Metal antenna rotator

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To build this metal antenna rotator you will need a welder.


Bill of materials

Part Qty Source Price per Unit ($)
Nema23 stepper motor - Wormgear 60:1 2 [1][2]
Bearing for the az axis 100x135x25 mm 1 [3]
Stepper motor driver 2 [4]



Communication test and setup

Open a terminal and start the rotctld (the rotator controller daemon):

 $ rotctld -vvvvv -T 127.0.0.1 -r /dev/ttyUSB1 -m 202 -s 19200 -t10

The parameter -t is to use \n as end of command. The parameter -vvvvv activates the verbosity - remove some to get less infos.

Open another terminal and start the rotctl client:

 $ rotctl -m 2 -r 127.0.0.1

To test you will need to:

 Rotator command: P<enter>

then enter target position:

 Azimuth: 360<enter>
 Elevation: 90<enter>

Or shorten this to:

 Rotator command: P 180 090<enter>

The motors should move, if not: check connections.

Then you have to check that the endstop are working:

 Rotator command: IP1<enter>
 Rotator command: IP2<enter>

If the result ends with ',0', and the endstop is not activated, its good. (if it's not good, reverse them in the config)

If the two endstops are at 0 when reset, the homing will be peformed. Homing is always in the opposite way of the motor (-max angle)