Rotator automation

K3NG Rotator Controller implementation

The purpose of this project was to hack this old analog rotator controller box into a device able to be automated by a computer connection.

The Arduino code used was from the K3NG project (link at the bottom of this page.)

A 6x relay board was placed under the controller box chassis. Only 3 relays are need. The other relays are spare.

The relays are wired in parallel with the original controller's switches CW, CCW, and Brake.

A connection through a voltage divider (to reduce a 0-15v range to 0-5v range) was also added to read the position potentiometer from the rotator directly via Arduino analog pin.

Testing the controller with a 0.96" monochrome screen and a encoder for manual rotation.

The controller communicates via serial port with the computer and the software running on the computer can adjust the azimuth using various protocols. The EasyComm protocol was selected in this version.

Found this HDD enclosure on my spare parts bin. Drilled the holes for the encoder shaft and the screen and secured the parts inside.

Software enhancements I made:

  • Support for OLED screen (K3NG original code supports LCDs and Nextion only)

  • Better analog readings smoothing for the position potentiometer in the rotor

  • Delayed rotation start to ensure the brake is fully disengaged from the casing

  • Added 10uF electrolytic capacitor in parallel to the voltage divider for smoothing

My current version of the Arduino code can be downloaded below: