Antenna Rotator Project

I wonder how you keep your rotator from turning when the wind blows the antenna? The American High-gain rotators have a solenoid controlled locking wedge in the gears. My Create rotator is worm gear driven, so can't windmill.

360° pots are available.

Probably don't know what you are looking at....... can assure you it works just fine.

Wider view would help, looks like a gutted SG90, motor removed is my guess and just using the output shaft as an input shaft to its position pot.
The small gear is connected to drive motor?

Tom... :grinning: :+1: :coffee: :australia:


I use a worm gear gearbox on the motor these lock when stopped.


Just thought it might be a good idea to upload a picture of the rotator as well.

Nicely done. I hope you also have a weather proof cover somewhere!
73, Paul, KD7HB


Oh gosh, I had not thought about the weather :joy:

Yes, I have, I print them using ASA.

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Impressive :slight_smile:

Is it possible to add another smaller pully to the antenna shaft then a larger one on a pot below the motor?

This would allow a single turn pot to cover 370° or so of the antenna shaft rotation.

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Yes anything is possible, that would be a case of just making another hole in the back plate, lengthening it a bit and then putting another pulley set 1:1 through the hole to a pot. After reading some of the suggestions here I'm going to manage the difference in speed from the rotator head and the control box (control box motor turns about 4 times faster than the rotator itself) by using a pot to reduce the voltage to syc it with the rotator. This will be for a manual only system.

I think I'll then put an encoder or stepper on the rotator or both, and manage v2 with Arduino. This will mean running another six wires to the rotator itself and increase the cost. But I think that is where I need to go.

I'll keep this thread posted with progress, I'm making up the manual model today.

I was talking to a ham about going past the 360 deg marker and there is two schools of thought depending on the use of a rotator. A) let it happen and manage it yourself, this is handy in competitions and b) get the controller to manage it, so you don't tangle the cables up.


Think about printing a timing track on white paper or plastic sheet. Cut into a strip to glue to the outside of your rubber belt.
Use a LED/sensor to read the timing marks on the belt as it moves.

Just so you know my suggestion:

  • There would be no local motor
  • The motor pot provides absolute angle for the antenna. No sync req'd.
  • The small LCD display shows current angle.


  • The Arduino measures the voltage from each pot. if there are not the same then a motor command is sent until the motor pot is the same as the command pot. (or actually only close, there should be some dead band.

A slightly better configuration is to make the command pot a knob encoder. This will make it so if unpowered and the command pot is moved, the antenna will not move on power up but LCD will display the angle.


A lot of rotator controllers just have centre off switch for clock and anti-clock movement for the same reason.

Tom... :grinning: :+1: :coffee: :australia:

When I was a kid we had a TV antenna with synchronized motors (or something). Watching it moving was like watching water waiting for it to boil.
I just figured for a portable installation being able to know the angle of the antenna without having to run it back and forth was cool.

I understand the OP who seems to be more mechanical than electrical might be put off by this approach, however I hope they see that reading voltages and using displays is very common in this forum so it shouldn't so bad to set it up.

Nice antenna contol.
For a Yacht satellite TV, it has GPS and IMU.
IMU to adjust axes of the antenna as the vessel rocks.

Tom... :grinning: :+1: :coffee: :australia: