[amsat-bb] SatPC32 12.8 released
w9ae at charter.net
Tue May 27 23:31:02 PDT 2008
Erich Eichmann DK1TB has released SatPC32 version 12.8 which contains
improvements for Windows Vista compatibility, CAT control of multiple
radios, and CAT control of Icom half-duplex radios.
A demo version may be downloaded from the author's web site:
Here are the changes listed in the 12.8 "What's New" file:
1. The 16-bit setup program has been replaced by the
latest 32-bit Vista compatible version of Installshield
2. The CAT steering functions of SatPC32 have been expanded:
a. The program now supports Doppler tuning with a single
ICOM IC-706MKIIG, IC-7000 and compatible radios,
although these radios are not full duplex satellite
transceivers. Previous versions of SatPC32 already support
satellite operation with a single one of the Yaesu half
duplex radios FT-817, FT-857, FT-897.
With half duplex transceivers you can't hear your own
signal on the downlink like you can with full duplex
radios. However, the program automatically sets the uplink
and downlink frequencies to the correct values. So, it
allows voice operation over FM and SSB satellites and
also digital operation. Read the "Hints for .... users
of Icom radios" how to calibrate SSB frequencies when
using a half duplex radio. The file can be opened from
the SatPC32 menu "?" / "Hints for...".
b. Full duplex satellite operation with 2 separate radios
for uplink and downlink has been improved.
Previously, one had to run the tool TxController (that came
with SatPC32) to steer 2 separate radios. SatPC32 then
steered the RX radio directly and TxController the second
radio as the TX. Via DDE, TxController received the data
calculated by SatPC32, using the data to steer the mode and
frequency of the TX radio.
A problem occured when the user switched between a V/U
satellite (uplink on VHF, downlink on UHF, e.g. AO-51) and
an U/V satellite (uplink on UHF, downlink on VHF, e.g.
VO-52). With V/U satellites the VHF radio had to run as
the TX and the UHF radio as the RX, with U/V satellites the
situation was vice versa. Since TxController could only
steer the TX radio, a second instance of SatPC32 and
TxController and a program re-start were necessary when
the user switched between such satellites.
Now SatPC32 itself steers also the second radio directly.
The configuration can be done in the "Radio 2" section of
the menu "Radio Setup".
Numerous devices can be combined, e.g. the Yaesu semi
duplex transceivers with each other or with Icom semi
duplex radios or single band radios or Icom radios with
With 2 Icom radios only a single serial port is required.
Both radios can be connected in parallel to the
When the user switches from a V/U satellite to a U/V
satellite or vice versa the program will (optionally)
exchange the roles of both radios as TX and RX.
Example: With FO-29 a FT-817 (that is connected to the UHF
antenna) runs as RX, an IC-706MKIIG (that is connected to
the 2m antenna) runs as TX. When the user tunes the FT-817
with the VFO around the passband the program will
automatically tune the frequency of the IC-706MKIIG to the
correct uplink frequency and the user will immediately hear
his signal on the new frequency.
When the user switches to a U/V satellite the IC-706MKIIG
will run as the RX on VHF. When the user tunes it's VFO the
program will tune the FT-817 to the correct UHF uplink
3. The Vista compatibility has been improved. Previously the
SatPC32 data files were stored in the SatPC32 program folder.
They could be edited with Notepad.
Under Windows Vista, however, this method causes problems
if the new "User Account Control" (UAC) is activated
(recommended by Microsoft). Then Vista inhibits changes of
the original data files and creates copies with the changes
instead. Vista saves these copies in a hard-to-find
Therefore the SatPC32 data files are no longer stored in the
program folder but in a sub folder 'SatPC32' in the system
folder for application data.
The program displays the path of this data folder in the
bottom line of the menu 'Satellites'.
4. SatPC32 now includes a simple text editor that can alternatively
be used besides Notepad to edit auxiliary files (data files,
In the file DivOptions.SQF the user can choose whether
auxiliary files are to be opened with Notepad or with the
5. Further improvements:
a. SatPC32 supports now the FMN (narrow FM) mode of the IC-910H.
In the file Doppler.SQF enter FMN as the mode if this mode is to be
b. With previous version the menu "CAT" needed to be closed
when the satellite is changed. Otherwise the program could not
update the frequency list. That has been changed. So, the CAT
window can now be left open during operation. It should then be
moved out of the main window.
c. The program now shows the file date of the selected Keplerian
data file in the bottom line of the menu "Satellites". So the
user immediately knows whether the data should be updated.
CAT steering of the FT-736R didn't work reliably when the
satellite's uplink and downlink frequency are the same, e.g.
the packet frequency of the ISS on 145.825 MHz. This has been
e. Some minor bugs have been fixed.
"Registered" SatPC32 users may use their existing registration code to
activate the downloaded new version. New users are encouraged to
purchase a registration code from AMSAT-NA, AMSAT-DL, or AMSAT-UK. The
online store is down at the moment but you may purchase a registration
code by calling Martha at the AMSAT office at 888-322-6728. Version
12.8 will not be available on CD until the existing stock of 12.7 CDs is
Erich Eichmann DK1TB has donated SatPC32 to AMSAT, so all proceeds
support amateur satellite programs. Please support amateur satellites
by registering your copy of SatPC32.
Wayne Estes W9AE
AMSAT Area Coordinator
Oakland, Oregon, USA, CN83ik
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