How would I go about creating a device that will move on its x and z axis according to an input degree?

I am looking to set up a satellite on my roof and am hoping to be able to control it from my room. For now I just need to create a base that can move on its x axis and later the z axis.

I can understand for the first part I would need a motor but have no idea on how to interface it with the ability to recognise the compass degree it is facing.
For the second part, I believe I may want a hydraulic arm that is hinged to the base (which the satellite lies on) but again have little idea on how to interface it with the ability to detect the angle it is pointed at.
My final hurdle is to be able to control all of this.

This may well be ambitious when i have little experience with motors and interface but it's something I want to do.

CrLz7 years ago
Check out CNC machine designs. These are typically 2 axis movement systems. Many of the plans on Instructables have detailed interfacing instructions.
You only need one actuator, because all satellites, or the comms ones at least, all orbit in geo-stationary orbits, which mean they all lie on the celestial equator. You can buy satellite dish actuators which will do just what you want, for very little money
rickharris7 years ago
Look up linear actuator - Few dishes use hydraulics.

Depending on the weight of the dish look at RC servos.

Your requirements look like you will need to loo at a microprocessor - My general recommendation for relatively slow applications is the Picaxe system