W9KE Satellite Tracker - Virtual G-5500

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Developing software or testing-troubleshooting hardware for the G-5500 is made easier if you have a small virtual G-5500 on the bench next to you while you work. The essence of the G-5500 is a pot that changes position as the rotor turns. From the control point of view both rotors in the G-5500 are the same.

The most basic Virtual G-5500 is shown below. The blue circuit board contains all the microcontroller circuitry and the A/D converter for the controller. The simple virtual G-5500 is on the small yellow Rat Shack perfboard that contains two pots. These pots provide adjustable 0-5 V DC signals that are sent to the azimuth and elevation inputs on the A/D converter. Some built in test routines are available in the software. The A/D test portion is running at present. The top line on the LCD display shows the A/D channel number, raw A/D output and the corresponding azimuth. The bottom line shows the same information for the elevation channel. This is a handy aid when getting a system up and running or for troubleshooting.

Add four leds with current limiting resistors connected to the four output lines on the microcontroller board that connect to the G-5500 rotor control box (UP, Down, Left and Right) and you have a complete virtual G-5500. This is very simple but a very handy device.

Some people convert TV rotors for use in az-el applications. If you have a rotor system that provides a 0-5.0 volt DC analog output voltage that is proportional to position you should be able to use this system.

For more information on various parts of the project click on the links at the top of the page.