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Re: Radio control program

Richard N7VWJ wrote:

Looking for a good Yaesu radio control program for my computer...

Wayne W9AE replies:

Since you asked this to amsat-bb, I presume that the "radio control program" you want is actually "automatic Doppler tuning".  If you have a FT-847 and a Windows PC, you could try either of the following low-cost programs that control the FT-847 through a standard serial port without needing any special interface hardware.

1. The Station Program, by Paul Wilmott, VP9MU.  Freeware downloadable from AMSAT-NA, but donations to AMSAT are encouraged.  This is a 16-bit Windows program that does satellite tracking, antenna steering, and Doppler tuning for operating the analog satellites. It is very flexible, supporting full Doppler tuning, uplink only tuning, and downlink only tuning.  You must tune across the transponder passband and tweak the offset using mouse-driven sliders on the computer screen.  It requires a fast computer to have smooth mouse-driven tuning AND generate a map display.  Tuning is smooth on my Pentium-90 without the map display, but jerky when the map display is also enabled.  Multi-tasks with other applications if your computer is fast enough.

http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftpsoft.html#win-tsp <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftpsoft.html#win-tsp> 

2. InstantTune.  This is a free add-on to InstantTrack, an excellent "legacy" satellite tracking program.  InstantTrack 1.5 costs a mere $20 to download with all proceeds going to AMSAT-NA.  It's a DOS program which will run on Windows 3.1/95/98, but not on Windows NT/ME.  InstantTune only supports "full Doppler tuning".  No uplink-only or downlink-only Doppler tuning (which are less desirable anyway).  The operation is transparent - you to tune across the transponder passband with the main tuning knob and tweak the TX offset with the sub-tune knob.  Works great on slow computers but you MUST be in full-screen DOS mode for the InstantTune TSR to work.  InstantTrack (the map display) will multi-task with Windows applications but InstantTune won't.  Doppler tuning stops if you momentarily switch to another application, but the tuning will recover when you return to the full screen InstantTrack display.

http://www.amsat.org/amsat/instanttrack/ <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/instanttrack/> 
http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftpsoft.html#pc-it <http://www.amsat.org/amsat/ftpsoft.html#pc-it> 

Both of these programs work to some degree with other Yaesu radios.  But most other Yaesu radios don't have a decent computer interface AND full-duplex capability.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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