Product Reviews

Video Review: Features and Benefits of the microHAM ARCO Advanced Smart Antenna Rotator Controller

By now, you’ve probably heard about the microHAM ARCO Advanced Smart Antenna Rotator Controller—a self-contained, intuitive-to-operate device that provides next-level rotator control. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the ARCO (now available exclusively in North America from DX Engineering), now’s a good opportunity to get up to speed. Before watching the excellent video below detailing the ARCO’s many features and benefits, here’s a summary:

Not requiring a computer or any external devices for setup or operation, the ARCO (available with 200W or 400W power supply) is built to work with virtually any rotator. It features:

  • A well-organized 7″ touchscreen LCD (manual operation is also available) that boasts a colorful great circle azimuthal map with digital heading and other functions within easy reach
  • “Touch ’n Tune” feature that lets you control azimuth headings while taking advantage of four radius settings, live gray line projection, multiple coloring options, and automatic day/night color scheme
  • Advanced damage protection
  • Gradual speed ramps which reduce inertial stress to the rotator, antennas, and tower
  • Ethernet LAN and Internet remote control or local connectivity via Windows 10, macOS, and Linux computers
  • Built-in linear power supply that offers silent, interference-free operation
  • Compatibility with a range of absolute and relative sensors for rotator position feedback

The ARCO is also sold in a package with the new DX Engineering RT4500HD Heavy-Duty Antenna Rotator and 2-inch or 3-inch Heavy-Duty Mast Clamp.

ARXC Modules for the ARCO

These modules provide expanded control and functionality of the ARCO:

  • The ARXC LoRa is a long-range communication transceiver module operating in the 868 MHz ISM band. It converts the bidirectional RS-485 communication used by the ARCO and ARXC modules to RF data and back, enabling the wireless connection of ARXC components with the ARCO.
  • The ARXC MAG (magnetic azimuth sensor) reports the current true azimuth of the antenna to the ARCO.
  • The ARXC REL has four user-programmable relay outputs used for the control of various antenna and polarization switches, mast preamplifiers, and other devices which are controlled directly from the ARCO’s user interface and touchscreen or through Internet remote control. The ARCO supports up to four chained ARXC modules at the same time.

For a closer look at the ARCO, watch the video below:

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