SimpleSat Look Down - Help


The 'SimpleSat Look Down' program will track satellites using satellite data downloaded from the Internet. Watch the following video for a demonstration of the general operation of the program. Video is best viewed full screen in HD. General Operation Video


The only thing that must be setup is your location. You need to know the grid locator or the azimuth-elevation for your location.  Watch the following video to see how the setup function is used. Video is best viewed full screen in HD. Setup Video


There are many rotor controllers. Consult the manual for your rotor controller for details concerning your rotor controller. Before you configure the rotor portion of the program you need to know what communications port (com port) you are using to connect to your rotor controller. A list of all the communication ports that are installed on your computer will be displayed but you need to know which of these is used for your rotor controller. You will also need know the baud rate your rotor controller uses.

Q: My rotor controller uses only a parallel port. Will it work with this program.
A: Sorry but no. Take a look at SatPC32 a program that works with almost everything.

Q: My rotor controller does not support the GS-232 command set.
A: Sorry but this program works only with a GS-232 command subset. Take a look at SatPC32.

Q: My rotor controller does not work with this program.
A: Take a look at SatPC32.

The program has been tested with the:

 - LVB Tracker (firmware v0.9 USB Interface)
 - Fox Delta ST-3

If you find this program works with a rotor controller that is not on
this list please let me know.

Watch the following video for details on rotor configuration.
Video is best viewed full screen in HD. Rotor Setup Video

=====  Optional Advanced Feature  ======

If any of this does not make any sense to you just ignore it. It is not required.

--- Slide Show ---
You can use your own images in the little slide show that takes place in the lower right part of the program window. This is a way to personalize your presentation by including pictures that might be of interest to your group. The images must be 300 x 300 pixel in .png format. If the images are larger than 300 x 300 or not in .png format or do not have a .png file extension they will be ignored. Put your image file(s) into the 'SimpleSatData/Images' folder. There is a file in the folder with the images named 'Interval.txt'. This file explains how to change the interval between picture changes. There are no additional buttons or setup required.

=====  Optional Really Advanced Feature  ======

--- Manage TLE Data ---
The program distribution comes set up in a way that should handle the needs of most users. If you are a very advanced computer user and have a very good understanding of satellite tracking and need more continue reading. The program obtains TLE data two ways. Direct download from the internet is the easiest. Manual entry of TLE data can also be used. The program distribution is set up to download TLE data from the following sites.

The program also allows manual entry of TLE data. The TLE data format is the traditional three line format as shown in the sample for AO-10 shown below. The first line contains the satellite name followed by the two lines of TLE data. If the format is not correct - it will not work. To add TLE data first create a text file. Cut and paste the TLE data into the file. Remember the first line is the satellite name followed by the two lines of TLE data. When the file is ready, change the file extension of the file to .tle and put it into the 'SimpleSatData/SatData/ManualSatData' folder. You may put as many satellites in a file as you wish and you may have as many files as needed.

As expected the TLE data you enter this way is not deleted when a web update is done. This TLE data is also not updated when you do an web update. As a reminder to myself that this is manual data I put ( ) around the satellite name. This may not seem important to you now but it is very helpful.

In the 'SimpleSatData/SatData' folder you will find a file 'WebDataSources.txt'. This file controls which web data sources are used by the program. If you are a very advanced computer user and have a very good understanding of satellite tracking you can modify this file to add additional web data sources. Note that a ' - ' at the start of a line tells the program not use this source. The file name after the comma is the file name that will be used to store the TLE data downloaded from the site specified in the URL before the comma. The file name after the comma less the file extension is what is used to identify the 'Web Data Source' in the setup function. It is possible to really screw things up if this is not done correctly so if you are not a very advanced computer user or do not thoroughly understand satellite tracking I recommend staying away from this entirely.

Right click on the 'Program Download' link shown below and save the zipfile somewhere convenient (even the desktop works) . Extract the zip file. There is no setup program. The program can even run from a USB thumb drive. Simply double click on the SatLookDown.exe file located in the folder that was created when the zip file was un-zipped. If you get a message from Windows 8 or 8.1 that it has protected your computer - click info and tell it to run it anyway.

Program Download

Good Luck and Have Fun - 73 de W9KE