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PRStoetzer

Satellite tracking program for TI-99/4A

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As an amateur radio satellite and vintage computer enthusiast, I enjoy combining my hobbies. I am aware of satellite tracking programs for various CP/M machines, Apple II, VIC-20, C64, and Timex Sinclair 1000. Was a satellite tracking program ever developed for the TI-99/4A?

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That would be sweet now that we have the TIPI, the program could download the Keplerian Elements and use them in it's calculations. Due to the speed of the TI, I'm not so sure how well it would work though.

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That would be sweet now that we have the TIPI, the program could download the Keplerian Elements and use them in it's calculations. Due to the speed of the TI, I'm not so sure how well it would work though.

 

Quiktrak for the C64 takes a good 10 minutes to calculate a few days of passes for a single satellite, though it's written in compiled BASIC.

 

Maybe I'll adapt some BASIC code that's lurking out there for the TI one of these days, though my skills are not great and it'd be pretty basic stuff, certainly nothing like downloading the keps from the Internet using the TiPi.

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Seems like an incredibly tough task, especially displaying the graphical data on a 32 column screen. It's been years since I used to track the ISS or Shuttle for Packet activity. I cannot even remember what the name of the program I used to use. I did find one that looks interesting...

One PC Solution

 

 

iss.png

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I would like to learn how to do this, and write the necessary code in FORTH.

The origin of FORTH was in controlling telescopes, a tradition which has all but vanished.

A while ago I did a search for available FORTH libraries for celestial calculations.

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I use John Walker’s (founder of AutoDesk, Inc. and coauthor of AutoCAD) Home Planet, available from his website, Fourmilab, based in Switzerland. The Home Planet C source code (Visual C 7.0/Visual Studio .NET) is available on the site, as well. It might offer some insight for an energetic programmer.

 

...lee

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Code for satellite tracking in BBC BASIC is available at https://www.amsat.org/articles/g3ruh/111.html

 

Most of those routines could be adapted to do basic tracking of a single satellite, which I might do. I'd hate to try to run it in TI BASIC knowing how slow it is. What is the fastest implementation of Extended Basic for the TI?

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Code for satellite tracking in BBC BASIC is available at https://www.amsat.org/articles/g3ruh/111.html

 

Most of those routines could be adapted to do basic tracking of a single satellite, which I might do. I'd hate to try to run it in TI BASIC knowing how slow it is. What is the fastest implementation of Extended Basic for the TI?

 

You could run this (translated) program and re-direct output reports to the RS232 port for 80 column reports.

 

It would be like the old days. Start the program, go to bed and see your reports in the morning. :(

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I used pure assembly to create Skychart ( http://tigameshelf.net/edu.htm. ) to calculate the position of about 375 bright stars, planets and all the Messier objects for a particular date and time, and it took it a good 15 minutes to complete the task. I cannot imagine how much longer Basic would take here. That said, for just a handful of satellites, it might still be a reasonable endeavor...

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There have been similar software written for programmable calculators, to find the position of single objects, within a reasonable time. So dependent on your use, it may work.

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