I’ve built a DIY motorized antenna rotator using a geared DC motor, a pair of metal gears taken from a laminating machine, bearings, and a power window switch. The large gear is free to rotate and is attached to the mast with metal bearings. The antenna attaches to the large gear using a clamp. The small gear is attached directly to the geared DC motor. A metal bar attached to the mast is used to fix the drive motor in place, so that the gears mesh perfectly. The motor is powered by a 4.5V to 15V variable power supply to allow adjustment of the slew speed of the rotator. A 5-pin power window switch is used to control the clockwise and counterclockwise movement of the rotator. Paint is used to weatherproof the whole rotator assembly.
The DIY rotator is low cost and can be made with simple tools and materials. It is relatively easy to scale up using larger motors and better gear combination. I have tested the rotator to carry a 3-element by 4-element VHF-UHF Yagi antenna.
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Night Sky in Focus | Astronomy and Amateur Radio © Anthony Urbano | Manila, Philippines