Monday, July 2, 2012

SimpleSat Look Down from W9KE


Tom, W9KE has written a program which looks for satellite passes where communications between two different grid locations is possible.
Tom invites interested testers to download the program from
It is a zip file. Un-Zip the files into a folder and run the SimpleSat.exe file.
No install is required and the three files it will create are stored in the same folder as the SimpleSat.exe program. It does nothing to the registry. It downloads sat data from the net so use a computer connected to the net when you run the program.
Contact Tom directly at with any questions or comments

SimpleSat Look Down’ is a satellite tracking program designed for ease of use and is particularly well suited for demonstrations, educational environments and people new to the satellite hobby.
This program requires .Net 4 so you will have to install it if you do not have it installed already. Not sure ? Try running the program – if it runs you have it – if you do not have it you will see a message box telling you that you do not have it. Unlike most ham radio programs this program uses most all of the new bells and whistles of .Net 4 and WPF. Unfortunately this means that it may not run on a few computers even thought most all the other ham programs run just fine.
The program runs well on Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista or XP. How well the program runs depends on a couple of things: Your computer speed – if you have an old computer that does not run very well this program will probably not run well. Your internet connection – if you have a poor internet connection the Tracking Map scroll will not be very smooth.
If the vertical screen resolution on your computer is less that 768 pixels you will have some problems. Many netbooks have only 600 pixels of vertical screen resolution so they may not be entirely satisfactory. I have run the program on a old netbook running XP that has a 768 pixel vertical resolution emulation mode for its 600 pixel screen and it works great.
Here are links to three videos you should watch before running the program. The videos are in high def and look decent in full screen HD. You can access this same page from the ‘Help’ button on the program main screen.

Q: Does the program require internet access.
A: If you do not have internet access the program will work but the tracking map will not
be displayed.
Q: Why don’t you just cache the map data.
A: Still need internet access to authenticate my Bing Maps license number.
After you have looked at the video and read everything on this page you are ready to try the program. The program does not have to be installed on your computer. It does not store files all over your computer or alter your registry. It runs fine off a modern USB thumb drive. This is actually quite handy as you can take the program with you in your pocket.
Unzip the zip file onto your computer – the desktop works just fine as a location. Go into the extracted folder and double-click on the .exe file. There is an online help button which you my want to try out.
Version with rotor control – beta version. Click on the ‘Help’ button on the main program window for information on the rotor control function.

My Stamp Collecting Blog

Counter Added January 1, 2011

free counters


The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 1 to 6 is BEST
  • 7 to 9 is OK
  • 11 or more is BAD

Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.

A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]

  • 70 NOT GOOD
  • 80 GOOD
  • 90 BETTER
  • 100+ BEST

The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.

Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

K index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 0 or 1 is BEST
  • 2 is OK
  • 3 or more is BAD
  • 5 is VERY VERY BAD

The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.

A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

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