some automation in the AZ direction without the
> expense
> > of a full AZ-EL system.
> >
> > Something that works on 12vDC for portable operation would be a nice
> bonus,
> > but is certainly not mandatory.
> Orbitron outputs azimuth and elevation normally to a serial port or a
> USB to serial. Any device/controller would need to accept the
> commands, and then control the rotator.
> Most low cost TV rotators do not have position feedback POT, meaning
> they are not readily compatible with controllers. They are also
> generally low voltage AC so not suitable for portable use.
> There is no portable rotator system designed for arrow type antennas.
> Some people make counter weights and tripod based manual adjustments.
> In terms of 12VDC light duty rotators SPID's light duty azimuth only
> rotator may suffice:
> http://www.rfhamdesign.com/products/spx-light-antenna-rotator/spx-azimuth-rotor/index.php
> However there are some drawbacks. It is not exactly light. You would
> need a heavy duty possibly TV camera rather than photo camera tripod.
> You would need to manufacture a custom mount. The LED display is
> impossible to see in strong sunlight. It would need to be oriented
> North or South using a compass each time. It can run from 12VDC to
> 18VDC. I am not certain it would work with Orbitron, but you could
> check directly with SPID in Poland, as it is designed for azimuth
> only. In terms of Orbitron, I would recommend moving to SATPC32 as it
> is better supported. Orbitrons TLE download is not working well and no
> longer seems to be supported. There are work arounds, ask if you need
> more info. Finally using a laptop and rotator portable normally needs
> a car to protect the laptop from rain and the cars battery to power
> the rotator. I power my laptop from a 13.8V to AC inverter.
> Any other rotator option would probably need to be home made, as
> nothing is really available off the shelf.
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