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For technical questions not related to your order, please use the forum for support. Thank you

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Can I buy the parts here?
No, we do not sell parts or components anymore so you need to source or build everything on your own. But all code, blueprints and guides are available from the downloads page.
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/MK3 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.

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 and MK3 runs on DC 12 volts and requires a power supply or battery capable of up to 1 ampere current.

What types of satellites can it track?

Most satellites that are in LEO (“low earth orbit”) and has publicly available TLE kepler elements to be found online from CelesTrak, can be tracked with the free android app. Sun, moon and other satellites may also be tracked with third-party control software as Gpredict compatible with the Satran MK3.

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. 

MK2 has an IP54 rating (splashproof) and can be mounted outdoors.

MK3 can be sealed with silicone to make it splash-proof but it is not recommended for continuous outdoor use.

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 approval?

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 a ham radio license or sufficient knowledge on radio interference, please refer from using the device.

How to reinstall the firmware?
The control board has a ESP8266 NodeMCU microprocessor with arduino-style firmware.

(MK1) You need to install the free software “Arduino IDE”, add drivers library for ESP8266 and then download the Mfirmware and flash it to the board over USB.
Detailed tutorial »

(MK2) Instructions and precompiled firmware bin-file available from the downloads page.

(MK3) Firmware is not open source or available for download at this time.

Why is my MK1 making a whining sound?
The stepper drivers use a form of PWM (pulse width modulation) that unfortunately can sometimes resonate in the stepper motors. It is perfectly normal and a little sound is nothing to worry about.

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.

I have no wifi, can I use my smartphone to share a hotspot?
Yes, but for the setup you will need to use an extra computer or smartphone

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 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