[amsat-bb] Re: inquiry about homebrew az-el systems

Lizeth Norman normanlizeth at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 19:41:52 PST 2013

This is a good question for a first year engineering student like
myself: How does one bring home the best bang for the buck out of an
engineering dollar?

Feel free to ask around. A few on the list have driven unusual devices
to get antennas moved.

How does a project get into the hands of people who will actually do
it? A one off I can do for you in my basement. Probably with parts
from radio shack, a grinder and a few hand tools.. A reproducible
project 10 years from now? Hardly likely.

I submit to you that irrespective of the metalwork this is a simple
project as you propose, however it must be reproducible. With a
student copy of SolidWorks, a circular saw, drill and the Arduino IDE
it could be prototyped by two people in a weekend. Refining it so that
a relatively new ham with a smidgin of technical ability could do it
might take a little longer. These days with the internet and cad, the
real issue is the tooling. How do you design/layout such that it can
be done with snips/file/saw/fill in the blunt instrument here..
73 es have fun..

Norm n3ykf

On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 10:19 PM, Samudra Haque <samudra.haque at gmail.com> wrote:
> I hope it is evident, I am not focusing on the
> controller/microcontroller/computer interface/az-el controller/etc. The real
> issue is how cheaply can an antenna be mounted on a kingpost somewhere on a
> surface, with a view towards the sky, and how conveniently can that mount be
> motorized, with a sensor to give feedback to the ground station.
> electronics, seem to be, (apologises to EE friends) a dime a dozen, cheaper
> if made in hundreds, but the key drawback of any design is the mechanical
> and electromechanical (can we use, mechatronics) system that serves as the
> actuators. I am not referring to a hand held antenna assembly, but rather
> something that we can all use in cold/hot weather and that can be put
> together by one / two persons on an average post.
> Comments welcome, I think the future holds bright for amsats and edu based
> cubesats.
> -samudra
> On Sat, Feb 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM, Lizeth Norman <normanlizeth at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Gus and the group:
>> Lots of birds going up in the next year. Success rate not 100% as it's
>> rocket science oftentimes on a budget. Hopefully we'll get a few out
>> of it.
>> The Arduino IDE install supports PPM. The nice thing about that
>> platform is that configuration is doable for just about all forms of
>> hardware that you might drive with it and scaling can be done in
>> software for the various different bits of kit.
>> I am sure that with the appropriate development environment and having
>> the hardware on hand IN a well equipped lab, it should be a weekend
>> project to get running.
>> The hard bit in my opinion is how to mount the antennas to the az/el
>> clockwork. Will require a little woodwork/metalwork to finish.
>> Everyone who does this will have a problem with some phase of it.
>> Needs to be simple and repeatable.
>> Norm n3ykf
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