Re: SatSpy

Sat, 22 Mar 1997 09:05:03 -0700

At 03:50 PM 3/21/97 -0500, you wrote:
>SatSpy has a very nice graphical interface, actually the best I have come


>But the program isn't without problems, most of which I have discussed
>with the author. Here are a few:
>- In countries with date/time conventions different from the US, strange
>  effects can happen;

This is true.  There is a page on my website (
explaining workarounds for the satspy.ini file for non-US users.  Future
versions will be more flexible in accommodating international date and time
formatting issues.

>- The checksum algorithm is different from what is generally accepted, due to
>  the way the plus (+) sign is accounted for;

I typically load 1000+ new elsets into SatSpy and have yet to have an elset
rejected due to checksum failures.  If you do experience problems with
checksums, you can use the Options|Processing Toggles dialog to turn
checksum processing off.
The upcoming version will include the suggested handling of the "+" sign.

>- The program doesn't accept TLE files with only one satellite.

True.  This is a known bug and will be fixed in the next release.  The
work-around is to add one or two additional elsets into the file containing
the single elset you are interested in.

>- If a TLE file contains satellites with different names but the same COSPAR
>  identifier, the program will only accept the FIRST entry.

Again, this is true and will be fixed in the next release.  SatSpy keys off
of the COSPAR (or NSSC) number and was designed for use with the latest
elsets on any given satellite.  Therefore, I did not anticipate users who
would want to load and use more than one for a given satellite.  Since
then, I have also had occasions where I wished to look at more than one
elset and couldn't.  As a work-around, I found that you can turn off
checksum processing (as described above) and modify the satellite number
for the secondary elsets to make them unique.  Also when you load the
elsets, use the Options|Processing Toggles to set the listbox preferences
to NSSC#+SatName to view the unique satellite numbers.

>The program will disable itself after the 30-day evaluation period. In the
>interest of the author, I will not disclose here how that's being done and
>how it can be circumvented.

Actually the trial version comes with a 60-day evaluation period which
starts when you first install the program.  You can extend for an
additional 60 days by sending me an e-mail request (I will send you back a
code to enable the extension).  

>If the few bugs mentioned above and perhaps some others not yet discovered
>were corrected, it would certainly be one of the finest programs available
>for satellite tracking.

I expect to release a version 2.5 sometime within the next few months.  It
will address all of the issues you raise.  In addition, v2.5 will contain
new features which have been requested by other users and which I myself
found useful.  

I am always looking for new ideas, so if you or anyone else on SeeSat-L
have any suggestions, please let me know.

Dave Cappellucci