“Probably one of the easiest and most fun ways to get started with satellite communications”
SATRAN MK3 is mostly open source with the option to buy a hardware kit and 3D-print the parts yourself at home. Then add a mount (35mm PA speaker stand recommended) plus an antenna, and you’re good to go!
Presenting to you, the SATRAN MK3…
The outer dimensions are only approx 18x12x12cm and houses the two DC motors and various gears. Its popular for mobile applications, thanks to its simplicity and light weight.
All the files needed to 3D-print the parts are available for download, completely free. Save some money or easily print your own replacement parts if they break.
Cables run through center
The azimuth turntable has no center, allowing for power and RF cables to run through. Perfect for mounting it on top of a pipe or a PA-speaker tripod (35mm as standard).
Potentiometer sensors continuously keep track of the direction, not to twist the cables too far. When tracking and it reaches straight north, the azimuth automatically turns back 360 degrees and continues tracking beyond the end position.
Wifi connectivity + app
The rotator runs wirelessly either directly connected to the built-in access point or via your local WLAN-setup (b/g/n-type). You can predict the satellites trajectory and control the rotator with the free android app, or with the popular and free Gpredict software for Windows.
Covers the entire sky
The azimuth turntable can rotate a full 360 degrees, and the elevation from 0 to 90 degrees, covering the entire sky.
Use the Satran MK2 with any directional antenna with a maximum weight of approx 500grams, and you have enough precision to communicate with satellites in low earth orbit.