[amsat-dc] Re: wanted: to borrow or buy a Yaesu G-5500 AZ-EL controller and rotor

David Bern David.Bern at engineer.com
Sun Jun 2 03:03:51 PDT 2013


All good ideas.  The Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black little Linux 
computers gives us the possibility of running a tracking program such as 


or gpredict


in addition to a protocol converter.  I especially like the idea of 
controlling a telescope drive.  This project could be useful to 
astronomy buffs.

I am teaching my students a software engineering principle that it is 
valuable to be as generic as possible; that is, to be platform agnostic 
and protocol agnostic.  It is a more work in the short-term but the 
benefits are huge in the long-run.  I told them that hard comes and goes 
buy software is forever.  On Thursday, I told them, for example, that 
the initial version of a protocol converter would take a protocol in and 
then produce the same protocol out: to really understand a protocol, you 
need to be able to read and write the protocol.  We dubbed this a "null" 
protocol converter and it should do nothing correctly, i. e. bits in and 
the same bits out.  The plan is to implement a "null" protocol converter 
for the DiSEqC and the EasyComm protocols that we are learning.  Once we 
have these two null protocol converters working then we have the pieces 
to easily configure a DiSEqC to EasyComm protocol converter.

David, WL2NX

On 06/01/2013 10:04 AM, Louis Mamakos wrote:
> Perhaps this might be of help:http://gatorradio.org/Manuals/Yaesu_GS-232B_Manual.pdf
> It might be cool to build the controller around an inexpensive Raspberry-Pi or BeagleBone Linux controller that has an ethernet interface available.  You could export a simple REST-based HTTP API, as well as emulating the Yaesu serial protocol over a TCP connection.  A simple HTTP API might make testing easier, perhaps.  You could easily return status and debugging information if you used an extensible encoding format like JSON.
> For bonus points, you could also implement the Meade or Celestron serial protocol to be able to drive the rotor like it was a telescope mount from various astronomy-oriented programs that might be useful for locating the moon, Jupiter or tracking satellites.  It would be a shame to build something new a modern and saddle it with only an ancient serial protocol that might not be the best choice for today.
> Just a thought.
> louie
> wa3ymh
> On May 31, 2013, at 10:50 AM, David Bern<David.Bern at engineer.com>  wrote:
>> Friends:
>> I am working on a summer project with students at Montgomery College, Rockville.  The project is to design and build a device that controls a pair of inexpensive satellite TV rotors.  And the device would emulate a popular AZ-EL rotor such as a Yaesu G-5500 AZ-EL controller so it can be used by a satellite tracking program such as SatPC32.  Tom, K3IO suggested this project at the last AMSAT-DC workshop and is guiding us with this project.
>> I would like to borrow a Yaesu G-5500 AZ-EL controller and rotor for about three months or buy a used one so we can study and understand its command protocol.
>> I will pick up or pay for shipping.  Please contact David, W2LNX directly at
>>    W2LNX at amsat.org
>> Thank you,
>> David, W2LNX
>> _______________________________________________
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>> AMSAT-DC at amsat.org
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