Rotor Control

From Ham Radio Deluxe Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Rotor Control

Introduction

This program was written to provide better support in Ham Radio Deluxe and the associated satellite tracking software.

The main meatures are:
  • Support for NOVA and Orbitron DDE.
  • Connect to an unlimited number of rotators simultaneously.
  • Many rotator protocols supports, for example:
  • AlfaSpid,
  • EA4TX,
  • GS-232A,
  • Idiom Press,
  • Prosistel.
  • Works maps – double-click to move the rotator.
  • Full diagnostics in the logfile.

Your Locator Select Options from the Tools menu and enter your locator in the Your Information pane.

Rotator Display

The same display is used for all rotators:

Page-241-Image-461.png

In the example above you see the software connected to an AMSAT IF-100 rotator which supports both azimuth and elevation (it’s designed for tracking satellites). The world map uses the famous Blue Marble image from NASA.

Connecting

To connect the program to your rotator:

  • Make sure all cables are correctly inserted,
  • Start your computer,
  • Start this program
Select the correct rotator type from the Rotator dropdown:

Page-242-Image-462.png

If the rotator supports more than one protocol then a Protocol dropdown is displayed, if so select the correct protocol to be used. If in doubt consult the rotator handbook.
If a serial or parallel port is used to connect to the rotator then select the correct port from the Port dropdown.
The EA4TX/ARSWIN option communicates with EA4TX’s ARSWIN software using the DDE protocol – ARSWIN must be already be started.
Select the Refresh rate – how often the rotator controller is polled for the current status. Some controllers such as the IF-100 cannot provide this information, in which case the Refresh rate dropdown is not shown.

Page-242-Image-463.png

Finally press Connect. If you experience problems look in the Logfile window.

Selecting a Bearing

Select a bearing by either:

  • Entering a callsign – the HRD countries file is used to locate the latitude and longitude for the country.
  • Selecting a country from the Country dropdown.
  • Entering a 4- or 6-character Maidenhead locator.
  • Just double-clicking anywhere on the map.
Switch between short and long path bearings by pressing either Short or Long.

Formats

Two map formats are currently supported:

  • Mercator – an aspect ratio of 2:1, and
  • Great Circle – created from the Mercator image. A great circle map You can zoom the image from 100% to 1,000%.
The Great Circle map can be rotated in steps of 30 degrees. This is often desired by users in the southern hemisphere.

Displaying Tracks

In the Mercator map you can display the signal track and bearing at the current cursor position by selecting Show Track from the Rotator toolbar.

Page-243-Image-464.png

DDE Support

Supported Format

The program contains a DDE client which accepts DDE data in the Nova and Orbitron formats from external programs such as HRD Satellite Tracking.

Page-243-Image-465.png

Before enabling DDE support:
  • Select either Nova or Orbitron in the DDE toolbar.
  • Make sure the Nova or Orbitron software is started.
  • Press Enable.
The DDE data is shown in the status bar.

Page-243-Image-466.png

You can now use the DDE data to drive the rotator – press Track DDE in the Rotator window.

Page-243-Image-467.png

Logfile

The logfile contains all diagnostic information. For full diagnostics make sure the Full Diagnostics option is selected.

Page-244-Image-468.png

Use the Text Viewer option to display the logfile in your default text program (usually this is Notepad) from where you can save the logfile as a file on your hard disk.

Options

Appearance

Select Appearance from the Tools menu.

Skin

As you have already seen in other Ham Radio Deluxe programs you can select a skin and display theme. Select Appearance from the Tools menu top display the Skin and Theme windows.

Image

Two images are included as resources in the executable file:
  • NASA’s blue marble and
  • David Taylor’s WXtrack
You can select an image from a file on your computer; a good site for maps is http://flatplanet.sourceforge.net/maps/ with many great options.
Select High quality for image scaling unless you have a very low power CPU, normally CPU usage will not be a big problem. The quality is noticeable when zooming.
Select Options from the Tools menu or press the Options toolbar button to display the general options:

General

Select Options from the Tools menu or press the Options button in the main toolbar.

Your Information

You must enter your locator in this window so that the program can correctly compute bearings.

Page-245-Image-469.png

Parallel Ports

Use this window to configure your parallel ports if you are using and older rotator controller with a parallel port connection.

Page-245-Image-470.png

Main Page