Introduction: R2D2M2 -- ISS Antenna Tracker

Picture of R2D2M2 -- ISS Antenna Tracker

Connecting to the International Space Station (ISS) requires tracking a moving object traveling at 17,000 MPH orbiting 250 miles above the Earth. This is actually moving a little slower than the second hand on your watch. However, this is moving faster than you may realize.

You could purchase a commercial Az/El rotor system for $1,350 from Yaesu or you can build your own.

Let's get started!

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This project does not cover the assembly of Arduino micro controllers. This may be a future topic covered separately.

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Useful tools: 7/64" hex key, 3/32" hex key and a #1 Phillips Screwdriver

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Actobotics Servo Controller

https://www.servocity.com/actoboticsr-servo-contro...

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Yaesu Az/El Rotor (for functional comparison this project)

https://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProdu...

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Ham Radio Outlet

https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-002765

https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-005346

https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-002778

Step 1: Assembling the Base to Support the X-axis

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A

Part Description: 12.00” Aluminum Channel

https://www.servocity.com/12-0-channel

$9.99

Part: 585454

Step 1: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” OD x 2.25” L Aluminum Tube with Flange
Part Description: 1" Flanged Aluminum Tubing

https://www.servocity.com/1-00-flanged-aluminum-tu...

$3.49

Part: 635166

Step 1: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Shafting and Tubing Spacer
Part Description: Shafting and Tubing Spacers (12 pack)

https://www.servocity.com/shafting-and-tubing-spac...

$1.69 (12 pack)

Part: 633116

Step 1: Quantity: 1 of 12 pack

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$1.79 (25 pack) * 2

Part: 632108

Step 1: Quantity: 8 + 2 = 10

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 1: Quantity: 4

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Bore Clamping Hub A
Part Description: 1" Bore, Face Tapped Clamping Hub, 1.50" Pattern

Notes: Tapped

URL: https://www.servocity.com/1-bore-clamping-hub-a

$5.99

Part: 545352

Step 1: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 84T, 32 Pitch, 1” Bore Aluminum Hub Gear
Part Description: 1.00" Bore 32 Pitch Aluminum Hub Gears

URL: https://www.servocity.com/32p-1-00-bore-aluminum-...

$12.99

Part: 615226

Step 1: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Hub Adaptor C
Part Description: 1.50" - 1.50" Pattern Adapter

URL: https://www.servocity.com/hub-adaptor-c

$3.99

Part: 545500

Step 1: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Aluminum Clamping Motor Mount
Part Description: 37mm Bore Bottom Tapped Clamping Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/37mm-clamping-motor-mou...

$6.99

Part: 555116

Step 1: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 20T, 32 Pitch, 6mm Bore Pinion Gear
Part Description: 37mm Bore Bottom Tapped Clamping Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/6mm-bore-32p-shaft-moun...

$7.99

Part: 615262

Step 1: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Bearing Blocks
Part Description: 1" Bore Side Tapped Pillow Block

URL: https://www.servocity.com/1-000-bore-quad-pillow-...

$9.99

Part: 535178

Step 1: Quantity: 2

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Step 2: [2 of 12] Attach the Camera Screw Socket to the Base

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 90 Degree Dual Side Mount D (pair)

Part Description: 90 Degree Dual Side Mount D (2 pack)

https://www.servocity.com/90-dual-side-mount-d

$6.99

Step 2: Quantity: 1 pair, 2 pack

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Round Base A
Part Description: 6.00” Aluminum Channel

https://www.servocity.com/round-base-a

$6.99

Part: 585438

Step 2: Quantity: 1

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.250” Flat Head Stainless Steel Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-flat-head-phillips-...

$0.15

Part: 91771A144

Step 2: Quantity: 8

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$1.79 (25 pack) * 2

Part: 632108

Step 2: Quantity: 4

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Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1/4-20 Round Screw Plate
Part Description: 1/4"-20 Round Screw Plate

URL: https://www.servocity.com/0-250-20-round-screw-pl...

$3.99

Part: 545468

Step 2: Quantity: 1

Step 3: [3 of 12] Attach the Base to the Camera Tripod

Use any tripod designed to support a 10 pound video camera.

Step 4: [4 of 12] Assemble the X-axis

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A

Part Description: 6.00” Aluminum Channel

https://www.servocity.com/6-0-channel

$5.99

Part: 585446

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” OD x 2.25” L Aluminum Tube with Flange
Part Description: 1" Flanged Aluminum Tubing

https://www.servocity.com/1-00-flanged-aluminum-tu...

$3.49

Part: 635166

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Shafting and Tubing Spacer
Part Description: Shafting and Tubing Spacers (12 pack)

https://www.servocity.com/shafting-and-tubing-spac...

$1.69 (12 pack)

Part: 633116

Step 4: Quantity: 1 of 12 pack

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$1.79 (25 pack) * 2

Part: 632108

Step 4: Quantity: 8 + 2 = 10

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 4: Quantity: 4

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Bore Clamping Hub A
Part Description: 1" Bore, Face Tapped Clamping Hub, 1.50" Pattern

Notes: Tapped

URL: https://www.servocity.com/1-bore-clamping-hub-a

$5.99

Part: 545352

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 84T, 32 Pitch, 1” Bore Aluminum Hub Gear
Part Description: 1.00" Bore 32 Pitch Aluminum Hub Gears

URL: https://www.servocity.com/32p-1-00-bore-aluminum-...

$12.99

Part: 615226

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Hub Adaptor C
Part Description: 1.50" - 1.50" Pattern Adapter

URL: https://www.servocity.com/hub-adaptor-c

$3.99

Part: 545500

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Aluminum Clamping Motor Mount
Part Description: 37mm Bore Bottom Tapped Clamping Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/37mm-clamping-motor-mou...

$6.99

Part: 555116

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 20T, 32 Pitch, 6mm Bore Pinion Gear
Part Description: 37mm Bore Bottom Tapped Clamping Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/6mm-bore-32p-shaft-moun...

$7.99

Part: 615262

Step 4: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Bearing Blocks
Part Description: 1" Bore Side Tapped Pillow Block

URL: https://www.servocity.com/1-000-bore-quad-pillow-...

$9.99

Part: 535178

Step 4: Quantity: 2

Step 5: [5 of 12] Mount the X-axis to the Base Channel

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws

Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-head-machine-screws

$1.79 (25 pack)

Part: 632108

Step 5: Quantity: 4 (of 25 pack)

Step 6: [6 of 12] Assemble the Y-axis Channel

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A

Part Description: 6.00” Aluminum Channel

https://www.servocity.com/6-0-channel

$5.99

Part: 585446

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” OD x 2.25” L Aluminum Tube with Flange
Part Description: 1" Flanged Aluminum Tubing

https://www.servocity.com/1-00-flanged-aluminum-tu...

$3.49

Part: 635166

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Shafting and Tubing Spacer
Part Description: Shafting and Tubing Spacers (12 pack)

https://www.servocity.com/shafting-and-tubing-spac...

$1.69 (12 pack)

Part: 633116

Step 6: Quantity: 1 of 12 pack

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$1.79 (25 pack) * 2

Part: 632108

Step 6: Quantity: 8 + 2 = 10

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 6: Quantity: 4

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Bore Clamping Hub A
Part Description: 1" Bore, Face Tapped Clamping Hub, 1.50" Pattern

Notes: Tapped

URL: https://www.servocity.com/1-bore-clamping-hub-a

$5.99

Part: 545352

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 84T, 32 Pitch, 1” Bore Aluminum Hub Gear
Part Description: 1.00" Bore 32 Pitch Aluminum Hub Gears

URL: https://www.servocity.com/32p-1-00-bore-aluminum-...

$12.99

Part: 615226

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Hub Adaptor C
Part Description: 1.50" - 1.50" Pattern Adapter

URL: https://www.servocity.com/hub-adaptor-c

$3.99

Part: 545500

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: Aluminum Clamping Motor Mount
Part Description: 37mm Bore Bottom Tapped Clamping Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/37mm-clamping-motor-mou...

$6.99

Part: 555116

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 20T, 32 Pitch, 6mm Bore Pinion Gear
Part Description: 37mm Bore Bottom Tapped Clamping Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/6mm-bore-32p-shaft-moun...

$7.99

Part: 615262

Step 6: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 1” Bearing Blocks
Part Description: 1" Bore Side Tapped Pillow Block

URL: https://www.servocity.com/1-000-bore-quad-pillow-...

$9.99

Part: 535178

Step 6: Quantity: 2

Step 7: [7 of 12] Attach Y-Axis Against X-Axis

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws

Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-head-machine-screws

$1.79 (25 pack) * 2

Part: 632108

Step 7: Quantity: 4

Step 8: [8 of 12] Assemble Z-Axis Channel

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 3.75” Aluminum Channel

Part Description: 3.75” Aluminum Channel

https://www.servocity.com/3-75-channel

$4.49

Part: 585443

Step 8: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.3125” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 5/16” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$1.79 (25 pack)

Part: 632108

Step 8: Quantity: 4

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 8: Quantity: 4

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A “Big L”
Part Description: 90° Pattern Mount

URL: https://www.servocity.com/90-hub-mount-bracket-a

$9.99

Part: 535178

Step 8: Quantity: 1

Step 9: [9 of 12] Attach Z-Axis Channel

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws

Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-head-machine-screws

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 9: Quantity: 4

Step 10: [10 of 12] Attach X-Axis Motor

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A

Part Description: 4 RPM Gear Motor

URL: https://www.servocity.com/4-rpm-gear-motor

$24.99

Part: 638162

Step 10: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-head-machine-screws

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 10: Quantity: 1

Step 11: [11 of 12] Attach the Y-Axis Motor

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A

Part Description: 0.5 RPM Gear Motor

URL: https://www.servocity.com/0-5-rpm-gear-motor

$24.99

Part: 638142

Step 11: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-head-machine-screws

$2.19 (25 pack) * 1

Part: 632114

Step 11: Quantity: 1

Step 12: [12 of 12] Attach Z-Axis Motor

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: N/A

Part Description: 0.5 RPM Gear Motor

URL: https://www.servocity.com/2-rpm-gear-motor

$24.99

Part: 638154

Step 12: Quantity: 1

###

Gear Drive Pan Kit Description: 6-32 x 0.500” Socket Head Cap Screws
Part Description: 6-32 Flat Head Phillips Machine Screws

Notes: 6mm, 32tpi, 1/2” length

https://www.servocity.com/6-32-zinc-plated-socket-...

$2.19 (25 pack)

Part: 632114

Step 12: Quantity: 1 (of 25 pack)

Step 13:

Comments

Swansong (author)2017-10-26

That's really neat! I'd have loved to have access to something like this in science class in school :)

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