KE6JAB EasyTrak Radio Controller

Introduction

The EasyTrak Radio Tuner was custom designed for Ronald Ross, KE6JAB, for a two month expedition to Antarctica starting in November 2000.  The equipment used during the expedition will be an ICOM IC-821, a laptop computer running Windows Satellite Programs (WiSP), and Arrow antenna.  During last yearís expedition, Ron used a portable ARROW antenna aimed at the passing satellite and manually tuned (Doppler correction) the transceiver for each pass.  This required an extra set of hands and became a real chore while in the cold.  Later, when another person joined the expedition, one worked the antenna tracking and the other manually tuned the radio.  This proved successful.  During the upcoming expedition, Ron would like to automate the radio tuning.

EasyTrak is a rotor/radio interface controller designed by Steve Bible, N7HPR[1].  It is a compact, low-cost PIC based interface for rotor and radio control using Chris Jacksonís, G7UPN, EasyComm rotor/radio control protocol.  During Ronís expedition, he will not use rotor control, only radio control.  Everything needs to be minimal weight and power consumption.  The amount of power used is critical.  Without sun for a day or more, batteries cannot be recharged via solar power.  So conservation is paramount.  The KE6JAB EasyTrak Radio Tuner was designed with minimal power and space requirements.

 

(Click for larger photo)

 

[1] Bible, Steven, EasyTrak, A PIC Based Rotor/Radio Controller Interface, to be presented at the AMSAT 2000 Space Symposium, Portland, ME.


Page last revised: August 27, 2000 - N7HPR