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Re: Rotor Controls

Bill Greene wrote:

I am using Nova for windows and I have Yaesu G-5600B rotors. I have had enough enjoyment trying to keep up with antenna adjustments while tuning for doppler and watching the Nova screen for required location of antennas.  After being at it since I fired up the equipment I have realized that I will not be able to grow the third arm I require or another set of failing eyes to monitor things as the birds go over.

Wayne replies:

I used to have a similar problem using my FT-847, manually controlled TV rotors, and InstantTrack 1.5.  Manually tuning the Doppler and adjusting the rotors left me hardly any time to actually tune around and make contacts!

I found a way to simplify all the adjustments without spending a penny.  I merely added InstantTune to my InstantTrack program (my FT-847 already had a serial connection to my computer for use with logging software).  Now I just select a satellite on InstantTrack and hit the "R" key to activate the auto-Doppler tuning.  I tune the FT-847 across the satellite passband blissfully ignoring all the auto-Doppler tuning that the computer does for me. InstantTune even changes modes intelligently.  For example, when I switch from CW to SSB, InstantTune automatically sets the RX VFO to USB and the TX VFO to LSB.  And when I switch from SSB to CW, it automatically switches both VFO's to CW. I still have to manually adjust the rotors, but I find that to be MUCH easier than manual Doppler tuning on Mode J (V/U) LEO satellites.

If I had to choose between EITHER auto-Doppler tuning OR auto-rotor control, I would definitely choose auto-Doppler tuning.  Best of all, auto-Doppler tuning is FREE and easy to set up if you use InstantTrack and one of the radios supported by InstantTune.  Auto-rotor control generally requires an expensive interface and is somewhat difficult to set up.

InstantTune works best with the FT-847, but it also works with FT-736R, FT-100, Kenwood HF radios, and radios with up/down tuning buttons.  It can be downloaded from the AMSAT-NA FTP site:
ftp://ftp.amsat.org/amsat/software/PC/radio-control/itune107.zip <ftp://ftp.amsat.org/amsat/software/PC/radio-control/itune107.zip> 

I don't think Nova has any built-in auto-Doppler tuning capability.  I think it merely support third-party Tracker/Tuner packages.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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