I’ve toyed for years with installing a steerable array for LEO Satellites at my home. In fact, somewhere in the mess I call my basement lies a 19 year old “new-in-the-box” Yaesu G5500 Az/El rotor. I had purchased it to work AO-40, but it that bird ate itself alive, so I never had a chance to use it. However, I’ve been successfully using M2 EggBeaters at home for about two decades, and they have been “good enough”. So I’ve shelved the thought of erecting another antenna “monstrosity” (in my wife’s eyes).
One thing that operating a satellite station during the past six Field Days has taught me, is it is pretty easy to get a satellite contact in the field. Usually I set an Arrow crossed beam on a camera tripod fixed at mid-pass Az/El, then let the bird find me. It’s worked every time. But I did want a chance to work some of that low elevation “DX” that I can’t do at home.
I began reading everything I could on small antenna rotor systems, even picking up parts to build one of my own. And I began following the developments of a company in California called Portable Rotation. They introduced an Az/El rotor system that runs off a 12 volt battery and weighs about 8 pounds. It is designed for portable operation (water resistant, not water proof, and not good for blowing winds and ice up here in New England). That seemed to fill the bill for me, as I was interested in something that I could quickly setup at a school or meeting, or field event. I finally caved and purchased one last week.