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[TowerTalk] RS232 Rotator/Software

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Subject: [TowerTalk] RS232 Rotator/Software
From: (Richard Thorne)
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 08:19:22 -0600
A few days ago Joel, K2QBV posted the following question:

|I would appreciate if anybody has used or knows of any software
|that utilize RS232 in turning a rotator by computer.  We are familiar
|with Sartek but would appreciate any other help or information
|any number of different  programs out there.

I sent a post to the reflector but it never made it.  So here it goes

I'm familiar with three units for software control (there are probably
more).  Those are Yaesu, Sartek and Kachina.

I don't know much about he Yaesu unit.  I didn't even consider it
because of its price.  I'm not even sure if it comes with software or

The Sartek unit has a card that installs in your pc.  That card is
connected to a serial port via a supplied cable.  A relay board comes
with the unit which is installed in the rotor control head.  The relays
are wired across the direction control switch's on the rotor (Hygain and
a few others), and its a simple plug in arrangement for a Yaesu rotor.
The supplied software or Logic5 will then control the rotor.  You can
also use the rotor in the traditional way if needed.

I have one of these units but its not currently in use as I use the next

Kachina has a unit called the 505ARX.  It works almost exactly the same
as the Sartek Unit, but has a few differences.  For starters you can
order it as a card like the Sartek, where it plugs into your computer,
or as an external unit to sit on a shelf.  The unit also provides five
+12v signals that can be turned off/on individually.  I use this feature
to control my Ameritron RCS-8V antenna switch.  Another feature I like
about the software control is positive feedback.  In other words I click
on the heading on my mouse and a red line points to the heading.  Then
there is a blue line that moves as the rotor moves.  This tells you that
the rotor is actually moving.  Occasionally, it will stop due to some
anomoly.  The positive feedback and the antenna switch control is the
reason I use the software/hardware combination.  My station is remote
controlled over the phone line so both of the features are a must.

The nice thing about the Sartek is that Logic5 will control it which
makes a nice package.  The Kachina solution needs its own stand alone
software for contolling the rotors which is included with the 505arx.

Both units have the same theory of operation and will control several
different lines of rotors.

You can check out both units at the following web pages:


Richard Thorne
Remote Control Airplanes:  AMA# 657062

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