Demonstration of ARCO feature to control another rotator physically connected to different ARCO controller.
ARCO is a completely self-contained stand alone rotator controller not requiring computer or any external device or power supply for setup and operation, while providing a wide selection of interfaces for remote control when necessary. It features several ways of controlling azimuth or elevation heading using uncluttered graphical user interface on the 7” touch screen. Azimuth heading is displayed on a great circle map, user centered to the rotator installation location, with four different radius settings, live grey line projection, several coloring options and automatic day/night color schemes. The controller supports
Touch’n Turn feature, fastest possible heading entry by simple touching desired direction on great circle map. Than classic tactile front panel CW and CCW buttons, Point and Shot knob and heading entry keypad, either virtual on the touch screen or hardware, connected to the USB host port on the ARCO.
long with the manual control, ARCO offers rich connectivity for the computer using standard RS-232 port, USB serial port not requiring any driver installation on Windows 10, macOS, and Linux, and Ethernet port to enable control over Internet.
For rotator position feedback, ARCO supports wide range of the absolute and relative sensors including rheostat, potentiometer, reed contact, Hall sensor, and PWM sensor. Additional digital sensor port provides three differential lines supporting RS-485 communication as well as single ended push-pull and open collector connection for various quadrature encoders. With high resolution sensors positioning accuracy is 0.1º.
For the motor control, ARCO uses high current, 4-channel PWM driver with overload, short circuit and overheat protections, combined with automatically operated, current monitoring internal power supply, preventing driver damage caused by operation failures. This combination is capable of driving safely any DC motor up to 48V or any AC motor up to 24V, including innovative brake control reducing solenoid heat.
Motor start and stop uses configurable, ultra-fine gradual speeds ramps, significantly reducing inertial forces stress to the rotator, tower and antennas, prolonging their lifetime. Gradual speed control uses auto-adapting procedure considering variable, dynamically changing resistance caused by wind or ice.
For its basic operation, ARCO uses built-in linear supply for silent, interference free operation. Separate built-in power supply for the motor is selectively controlled and entirely turned off when motor does not turn, to avoid causing any possible interference to the sensitive receivers. For high voltage or high power motors ARCO provides common control outputs for inverters as well as industry standard MODBUS RTU control. All rotator settings including compensation for power loss in the motor cables are menu driven, comfortably without requiring to open cover and change some internal wiring.
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