23 July 2024

It has been a good 20 years since the first version of my WEController software! It seems like yesterday that late at night I was trying out various routines to run two stepper motors (which became 4 with later versions).

A bit of history.

The idea of controlling a stepper motor using software made entirely by me arose from the need to move the variable capacitor of my magnetic loop outside the balcony of my new house shortly after getting married.
As is well known, these antennas have a negligible bandwidth due to their high Q, so they need to be retuned even by moving only a few kHz.
From ideas I then moved on to deeds and started to write some program lines in VB6 and build the first interface for the motors to be attached to the PC’s parallel port.

These few lines quickly became hundreds, and the project, which was initially intended to control only one motor for the magnetic loop, was soon able to manage a second motor. After the first ‘release’, some friends scattered all over Italy, but also in England and America, wrote to tell me that, thanks to my software, they had been able to realise, in a very simple way, projects they had been thinking about for years.
Among the projects that I remember best are undoubtedly the tuning control of an HF tuner and amplifier by dear Filippo IC8POF, Sergio IZ3ZEW’s ladder-feed antenna tuner, a satellite tracking system from Roberto (unfortunately I can’t remember the call-sign), and then many others, such as a home-made dynamic antenna by a Canadian OM.

WEController Sat mode

In the following years, upgrades followed, for example the handling of four stepper motors and the use of USB cards as well, until unfortunately there was no more time for upgrades.
Currently the software is no longer distributed but I sometimes use it for some tests.