[amsat-bb] SatPC32 simplified

Thomas Doyle tomdoyle1948 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 15:32:11 PDT 2011

Thanks for all the feedback on the tracker. A few people commented that it
was a bit complex mechanically. This got me thinking about a minimal version
where the mechanical section  could be built in less than an hour by almost

Several people asked about moving antennas. The motor in the iPoint has
torque of only 35 oz-in. This is at least an order of magnitude less than
enough to move an even a small antenna. The main project I am working on is
an az-el rotor for small antennas. The azimuth rotor is working and I am
working on the mount for the mast. I want to make sure the azimuth rotor is
rock solid before working on the elevation rotor. The reason the motor
driver in the iPoint is so over designed is that it was designed for the
actual rotor not the iPoint. The iPoint actually started out as just a test
bed for software development.

A few people have asked about astronomical applications. I have thought
about that myself and have been looking for a simple usb telescope to mount
on iPoint. It would be interesting to set up SatPC32 to track the moon and
let iPoint run all night and capture shots of the moon from the usb tele.
The tele would have to be very small and light weight. Does anyone have
Kardashian data for heavenly bodies ? Wonder if anyone caught that. I
actually would like to know if it is possible to track the moon with SatPc32
and if so where to get the elements.

Here is a short HD video of the minimalist iPoint. While it may be a piece
of junk it does work and might give someone some ideas on building something
simple but much better than what I did. It did require only a hand drill and
a hacksaw and took only about an hour to build. After seeing it you may
wonder while it took an entire hour. There is a quarter just to the right of
the beast for size reference.

There was quite a bit of discussion on auto license plates a while back. I
did not want to contribute to the QRM then but I do have something on that
topic at the end of the video. It is actually my photo qsl without the
address information - you will understand when you see it. Since I do not
operate very often and qsl only when I get one this is probably your only
chance to see this rare card. If you look carefully at the back left of the
video you can see the azimuth rotor partially disassembled. I keep it there
to make me feel guilty when I work on something else.

here is the simplified tracker - I know it is junky so no need to tell me

Here is the good tracker in case you missed it

73 tom ...

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