All good ideas. The Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black little Linux computers gives us the possibility of running a tracking program such as predict
in addition to a protocol converter. I especially like the idea of controlling a telescope drive. This project could be useful to astronomy buffs.
I am teaching my students a software engineering principle that it is valuable to be as generic as possible; that is, to be platform agnostic and protocol agnostic. It is a more work in the short-term but the benefits are huge in the long-run. I told them that hard comes and goes buy software is forever. On Thursday, I told them, for example, that the initial version of a protocol converter would take a protocol in and then produce the same protocol out: to really understand a protocol, you need to be able to read and write the protocol. We dubbed this a "null" protocol converter and it should do nothing correctly, i. e. bits in and the same bits out. The plan is to implement a "null" protocol converter for the DiSEqC and the EasyComm protocols that we are learning. Once we have these two null protocol converters working then we have the pieces to easily configure a DiSEqC to EasyComm protocol converter.
On 06/01/2013 10:04 AM, Louis Mamakos wrote:
Perhaps this might be of help:http://gatorradio.org/Manuals/Yaesu_GS-232B_Manual.pdf
It might be cool to build the controller around an inexpensive Raspberry-Pi or BeagleBone Linux controller that has an ethernet interface available. You could export a simple REST-based HTTP API, as well as emulating the Yaesu serial protocol over a TCP connection. A simple HTTP API might make testing easier, perhaps. You could easily return status and debugging information if you used an extensible encoding format like JSON.
For bonus points, you could also implement the Meade or Celestron serial protocol to be able to drive the rotor like it was a telescope mount from various astronomy-oriented programs that might be useful for locating the moon, Jupiter or tracking satellites. It would be a shame to build something new a modern and saddle it with only an ancient serial protocol that might not be the best choice for today.
Just a thought.
On May 31, 2013, at 10:50 AM, David Bern[email protected] wrote:
I am working on a summer project with students at Montgomery College, Rockville. The project is to design and build a device that controls a pair of inexpensive satellite TV rotors. And the device would emulate a popular AZ-EL rotor such as a Yaesu G-5500 AZ-EL controller so it can be used by a satellite tracking program such as SatPC32. Tom, K3IO suggested this project at the last AMSAT-DC workshop and is guiding us with this project.
I would like to borrow a Yaesu G-5500 AZ-EL controller and rotor for about three months or buy a used one so we can study and understand its command protocol.
I will pick up or pay for shipping. Please contact David, W2LNX directly at