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SatPC32 update is released



Erich Eichmann DK1TB has released version 12.4 of the popular satellite 
tracking program SatPC32.  The program has two significant new features. 
  First is automatic internet download of Keplerian elements such as the 
amateur.txt file from celestrak.com.  Second is an improved user 
interface for initial configuration of user location, radio and rotor 
interfaces, etc.

The program may be downloaded from the author's personal web site 
http://www.dk1tb.de/indexeng.htm   Click the "downloads" button on the 
left frame, then choose the appropriate "SatPC32 Demo" version (9.7 MB 
download).  The demo version is fully functional except that the user 
must enter their lat/lon every time when launching the program.

If you already have a SatPC32 registration code you may use that code to 
make the 12.4 version fully functional.  If you have never purchased 
SatPC32 you may purchase a registration code from the AMSAT online 
store.  http://www.amsat-na.com/item.php?id=100020    The AMSAT store 
does not yet have the 12.4 CD in stock.  If you have previously 
purchased a SatPC32 CD and wish to upgrade, please download the demo 
version and email to me a photo or scan of your CD and I will send you a 
registration code.

Here is the complete list of new features copied from the SatPC32 12.4 
"What's New" file.

1. The setup of the SatPC32 programs has been simplified. In previous 
versions the user had to do the settings in the auxiliary program 
'SatSetup', in the menu  'Options' and some settings required manual 
editing of auxiliary text files.

All settings regarding the user's location, rotor and CAT steering can 
now be done in particular setup menus. Also, all rotor driver files that 
come with SatPC32 now contain their own setup menus. Manual editing of 
the auxiliary files is no longer necessary.

2. In previous program versions the driver files used by SatPC32 to 
steer a particular interface had to be copied into the SatPC32 program 
folder. This is no longer required. SatPC32 now automatically selects 
the correct driver file.

3. Updating of Keplerian data has been simplified, too. Keps files from 
the Celestrak or AMSAT HTTP servers can now be downloaded directly by 
SatPC32 via mouse click. The program will automatically work with the 
new data from the next program start.

Download of Space-Track files and replacing the unhandy Space-Track 
satellite names with AMSAT satellite names can easily be done with the 
TLE Retriever by Dr. T.S. Kelso or HalloKepler by Gerd Riesner, DB3DH. 
These tools are free and allow automatic login on particular websites. 
It's no longer necessary to start the browser to access these websites.

4. Some CAT interfaces don't require an external power source but are 
fed directly from the COM port. To power such interfaces SatPC32 can now 
optionally switch the RTS pin to +12 V (+5 V if you are using a USB-to 
Serial adapter).

The 12.4 version also includes a new "Sun and Moon" program that can 
track the sun and moon.  This program (SuM.exe) is installed in your 
SatPC32 directory, but no shortcut is created to launch the program. 
You may manually launch this program or create a shortcut to launch it.

The SatPC32 12.4 CD will be released a few weeks later, after a large 
number of users have tested the "download" version.  We want make sure 
the new features are fully debugged before paying to have the CD made. 
If you encounter a bug in the 12.4 version, please immediately inform 
DK1TB at dk1tb@amsat.org.

Please note that DK1TB has generously donated SatPC32 to AMSAT-NA, 
AMSAT-UK, and AMSAT-DL.  If you use SatPC32, please purchase a 
registration code from one of these groups.  All of the purchase price 
will go to support amateur satellite programs.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Oakland, Oregon, USA
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