Satnogs - All Metal "Box Mountable" Rotator

Hi @DL4PD and Hi all (@PH3V @KE0PLO @w2whc @pd0sbc)

I feel a little guilty about leaving you in the dark the last few weeks/months.
To tell the truth I was waiting for a 5th answers to the google form, which never arrived.
And the result of the form was only 3 people interested for the group order, and 1 interested to get the files.

And with only 3 people, the price for the machined part are really high, 30$ for the plates, 40$ for the mast mount, and 60$ for the bracket, which mean a total price of 130$, without the screw, without the shipping cost, and it’s seems to me that it’s a lot of money for 3 parts of aluminum.

So there are few solution, or the price is ok for you, and we can launch the group order, or if you find like me, that the price is to high we can search for cheaper solution, the bracket could maybe be done in a cheaper way than laser cutting and sheet bending but then it may be also more fragile.

If you have a CNC and a metal lathe I can give you the file, but if you don’t it’s kind of impossible to build it

So far, before I turned my station off for holidays, everything was working perfectly,
https://network.satnogs.org/observations/?station=762

1 Like

Maybe there’s another way to get the needed parts than build them on ourselfs. An overview or build instruction may lead others into interest. A parts list also (sorry if I missed something in this big thread :wink: )…

1 Like

That’s exactly why we decided to organize a group order at a manufacturer for the machined parts

The part list is kind of simple, two RV030 worm gear reducer, two NEMA23 stepper motor, and then the machined parts and some screws.

EDIT : More precisely in the mechanical size :

It’s true that It could be a good idea to write a wiki page to sum up the information about it

1 Like

What about electronics?

I am o.k. with the price you projected, plus shipping.

Bill
W2WHC

1 Like

@DL4PD for the electronics, it exactly the same as for the Satnogs Rotator, 2 Stepper controller, sized for the stepper you buy, an Arduino connected to your raspberry pi, and two optical, or mechanical endstop.
You maybe missed this link in the thread, which permit to see the full design https://a360.co/2CAJL9K

2 Likes

Cool project! Thanks for sharing. Have you got any trouble with the RV030 in terms of outdoor use or are they well enough encased? I can’t seem to find a IP rating for them.

Greetings, Alex

2 Likes

Hi @raaptormet !
Thanks for your interest !
The structure of the RV030 is in aluminium, then for the gears they are in an oil bath and therefore totally isolated from the outside by several joints, however it seems that the part that drives the axle rust a little on the surface, but by brushing a little bit the rust disappears.

This is before brushing


And after

And for the moment, the RV030 are the parts of the rotator that have caused the least number of problems (0)

4 Likes

Thanks for the quick respond @Yohan_Hadji !
Have you had any other problems with your current station iteration?

2 Likes

My only current problems are a usb cable that has a false contact and a raspberry pi that programs 2 observations at the same time, so mechanically speaking, everything works great !

4 Likes

Hi @Yohan_Hadji ,

@raaptormet continued your developments on this project https://community.libre.space/t/outdoorproof-and-powerful-rotator/6690, and since we are moving forward with another rotator design, we would like to publish our current status for this project on our TUDSaT GitLab account https://gitlab.com/tudsat-cubesat to preserve it. Unfortunately there still is no License file on your GitHub repository https://github.com/YohanHadji/Yohan-s-Rotator-/, do you want to add one there or are we allowed to choose one on our own?

Hi @milenko and @raaptormet,

The project is on pause on my side for external reasons. However, here is a new repo with few more information, the latest files, pictures, links, and a license.

Thanks again for your interest !

Yohan H

4 Likes

The new upgraded version is coming to life… more soon !

12 Likes

That looks pretty beefy!!!

1 Like

Thanks! Indeed it was designed for!
One of the last parts, the bracket is also validated since this morning, I’m now just waiting for the very last part to publish more information about it.

5 Likes

Hi all!

I am very happy to present you the latest version of SuperAntennaz, with all the new machined parts, perfectly functional!

  • The current rotation speed is about 20°/s. (and as you can see on the video at the bottom of this post the noise is very low.)

  • The estimated (extreme minimum) torque is 60 N/m on both axes.

  • The azimuth axis is now supported by a plate ball bearing to support several tens of kilos of antennas

  • The rotator weighs 5.5kg.

  • All mechanical parts are either made of aluminum or stainless steel and are therefore corrosion resistant.

  • The motors are waterproof IP65

  • 3D Files will be soon updated on the github

Feel free to ask me any questions you have!

Yoyo

11 Likes

Awesome job and it looks amazing for the smaller Yagi Antenna setup… Keep me posted please I’d like to get my hands on one or the parts to put one together for testing it in my location and cold climate which was -43c over night and the Yaesu G-5500 doesn’t like that temperature one bit.

Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing with the community.

Regards
Karl. (Station:1920)

1 Like

Hi Karl!
Thanks for your interest!

I would also be interested to see how the rotator resist to really hard climate, the main concern will be to see how the wormgearbox react to really cold temperature.
The gears are in an oil bath, so if it’s not warmed up a bit I think it might solidify at this temperature and block the rotator. However, the advantage with the use of stepper motors is that they can also be considered as heating element! So it’s possible that they will be hot enough to allow the oil in the gearbox to remain liquid enough even at -40°C, but this remains to be tested!

Best Regards,

Yoyo

The latest version of the design (V0.5) have been published on the github, this is the first, “tested and operational” version :

The first version of the mechanical assembly instructions is also available there : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CX67OoED31l0qCKSzgDJZNf59-uH2FNJ/view?usp=sharing

(Please note that it’s only the first version, and few things might need some modifications and or verifications)

A second manual for the electronic part is also being written, it will be published as soon as possible.

Yoyo

3 Likes

Hi Yoyo.

Good to know about the oil in the gear boxes and yes for sure it would need some testing and maybe replacing with a 0W20 synthetic oil.

Thanks
Karl.

1 Like