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

K&R Yoksh yokshs at gmail.com
Sat Mar 2 10:19:01 PST 2013

 Hello Howard,

 Thanks for the reply. I have posted on the FoxDelta email group, but 
 received a reply. I should mention that I don't think that the ST-2 is
 malfunctioning, nor do I think that your code has a problem. I just have a
 different type of rotator than the typical Yaesu. It would certainly make
 things easier if I did, but it would be quite an ordeal to change the
 rotator in my situation.

 I did not know the background of the Foxdelta vs. the LVB. I do understand
 that Amsat gets a donation with every LVB, and my intention was / is to
 donate again to Amsat when I can.

 I can certainly see where you're coming from re: the IP. I guess if nothing
 else, the ham satellite community as a whole benefits from your public
 domain IP, which helps generate more interest in satellites and satellite

 As far as the hardware and software goes, I'll look at the grounding, but I
 am thinking that the issue lies in the fact that CDE uses a 12 volt 
 POT.. I built a simple resistor voltage divider back when I first got my
 Kansas City Tracker, so that the KCT would see 0-5v instead. This approach
 gives the KCT (or LVB) the correct voltage range, but I believe it may 
 the resolution of the feedback system?

 I'll also try some ferrites on the leads from the CDE rotator box, in case
 transients are to blame.

 I'm certainly no programmer, but the software seems to stop the rotator
 immediately when the ADC sample value equals the target azimuth value. Once
 the antennas stop moving, the final location is different by 20 degrees or
 so.  Once the rotator stops moving, however, the software doesn't recheck 
 see if the rotator is actually where it needs to be.

 My idea was to either change the ADC sample rate, or perhaps add a pause
 after the rotator stops, and repeat the routine to "fine tune" position.
 This is why I have been trying to recompile your source.. I've already got
 PICs programmed with your 0.7 and 0.9 HEX files..

 73, many thanks.


> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> 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
>> Hello,
>> 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
>> aimed.
>> 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
>> work.
>> 73 and thanks for any suggestions.
>> Kyle
>> K0KN
>> Olathe, KS

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