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This is my favorite subject...I love the OSCAR LOCATOR.  I still have mine
from days as a teenage amateur and OSCAR 6 and later the first RS birds and
OSCAR 10.  It can be used for all types of orbits, though the Molnyia types
are more graphically difficult with regard to manually creating the track
overlay (remember when we used to draw by hand, w/o CADD?).  They are, as
with any calculating device, only as accurate as the information input.
Today, perhaps out of nostalgia, I have my views in NOVA configured to
mimic the appearance of an OSCAR LOCATOR.  

Having recently read Edward Tufte's series of books on information display,
I think that OSCAR LOCATOR has an elegance that is often lost in today's
software displays.   I find the detailed tables of AOS/LOS, azimuth,
elevation and so forth to be far less instructive about a particular pass
than the graphic display presented by the OSCAR LOCATOR.  At a glance, with
the OSCAR LOCATOR, one could tell the time of pass, duration, azimuth,
elevation and, with a turn of the track overlay to the next equator
crossing, when to be back in the shack for the next pass.  It is important
to note, for those not familiar with the OSCAR LOCATOR, that the table of
equator crossing times was all important, like our kep element files are
today.  Look in a late 70s or early 80s QST for an example.

Of course OSCAR LOCATORS won't tune your rig or turn your antennas...;-).

At 09:42 12/4/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Hello Doug,     Well I cant say that I'm still using my Oscar Locator, At
>one time
>I had 3 of them. I started using them with Oscar 7 & 8 and then the RS's but
>after in the early 80's along came Commodore Vic 20 then 64 and for about 5-7
>I used AMS 2064 for tracking. My last Oscar Locator, a few years ago
>I converted it into a Clock, With the Oscar 7 template on it.
>73's de AL (WC9C)
>At 08:06 AM 4/10/98 EDT, you wrote:
>>Hi All. I just finished reading  N2WWD Ken's  "Orbital Elements" column
>>in the April issue of CQ VHF. It's about finding ways of making satellite
>>pass predictions easier. I'm sure some folks would say "what's easier
>>then pushing a few keys on a computer" to determine when a satellite is
>>in sight.
>> The article got me thinking about using the Oscar Locator system  for
>>determining satellite passes. I got interested in satellites well into
>>the "computer age" and never used it, although I've read a bit.about it
>>in the Satellite Experimenters Handbook.
>> I was wondering  if anyone still uses it, and how accurate is it? Can it
>>be used for only circular orbits, or for the Molnyia birds as well?
>> 73 de Doug ka8qcu
>> email    ka8qcu@juno.com
>>packet  ka8qcu@wb8swf#semi.mi.usa.noam
>>You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
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David Zatopek  Dallas, Texas USA
home: dzatopek@unicomp.net
work: dzatopek@corgan.com		tel: +214.748.2000	fax:  +214.744.1916