A challenge on a boat

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by davida, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. davida

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    Hi everybody, my first post.

    I have a boat on a mooring in protected waters where it does NOT rock but is free to turn about 45 degrees in either direction due to wind and currents.

    I have excellent digital TV reception on the boat with a fixed antenna but loose the connection when the boat turns.

    Is there a way either through a gyroscope, a compass (preferably) or any other reference input to control a stepper motor, a servo or a rotor to "track" the station for a total swing of 90 degrees (45 degrees each way)?

    The antenna is not heavy and could easily be turned by a HD model radio control (R/C) servo. They even have gyro servos for helicopters but I am not sure how to interface it and the start up for the gyro would have to be at the 0 degrees to work properly.

    I have 110 VAC, 24 VDC and 12VDC and a computer available on the boat.

    I am very handy mechanically and electrically but the electronic part, well yeah....:rolleyes:

  2. Alberto

    Active Member

    Nov 7, 2008
    David, use an electronic compass and a pic micro 16F873. Pic micro will enquire via I2C the compass every second and compass will return position in degree. if position changes then pic micro will feed the stepper driver with the necessary steps count to compensate in opposite direction. Mind you the compass must be mounted on the antenna and should move with it.

    You can find useful the below link.


    To start you can commence with the mechanical part (The rotor) and the motor, that could be controlled manually. Then you tell us how your manual system works and we could go ahead suggesting the best electronics solution

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008