Author Topic: What exactly do I need to control a rotator over the Internet?  (Read 8667 times)

VE3VEE

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I have the following:
- A pair of RRC-1258MkIIs
- TS-480SAT
- Web Power Switch 7 by Digital Loggers, Inc.

The above equipment has been tested at a remote location 40 km from home, and it has worked reliably for the past two weeks.

The next step is to move the equipment to a different remote location, 190 km from home, where a 100 ft tower is awaiting. I have not yet purchased a rotator and related accessories, nor have I purchased an antenna yet. I've been considering a 20m monoband Yagi (undecided yet if 3, 4, or 5 elements).

Questions:

1. I'm thinking of buying Yaesu G-1000DXA rotator, but I'm open to suggestions of different makes and models.

2. If I go with Yaesu G-1000DXA, do I need the included Control Box? I think I do. Or is there another control box by a different manufacturer more suitable for remote operation?

3. Do I need to buy Yaesu GS-232B? Is this all I need, or:

4. Do I also need to buy RC-1216H?

The way I think all this works is as follows: The Yaesu rotor cable goes to the the Yaesu control box, a cable from the Yaesu control box goes to Yaesu GS-232B, and a cable from Yaesu GS-232B goes to RC-1216H.

Am I understanding all this correctly, or am I making it too complicated? Can it work just the same without RC-1216H by plugging GS-232 to my RRC-1258MkIIs? If yes, what software would I use on my laptop to control the rotator?

I'm completely new to this, and any answers will be greatly appreciated. I want to avoid buying the wrong or unneeded equipment.

73 Marvin VE3VEE

dj0qn

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Hi Marvin,

I can't recommend any specific rotators, except that I will explain a little about how to remote them:

- You need a controller with RS232. This can either be built-in, or an add-on. Add-on's come from
various sources, such as from http://www.idiompress.com/ or http://easy-rotor-control.de/

- This serial port can be controlled via a serial server. There are several on the market, such as
from Lantronix or Moxa.

- The RRC set also has two serial servers built-in. Either one can be used for rotator control,
however usually COM2 is used for CAT, leaving COM1 available for another serial device. So
no extra device may be necessary in your case.

- The Webswitch 1216H is the "Rolls Royce" of remote control; for rotator control, it allows
you to use either a web-based control such as the RC-1216H, or can provide a virtual serial
port as a serial server, like the Lantronix/Moxa. It also has many other features to allow
relays to be remote controlled.

- The RC-1216H allows dedicated rotator control, essentially an "idiot proof" version of the
1216H. At present, it does not offer a virtual serial port as does the 1216H.

I hope this helps!

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX


ON4AOI

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Hi Marvin,
If you can buy a G-1000DXA without a controller box I would go for that
and buy also the  Webswitch 1216H + rotator controller 1216L.
or
when with controller box you better buy a ERC-M unit that can control 2 rotators via 1 serial port
this unit connects direct to the minidin on the backside of the controller.

Guy ON4AOI

 

VE3VEE

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Mitch and Guy, thanks very much for both of your replies. This is all very new to me, but I think, little-by-little, by reading, I'm starting to learn how all this works. I'm not there quite yet, but I will get there eventually :-)

A friend of mine suggested I'd consider buying a Hy-Gain T-2X rotator instead of the Yaesu G-1000, so I'm in the process of reading more reviews.

Quote
If you can buy a G-1000DXA without a controller box I would go for that
and buy also the  Webswitch 1216H + rotator controller 1216L.

I was under the impression the rotator's control box always needed to be there, and the other unit(s) were then connected to it. Are you saying if I buy 1216H + 1216L, all I need to then buy is a rotator without a control box?

73 Marvin VE3VEE

« Last Edit: 2013-06-18, 16:33:35 by VE3VEE »

W1UE

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Marvin- I'm pretty sure you need a rotor control box for any rotor.  How else are you going to get the voltages for the rotor motor?  Also, the RS232 cable plugs into the rotor control box- not into the rotor motor housing. 

One other consideration you probably need to take into account- where are you going with your remote station?  Are you only going to rotate one antenna?  If I assume you will have some kind of antenna to cover 20/17/15/12/10 meters, are you going to have dipoles for 40/80/160? How are you going to switch antennas?  Are you going to add a linear in the future? 

I know this really doesn't answer your question, but I would hesitate to look at a solution to just rotating an antenna unless that is all you intend to do.

VE3VEE

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Hi Dennis,

Thanks for clarifying. I suspected a control box was a must, but I might have misunderstood ON4AOI's reply.

At the present time I have no plans to build antennas for other bands in that remote QTH. If (or when) I get tired of 20m, I may replace the monobander with a large logperiodic or something else, but I have no plans at the moment to put more than a single antenna on that tower. But I plan on eventually using a PA there.

Question:
If I use Hy-Gain T-2X rotator and a Green Heron RT-21 ( http://www.greenheronengineering.com/RT_Overview.php ) rotator controller, is that all I need? I see that the RT-21 does have a RS232 port. Would an RS232 cable from RT-21 go directly to my existing Radio-RRC-1258MkIIs?

73 Marvin VE3VEE
« Last Edit: 2013-06-18, 21:06:16 by VE3VEE »

dj0qn

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Yes, Marvin, you can pass the serial port over COM1 and load any control program
using that port on the control side. It doesn't matter what kind of controller it is.

73,
Mitch DJ0QN / K7DX

VE3VEE

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Thanks much, Mitch!

ON4AOI

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Considering the control BOX , you don't need it.
I think we are still amateurs and can build a PS
normally modern motors are connected with 5 or 6 wires depending on the brand, older motors with a brake had more
but in my opinion a brake is a very bad thing, I prefere that my antennas turn around due high wind and are misaligned then that my tower twist because the brake didn't allow turning the Antenna.

2 or 3 wires are for the motor probably +/- 24V
3 wires are for the potmeter inside the motor connect the outer wires to a 12VDC power supply (or make it from the 24Volt) When turning the motor the voltage on the center from the potmeter will be varying up or down (CW or CCW)
this is what you need for any interface.

Guy ON4AOI 

 

EA7EU

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Hello.

You also can use the MDS HAM RC-1 and the model depending the rotator that you wish to control. The MDS HAM gives you on the RS232 port, DCU-1 protocol and its works perfect with the webswich 1216H using the cable adapter Rs232 to webswich.
This way its cheapper than buying the Yaesu GS232 Interface, belive me!

Its works great! You can use the MDS RC-1 to control G450-G650 with a transformer, G800 and the rest of Yaesu models plug and play. Also has the version for Ham, Emotator and alpha spid and others.
Its really cool and you dont need any pc working on your remote shack.

Mine works PERFECT with the webswich.

Here you have pictures (sorry text in Spanish)  http://ea7eu.com/node/1075

Also I wanna share this info with all the remoterig users.

Best 73

Pedro