DIY Rotator Controller

I have just finished building a DIY controller as part of a home-brewed antenna rotator project. The controller allows simple clockwise and counterclockwise movement of the stepper motor using 4 buttons. The motor may be replaced with a larger one depending on the intended load. I have added an optional speaker for audible feedback.

To view the circuit diagram, head directly to Stepper Motor Controller using Arduino.

I have posted the sketch below:

//DIY Rotator Controller Sample Sketch
//November 30, 2019
//DIY Rotator Controller
//du1au@nightskyinfocus.com

#include <Stepper.h>  
//initialize Azimuth motor

const int stepperPin1 = 9;                           //Stepper pin
const int stepperPin2 = 10;                          //Stepper pin
const int stepperPin3 = 11;                          //Stepper pin
const int stepperPin4 = 12;                          //Stepper pin
Stepper AZstepper(6330, stepperPin1, stepperPin2, stepperPin3, stepperPin4);  
int motorSpeed = 3;                                  //Motor speed                                             
const int Button1 = 2;                               //Button pin
const int Button2 = 3;                               //Button pin
const int Button3 = 4;                               //Button pin
const int Button4 = 5;                               //Button pin
int speakerPin = 6;                                   //Tones feedback

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);
  pinMode(stepperPin1, OUTPUT);                       //AZStepper pin
  pinMode(stepperPin2, OUTPUT);                       //AZStepper pin
  pinMode(stepperPin3, OUTPUT);                       //AZStepper pin
  pinMode(stepperPin4, OUTPUT);                       //AZStepper pin
  AZstepper.setSpeed(motorSpeed);                     //AZStepper speed
  playLongHighBeep();
 
}
void loop() {
  if(digitalRead(Button3) == HIGH){ //Orange
          playHighTone(); 
          AZstepper.step(1582); 
          playHighTone(); 
    }
   if(digitalRead(Button4) == HIGH){ //Yellow
          playHighTone(); 
          AZstepper.step(-1582); 
          playHighTone();         
    }
     while(digitalRead(Button1) == HIGH){ //Red
        AZstepper.step(1);  
         playLowTone(); 
    }
    while(digitalRead(Button2) == HIGH){ //Green
        AZstepper.step(-1);
        playLowTone();   
    }    
}    
void playHighTone()
{
  tone(speakerPin, 7040, 50);                           //High tone
}
void playLongHighBeep()
{
  tone(speakerPin, 2000, 2000);                        //Long high tone
}
void playLowTone()
{
  tone(speakerPin, 55, 50);                             //Low tone
}

To view all posts on amateur radio, click here.

Related link: Stepper Motor Controller

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

DIY Satellite Radio Wins Go-Kit Contest

My portable satellite radio setup won 1st place (VHF-UHF category) in this year’s go-kit (portable equipment) contest as part of the 87th anniversary of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association. It is essentially a satellite phone with collapsible antenna which allows communication with anyone, anywhere in the Philippines and neighboring countries such as Japan, Malaysia, China, Korea, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and even Australia, using only a transmit power of 5W.

The go-kit was built in April 2019 to help the STAMINA4SPACE test our country’s first amateur radio satellite DIWATA2.

Related links:
Portable Satellite Radio Setup
DIY Satellite Antenna
PARA Operators Spearhead Diwata 2 Testing

Sta Rosa Council participates in Satellite JOTA

The Sta Rosa Council in Laguna participates in the first-ever satellite contacts between Philippine scouts as part of the 2019 Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) held on October 19, 2019 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Contact is achieved by beaming a radio signal on to a passing satellite and using it as a relay to reach distant stations like Malaysia and Japan. A total of 19 scouts from various schools in Laguna participated in the event.

Special thanks to the following stations who made contact with DX1DAC: DU4PGS (Catanduanes), DV2JB (Pangasinan), 9W6ZUL (Malaysia), 4G1AGI (Cabuyao, Laguna), 9M4SJQM (Malaysia), 4G1DWE (Manila), and JR6DI (Japan).

Direct Amateur Communications (DX1DAC) and AMSAT Philippines (DX1O) served as the host radio clubs for the satellite JOTA event. JOTA is the largest world-wide annual scouting event which promotes communication among scouts through the use of amateur radio equipment.

Related links:
AMSAT PH Satellite Demo
Satellite Demo with the Philippine Navy
Satellite Demo on CNN Philippines
Satellite Demo at a local Hamfest

To view all posts on amateur radio, click here.

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

AMSAT Philippines Satellite Demo (Sept 2019)

More than 50 amateur radio satellite enthusiasts attend two live satellite contact demonstration conducted by the AMSAT Philippines, Inc., Stamina4Space, and Holy Angel University, on September 28, 2019, in Angeles City, Pampanga. The live demo events were part of an amateur radio satellite seminar and antenna workshop.

The video recordings below show the two demo events featuring voice communications via AO-91 and PO-101 (DIWATA2) satellites. The official AMSAT Philippines, Inc. call sign DX1O (Delta X-ray One Oscar) was used during the event, with Anthony Urbano (DU1AU) as the operator.

Demo No. 1
Satellite: AO-91 (Fox-1B)
Time: 04:09 to 04:24 UTC
Elevation: 51 deg
Operator: DU1AU (Angeles City)

Contacts (13 stations):
4I1AGI (Angeles City)
4I1DIT (Angeles City)
7J1ADJ (Japan)
9M16KING (Malaysia)
9W8VWW (Malaysia)
DU6DKL (Negros)
DU6REN (Iloilo)
DU6XBP (San Carlos City)
DU9JJY (Cotabato)
DV2JB (Pangasinan)
DV4SMA (Naga City)
DV8VMI (Cotabato)
DW3UKN (Angeles City)

Demo No. 2
Satellite: PO-101 (Diwata 2)
Time: 04:46 to 4:59 UTC
Elevation: 38 deg
Operator: DU1AU (Angeles City)

Contacts (9 stations):
9M16KING (Malaysia)
9W8VWW (Malaysia)
DU6REN (Iloilo)
DU6XBP (San Carlos City)
DU9JJY (Cotabato)
DV4SMA (Naga City)
DV8VMI (Cotabato)
DW1ZWS (Quezon Province)
JA6PL (Japan)

AMSAT PH extends its appreciation and thanks to the stations who participated in the 2 satellite demo events. Official DX1O QSL cards were also given out.

Related links:
Satellite Demo with the Philippine Navy
Satellite Demo on CNN Philippines
Satellite Demo at a local Hamfest

To view all posts on amateur radio, click here.

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

PARA operators spearhead DIWATA2 testing

A group of amateur radio operators from the Philippine Amateur Radio Association (PARA) worked with the engineers of STAMINA4SPACE Program (formerly named as the PHL-MicroSat Program) to test the full capabilities of DIWATA2’s Amateur Radio Unit. The task involves testing the receiving (RX) and transmitting (TX) capabilities of the satellite both for voice mode and data mode. It also includes determining the kinds of antennas, the clarity of voice communication, and how much power is actually needed to access the satellite. The testing effort lasted for two months, usually requiring operators to stay up until 1 am just to track the satellite at it passes over the Philippines, using a number of radio equipment and satellite antenna. DU1EV Eduardo Valdez, president of PARA and president of AMSAT Philippines, coordinated the frequency assignment of the satellite and its call sign DW4TA. The first successful contact made through the DIWATA2 microsatellite was on March 01, 2019, 1:27 AM, local time, between DV2JB Jharwin Barozzo (Dagupan, Pangasinan) and STAMINA4SPACE engineers 4I1DIT JP Almonte and Lorenzo Sabug operating as 4I1BBE (UP Diliman, Quezon City).

Plaques of appreciation from STAMINA4SPACE were awarded to the first 10 stations to access DIWATA 2, and certificates issued to those involved in the testing efforts. The AMSAT-PH club call sign DX1O was used as the event’s official call sign.

First 10 Stations to make a successful QSO via DIWATA2 Satellite

  1. Jharwin Barozzo, DV2JB (Phillippines, AMSAT), formerly DV2JHA
  2. Anthony Guiller Urbano, DU1AU (Philippines, AMSAT), formerly 4I1AWN
  3. Joseph Petruff, 7J1ADJ/JR6 (Japan)
  4. Afer Shi, BG5UTE (China)
  5. JS6DRQ (Japan)
  6. Iji Yoshitomo, JA6PL (Japan)
  7. Brian Santos, DU1MS (Philippines, PARL Inc.)
  8. JR6DI (Japan)
  9. Hong Liu, BH4ESB (China)
  10. Stanley Sumping Anak Albert Bejie, 9W8DNX (Malaysia)

For assisting with the testing efforts and achieving one of the firsts QSOs via DIWATA2, special awards were given to

  • Percival Padilla, DV1XWK (Philippines, ARCOTP Inc.)
  • Lee Castor Canono, D8BVK (Philippines)
  • Veronica Catherine Anak Nohan (9W8VWW, Malaysia)
  • Leo Madrid Almazan (WA6LOS/DU3ZX, a DOST Balik-Scientist)

The awards were given on April 26, 2019, at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute Bldg., University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, through AMSAT Philippines and PARA president Atty. Eduardo Victor Valdez, PHL-50 project leader Dr. Marc Caesar Talampas, and  STAMINA4SPACE program leader Dr. Joel Joseph Marciano Jr.

The testing team will continue to assist the STAMINA4SPACE program in monitoring the status of DIWATA2’s Amateur Radio Unit.

To learn how to access the DIWATA2 satellite, head directly to Satellite Communications.

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