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Apr 13, 2013, 05:19 PM
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techspy's Avatar

Heavy Duty Tracker?

So I am setting up my tracker with the Gatling antenna and it is just too heavy for it. The geometry and fact that the servo for tilt is direct drive is just putting too much strain on the servos and consuming too much amperage. I was looking at this one from servo city.

It uses gearing so that will help with the strain on the servos, and it says they will still rotate 400 degrees so that is good.

So does anyone know of any other heavy duty trackers? I don't mind building one from plans as long as the places to purchase the parts (bearings, gears etc) are identified.

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Apr 13, 2013, 07:46 PM
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I use a Servo City setup and it works great. Check out the link below for a starting place. I struggled with plywood setup from ReadymadeRC. It did the job for light weight antennas, but not strong enough for heavier antennas.

I like mine.

Good Luck.

Apr 14, 2013, 03:55 AM
Aka... Chris Graham
NutBag's Avatar
or you could just buy the servo city one and have no more problems.
You can build your own... It'll be a struggle finding and fitting up all the parts for cheaper if you put a value your own time.

4:1 gearing for tilt works but better with the 7:1
Last edited by NutBag; Apr 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM.
Apr 14, 2013, 07:35 AM
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techspy's Avatar
Nice. I see you have it and have the antenna sitting pretty far forward of the pivot point. I was wondering if having it that far forward would put too much strain on the tilt servo. So what gear ratio are you using and how did you order it with that gear ratio?
Apr 14, 2013, 07:44 AM
Aka... Chris Graham
NutBag's Avatar
It does not sit that far forward really.
Ive used a few of these G'boxes and they handle the load fine and I already had the taller gearing... its about 7:1 on tilt and 4:1 for pan, you can buy separate gears.
This is a great setup... but then again so it should be for $.
Yes it's massive overkill but I fly long and low all over the place ands it works great for me.
Last edited by NutBag; Apr 14, 2013 at 08:22 AM.
Apr 14, 2013, 07:57 AM
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techspy's Avatar
Cool, I will ask them for a 7:1 ratio when I order.

Apr 14, 2013, 08:03 AM
Aka... Chris Graham
NutBag's Avatar
I cut the arm down and swapped a few things around to get the mount closer to the gear... you'll see what I mean when you get it.
It works fine with the Std 4:1 ratio on tilt but using taller just makes it even better, Tilt only has to move 90Deg or so anyway.
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Apr 15, 2013, 08:07 AM
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techspy's Avatar
By the way, does that have external potentiometers or does it use the ones in the servo? I would assume it would be external but I don't see any.
Apr 15, 2013, 10:00 AM
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◄7►FPV EPP Ground station tracker antenna (2 min 15 sec)
Apr 19, 2013, 05:25 PM
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techspy's Avatar
Got mine done. Went with the 7:1 ratio and it is strong and smooth!
May 13, 2013, 12:21 AM
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Hugeone's Avatar
Got one also with the 7:1 on the tilt, very strong!
I also ordered some bits from them that bolt onto their gear to make a platform to hold stuff.

May 13, 2013, 06:00 AM
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techspy's Avatar
Nice By the way, I just went to Guitar Center and bought a cheap speaker stand to use instead of the camera tripod. It was just too flimsy for that amount of weight. Works much better.
Apr 21, 2018, 03:39 PM
Registered User

Servo Noise

So I just bought a Gatling and the ServoCity PT-785 pan/tilt setup, and am in the process of putting it all together.

Right now, it seems that the tilt servo is unhappy and making a decent amount of noise when I have the antenna pointed at horizon, which is also when the load on the servo is heaviest. It doesn't make any noise at all when the antenna is pointed up at the sky, but that's because it is basically balanced at that point. If the antenna is pointed at the horizon and I unplug the tilt servo, then the antenna sinks down to hit the base.

A video is probably more helpful to illustrate the issue:

Gatling on ServoCity PT785 (1 min 1 sec)

I am using the 7:1 gear ratio that others suggested, so it shouldn't being struggling, I wouldn't think.

Am I just paranoid about the servo making the noise, or is there something I need to do to put less strain on it?

Apr 22, 2018, 03:22 PM
Registered User
Okay so I think I made a sufficient improvement to the tracker so as not to worry about the strain on the tilt servo.

I recalled post #7 where NutBag said he cut the arm down and so I wound up doing the same, and it made a pretty decent improvement:

Updated Gatling and PT785 Tracker (0 min 37 sec)

As you can see, it no longer wants to sink after unplugging the servo and it also doesn't make nearly as much noise when aiming it toward the horizon.
Last edited by AsmCoder8088; Apr 23, 2018 at 08:58 AM.
Apr 24, 2018, 11:10 AM
400' ..... NOT
Martin Y's Avatar
Try a counter weight on the tilt. Will stop the the high current draw just to hold in place.

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