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SATCOM - Space and Satellite Monitoring Forum - Forum for the discussion of the Space Shuttle, Satellites, Military Satcom, and Amateur Radio Satcom communications.

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Old 10-16-2017, 12:31 AM
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Default Alternative to JERKING TRACKERS...

I love tracking satellites and listening to spacecraft of all kinds. I HATE the jerking motion of ALL motorized tracking solutions! Yes they are effective but they are the least elegant on the planet. ON / OFF motor control SUCKS!

Does anyone have any other or know of any other Azimuth / Elevation tracking solutions that DO NOT JERK the antennas when moving?

Thanks,

Dave
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnyberg2 View Post
I love tracking satellites and listening to spacecraft of all kinds. I HATE the jerking motion of ALL motorized tracking solutions! Yes they are effective but they are the least elegant on the planet. ON / OFF motor control SUCKS!

Does anyone have any other or know of any other Azimuth / Elevation tracking solutions that DO NOT JERK the antennas when moving?

Thanks,

Dave
Is there a hysteresis setting in the program? I think some programs let you balance a smooth motion versus giving the motors time to cool off. It is a duty cycle issue that may require hysteresis.

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Old 10-16-2017, 11:31 AM
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Also maybe accell and descell settings
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Old 10-16-2017, 12:38 PM
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What type of tracking and motorization are you using? I've got a long carrier in the Satellite industry using antennas from 18" to about 60ft dia and they all move very smoothly unless something is broken or out of alignment. You should see the 13m full motion high speed tracking antenna I was recently playing with that will get up and go and still moves very smoothly.

Edit:
I should have elaborated a little more. The cheaper consumer dishes use small DC motor actuator arms that move realitivaley slow and are not prone to jerking simply because they are slow. Larger and higher end dishes will use larger AC or even DC motors but with motor speed controllers that have built in hysteresis adjustments so they ramp up to speed and avoid "banging" the antenna with a full speed start.

You might consider gearing down your existing setup so its a good compromise between speed and a gentle start. You might be able to regulate the motor voltage down so your existing controller still works but the system just starts and moves slower.
prcguy

Last edited by prcguy; 10-16-2017 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 10-16-2017, 4:07 PM
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I'm GUESSING that most of your problem is a desire to "switch" satellites at 10 minute, or less, intervals. The amatuer astronomy community was early in solving this dilema. Not cheap, but multiple different brands/models of telescopes and/or telescopic mounts, can keep satellites in the field of view of high powered optics for the entire pass of the satellite. Generally speaking, the optical satellite tracking requires a power source, software, cables, computer, mount and telescope. If a suitable antenna was substituted for the telescope, or attached/mounted to it, the option to quickly switch satellite targets and smoothly "radio" track the same would seem easily possible.
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Old 10-16-2017, 7:09 PM
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AMSAT is a THE source for information on satellite tracking hardware and software.

www.amsat.org

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