Blog 20 – Another Dayton Hamvention has Come and Gone
A month after the 2017 Dayton/Xenia Hamvention and we have almost caught up on getting all product and options back on the shelf ready to ship. It was a good show and always fun to meet and talk to new and old customers. I spent a total of $4.00 this year at the show buying a few SPDT switches for a project. I did not see anything that I could not live without this year.
A few new things around Portable Rotation products: I have found a good supplier of Belden Cables and can now afford to use 18/4 stranded with shield Belden Cable for the Hand Controller to Motor Unit cables on all products. It is a nice size cable, not too thick/stiff and not to thin, standard Belden Gray in color.
We are in the process of testing an improvement to the Auto Calibration process of the Position Sensor. We have had folks break the sensor off at the mounting hub during the auto calibration process when the system was not configured properly prior to operation. If the system was told by the user that it was at 0 degrees elevation but in fact the sensor was in a negative position, say 45 degrees down, the system assumed that the Sensor was in fact at 0 degrees and would do the calibration. Unfortunately the Sensor Arm would get caught on the side of the Azimuth Unit or GPS module and break off. The system assumed that the actual elevation was correctly set. I have added code to the firmware that causes the reading of the Accelerometer in the Sensor Unit prior to any movements and it checks to make sure the actual position matches the system held position and that it is not at a negative pitch. If the pitch is within +/- 30 degrees it will self-align to 0 degrees pitch and if outside that range will fault and not perform the operation. This firmware upgrade will be on the web site by the end of June. It will be a Motor Unit update only, version 1.4D.