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Computer controlled OTA TV antenna.

Picture of Computer controlled OTA TV antenna.
Computer-controlled-OTA-TV-antenna.jpg
Setup to use a stepper motor to control the direction of a DTV antenna

Parallel port add-on to set the direction of an antenna. it could be used for most any antenna, but I did it for the hdtv antenna (http://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-another-dtv-antenna/).

Note: This instructable requires programming. I did not include my code for legal reasons.

Warning: Please be careful with this project. Not properly hooking wires correctly could cause shock and or even death. You could also damage your computer and other electronic parts. Please get a professional electronics technician to help if you are not sure what to do. . Please use a breadboard first before doing any soldering. Get expert help if you are not sure.


Pseudocode:
Get needed tv station degree from input.
Get current angle  from compass.
If compass angle less than tv station degree then use stepper motor to turn in that direction till correct direction is achieved,
otherwise go the opposite till correct degree is achieved.
 
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Step 1: Whats needed:

Computer:
PC with parallel port.
Linux (can be easily done on MSWindows also)
Freebasic compiler (available for both mswindows and linux)

Parts:
1 - 5 wire stepper motor from an old 5 1/4" floppy drive (or equivalent).
1 - 1 x 1 inch square flat plastic for mounting tube.
1 - parallel port breakout cable (i.e.http://www.instructables.com/id/No-solder-parallel-port-break-out/ or http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-parallel-port-break-out-cable/) or an equivalent.
1 - OTA TV antenna ( i.e. http://www.instructables.com/id/Yet-another-dtv-antenna/)
1 - 1/2 to 3/4 inch two foot pvc pipe. low pressure pipe is ok.
2 - 1/4 inch screws (long enough to go through pipe and the antenna, 4 washers, and 2 nuts,
1 - uln2803 or equivalent integrated chip (i.e. nte2013)
1 - socket for the above chip.
1 - small plank to hold stepper motor steady.
Solder
Glue
Wire
Optional: breadboard for testing circuits before soldering (recommended)

Tools:
Multimeter
Compass
Saw
Soldering Iron

Other website information to be named later.

kd1s3 years ago
Or you can order a stepper from the likes of MPJA, Sparkfun, etc.
Computothought (author)  kd1s2 years ago
True...
Nicely done, & well explained for the newbies ! Just something I noticed in the second pix in step 5 , should the chip be labled uln2803 not uln 2003 ???. THANKS !!
Computothought (author)  Lectric Wizard3 years ago
Thanx for the fine comment. Sharp eye. Since we are only using 4 data lines the uln2003 (7) or the uln2803 (8) lines will work if you are careful with the pin outs. I used the uln2003 for testing.

NTE2013 = uln2003
NTE2018 = uln2803
chrwei3 years ago
is that a Commodore monitor? I spent many hours as a teen staring at one of those
Computothought (author)  chrwei3 years ago
Thanx for asking. Yes it is. It is hooked up on the back side via svideo cable from the vga card.
Computothought (author) 3 years ago
Honored!! This instructable made Hackaday!
http://hackaday.com/2011/01/26/stepper-directed-hdtv-antenna/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+hackaday%2FLgoM+%28Hack+a+Day%29
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