Mini Rotator?

Whilst leaning out of the car window and manually turning my decorators pole (complete with 70cms antenna) and waiting for a break in a UKAC (VHF Contest) QSO I thought that there must be a better way of doing this.

The antenna weights way less that 1Kg and the decorators pole has a perfect coarse thread to it so it shouldn’t be too hard to make up a simple attachment with a stepper motor on it, driven of course by the mighty Arduino and its motor shield

Although I’ve not put one of these together and its a bit of a pipe dream whilst work keeps sending me all over the place I’ve seen more that my fair share of articles that use the motor shield to drive stepper motors (guessing its some kind of H bridge / relay arrangement). So I’m guessing (again) that the bare bones of the system could be pulled together over winter. ready in time for next years UKAC series.

I enjoy the UKAC series but running /P has its unique problems up here in West Cumbria. As I type now the winds are getting stronger and we expect the gale force variety over the weekend. Even when we’re not being blasted with salty Irish Sea venturing out /P means that having a car window open in the winter on the top of a hill is ‘challenging’.

So the challenge is on me now to come up with something now that my work project is attempting to shift from ‘Madness’ to simply ‘Frenetic’ between now and November and possibly simply ‘Stressful’ in December.

Once that’s done…hah ha…I’ll concentrate on the single boom  6m / 2m /70cms antenna I’ve been thinking about that means I don’t have to crawl around in the dark with loads of bits in the car.

Still if someone’s done it already, please put me out of my suspense.

Alex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].

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