Kansas City Tracker/Tuner

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Download this zip file of the original user's manual, driver and installation software, and interface schematic diagrams.

Hardware Details

The Kansas City Tracker/Tuner is an 8-bit PC board which will operate in an open ISA slot, in IBM-compatible computers, ranging from XT's to Pentium systems. It does not use any hardware interrupts, parallel ports or serial ports. The card occupies 4 consecutive I/O addresses, starting at the address specified on the board's DIP switches. It has its own DB25-type port, which is used to connect to both a rotor controller, and either a dual band radio or two single band radios. An 8-foot cable is provided, with a DB25 connector on one end, and an 8-pin DIN connector on the other. This cable can be used as-is, to connect to a Yaesu/Kenpro 5400B/5500/5600 rotor controller, or it can be modified, using instructions provided, for other type controllers.

The KCT interfaces with a rotor controller in two ways.

First, it requires input from the Elevation and Azimuth potentiometers to determine their position. This must be in the form of DC voltages that vary from 0V to about 5V, as the antenna moves from one end of travel to the other. It then uses an A/D converter to generate a voltage/position table. It can then send the antenna array to any specified position.

Second, the KCT has 5 outputs which can activate the controller's up/down, left/right, and brake-release inputs. These lines can pull the desired input to ground, and cause antenna motion in the corresponding direction. Manual control through the controllers switches is still possible.

The Yaesu/Kenpro controller can be driven directly by these TTL, 30ma outputs. The Rotor Interface, which is now standard on the KCT, expands this current sinking capability to 300 ma, and is used to drive external relays. To use the KCT with a controller other than the Yaesu/Kenpro 5400B/5500/5600 series, you will need to purchase and install your own 12V relays, such as those available at Radio Shack, between the KCT and your controller. Instructions for this process are included in the Users Manual.

The Tuner option, now also standard on the KCT, consists of additional components on the KCT board for Doppler compensation, and cannot be added after purchase. Without the Tuner option, it is necessary to manually adjust the tuning of the radio during a satellite pass, as it is effected by the motion of the satellite approaching, and then receding from your location. The Tuner option performs this function automatically, and is used primarily for digital satellite work.

Instructions are provided for connecting a user-supplied cable to the DB25 end of the KCT cable, for interfacing to either the serial port or mic-click input of the radio. Using the Tuner function requires the use of a separate satellite tracking program such as Quiktrak or WiSP. Some programs that support the KCT do not support the Tuner option. There is no need to purchase a TTL to RS232 converter for your radio. The KCT can be switched to either type of output.

When the Kansas City Tracker/Tuner is used with one of these programs, the system can be set up to automatically follow a schedule of satellite passes, and send and receive data unattended.

The following radios are supported by tracking programs that use the DOS KCT TSR:

Additional radios are supported by various satellite tracking software packages which supply their own custom KCT drivers. These may operate under Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT.