Hi, so I’m trying to find a way to move a VHF antenna that will be attached to a mount. The main idea is that something will move the end of the antenna up and down and the Arduino will then relay to a Raspberry Pi the angle in which the antenna is aimed. We are also hoping to have two modes of operation. The first required being a fixed angle orientation where we tell the Arduino what angle we would like the antenna aimed then the antenna moves there. The second mode, but not required, would be a scanning mode where the antenna would continually sweep up and down and update the Raspberry Pi. This last mode doesn’t necessarily need to be a smooth sweep and could instead just be steps. The angles the antenna would need to reach are from 0 degrees to a minimum of 60 degrees below the horizontal axis, but ideally 90 degrees.
Our two main limitations are that the weight has to be as low as possible (<5lbs) and low power consumption. I know these are very general limitations but this is only one small part of a much larger system that isn’t fully developed so we don’t have firm values in place yet and instead just these general guidelines.
I’ve worked with Arduinos before, usually just for data logging purposes, but never to make something move so this is new territory to me. I was initially looking at using a stepper motor but was told there could be issues with slippage and then the accuracy of the angle of the antenna would be gone. Next I looked at using a DC brushless motor with an ESC that lowers the antenna with a cable over a pulley, however given that we are looking for more torque and less rpm’s I feel like this wouldn’t be a good application. Now I’m considering a lead/ball screw to move the antenna.
Given my extreme lack of experience I thought I’d ask you all what you thought. Am I going in the right direction or am I missing something obvious?