826) CW Forever
What is ZUT? It's the Coast Guard
CW Operators Association. For more info click
Nov. 8, 2015
It's been a long time since
I've been on this site but I'm back at it and on the air on
satellites of course.
As usual, I do things for the
challenge and learn a few things during that course.
This is no different.
Again, the objective was to
make my satellite station not from scratch but to give others
the push to get on the air without spending hundreds or
thousands of dollars. More like under $200. What I
have done us repurpose used printed circuit boards (stripped
the parts off), picked up rotators at a flea market along with
parts from the ol' junk box. The only items purchased
where the two antennas. Below is a photo of the mast &
antennas. Click on it to see it larger.
Since starting my antenna project, I ran across an item
that seemed to do exactly what I needed. That would
be the Basic Stamp 1. Parallax Inc. came up with this
microprocessor and it is a blast to work with. I have
some folks interested in learning about this little gem and
I think if you're interested in antenna controls, it would
serve you well to take a close look at this Stamp and the
larger version with more commands and memory.
Among others using this chip is our amateur radio club's
satellite trailer. www.2cars.org.
The U-100 Project
An update word as of
June 2009 on this project. I had planned on making an
upgrade to the control system. As in the past, the
emphasis was on making it inexpensive. That didn't work
very well. While the below controller works fine the
plan was to make it much more accurate using a single Basic
The problem was that I
could not make the communications work fast enough to monitor
and send the position info back to the computer while still
issuing commands to move. It may have been possible to
do that with a Stamp 2 at the controller end and one at the
rotator end but then that defeated the purpose of being
I look forward to others
investigating various possibilities and would appreciate
letting me know how you do.
The Basic Stamp Controller
Please go to the U100Info link at the
left. There is no charge for the program. The program
works with either Nova or Ham Radio Deluxe.
Just a couple from a very long time ago.