CONTROLLERThe RC2000 family consists of the RC2000A and the RC2000C Satellite Antenna Controllers. The RC2000C supports inclined orbit satellite tracking. The RC2000A and RC2000C are based on the same platform. An RC2000A can be converted into an RC2000C by upgrading the controller’s software (stored in EPROM memory) and inserting/replacing a couple of IC’s on the controller’s digital board.

The following features are common to both the RC2000A and RC2000C ...

• An intuitive user interface based on a 2 by 40 liquid crystal display with a 16 key keypad.

• Dual Speed, Solid State Adapti-DriveTM can deliver 8 amps (at 30 volts DC) to the antenna actuator. The drive features electronic over current protection and dynamic braking. An application note is available which describes a method to interface with motors that operate at different voltages - see the Application Information section.

• Precise slow speed control is implemented by a software servo based system that measures the rate at which position pulses are accumulated by the controller and adjusts the voltage applied to the drive to maintain a constant rate of movement.

• Interfaces with pulse based position sensors - reed switch, Hall effect, or optical.

• Servo based polarization control. An optional daughter board, designated RC2KPOL, can interface with a 5 to 24 volt DC powered rotating feed equipped with a potentiometer for position feedback.

• Serial communications via an RS-422 port. The RC2000 uses the industry standard SA Bus protocol.

• Rack Mounting (2 rack units high), 115/230 VAC Switch Selectable Power Input

• Non-Volatile Memory retains satellite position data. The RC2000A can store location data for 50 geostationary satellites. The RC2000C stores location data for 35 satellites, 5 of which may be inclined.


The RC2000C provides tracking for inclined orbit satellites via Step Track, Search, and Memory Track algorithms. Three versions of the RC2000C are available: the RC2000C AZ/EL for use with elevation over azimuth type antenna mounts, the RC2000C POLAR for use with polar mounts which employ either a motorized declination or latitude angle adjustment, and the RC2000C EL/AZ for use with azimuth over elevation type antenna mounts. An analog voltage (in the range of 0 to 10 volts) proportional to signal strength is required for peaking the satellite. This voltage is usually provided by a receiver or modem AGC output but can also be generated by a beacon receiver.

Setup of the tracking system is straight forward. From the controller’s CONFIG mode the user enters the following information ...

Antenna Size,
Antenna Latitude and Longitude,
Maximum Tracking Error in tenths of dB,
Elevation Constant (the number of elevation position counts per degree of antenna elevation movement),
AGC Polarity (positive polarity implies that a stronger satellite signal produces a greater AGC voltage),
AGC Threshold (an AGC level above the threshold implies that a satellite signal is present).

When a track is initiated on a satellite the user is prompted for: the satellite’s longitude, the satellite’s current inclination, and the satellite’s frequency band(s) - C, Ku, C/Ku, L, X, Ka.

From this information the controller is able to automatically determine the optimum tracking parameters ...

• Step Track azimuth and elevation step sizes.
• Interval between Step Track peaking operations.
• Frequency of Memory Track antenna alignment operations.
• The shape of the Search Mode search region.