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How do you reinstall the firmware?
You need to install the free software “Arduino IDE”, add drivers library for ESP8266 and then download the current firmware and flash it to the board over USB.
How can the SATRAN be controlled?
The rotator can be controlled over you local WLAN or directly to the built-in access point with the free pp “Satran Control” for android smartphones, available from Google Play.
Also the rotator has a manual built-in control that you can access via a web browser. Just setup the Satran to your wifi, then enter the given IP-address in a browser window.
The Satran MK2 also listens on a TCP socket (port 4533) for hamlib/rotctl-commands and can be controlled by a PC with the free Gpredict software. Possibly also other rotctld-compatible software but this has not yet been tested.
Why dont you sell to the US, Canada, Russia etc?
There are several reasons why we cant sell to certain countries; both legal, ethical and logistical. We apologise for this, but hope to be able to find a solution in the future.
What voltage does it require?
The SATRAN MK1 has a voltage requirement of DC 9 volts, but no less than 8 or higher than 10 or the circuits may be permanently damaged. The total current draw is approx 1-2 amps.
Satran MK2 runs on DC 12 volts (11-15 volts) and requires a power supply of up to 1 ampere current.
What types of satellites can it track?
All satellites that are in LEO (“low earth orbit”) and has publicly available TLE kepler elements to be found online from CelesTrak.
What are the max antenna load?
The maximum weight that the rotator can handle depends a lot on the components, quality of the 3D-prints and the settings of the stepper drivers. Therefore its not possible to give an exact torque specification. But our tests show that approx 400grams is the maximum that the MK1 rotator can handle.
The MK2 standard rotator has been tested and should work with up to 700grams center-balanced payloads.
Is the SATRAN weather-proof?
The first version of the SATRAN is not completely weather-proof and is not designed for continuous outdoor use.
The MK2 has an IP54 rating (splashproof) and can be mounted outdoors.
How do you initialize the rotor?
When you start the SATRAN, you need to first make sure it is completely leveled and that the azimuth is pointing north. Gently rotate the entire turntable manually until you hear a small “click” from the limit switch. There you have the starting position (0 degrees). Now bring out your compass and make sure that the antenna is pointing towards north.
When you plug in the power, you do not need to redo this process as long as it is still mounted as above. The satran initializes and moves into position when it boots up.
The red drivers on the MK1 get very hot, is something wrong?
The stepper drivers can get a little warm, so dont be alarmed.
If you have an IR-thermometer (an in-ear fever thermometer can sometimes work) you can point to the IC on the red stepper drivers and measure their temperature. A normal operating temperature should be around 60 degrees celcius (140 fahrenheit).
If they are even hotter or there is a high pitch noise coming from the motors, you can turn the potentiometer on the drivers only a few degrees counter-clockwise to lower their current. This needs to be done when power is disconnected!
Does the Satran have CE-marking?
No, CE does not apply. The Satran is covered by EMC Directive 1999/5/EC and Radio equipment Directive 2014/53/EU, excluding experimental equipment intended for use by licensed radio amateurs. If you do not have sufficient knowledge on radio interference, please refer from using the device.
I have no wifi, can I use my smartphone to share a hotspot?
1. Activate hotspot on your android phone, note what WLAN name (“ssid”) and password it has
2. Connect power to the Satran
3. Connect to wifi named SATRAN_setup from your computer or extra smartphone
4. Enter 192.168.4.1 in your browser
5. Choose your hotspot name from the list, enter password, save (Satran reboots and initializes)
6. On your hotspot settings on the phone, the new Satran device appears, click on it to show its IP address
7. Open the Satran Control app and enter the IP to your settings
Now it should work directly between your smartphone and the Satran
Why is my MK1 making a whining sound?
But if the noise is very high or perhaps the stepper drivers on the control board (the two red ones) get very hot, you can lower their current by turning the small potentiometer counter-clockwise by only a few degrees. This needs to be done when power is disconnected.