DIY Satellite Tracker

I’ve recently finished building a satellite traker based on SATNOGS satellite tracker.

The automated tracker uses an Arduino to control a pair of stepper motors that move two cross-yagi antennas (VHF and UHF). The Arduino receives satellite’s azimuth and elevation info using the tracking software Gpredict. Hamlib is then used to establish a link between the computer and Arduino through USB connection via EasyComm III protocol.

The tracker was built with parts taken from a drill such as gears and bearings, along with a pair of worm drive from a photocopying machine. The total costs of the project is less than 100 USD, antennas included. The tracker uses two A4988 stepper motor driver, and two geared stepper motors. A weatherproof metal ammo box is used as a case, and rubber seals (particularly in the azimuth and elevation shafts) prevent water from entering.

Initial tests showed good tracking accuracy, allowing reliable full-duplex communications with any passing amateur radio or weather satellite.

Related link:
DIY Rotator Controller

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines

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