[amsat-bb] SatPC32 with Windows Vista

Wayne Estes w9ae at charter.net
Tue Mar 20 14:43:23 PST 2007

Erich Eichmann DK1TB tested the SatPC32 12.6 I/O functions with a new PC 
that runs Windows Vista 32.  The results are encouraging.  Generally, 
everything seems to be compatible.  Below are the details (mostly 
Erich's words, not mine).

A. Installshield setup program:
Works on Vista 32.  A new installer is required for Vista 64.

B. Keplerian data Internet download:
Gould Smith and Graham Ratcliff confirmed that it works.

C. Speech function:
Works on Vista 32.

D. Rotor steering via parallel port:
I tested the IOPort.SYS driver successfully with the IF-100 on a 
parallel port. The driver is also used with the FODTrack, the KCT and 
the RifPC.  The latter 2 can't be used with Vista PCs as they require 
ISA slots. But rotor steering with the FODTrack parallel port interface 
will work.

E. Rotor steering via serial port:
Rotor steering via COM 1 works. I tested that with the W0LMD Tracker
Mini. So, all  serial port rotor controllers (GS-232 and Easycomm1
compatible and EGIS devices) will work.  Rotor steering with the Labjack 
U12 works (the U12 will also work on Vista 64).  The Labjack U3 doesn't 
work at present. I received an error msg when I tested the U3. Labjack 
says they have no Vista driver for the U3 as yet.

F. Rotor steering via USB port:
Today I tested the HalloRotor USB controller and it works.  I could not 
get the WinRotor software to install.  Maybe I need updated software.  I 
have no experience with other USB controllers such as G6LVB's tracker.

G. CAT control via serial port:
CAT steering via COM 1 works flawlessly (Graham Ratcliff confirmed the 
same for Vista 64).

H. USB-to-serial adapters:
Control of serial devices via a USB-to-Serial adapter will also work, 
provided the adapter's driver is Vista compatible.  CAT steering with my 
4-Port Keyspan USB-to-serial adapter didn't work. I have a 3 year old 
USB 1.1 model, USA-49WLC.  This model has been replaced with the USB 2.0 
USA-49WG. Keyspan has a Vista compatible driver for the new model, but 
the driver doesn't work with the older model. I contacted Keyspan and 
they confirmed that they don't have a Vista driver for the older 
USA-49WLC.  I have no experience with other USB-to-Serial adapters.

There are no problems with SatPC32 12.6 itself under Vista 32. But there 
are problems with some 3rd party hardware drivers which can only be 
fixed by their manufacturers.

Windows Vista 64

I have created a 12.6 test version for Vista 64. Graham, VK5AGR, has 
tested it and noticed no problems.  It doesn't support parallel port 
rotor controllers (IF-100, FODTrack), because the IOPort.sys driver is 
not compatible with Vista 64.  All other functions seem to work like 
they do with the normal SatPC32 under Vista 32, provided Vista 64
compatible hardware drivers are available.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Oakland, Oregon, USA, CN83ik

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