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SatTune

What is it ?

SatTune is a piece of software that allows you to automate a PCR-1000 so that it will change frequencies depending upon the location of the observer. The user has full control as to what frequencies that they should change too the output volume, and squelch (eek) settings.

 

SatTune depends upon a pass prediction that has been generated from a program call WxTrack (Just one of the excellent offerings from David Taylor).

 

SatTune does not record, decode, re-align APT images not does it make tea or coffee. Other software packages WxSat, Satwav and SatSignal should be employed for this purpose.

 

This is the very rushed, hurried and gramitically chanllenged version of the documentation I have been meaning to write for a product called SatTune.   Why is it called SatTune ? Err, well It was nice and short, plus I use it to tune to the various NOAA series Satellites. And as I use WxTrack, SatSignal, SatLevel - the phrase SatTune seemed appropiate. You may however call it a "buggy, untested and clunky" - I will not be (too) offended.

 

So how do you get it to work ?

 

Good Question.

Step 1 is to download the Program. page.

SatTune.ZIP (56K)

Step 2 is to download the Microsoft Debug DLL's (The current version is linked against the DBG DLL's as I am currently adding extra features in my spare time).

MsVC DLL's (1.7 Mb)

Step 3 - is to download the .REG file (A Registry Settings file)

SatTune.Reg (1K)

Step 4 - Unzip All Files (from Steps 1 + 2) into a Directory of your choice.

Step 5 - Double Click on the .REG file (this will stores these values in the system registry. You can look and see what they create by using Regedit (a potentially fatal tool for you PC - so be careful) - the keys etc are stored in LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SATTUNE. There is nothing else tampered / altered.

Step 6 - You need to run up WxTrack (sorry the only program I support at the moment, but SatScape support will be added soon). Select the Satellites that you want to track (in this example I will use NOAA 15 and METEOR 3-21), and generate a 10-28 day passlist (This is a button on the Right hand side of the Screen).

 

Below - an Example of the Passlist.txt file produced by WxTrack. The format is as follows

DATE (MON DAY HH MM SS) Direction MAX_El duration and Satellite Name

0113010132 S 60 823 NOAA 15

0113011412 S 67 817 NOAA 15

0113015727 N 34 545 METEOR 2-21

0113020704 S 79 559 NOAA 15

0113024351 S 36 449 METEOR 2-21

0113025523 S 43 708 NOAA 15

 

 

Come out of Wxtrack - and go and edit the SATTUNE.ini file. (This will be whereewver you unziped the SatTune.Zip file).

 

The File should look something like the following

 

# SatTune Frequency Settings

# Format of this File is as Follows

# SatName, Frequency in MHZ, Mode, BandWidth, Volume %, Squelch %

# i.e.

# NOAA 12, 136.3, FM, 15, 50, 10

# This is NOAA 12, go to 136.3 Mhz, with a 15K Bandwidth Filter, 50% Volume,

# and 10% Squelch

#

# Valid Modes are AM, CW, FM, USB, LSB, WBFM

# Valid Filters are.... 3,15,50,250

#

# Default is the Frequency to go to when Nothing is happening

# This can be your FM Station, Baby Monitor, or whatever

#

NOAA 12 , 137.50 , FM, 50, 34, 0

METEOR 2-21, 134.123, FM, 50, 37, 0

DEFAULT , 131.725, AM, 15, 35,10

 

At this point you will have to do some experimenting. To see what level of sound you should use. I get a larger swing in the sound level where I am based - so a value of 33 (which means 33 % of Max Sound Output - or J4054 - in PCR-1000 Speak).

 

When there are No Satellites - the Radio will tune to the Station called DEFAULT - For me I listen to the ACARS transmissions, so this example is my local area frequency for that.

 

Save the File.

Step 8 - Run Sat Tune.... and go to the SATELLITES->Location Of the File

 

Pick the directory where the Passlist.txt (created in Step 6) was created.

Set your Comms Port (it has to be 9600, No Parity…. I will add options later)

Set Your Error Level - I suggest Tuning - to start with then after a While I use Error Only mode.

Then Save the Settings.

 

Press the Next Pass Button - and the Radio should Spring into life, and go hunting for those Signals.

 

You of course now have to start you WxSat, SatWav or whatever listening Program that you use- the program does not do this for you.

 

I personally start ACARS Decoder by AirNav, and then start WxSat - it has to be done in this order else there seems to be some form of a problem.... (This is a Windows thing - rather than a SatTune thing) With each application starting to fight the other.

 

 

Known Problems:

I used to get "bigger" pictures doing it manually.

Solution: In WxTrack - alter the minimum elevation that you require before aquiring a satellite. I run my system in 0 degrees. You probably also want to keep the minimum pass time at 150 secs or above.

You will need to regenerate a passlist.txt file (Step 6), and then tell the SatTune to Stop Listening, and then Get Next Pass - as SatTune reads the file into memory when it is run initially (it makes things faster, and somewhat easier to program).

 

 

SatTune exits after pressing the Next Pass Button

If you have been using the ICOM supplied software the radio can be left switched on - and I have currently not been able to work out how to reset the radio.

Solution: Turn the radio Off - count to 5, turn it back on and Everything should work fine.

 

SatTune did work - but there are no more .WAV Files

Solution: You have run out of passes in your Passlist file. Regenerate them again using Step 6. Then Say Stop PCR - then Get Next Pass - this causes the file to be re-read.

 

I Did have a 28 day passlist file - but It's now become only 1 day.

Solution: WxTrack regenerates this file when you start manually trying to work out the next pass for a satellite. You can either copy the 28 Day passlist.txt to a separate directory - or just regenerate it say at the end of every day.

 

I am working on a DDE Solution - that will remove the need for generating such files - it is near completion - but I have not even started testing it yet.

 

Comments/Questions/Problems

 

Please feel free to send them - E-Mail

deepstar@omantel.net.om

 

Page 1st written 28th Jan 2002