Tracking Software

     

 

This page contains descriptions of the most important of my programs for satellite tracking and antenna and radio control. Click on the corresponding links to display screenshots

Further detailed descriptions and illustrations can be found on the AMSAT-DL website.

The SatPC32 program package  includes the following  programs 

SatPC32, SatPC32ISS and Wisat32
WinAOS
 
WinListen
 
SuM, SuMListen

The  programs are available in German and English versions. 

They can be obtained on CD or via Internet download

Since I support the work of AMSAT with my programs, they are distributed by AMSAT-DL, AMSAT-NA and AMSAT-UK.

A fully functioning demo version of the SatPC32 package (German or English) with only one little restriction vs. the full version  can be downloaded  from the page Downloads or from the website of Amsat-DL-Warenvertrieb  (Software 1).

After registration the demo can be switched to full version. The program itself contains all informations how to register.

European users  can order the program (CD or registration code) at AMSAT-DL Warenvertrieb, Northamerican users at Amsat-NA (see section "AMSAT Catalog , software" on their  website),  users in Great Britain  (shortly) at AMSAT-UK

 

The program DDESat32 (full version) is free and can be downloaded also from the page Downloads.



1. SatPC32, SatPC32ISS  und Wisat32

Screenshot of FO-29.

The distandce between 2 points of the the ground track correspondents to a 2-minute time interval. FO-29  allows SSB and CW contacts on 2m uplink/ 70cm downlink. When you select the satellite SatPC32 will automatically set the proper uplink and dowlink  frequencies and modes. While the satellite is  in range you will immediately hear your signal with the right audio pitch. You don't need to tune arround to find your signal as you would have to do without automatic frequency control. During the pass you can tune around the passband with the VFO like in terrestrial operation and no corrections due to the Doppler shift changes will be necessary.  

 

 

The "Countdown" window allows to quickly  overview the next satellite passes (the window should be positioned outside the SatPC32 main window). 




The screenshot shows the main window of Wisat32

 

More Screenshots:
SatPC32 

ServerKCT  


The programs SatPC32.Exe (in the following: SatPC) and Wisat32.Exe (in the following: Wisat) calculate the tracks of earth orbiting satellites.
The calculations are based on the SGP4/SDP4 model, the results therefore are highly accurate. Both programs are included in the SatPC32 program package.  

SatPC32ISS.Exe (in the following SatPCISS)  is a special version of SatPC32 for radio amateur operation via the ISS. The program provides "In-Band" frequency control with several radios. While "normal" amateur satellites use different bands for uplink and downlink both frequencies of the ISS are in the 2m band.  The "normal" SatPC32 switches the radios into satellite mode to allow full duplex operation (transmitting and receiving at the same time). Therefore uplink and downlink  must be in different bands.  

 SatPC32ISS is also included in the SatPC32 program package. 

SatPC displays the audibility-areas of one or several selected  satellites within a world-map and shows the results in text-lines below the map. Wisat represents the satellite positions in real-time in list-form. Both programs update their calculations continuously  in steps of one second. The differences between SatPC and Wisat result from the absence of the graphic output in Wisat.       

  SatPC and Wisat steer the antennas and  radio frequencies (CAT) for Doppler correction.  Both programs allow multitasking with programs that provide data transfer with satellites like Wisp32. SatPC32 and Wisat32 then will take over the antenna- and frequency-control. The automatic switching on a satellite works  synchronized with the data-program.   

The automatic Doppler correction also works  with ssb transponders like FO-20, FO-29, AO-10, AO-40.

The antenna-control steers the AMSAT Rotor Interface and the ready-appliance IF-100. 

Further, the following interfaces and controllers are supported:
RIF-PC ( Orbitronic) ,  
WinRotor32 (Funkbox  ,Parallel port and USB version),
ARS (EA4TX ),  
HalloRotor ( DB3DH), 
Fodtrack-Interface
  (XQ2FOD),  
Kansas City Tracker /Tuner
(KCT/T), 
Yaesu GS-232 and compatible interfaces (G6LVB-Tracker, AlfaSpid, DL7AOT, CX6DD, ST3 (FoxDelta), SatDrive),  
SAEBRTrackBox  (
N8MH),
Satellite Tracker Mini, Junior, Senior (W0LMD), 
SatEL interface (Satellite Electronics),
Egis-Rotoren,
Labjack U12 (USB Controller / PiggyBack (NLSA),
Labjack U3 (USB Controller,  see page 'Downloads'),
LVB Tracker,
AlfaSpid controller,
ST1 controller (VU2FD),
Pro.Sis.Tel.controller (see page 'Downloads'),
M2/RC-2800    (only azimuth rotor)                   

Driver programs for these devices are included (or are delivered with the hardware), which take the data for  rotor- and CAT control via DDE from the main-programs SatPC32 and Wisat32.  At the end of this section you will find as an exemple a screen copy of the driver-program for the KCT (ServerKCT.Exe).

The frequency- and mode-control works with the following radios: 

Yaesu transceivers FT-736R, FT-847,   FT-817, FT-857 and FT-897,

Kenwood transceivers TS-790E/A and TS-2000,  

ICOM transceivers IC-820, IC-821,  IC-910H und IC-9100,

ICOM receivers and transmitters, that work with the same cat protocol (i.e. IC-275, IC-475). 

The programs will work also with serveral other models, this has to be tested, however.

In Vfo mode the radios supported by SatPC32 (except the Yaesu FT-736R, s. below)  can be tuned with the Vfo as well as via  the PC mouse and keyboard  in selectable frequency-steps of 20, 100, 500 Hz, 1 KHz and 5 KHz.  
Tuning with the Vfo is the most comfortable way, tuning via the PC, however, allows fast and precise QSY, which can be helpful,  when QRM is coming up on the frequency.
The Yaesu FT-736R can be tuned only via the PC as described above. Since it's Vfo frequency can not be read, it can not be tuned with the Vfo knob. 

To steer the aformentioned rotor systems the program package includes several little "driver" programs. These programs are automatically started and closed by the main program. They receive the rotor data calculated by the main program via DDE,  convert it into the format of the particular interface or controller and output it to the PC's ports.   

The output of the CAT control is sent directly to a (physical or "virtual") serial port (it  can also be sent to the KCT Tuner thus the radio can be steered via the serial ports of the KCT/Tuner).

Further, the program provides a constantly active DDE interface, which allows third-party-programs to receive the antenna positions, frequencies and modes calculated by SatPC32. This interface -in example - can be used by CX6DD's WispDDE. Thus all hardware supported by WispDDE can be controlled also by SatPC32.

A particular interface allows cooperation with Uni_Trac 3000. Therefore all hardware supported by that program can be steered with SatPC32, too ( beyond the devices supported by SatPC32 itself).
 
The programs run on IBM-compatible PCs under WINDOWS 98, ME,
Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8/8.1 and 10.  As far as I know SatPC32, Wisat32 and DDESat32 ( see below) are the only 32-bit-programs at present time, that provide rotor-control with the IF-100 and RifPC and a rotor- and frequency-control with the Kansas-City-Tracker/Tuner on NT based 32-bit Windows versions.

The programs support the 125% and 150% fonts of the newer Windows versions. There are several window sizes selectable, depending on the resolution of the graphic card and the monitor.

The programs can show times in UTC or alternatively in the observer's local time.


Downloads:
A fully functioning demo of  the current version of SatPC32 (English and German versions)  with only one little restriction vs. the full version can be downloaded from the page Downloads.  You can register the demo version at AMSAT-DL, Northamerican users at AMSAT-NA and users in Great Britain (shortly) at AMSAT-UK. After registration you get a password, that switches the program to full version.

On the page Downloads you can also download the complete manual of the current version  of SatPC32 and Wisat32  (English and German) as HTML-File or as an illustrated PDF file.

2. WinAOS

The program is included in the SatPC32 package, too.

The program reads source files, that contain Keplerian data in the AMSAT - or NASA-2-Line format.  It outputs lists in chronological order for any time periods, that can be displayed on the screen, printed or stored in a file. The calculations can take place alternatively for one or several satellites.  The files may contain further text besides the records. Therefore it is not necessary to edit the files.

The lists show the rising and setting times of the satellites, the duration of audibility, the maximum elevation in the pass and the azimut angles at rising and setting times.

The program can be run alternatively in UTC or in the observers local time.

WinAOS  (12 K)

3. WinListen

The program is included in the SatPC32 package, too.

The program reads source files, that contain Keplerian data in the AMSAT - or NASA-2-Line format.  It outputs lists in chronological order for any time periods, that can be displayed on the screen, printed or stored in a file. The files may contain further text besides the records. Therefore it is not necessary to edit the files.

Corresponding to the selected function the program displays
1. all positions,
2. positions of positive elevation (window),   
3. start and finish times of the window,
4. windows for 2 observers,
5. start and finish time of this window. 

The program can be run alternatively in  UTC or in the observers local time. 

The following screenshot shows the output window of the program. 

WinListen (10 K). 

The program also displays whether the satellite is eclipsed or not

4. DDESat32

DDESat32 is an interface program, that only works with Wisp32 and only in the SatPC32 environment, because it reads some of the auxiliary files of SatPC32, when it starts.

The program takes the output of GSC (azimut, elevation, ma-value, up- and downlink frequencies and modes) and converts it to the protocol of the connected rotor- and cat-interfaces and outputs it to the hardware. The program supports the same radios and rotor interfaces as SatPC32 and Wisat32 do, see above.   

DDESat32 runs under Windows 95/98/ME, WinNT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

As far as I know DDESat32 is (besides SatPC32 and Wisat32)  the only 32-bit application that provides rotor-control with the IF-100 and RifPC and rotor- and cat-control with the KCT under WinNT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP at this time.

DDESat32  (8 K)



5. SuM, SuMListen
SuM (for  "Sonne und Mond" = "Sun and Moon") is a non-graphical program that calculates the positions of the sun and moon with high accuracy. It uses special routines that  do not require Keplerian data. The program controls also the antennas and can be used to verify  the antenna directions by tracking the sun or moon.

SuMListen calculates the positions of the sun and moon, and outputs the results to a list on the screen or printer or saves them  to a file.

SuM, SuMListen (40 K)

 

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