Success!

Great moment this afternoon when the Automatic Loop Controller fired up as it should. Happy days.

Automatic Loop Controller appears to be working as expected
The Automatic Loop Controller PCB and display

When I first fired it up, after loading up the Arduino program, all I could see was a dull green glow on the screen. It wasn’t until I remembered a comment from another builder about adjusting the potentiometer on the PCB that controls the LCD contrast.

It was a great relief that my slow and deliberate build – double checking all component values and joints – paid off. Next step is to build the SWR bridge and connect to the stepper motor on the loop.

Also finally managed to make a plate out of perspex to mount my stepper motor on to the supporting bracket on the magnetic loop after much mulling over how to achieve a suitable level of accuracy with my dremel drill press to get the stepper shaft as close to the centre as possible.

Mounting plate for stepper motor
The clear perspex mounting plate is sitting above the white plastic mounting bracket with holes for three support struts.

Not too bad for a cut with a straight baby hacksaw. The key tool turned out to be my old school compass which had scribing points fitted which were perfect for marking out the perspex. I figured that these ‘cross hairs’ would help orient and centre the piece and the shaft. After these shots I countersunk the holes. If it looks a little skewiff, that’s probably because it is!

Success – part 2

Also successful today getting this instance of the blog back online using AWS. Another steep but satisfying learning curve about the nitty gritty of DNS management! What’s in a CNAME? you might ask.

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