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  #1  
Old 06-02-2008, 11:30 AM
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Default Satellite Positioning sytem, another way

Over the years I have used different ways to move my antennas.
My current set up is using two rotators. One is a radio shack that is used for azimuth and the other is an alliance U100 that is used for elevation. A bracket was made to hold the U100 on top of the radio shack rotor.

But there are problems in the set up.
1-The U100 is easy to get out of alignment.
2-The rotors step gear is too long.

Resolutions I am looking at.
1-Digital inclination meter. These can be obtained at different hardware stores. These are called electronic spirit levels.
Remove the unit from the level.
Remove sensor from unit.
Mount sensor in water tight box and add cable connectors.
Mount sensor box on horizontal mast.
Sounds easy? I am going to try this and see what comes out.

2-By using the U100 the gear makes 1 revolution then sends a signal to the control box. By this time the antenna may have went past the spot you need to be at. You can modify the gear by adding another “finger”. This way it slows things down.

What I am looking to do is use a C-band dish actuator. These will move your antennas very slow. A simple control box can be constructed. Plus most of these work from 12 to 36 volts.

I will post pictures as my progress moves forward.
Here is a pick of the angle meter I will use in this process.
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Old 06-02-2008, 05:54 PM
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A word of caution

If by any chance someone attempts to make a digital set up using the meter above let me caution you. This is a very sensitive unit. Two things to watch out for.
1- LCD display unit. This uses the same type of display system that Kenwood used in the TM-V7. There is a small ribbon cable that attachés from the pc board to the LCD. It is not soldered on. It has a fine glue that attachés both ends. If you disturb the ribbon cable you might as well junk it to the side and grab another unit.

2- The sensor in this type of meter uses 7 connections instead of 4 like the electronic spirit levels. The sensor has epoxy holding it in place and the epoxy covers the whole side where the leads attach. Take note of where leads a,b,c,d,e,f,GRD go. You can see them in the epoxy. This is a soft epoxy so no heat is required. You will have to use an hobbie knife to trim it away from the unit. Be cafeful not to cut the traces on the pc board.

3-Use low wattage irons for work. And use small gauge wire to pc board and to sensor. The traces are easy to lift.

Also attached are two levels that are pretty cheap. Around the 100 dollar mark. You can find them used.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:50 PM
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Here is a few pics of the tear down and rewire.

First pic shows the unit as stock
The second pic you can see the sensor under the epoxy.

The last pic shows the LCD display. Be careful here!
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:55 PM
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The first pic shows the sensor.
Second pic is the sensor removed.
The third shows the board with the sensor removed.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:05 PM
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Here is a pic of the sensor wired. Make sure you use hot glue on the wires to keep from pulling the traces off the sensor. The wire I used were for test purposes only. I used a piece of cable that was 35 feet long to test the unit.

Power up was fine. No fluctuation in the meter. Everything appeared to be stable. By turning the sensor I was able to see the LCD change with no problems

Next to mount sensor in a water tight box. Fab a bracket on it them mount to mast cross boom. I will add a 8 pin chassis connector to the bottom side of the box. Also you may need to add some .01 caps to ground from each pin to keep the rf out.

More to come.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:25 PM
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Well, more progress on the unit. After testing I removed the wire harness. Used very fine hook up wire to the sensor connections and ran them out the back of the meter.

I also left the battery conner in place and ran two extra wires for power. This way it can be ran either by power supply or battery.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:32 PM
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I next assembled the meter and mounted it on the front of an old power supply case. This case will also house the transformer and circuit for the actuator.

I then mounted a 8 terminal to the rear of the chassis. This is where the sensor cable will attach to go out to the antennas.

I hot glued the sensor wires in place to keep the fine wires from vibrating and breaking.
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