Is SatPC32 the only Satellite Software ?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by K2WH, Sep 29, 2021.

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  1. K2WH

    K2WH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been using Satpc32 for some time now ~ 20 years.

    But I was wondering is there a more "Polished" program that does the same thing ?

  2. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it IS the "polished" software. If you want to try something LESS polished, you can try GPredict (which has been ported to windows but apparently does not run very well).

    I think you could also try "Ham Radio Deluxe", but I've heard conflicting reviews.
    WD9EWK likes this.
  3. KG4AKV

    KG4AKV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It depends on what you want to do. Orbitron is great for simulating passes and going back and forth through time. I've never used it for radio/antenna control but I believe it can do that.

    If you have a Mac, MacDoppler is way more polished than SatPC32.
  4. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Some time ago I managed to have gpredict running on win7pro and running the doppler on my 9100
    this is the cmd file I run:
    start C:\Ham\gpredict-win32-2.3.37\gpredict.exe
    start C:\Ham\gpredict-win32-2.3.37\hamlib\bin\rigctld.exe -v -r \\.\com6 -m 3068 -s 19200 -t 4532 -C "serial_speed=19200,stop_bits=2,rts_state=ON,dtr_state=OFF,serial_handshake=None"

    I did struggle with it to setup with rigctrl, but evenutally got it
    it seems to do doppler ok and you can fine tune tx & rx separately
    I've tried gpredict this morning and it was controlling the doppler with the 9100 on the passes of fo29 & xw-2a

    rotor control is not so good, I think its mainly because I am using k3ng and sat32pc interfaces well with it thru a usb com port
    gpredict wants to use a ip address and a port. One of the reasons I want to convert the arduino program over to a esp32 so it can be assigned an ip address.
    I had this somewhat working months ago with another program but it was updating the rotor way too fast causing the rotor to bounch around. On sat32pc I correct the rotor around 10sec intervals so any backlash in my tv rotors stabilizes before the next AZEL update. I cant get the rotor connected today (cant remember how I did it)

    Anyway search the forums for gpredict tracking and there is info on setting it up, you will need to use rig control and rotor control from the hamlibs.

    Doppler seems useable enough, maybe a rotor setup that provides an ip address would work too, it just doesnt interface (as far as I know) to com ports
    G0KDT likes this.
  5. N7AY

    N7AY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I tried 2 other apps (free) before arriving at SATPC32. The first two were pretty much unusable.
    A closely related question to this thread.... Does SATPC32 get updated and refined? It sure could use some upgrading.
    Even though SATPC32 is working for me ok - it's the buggiest SW I ever paid $50 for.
    If there are updates to it, how do I get them?
  6. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Updated, yes.

    Updates are posted by DK1TB on his web page:

    According to this page, the latest version was released in May 2021.

  7. G0KDT

    G0KDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have you ever raised the bugs with Erich the author of SatPC32. I raised a problem and shared my analysis with him and he was very helpful.

    It would be nice to give SatPC32 a face lift on its user interface but that would be major effort and I think that would be unlikely as migrating code to incorporate different operating environments is not as easy as some try to make out. Even updating code from an earlier version of visual studio to the later version isn’t that simple. If programs are dependant on legacy libraries etc. then that can make it harder again.
  8. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are a lot of documented features that seem like bugs until you ask the right questions, find the right files, or configure the right settings.

    But those bugs I've seen reported, do get addressed by Erich
    KG4AKV, WA4SCA and WD9EWK like this.
  9. UT7UX

    UT7UX Ham Member QRZ Page

    IMO SatPC32 has pretty odd user interface. I'm neither saying it is good nor bad. I'm only saying if you're familiar with it you probably consider it 'polished' but for a newbie it could appear confusing. Therefore any other software won't likely be 'polished' for you until you get used with it.

    I started with NLSA Nova for Windows and accustomed to it however finally abandoned it due lost interest to VHF and up (for occasional FM SAT contacts I've got some phone apps). Still I could suggest the Nova as an option to try.

    Many OPs are on Orbitron. As far as I know it can rotate antennas as well as correct Doppler via CAT. I would give it a try.
  10. N7AY

    N7AY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's a few "bugs" I've seen. I'll mention them here to see if others have seen them or so you folks out there can tell me how I'm using/understanding the app incorrectly before I bug (no pun intended) the author with them.....

    1. Occasionally it will pop up a dialog box in German.
    2. If I set the minimum MaxE to a non-zero value the voice notification still alerts for birds that are lower than that setting.
    3. Occasionally when I enable (click R-) the rotor control doesn't activate. I have to kill and restart the app to get it to work.
    4. When I activate the flip feature it insists on ignoring my rotor's 450 degree feature so it's frequently flipping for no reason.
    5. It's very confusing what changes require a Save, Store, restart, etc. Even File->Quit and X act different.
    6. Occasionally, after several sessions of use, it will forget a saved setting I made a few sessions earlier.
    7. The Doppler frequencies given differ significantly from what I find to work best.
    8. The Countdown window doesn't show a bird more than once - giving a incomplete order of upcoming passes.
    9. Twice it has started giving me load errors on Keps. I had to uninstall and reinstall the app to fix it.
    10. The W button will not let me select W4, which is the one I use. I'd like to use W5 but it won't do that one at all.
    KG4AKV likes this.

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