Autonomous Satellite Tracker

This page refers to my Autonomous Satellite Tracker article in the March/April 2016 QEX. All updates will be posted here.

Supporting Material:



  • Version 2016061704 fixes a problem that prevented entering values in Firefox and Android.
  • Version 2016073023 fixes a problem that prevented downloading elements from AMSAT or
    Celestrak in Firefox and Android.
  • Version 2016082822 fixes a problem with refraction near the horizon.
  • I've added a closeup photo of the way I connected the tracker to a tripod. I bought a
    small tripod and pulled the center post up through a channel then clamped to it. The
    tripod post is 5/8" diameter. ServoCity part numbers: 3x 585548, 1x 585443, 1x 545360
    and 2x 585596.
  • Notes from a builder, WA7DLG.

Update 2018 July 29: The Tracker is now available using the ESP8266 processor, the same one used in my HamClock. This eliminates the need for the Arduino, ethernet shield and the TP-Link. The wiring diagram is now just this:

The wiring for the Servo controller, 9 DOF Sensor and tilt and pan servos is the same as in my original design. Note the change from 5 to 3.3 V supply for which the Huzzah EN is grounded. If you use a 5 V supply then leave EN disconnected.

The software is here. Set up the Arduino IDE exactly the same as for my HamClock project. You need the following libraries: TinyGPS, BNO055, Sensor, Servo and of course the ESP Arduino port. Other helpful links: Arduino IDE, Arduino libraries and ESP Huzzah.

The Tracker functions exactly the same way as before except how it connects to the network.

Let me know what you think!

73, Elwood Downey, WBØOEW