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Re: Fw: Rotator/Elevator controled using LAN?

On Fri, Jan 19, 2001 at 07:57:05AM -0500, Art Goldman wrote:
> Gentlemen:
> I think, before you start running your LAN up the tower to control your
> rotators, you should consider mother nature.
> I'm building a stand-alone az-el controller using a basic stamp
> microcontroller. While discussing this with Don, W4VQA this morning, he
> pointed out that rotor cables are a wonderful conduit for lightning
> surges, and that the solid state relays I'm using would be more prone to
> failure in thunderstorms than contact relays would -- though those too
> are susceptible. So if I get hit, hopefully the only thing to roast will
> be my controller, and perhaps the serial port on my computer that runs
> the tracking software.

*Real* lightning strikes will take out much more if there is *any*
connection to your computer. Nine years in Florida was enough to
learn that...

> Considering all the equipment I have on my LAN, I surely don't need
> lightning to take out all my computers and radios with one close
> strike....what's Greek for "let the builder beware?"
> IMHO, I think this whole idea is a bit over the top. Nevertheless, some
> of the ideas shared were very interesting and may well serve other
> ventures.

Not really... ever heard of fiber?  I picked up some ST fiberoptic
ethernet transceivers from the former TechAmerica ( http://radioshack.com )
last week for $20 each. Combine those with the 30 meter cables that
I got at a hamfest for $5 and I have a completely isolated link.
There is a lot of potential for using some of the 1 and 2 wire bus
transceiver/peripherals available now for control too when used 
with optoisolators.

Mike N4CNW

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