[amsat-bb] Re: Foxdelta ST-2 / LVB Tracker

Howard Long hlong at btinternet.com
Sat Mar 2 02:48:44 PST 2013

Hello Kyle.

Have you tried talking to Foxdelta themselves?

Sadly, Foxdelta chose to take the LVB Tracker and make it their own without
the decency of asking either AMSAT or me first, and therefore AMSAT does not
benefit one iota from that.

I donated the IP for the LVB Tracker to AMSAT some years ago. Indeed, if you
really want to save money, you are welecome purchase the parts yourself and
build it up the information has always been in the public domain. However it
was never intended for a third party such as Foxdelta to pinch the IP for
their own personal or commercial gain.

The 0.9 firmware is on my website together with a programming tool, you do
not need any Microchip development tools. That firmware has been working for
many years now in certainly hundreds if not thousands of LVB Trackers.
However I don't think that's your problem. Much more likely is that you have
a grounding problem. There needs to be a _very_ low impedance ground return
from the rotator to the PIC's ground or else the ADC will provide erroneous
values. Typically this should be the screen of the cable.

If you're sure it's my firmware doesn't work with your Foxdelta hardware,
again I really do suggest that you should be discussing that with Foxdelta.

73, Howard G6LVB

-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On
Behalf Of K&R Yoksh
Sent: 02 March 2013 04:20
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] Foxdelta ST-2 / LVB Tracker


 I have a ST2 interface, and am wondering if anyone else is using a
non-Yaesu rotator? I have a Yaesu G500a for elevation, and a  CDE/Hygain Ham
II for azimuth. This setup worked well with my Kansas  City Tracker board,
and the Yaesu G500a part of the system works PERFECT.

 The trouble is, no matter what software I use, or even if I manually  issue
pointing commands via serial terminal, the ST2 will stop my rotator too
early, resulting in offpointing by about 20 degrees. I am  using the same
voltage divider that I used on my KCT, so the ST2 is  seeing a 0-5v reading
from the azimuth rotor POT. The LCD display  matches the analog display
within a degree, so the ST2 knows correctly  where the azimuth rotator is

My PC is communicating with the ST2 perfectly, I can see the display  on the
LCD of where the rotator should stop (say 300 degrees) but it  will actually
stop at 280 or 320 for example. Unlike my KCT, the ST2  will only make one
attempt to aim. The KCT would stop the rotation,  let the rotators and
antennas settle for a second, then fine tune  again if neccessary.

 I believe that this can be resolved by changing the sample rate or
something else very minor. I've found the source code, and even tried  twice
to contact the author. I guess that because I didn't buy his LVB  Tracker,
he refuses to answer my emails? Not everyone has a pile of extra money
laying around to donate to Amsat. I've donated in the past (back when the
economy was in much better shape), but I cannot afford to right now, so I
bought the Foxdelta ST-2 rather than the "genuine" LVB Tracker.

 I have tried many nights to compile the source, even without making  any
changes. MPLAB says I need a C compiler, etc, and I've tried  everything I
can think of to add one.

 I even bought an extra PIC for testing, etc, and put the .09 firmware  on
it, so now I have two PICs, one with 0.7 and one with 0.9. Both  versions do
the very same thing.

 Can anyone help? I'd like to be able to release a new version of the  HEX
file for the next guy in this situation. I really don't think it's
necessary for me to sell my Ham II and buy a Yaesu rotator for this to

73 and thanks for any suggestions.

Olathe, KS

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