microHAM ARCO Rotor-Controller
The company microHAM s.r.o. (Slovakia) has been known for high-quality interfaces and accessories for radio equipment for many years. Now the manufacturer introduces a new universal rotor controller: the "ARCO". The name stands for Antenna Rotator Controller.
The ARCO is intended as a much more convenient replacement for any rotor control unit, regardless of manufacturer. The complex circuitry of the ARCO is designed to control almost any model of antenna rotator. So it doesn't matter if it's models from Yaesu, Create, SPID, Hygain, ProSisTel, M² and many more. The controller works with DC and AC motors, as sensor all common types (potentiometer, pulse, Hall encoder etc.) are handled. The extensive manual lists over 40 different rotor models that can be used. With the very widely used rotors from Yaesu, not even the cable has to be changed. The ARCO offers the same 6-pin connector as the Japanese manufacturer.
The great strength of the ARCO lies in its ease of use. For years, nothing has changed in the operation of a rotor - left or right turn, a simple compass needle shows the antenna direction. What better ideas there are for the 'user interface' is now shown by microHAM.
The basis is the 7" large, color LC display. Here a world map is displayed in different zoom levels. After entering the own locator, this map is centered on the own location. A compass needle shows the current antenna direction. If desired, the current sun illumination is displayed, in order to be able to see the possibilities of the Greyline propagation optimally. The new desired direction can be set by tapping presets on the touch LCD, very traditionally via left/right buttons or very quickly via a rotary control. As soon as you let go of this, the rotor starts running. Alternatively, you can simply enter the prefix or locator of the remote station and the rotor will automatically turn in the right direction.
Of course you can configure many parameters like a smooth start and braking, so that the turning and braking torque does not damage the antenna system. If desired, 'ARCO' will rotate the antenna to a park position when at rest. Even complex configurations with multiple rotors, rotatable masts with additional rotor and so on is adjustable. But even if you have only one antenna, the ARCO offers a very welcome ease of use.
Another strength of the ARCO is its communication capabilities. Even if the setup and operation is completely without a computer, all interfaces are available to integrate the rotor into the station. Ethernet, serial, USB, iLink to other microHAM devices - it's all there. This simplifies operation in contest as well as DX hunting.
The special care of the product design is shown in small details like a fan that runs very quietly and anyway only when needed. Or in the automatic shutdown of the built-in power supply to avoid interference on HF. The microHAM ARCO offers here functions of a rotor control unit that we didn't know we were missing until now.
The universal rotor control unit is offered by WiMo and costs 699 Euro incl. VAT. The first delivery is already completely sold out, purchasers will be put on a waiting list. Furthermore, also due to the worldwide shortage of components, somewhat extended delivery times are to be expected.