[amsat-bb] LVB Tracker MacDoppler

Roger Swickis rswickis at telus.net
Sat Jun 7 23:16:12 PDT 2008

I have just received my assembled LVB Tracker box from AMSAT.

I would like to control it using my iMac and MacDoppler.

I have downloaded the instructions from LVBTracker.com

When I turn on the LVBTracker the indicator says I have v0.7, then it  
says "Warning bad EEPROM data." prior to displaying the az/el data.   
Should I worry about this or should I simply ignore it?  Do I need to  
install different firmware?

I have attempted to calibrate the Trackerbox and have managed it a  
couple of times, however it doesn't seem to want to retain the  
azimuth information once I have turned it off and back on again.  Any  

(The LVBTracker has both a USB and a DB-9 socket on the back, do I  
need to open things up and select one or another? )

I have downloaded the FTDIUSBSerialDriver file.  It will only install  
on the main "Macintosh HD" level, and does not allow me to select  
another location during the installation.  I am not familiar with the  
Mac OS, do the drivers need to be moved to a particular file?

The instructions suggest that I "... talk to the LVBTracker using a  
terminal program ..."  Suggesting that  I "Setup  (via the terminal  
program)  the COM port selected for the FTDI USB device, 9600, N, 8,  
1"  How do I perform this "setup"?  How do I select a COM port via  
the terminal program on a Mac?  (I have done this on a PC for a COM  
port, but I have no idea how to do it via a USB port on the Mac.)   
Any suggestions?

The instructions say that "All the tracking programs ... have good  
instructions for setting up a rotor controller."  I do not find this  
to be true for Macdoppler, which  has a minimum of instructions.   
(The LVBTracker  instructions mentions "Macdoppler Pro", I only have  
something called "Macdoppler"  do I need to upgrade to Macdoppler Pro?)

Under Macdoppler "Preferences", "Rotator", I can select my rotator,  
and baud rate, but I don't know what serial port I should select.  I  
presume its "usbserial", but it could also be "SerialPort-1", which  
is also an option.  Is "usbserial" the correct serial port to  
select?  (I am controlling my IC-821 somewhat successfully via  
Macdoppler using "usbserial" and one of the iMac's USB sockets using  
a CI-V interface cable.  I would like to use another USB cable for  
the rotor control.  Do I select "usbserial" for both?  (Of course  
this leaves me a little short of USB sockets, has anyone daisy- 
chained the radio and rotor control via a single iMac usb jack and  
one of those multi-usb boxes?)

Sorry for all the questions, but I am just about at the stage where I  
go back to using my old PC and try to get things running using  
SATPC32 through COM ports, but I would like to control things via the  
Mac if that is possible.

Is there anyone out there who has succeeded in getting the LVBTracker  
to work via Macdoppler and can help?


Roger VA7MG

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