CCTV Pan/Tilt Controller – Part 1

A good friend of mine asked is I could get him a CCTV Pan/tilt head so he could remotely control the position of his aerials which would be especially useful in the tracking of satellites, some time later I noticed that a guy was upgrading a CCTV system, I went over to him and asked I could have the scrap head, came home with it and straight onto the internet for the make and model, but more specifically the wiring details.

The one I obtained was made by Shawley Antony Ltd who are no longer trading, but the head works just fine on 24vDC with the added bonus of having electromechanical brakes for both Pan and Tilt and having potentiometers so that I can have a go at getting positional feedback displayed.

In order to make a decent project I used Ebay to get a joystick, Pulse Width Modulator motor speed control and a voltage reducer all from China at silly prices.

I created the personalised overlay using Visio, this allows me the layer the drawing and the dimensional drilling detail can then be used to template the drilling pattern before being turned off, and the finished overlay printed.

SAM_5220 (Medium)Control Unit under construction

The way the controller will work is via a 24vDC supply, the 5vDC regulator will provide power to the LM3914 which will be configured for spot display of voltage derived from a potential divider circuit using the head pots, the LM3914 will drive the LEDs indicating the compass positions, I’m not sure if this will work accurately reflecting the head position, but that will be for the next part of the blog when the parts arrive. A similar arrangement will be used to drive the three LEDs showing if the head platform is at the horizontal, transitioning or vertical plane.

The switch marked Pan/Tilt Power, when operated will release the head brakes and light the associated LED, also, power will be applied to the speed controller enabling the joystick to operate the head at a variable speed set by turning the Speed Control knob, the advantage of using a pulse width modulated speed controller is that the motor does not lose torque at low speeds and will therefore not ‘stall’ under load.

SAM_5221 (Medium)Awaiting parts to complete the controller

The picture shows the internal setup for the motor left/right/up/down movement which is operational, the flying leads have been attached to the LEDs ready for the next stage…Watch this space for the next installment.

Link to Part 2.

Changing Call sign

I didn’t realize how many programs or places I needed to change my details from the old Intermediate call sign to my new M0HTA one, so I thought I’d list them:

Echolink (both desktop and Mobile App)
QRZ.com
APRS (Mobile App)
DL-FLdigi (High Altitude Balloon tracking)
FLdigi
Ham Radio Deluxe (including update status html file)
WSPR
MMSSTV
RSGB
European Phase Shift Club
eQSL.cc
HRDLog.net
Chatteris.biz Ham Radio links

I’m sure I’ve missed a few as well!!

WSPR – Propagation Report on 10 Watts

Now revision is over, I’ve been playing with WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter)pronounced ‘whisper’, I’ve had the program for quite a while but never really dedicated any time to setting it up, other rather checking that I can connect to the Kenwood and it allows the program to receive and transmit.

I set WSPR to report on the 30m band with a spot receiving frequency of 10.138.70MHz USB with a 2 minute RX/TX cycle using 10 Watts, unbelievably my very first report back was from the USA, this is a screen grab after a couple of hours:

WSPR on 10w
Map showing stations who received my 10 Watt transmission

Maybe my inverted ‘L’ isn’t as bad as thought! I’ll keep it running for a while and see who else can hear me. I will add to this post with more screen grabs when it has been running for longer and I get some even further contacts hopefully.

The screen shot below was taken on the 20th May 2017, I was running a Kenwood TS-200- at 5watts :

 

wspr

Advanced Exam – Update

I sat the Advanced Amateur Radio exam on the 8 December, the venue was Cauis (pronounced Key’s) College in Cambridge city center with the exam starting at 19:00, Martin from Cambridge University Wireless Club (CUW) arranged the venue and invigilated, Colin from Cambridge and District Amateur Radio Club acted as the second invigilator.

The exam had an allocated time of two hours and three in total taking the exam, the results are due 6 working days after receipt of the completed papers at RSGB Headquarters in Bedford, so I’m hoping to hear one way or the other by Tuesday 16 December using the OFCOM licensing web portal as I’m told this is where you find out earlier than wait for the results letter, the downside is that if your registration code used on the OFCOM site does not allow you past the application stage, then it may not be good news :-(.

Watch this space and I’ll post up as soon as I know.

17 December 14 – Well it’s good news, checked the OFCOM web site and bingo, passed the advanced, my new call sign is M0HTA, when I got home the envelope containing the certificate was waiting for me, posted on the 16th.

In my blog I’ve mentioned Hamtests and QADV being used as part of my pre exam revision, here are a couple of screen shots of what I did:

Hamtests

hamtestSet of 10 test questions with a 10 minute time limit.

hamtest1Set of 62 test questions with a 2 hour time limit.

The results dropped on the 7th December as my exam was on the 8th and I was panicking!

QADV

QADV resultsCombined results of QADV.

Sorry for the compressed image – the last version used was downloaded on the 6th December, 2 days before the exam.

QADV I found to be very well supported in regard to upgrades and it was very easy to use,  the screen grabs were from my Laptop, the program was also installed on my desktop so the number of tests actually undertaken is a lot higher than shown (each version change wipes your previous results)!

Many thanks to the providers of Hamtests, QADV, advice from members of CDARC and CUW for facilitating the exam.

General Status Update

14 December 14 was a record for the duration the weather PC has worked without a glitch, usually I have to restart, or close and then re-open an application every week or so, but this time it ran for 31 days and 16 hours before a restart which is really good.

Had a few days of the weather site not being available (5 Dec – 10 Dec), this was due to an upload which failed due to a corrupt file, unfortunately everything work ok when I accessed the site, it was only when I enabled Pingdom.com did the problem come to light, this has meant that the’ Who’s Online’ menu bar item is not available until this corrupt file is found and fixed.

The other issue has been with ‘Space Weather’, NOAA has revamped their web site and this has led to a number of broken links, I’m waiting for a week or so before I start tracking the links down and re-linking in case they continue tweaking for a bit longer.

Sun & Moon Script

Managed, only with the help of the Weather Forums, to sort two problems on this page, the first niggle was the season under the Earth was showing Winter not Autumn, this was solved by the forums and involved pasting a later code over the top of my existing code, the other niggle was the sun/moon graphic not showing up, this was fixed by placing this line – date_default_timezone_set(“Europe/London”); on the script page, the script used to run before, but since moving to Go Daddy it stopped, but now all is well.

The forum thread issue is here: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?topic=24288.0

Ham Radio Page

Made a few changes to the Ham Radio pages, this is a page that will continue to be under constant development, their are stacks of web sites dedicated to the topic and I’m refining mine to attract a general interest in the subject and a quick entry feature for hams to get search and discovery information.

If their is anything specific that you would like considering fro insertion in this page, please drop me a line using the contact form.

High Altitude Balloon Tracking

Finally managed to download dl-fldigi, this is a modification to the existing Fldigi in that it will download the configuration files needed for the balloons and upload the tracking details once received to a tracker site. so you can visually monitor the balloon progress.

The trouble I was having in downloading the program was due to my Nortons Anti-Virus not taking a liking to the download and rejecting it, after confirming that it was possible to download – thanks David, I set a restore point on my PC, inhibited the anti-virus program, and bingo, it downloaded, once unzipped and installed, I re-enabled the anti-virus and ran a scan just to make sure everything was ok, which it was.

Can’t wait to track a balloon now to see it in action, roll on Mark’s (M6CKD) next effort!

General information and status updates.