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AMSAT.ORG online tracking is offline



I regret that I've had to disable the online satellite tracking 
capability on the AMSAT.org web site. It has become the victim of its 
own popularity. With the strong interest in the SuitSat deployment, 
there were so many users accessing the online tracker that it 
overwhelmed the system.

The online tracking capability wasn't designed for this kind of 
usage. For occasional casual use, the current design is fine, but it 
just can't handle many people getting on simultaneously. We have some 
ideas to improve the scalability of the online tracker, but any 
improvements will come far too late for SuitSat fans.

If you were planning to use the online tracker for SuitSat, you'll 
need a new plan. I'd encourage you to obtain satellite tracking 
software for your own computer and get it set up. I think you'll find 
that local tracking is more satisfactory in almost every way. You can 
find a wide variety of programs for most popular systems on the web 
site at http://www.amsat.org/amsat-new/tools/software.php , including 
some free ones and some that require a badly-needed donation to AMSAT.

NASA's JTrack tracking facility is still working. It can be found at 
http://science.nasa.gov/Realtime/jtrack/

One of the best ways to use an online tracking facility is to verify 
that your local tracking software is getting the right answers. Set 
up your local tracking software and run it, and simultaneously run 
the online function. If they get the same answer, you may be 
confident that your local software is set up correctly.

73  -Paul
kb5mu@amsat.org
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