SATRAN Az-El rotator presentation

Hi y’all!
I’m developing a new open source wifi-controlled satellite antenna rotator with a simple android app, when I stumbled upon the satnog controller and found some similarities.

I was hoping you could get me some feedback and perhaps we can find a way for it to also work with the satnog network?

The actual satellite tracking happens in my android app, and the onboard rotator controller gets azimuth and elevation degrees over wifi (http query) and handles the rest.

Since the machine uses stepper motors, it can do with simple limit switches to keep track of its position. Also the housing is somewhat rainproof but if I sell enough of them I might produce a much more durable design made for prolonged outdoor use.

You can 3D-print most parts yourself and just buy the electronics, but I will also offer complete kits for less than 200USD. These will be available hopefully in february.

Any feedback? / SM7YSA Daniel


Nice to see a new low cost rotator option. A simpler azimut rotator platform similar to the one you have, without the elevation part, would be interesting for me. That would allow trying a more directional yagi antenna, in my case under the roof.

Thanks, I think so too!

It would definitely be possible to compose a simpler kit with only one of the stepper motors, elevation-gears and a stepper controller removed which would lower the price with perhaps 20USD. The biggest cost producing the complete kit, is the time to 3D-print and CNC-cut parts.

I could give the controller a setting to ignore the elevation and only track the azimuth. If you’d like to upgrade later you can just add another motor and a A4988 driver (which is plug-and-play, no soldering required).

I operate a Azimuth only, fixed Zenith Yagi dual band antenna with my station on a low cost TV rotator… If you want Azimuth only rotation you may want to look at this option for Azimuth only rotation. It has a web server and connects via web page on phone, tablet or PC. It’s a simple esp8266 with outputs… Possibly make your own for 20$…? You’re able to “chase” the Sats and watch the signals on the waterfall in monitoring mode to get the best Yagi direction. Could possibly integrate automation with SatNOGS … Good projects around here anyways and Daniels rotator looks cool too. Enjoy :sunglasses:

Dont want to steer the conversation away, but if you use the AF6SA controller, how you set it up with SATNOGS? Does AF6SA controller supports rotctl? Thank you.

Though I have not tried… I suspect that with the Arduino running and the Azimuth connected to Y port on CNC Board and end stop switch for azimuth connected to the Y end stop on the CNC board (+ or -) one could use the output from that to interconnect with a clockwise, counter clockwise relay… Probably just eliminate the AF6SA altogether :joy::joy:… Just need those outputs to hit relays to TV rotator instead of the step motors of a rotator. Daniels rotator looks like a good option though. Maybe I’ll tinker around and figure something out… Or just use the SatNOGS Rotator Controller for outputs… Seems easier I guess. Lots of fun stuff around here to play with.

1 Like

Hi! Fun project!
I think if it is possible to implement in the SatNOGS configuration it should be more easy to sell complete kits. Also if there could be possibility to implement in all the current software/protocols for amateur radio rotor controllers you should also have a lot more customers. Portable trackers for exemple.
/Lars SM0TGU

Definitely, I am very interested in how Satnog connects to rotators but havent had time to go through all the documentation yet. However I have checked some others like Gpredict and it should be possible to make drivers for them to work with my “Satran”.

The project has somehow gotten viral on twitter/reddit meaning I have almost 200 interested in buying already, so sales shouldnt be a problem - the challenge is to produce them =)

Sounds great! Yes, I am one of the 200 interested in buying. But if the only tracking solution is via your app, maybe I’m not the correct customer target. Integration to current solutions and software is the key for my - personally.

Great feedback! Making the app is a real pain-in-the-butt and might give me trouble later on keeping it up to date, so making it also work with other software is definitely something to aim for.

SatNOGS Client uses hamlib’s rotctl utility. The rotctl utility supports many rotators/protocols, if you are not using one of them, you can always add support for your own there, which will bring compatibility with many projects that use rotctl/hamlib.

Awesome! Checked out the readme and it has IP connectivity, will try my hardest to get included in the library with time. Thanks for the link!

Hi @danaco - is there already a possibility to connect Satran to SatNOGS? Thank you in advance for the answer! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hi, no it has not any satnogs capabilities.

Oh, okay. But thank you anyway for the answer and good luck with your project! It looks great :slight_smile:

1 Like

I see that you have a new version ongoing:

Any plans for SatNOGS integration or any other standard rotor protocols?

1 Like

Hej Lars!
At the moment I am focusing on the hardware part. The aim is to have an inexpensive experimental platform that people can modify. The main control unit will be similar to the old, with wifi connection and a standalone android app. But there are extra ports on the microprocessor so I might incorporate serial communication also which should allow interfacing with most of the current control software/hardware.

I will not put so much effort into my own app, but instead work to interface with as many other software suites as possible, including Satnogs/hamlib/rotctl/gpredict etc.

If any developer of such programs are interested I’d be happy to collaborate, and offer free hardware for testing.