Remote Controlled Power Switch

With K3NG’s Rotator Control Software and my interface I am now able to remotely control my rotator so when there are launches in the day I can track them from work….if I remember to turn the rotator control unit on.

This seems to be the sticking point and I was constantly forgetting to power the control unit on before leaving for work. Therefore I decided to make a remote control power switch and link it into the rotator control unit. I ordered a 5V Relay Module from everyones favourite tat store

When it arrived a few weeks later I wired this into a butchered 4 way extension :

IMG_1104 IMG_1105After replacing the 13A fuses in the plug and 4 way with 3A ones (the relay is a chinese rated 10A), PAT tested it (passed!) I wired it up to a test Arduino to confirm it worked. The lead to the rotator controller was made from a head phone extension cut in two so it can be removed as needed. After soldering it to the Arduino 5V, GND and A4 pins I amended K3NG’s code as follows, changing all the “button” references to 0 (I don’t use the buttons).

#define IDLE_TIMEOUT 1 // Idle time out in mins

unsigned long idle_timer;

void loop() {

 if( (millis()-idle_timer) > (60000*IDLE_TIMEOUT) ) {
 digitalWrite(POWERSWITCH, LOW);
 digitalWrite(POWERSWITCH, HIGH);

 void check_serial(){

if (Serial.available() > 0) {
 if (serial_led) {
 digitalWrite(serial_led, HIGH); // blink the LED just to say we got something
 incoming_serial_byte =;

Now if there is no serial activity for 1 min the Arduino powers the controller off. Issue any serial command (i.e open PSTRotate) and it powers the controller on, and to boot turns the LCD back light on.

So now even if I do forget to turn the controller on I don’t have to revert to remote control V0.1 (“The Lovely Wife”)


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