Orbitron DDE Azimuth Elevation To Serial

Control a satellite rotator automatically from Orbitron by sending it the azimuth via serial.

A couple of years ago I wrote some code with a library I found to listen to Orbitron using it’s DDE inter-process comms and send the satellite information string over serial to potentially drive an aerial rotator.

I’ve since updated the code and thought I would share it here.

Using DdeOrbitronToSerial

  • Firstly install Orbitron.
  • Download dde-orbitron-serial-oct-2016 unzip it somewhere sensible.
  • Open the install directory of Orbitron and find Setup.cfg (example path below)
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Orbitron\Config\Setup.cfg
  • Add a similar line as below to Setup.cfg: (obviously changing paths to where you unzipped things)
[Drivers]
DDEOrbitronToSerial=C:\blah\DDEOrbitronToSerial.exe
  • Don’t directly run the exe, you have to launch it from Orbtron itself by going to the rotor/radio tab, selecting the correct DDE driver, in this case it’s DDEOrbitronToSerial. Then click the button to the right of the dropdown to start sending data and launch the application:

orbtron-rotor-tab

 

  • The DDEOrbitronToSerial application should now launch and you will be able to select your COM port and output the satellite data to the serial port.
    • NB: You can edit additional options such as com port baud rate in the config file by clicking the open config button.

DDEOrbitronToSerialScreenShot

 

Any bug reports or feature requests are welcome!

7 thoughts on “Orbitron DDE Azimuth Elevation To Serial”

  1. Hello, I tryed this code, but I can’t receive the data I was wondering if is a coom speed problem as I didn’t find the way to set the com speed, and looking to the flashing led on my serial converter is seem quite high (I’ll try with an oscilloscope tomorrow ) Is it possible to have a way to set the com port speed?
    Thanks in advance, Matteo

    1. Hi Matteo,
      Thanks for the comment. You can edit the config file to change the baud rate. I can see that the config file is a bit awkward to update so perhaps I’ll put some specific options in too 🙂
      Cheers,
      Alex

  2. I have a Bushnell telescope with the motors to move it to what you want to see. The scope is shot. Motors work. The controller plugs into the base with only a phone or cat5 jack. I can’t remember offhand I’m not home to check. Would there be a way to output this to something like that? My plan is to take the tube off and mount a yagi.

    1. Hi,
      I don’t see why not. It depends what you need to feed into the controller.

      At the moment it outputs a string which is sent down a serial port. So if the motor controller takes serial it would be an easy code change but if the controller needs something else you may have to bodge together an intermediary unit. Feel free to post some more details, happy to take a look.

    1. Actually, I’ve verified that this does run on XP. Also, I wouldn’t recommend you use an unsupported OS, for security reasons at least.

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