S.A.T. Instruction Manual



The S.A.T. is a novel and completely self contained device used to predict and track satellite passes while simultaneously controlling an antenna rotator and tuning a transceiver. Once connected to mobile device or computer through it's built it WiFi, all control is performed through any web browser.

Get Familiar


The built in LCD displays information depending on the state of the S.A.T. For example, the IP address, serial number and firmware version are displayed when the S.A.T. is idle. When actively tracking, the satellite name, azimuth, elevation, range and range rate and AOS/LOS is shown. Other status message are also available such as during TLE and firmware updates.


The ports for connecting power, the rotator and your radio are location along to the top of the S.A.T. Use the guide to identify the various connections.


The RIG CONTROL port on your S.A.T. plugs into your radio with the provided Tip-Ring-Sleve cable. Refer to the images on the right to find the CI-V or Remote jack on your radio. The correct jack has been highlighted in violet.

Icom IC-9100

Icom IC-9700


Plug the Mini-DIN connector into the S.A.T. and the full size DIN connector to the back of the rotator control box. Refer to the image for the correct port.
* Do not connect the rotator until you read the calibration procedure below.

Apply Power and Boot

Attach USB

Your S.A.T. is powered by 5V through any standard USB port. Using the provided Micro-USB cable, attached your S.A.T. to a USB port. Since the S.A.T. is an extremely low power device, almost any USB power source will work including computers and laptops and of course, cell phone/mobile device chargers.
The S.A.T. will immediately power on when power is applied.
The LCD will light up and the S.A.T. will beep once or twice while it's initializing.

Connect to the S.A.T.

Determine IP Address

During startup the S.A.T. will try to connect to a WiFi network if one has been configured. If it cannot connect to a WiFi network then it will beep twice and start its internal WiFi Access Point. In this case the LCD will display an IP address of

Connect to S.A.T. Access Point

Using your mobile device*, search for available WiFi network. If the S.A.T. is in Access Point mode then an access point with the name Rotator_XXXX will be available. The XXXX is the serial number of the S.A.T.
Connect your mobile device to that access point. (Some devices will complain that this access point will not provide internet access. This is normal and you should allow the connection if prompted.)

* Any device that supports Wifi and has a web browser will work such as cell phones, tablets, computers and laptops.

Open the Dashboard

Using your mobile device's web browser, navigate to the IP address displayed on the LCD screen. For example:
The S.A.T. dashboard will open on your device.

The S.A.T. Dashboard

The S.A.T. dashboard is seperated into four main areas.

Track Panel

While tracking, this panel displays essential satellite information and current antenna position information. Current wind speed and direction is also displayed for your location.

Entering a satellite name or catalog number into the Name box and clicking Search will start tracking the entered satellite, if it's found in the loaded TLE file.

The Satellite Status link will open the Amsat Satellite Status Page in a new window .
The SatNOGS link will open the excellect SatNOGS map for the currently tracked satellite.

Available Buttons:
FUTURE - Predict and display current and future passes.
VIEW ALL - View the entire set of satellites stored in the S.A.T.
CONTINUOUS - Continue tracking the selected satellite even after LOS
SCHEDULE - Enable/Disable satellite schedule mode. See SCHEDULE section below for details.
READY - Move the antenna to the Ready position
PARK - Move the antenna to the Park position
STOP - Stop all movement and tracking

Map & Chart Panels

This is a full color map display. With this style of display you can see the satellite location above the Earth and it current track. In the lower left is a graphical display of the current antenna position.
The polar view takes some getting used to but contains a lot of useful information. The outer ring is horizon and the center is directly overhead. North is towards the top. This display shows the satellite track across the sky as well as the AOS and LOS azimuth and current antenna position. You can click and drag in that view to rotate the North orientation.
Ground View
This view simulates the observer standing on the ground and looking towards the satellite's current postion. A compass is displayed along the bottom to indicate direction. With this view you can follow a satellite as is rises above the horizon and travels across the sky until it sets. The track across the sky is displayed as well as the current antenna position.

Radio Panel

Displays radio controls and available satellite transponders.
Top Row Buttons:
ENABLE - Enable or disable rig control.
CENTER - Sets the frequencies back to the transponder center frequencies. Basically resets any changes you have made by turning the dial.
ADD - Allows you to add a transponder that is not listed.

Below the buttons are the radio controls:
POWER - Sets the radio power.
TBW - Sets the transmit bandwidth.
TX PL - Sets the TX PL tome.
MAIN - Sets the MAIN band mode.
SUB - Sets the SUB band mode.

The next area show the details of the currently selected transponder. The transponder name, frequencies adjusted for doppler shift and curent doppler shifts are displayed.

Below the active area are the available transponders for the currently tracked satellite. Clicking on a transponder name will make it active and will configure the radio modes, if the modes are known. In the event that the SatNogs frequency is incorrect, you can change a frequency directly by clicking directly on it.

Option Buttons

On small screen devices such and phones and tablets the buttons will be found at the bottom of the page. On full size devices the button will location across the top of the page.
The various options are described in detail below:
CONTROL - Manually control the rotator.
TLE - Open TLE settings, refresh, etc.
ROTATOR - Open Rotator settings.
NETWORK - Open Network & WiFi settings.
RADIO - Open Radio settings.
LOCATION - Open Location, Grid square, Callsign, Time settings.
CALL LOG - Open the QSO log.
PASS LOG - Open the satellite pass log.
WINDOW - Open a secondary windows.
SCHEDULE - Open satellite schedule window.
ABOUT - Open About windows. Firmware updates.
The control panel lets you manually point your antenna to a given direction.
Enter a grid square into POINT TO LOCATION field the have the AZ automatically calculated for you. Elevation is not changed with this feature. Buttons:
GO - Move to the entered position.
READY - Move the antenna to the Ready position.
PARK - Move the antenna to the Park position.
STOP - Stop all motion.
CLOSE - Close the manual control panel.
The TLE Panel is where you set various TLE options.
SOURCE URL - Provide an internet address of the TLE to download. Note that the S.A.T. does not support https:// addresses. You can usually simply remove the 's' from https and it will work but it depends on the server that you are connecting to. Click UPDATE NOW to update. Note that an internet connection is requires to update. (See Network instructions below)
UPLOAD - Use this option to upload a custom TLE file. This file will replace the TLEs that are stored in the SAT. The uploaded TLE file should be in the standard format and should not contain any header lines.
AUTO UPDATE - How often to automatically update the TLEs from the SOURCE URL. Use zero to disable auto-updates.(Click SAVE to save setting)
LAST - The date and time of the last TLE update.
NEXT - The date and time of the next scheduled update if AUTO UPDATE has been set.
GROUND TRACK - How many hours of ground track should be shown on the maps. (Click SAVE to save setting)
CLOSE - Close the TLE Panel
The Rotator Panel is where you will find the rotator and satellite tracking settings:
TYPE - Choose the rotator model to use.
TOLERANCE - The S.A.T. tracks in such a way that when it moves the antenna it moves ahead of the satellite. This causes the satellite to pass directly in front of the antenna as the satellite moves across the sky and prevents the antenna from always having to "catch up" to the satellite. The TOLERANCE sets this window of movement. For example, with a setting of 10° for azimuth, when the satellite moves ahead of the antenna by 5° the antenna will move 5° ahead of the satellite. Then the satellite will then pass pass directly in front of the antenna and when it leads by 5° again, the antenna will move 5° ahead of it again. Same for elevation.
PARK POS - The position the antenna should move to when the Part button is pressed.
READY POS - The position the antenna should move to when the Ready button is pressed. For the fastest response when tracking, a Part position of 180° azimuth and 90° elevation should be used.
POST PASS - Choose how the antenna should be positioned at the end of a pass. You can choose to move to the Park or Ready position or no movement. Be aware this option may stress your rotator beyond the duty cycle limits specified in you rotator user manual.
MIN PASS - The minimum elevation a satellite must reach to be displayed when the Future button is pressed.
ALARM - The S.A.T. contains a built in beeper that will sound when the satellite reaches a set amount of time prior to AOS. Enter the minutes and seconds here at which time you would like to hear the alarm. Enter 00:00 to disable the alarm.
PLAY ALARM ON - The AOS alarm can be sounded on the S.A.T. using built in beeper, in the web browser or both. Note that not all web browers are supported.
QUALITY - This is a quality setting for the angle sense potentiometer in the rotator housing. If you hear excessive relay clicking in your rotator box you can slowly increase this value. A higher value reduces the resolution when the antenna is commanded to a particular position. For example if the setting is 2° here and the antenna is commanded to 100° it may stop anywhere between 98° and 102°.
YAESU LIMITS - (See the calibration procedure below)
RELAY - Enable the build in relay. Your S.A.T. has a three terminal relay jack. The center is common and the right and left sides are NO and NC respectively. When the relay option is enabled, the relay closes when the satellite reaches 3° below the horizon just before AOS and stays closed until LOS. Relay is rated 250 VAC, 2 Amps, total 60 Watts.
SIMULATE - If no antenna is connected then checking this option simulates one and the information panels and maps display where the would be if it was connected.
SAVE - Save and close the Rotator Panel

Connect your S.A.T. to the internet. The visible WiFi points will available in the dropdown box. If needed, click the REFRESH button to refresh the list. Use the WiFi AP select box to choose an Access Point. Enter your WiFi password and click CONNECT. The S.A.T. will restart and attempt to connect to the WiFi network. Look at the LCD to see the IP address obtained and then connect to it using your mobile devices. Once connected you can update the TLEs and perform firmware updates.
PORTS - Your S.A.T. is visible on the network as a HamLib compatible rotator and rig server. Use these fields to change the default listening ports. (See Advanced Settings below)
Configure your Radio in this panel
TYPE - Choose the type of radio to control. (At this time, only Icom radios are supported). For most Icom radios you can select 'Standard Icom'. If you have an Icom 820 or 821 then the Icom specifially for those radios may work better.
BAUD - Select the baud rate of your radio. This must match the baud rate setting on your radio. 19200 baud is recommended for radios that support it.
ADDRESS - The CI-V hexadecimal address of your radio. The Icom 9700 default address is A2h. The address in the S.A.T. must match the address in the radio.
VFO TYPE - The VFO type of your radio. The Icom 9700 is Main-Up / Sub-Down.
* Do not enable Satellite Mode on the Icom 9700
UPDATE INTERVAL - How often to send frequency updates to the radio. (In milliseconds)
MIN FREQ CHANGE - Minimum doppler correction in Hz before sending frequency updates to the radio.
SAVE - Save and close the Radio Panel
Enter operating location and other settings.
CALLSIGN - Enter your callsign here to be used in the QSO logging feature.
GRID - Enter your gridsquare to automatically calculate your latitude and longitude. It's also used the the QSO logging feature.
LAT,LON - Enter your precise latitude and longitude.
TZ OFFSET - Enter your timezone offset from UTC in hours.
LCD UNITS - Choose Imperial or Metric units for display on the LCD.
QRZ LOGIN - Enter your QRZ.com login name (optional, used for the Call Log lookup feather)
QRZ PASSWORD - Enter your QRZ.com password (optional)
WEATHER API KEY - Enter your OpenWeatherMap account key (optional). Create a free account at OpenWeatherMap to obtain a key.
LCD BRIGHT - Adjust the brightness of the LCD screen. (For compatable units)
Click this button to display a history of the satellites that have been tracked and have risen above the horizon.
This button will open a separate browser window that you can move to another monitor. A single item can be displayed such as the Map, one of the charts, general data, etc. There is no limit to the number of windows you can open. (Serves no purpose on mobile devices)
You can schedule the satellites that you want to track. For example if you want to collect APRS packets from every pass of the ISS, even when you're not present, you can do that here.
Choose a satellite and a transponder from the dropdown lists and click the ADD button. You can add any number of satellites this way. To remove a satellite, click the red X next to the name.
To enable the schedule, press the SCHEDULE button in the TRACK panel to make it green.
With the schedule enabled the S.A.T. will track all the satellites in list in the order of AOS. Tracking starts about 60 seconds before AOS.
A satellite that is currently being tracked will never be interrupted by a scheduled satellite. So if you are manually tracking when a schedule pass is approaching your currently tracked satellite will not be stopped. Also, when two scheduled satellites overlap in time, the one with the earlier AOS will be tracked first and all the way to LOS before the next satellite in the schedule is selected and tracked.
ADD SAT - Add the currently selected satellite and transponder to the schedule.
CLEAR - Remove all satellites from the schedule.
LOAD - Load the saved schedule.
SAVE - Save the current schedule.
CLOSE - Close the window.
The About panel display firmware versions and copyright information. Click the CHECK button next to the firmware version to check for updates (Internet connection is required).
The FACTORY RESET button clears all settings and reboots the device.

Rotator Calibration

Before attaching your S.A.T. to your rotator, manually set the azimuth and elevation their minimums. On the G500 this is 0° AZ and 0° EL, on the G5400 this is 180° AZ with the needle to the left and 0° EL. You can now attach the S.A.T. to your rotator using the supplied DIN cable.
Once connected, open the ROTATOR PANEL in the Dashboard.
Automatic Calibration
Your S.A.T. can swing the antenna rotator through it's full rotations in both Azimuth and Elevation to detect the limits. Make sure your rotator is ready to move through the full rotation and nothing is obstructing it's motion such as short wires, tree branches, etc. Once the calibration is started the only way to stop it is to remove power from the S.A.T.

Press the AUTO CAL button in the opened ROTATOR PANEL. When you press OK on the warning box the rotator will start moving. This can take up to four minutes. While it's calibrating you can watch the guages on the Yaesu control box. When it's complete a box will notify you that the calibration is complete. You can skip the Manual Calibration below.
If, however, a box opens and indicates that voltages were exceeded then please follow the Manual Calibration procedure below.

Manual Calibration

Now click on the VOLTS button (You can close the message that opens, it's just a reminder of these instructions). The sensed voltage from the rotator control box is now displayed on the LCD.

Manually increase your azimuth and watch the voltage on the LCD. The first number on the top line is the voltage for azimuth. Stop moving if this voltage goes higher than 5 volts! If it passes 5 volts then you need to turn the Output Voltage Adjustment knob on the back of your rotator control box to decrease it. See your Yaesu Manual for instructions.

The goal is to increase the AZ to it's maximum and adjust the voltage to keep it between 4 and 5 volts. The maximum azimuth for the G5500 is the red 90° mark on the right side of the guage, on the G5400 the maximum is the 180° on the right of the guage. If the voltage ends up below 4 volts then for highest accuracy you should increase it by turning the Output Voltage Adjustment on the back of your rotator control box. When the voltage is between 4 and 5 volts at the maximum azimuth then you can move on to the elevation setting.

The elevation is set the same way as the azimuth. Increase the elevation and watch the LCD to make sure it does not pass 5 volts. Again adjust the voltage to get it between 4 and 5 volts at the maximum elevation (180° on both the G5400 and G5500).

Finally, when the both azimuth and elevation are at their maximum positions and the voltages are between 4 and 5 volts, press the SET MAX button.

Now move both AZ and El all the way back to the minimums. Press the SET MIN button.

Your S.A.T. is now calibrated to your rotator control box. Press the STOP button to exit Voltage mode. You need to do this calibration process every time the S.A.T. boots. Just kidding! *The calibration only has to be done once ;).

* Note that if anything changes in your rotator configuration, such as changing the rotator cables, you should calibrate the S.A.T. again.

Using your S.A.T.

Start Tracking
Be sure to configure your Location, Rotator and Radio using the instructions above before using your S.A.T. Of course, make sure your TLE's are up to date for best results.

There are a few ways to start tracking a satellite. The quickest is to type the name or catalog number into the search field and click SEARCH. The search field is not case sensitive and if you use a name it must match the name as it is in the TLE file. You can enter a partial name, for example entering "IS" would find and track "ISS". If you enter a partial name then the first matching satellite will be selected. Entering "AO-9" might find "AO-91" or "AO-92". If you know the catalog number then that is the most accurate way to search.

Another way is to click the "VIEW ALL" button. This will display a list off all the satellites in the loaded TLE file. Simply click a satellite name to start tracking.
Click the little report icon next to the satellite name in the 'View All' page to generate a printable pass prediction report for that individual satellite. The REPORT FOR SELECTED button at the bottom of the page will generate a pass prediction report for all satellites that have been checked. The report will be generated in chronological order.

Finally, clicking "FUTURE" will display a list of satellites that are currently up in the sky and those that are coming up next. Those that are green are already up and the orange are currently below the horizon but they are the next to rise. The brightness of the boxes indicates the relative maximum elevation, brighter being higher. Satellites that will not rise above the MISS PASS setting in the rotator page will not be displayed. Click a satellite name to start tracking.

While Tracking
While tracking the page will automatically update about every 2 seconds. The S.A.T. will automatically determine if it should flip the antenna to track the satellite continuously through it's pass. (REVERSE) will be displayed in the antenna position line to indicate this.
The maps and graphs will also start updating. Click anywhere on a map or graph to switch to the next display type. Radio tips
Connection GPredict, etc

Using your Radio

* If your radio supports both VFO mode and SATELLITE mode, always use VFO mode. Do not use SATELLITE mode on your radio. For the Icom 9700, and radios that support it, display both VFOs on the screen at the same time. The red TX icon will be above the top VFO. If the red TX icon is on the bottom VFO then you are in satellite mode and you should change to VFO mode.
Some radios have a spectrum scope. If you wish to see the received signals on the scope be sure to attach the scode to the receive VFO. (See radio manual for instructions)

* In order to use the PL Tone properly on your Icom, ensure the following setting is set to ON (DUP)
Menu -> Set -> Function -> Auto Repeater

When tracking starts the first transponder in the list is automatically selected. Your radios VFOs and modes will be set up and the center frequencies will be selected, adjusted for doppler. Tuning will start. The calculated doppler offset and current frequency will be display in the RADIO area on the page.
Click on a transponder name to switch to it - the radio bands and modes will be automatically set for the selected transponder and frequency updates will start. If a frequency is not correct in the transponder list you can click on it and change it. The frequency you enter will be the new center frequency that the doppler shift is calculated from. The setting is not saved however you can contact us and we will make the necessary adjustment in the transponder database. If a mode is not selected correctly you can chage it using the drop down menus. Again, contact us and we'll make corrections in the database.

The POWER and TX PL selections let you change the transmit power and transmit PL tone respectivly. Note that not all radios support changing the power levels with remote commands.

Satellite frequencies drift. This can be caused by thermal issues on the spacecraft, from satellite age and/or other factors. So some adjustment may be required by operators on on the ground. The easiest way is to use the RIT control on radios that have it (Icom 9100 & 9700). You can use the RIT control to fine tune the downlink frequency.
The other way is to simply move the tuning dial on the radio but in this case you must be aware of the LOCK VFO option on the S.A.T.
With the VFOs locked, any change you make to the downlink will also be reflected in the uplink frequency. For example, if you tune the downlink down by 5kHz, the uplink will tune up by 5kHz. Unlocking the VFO's prevents this and you are free to change the downlink without affecting the uplink.
Keep in mind some features of the radio may be difficult to manipulate while frequency updates are being sent by the S.A.T., especially if the update interval is fast (less than 1 sec). Clicking the ENABLE button will stop the updates and the button will turn red. You are now free to adjust the radio and when ready you click ENABLE to start the updates again.

For the easiest operation follow the steps below. This is tailored for the linear satellites but partly apply to the FM ones also.
For best result using the RIT set your radio to not display the 1Hz digit. With the 1Hz showing you'll have rotate the RIT much more than if that digit is off. To turn the 1Hz digit off press and hold the digit for at least one second.
1. Choose a satellite and transponder.
2. Tune your RIT knob on the radio until you hear your self. You should only have to move the RIT within a couple KC to find yourself. Do not touch the tuning knob until you find yourself.
3. One you can hear yourself you can then use the radio's tuning knob to work your way up and down the passband.
That should be it!

Advanced Features

Favorites List
Usually the standard TLEs from the internet contain far more satellites than you're interested in. More satellites equals more time to search and more time to predict future passes.

In the VIEW ALL page, each satellite has a checkbox next to it. Check of each satellite you are interested in and click SAVE at the bottom. Now only those satellites that you've selected will be considered when you search and predict future passes. This greatly improves performance.
Note that having no satellites is the same and including them all.
Custom TLE Files
Instead of using a URL as a source of TLEs you can instead upload a file. The file must be a standard ASCII TLE text file and must not contain any headers such as comments or other fluff, eg. it must start with a satellite name. The uploaded file will replace any stored TLEs. The favorites option will work with a custom TLE.
Auto Update TLE
If enabled, the S.A.T. will automatically download a copy of the TLEs from the same url that they were last downloaded from. TLEs will only be downloaded while the S.A.T. is idle. It's also going to check exactly the number of days you enter. If you last downloaded TLEs on Oct 1st at 9am, then it will try on Oct 3rd at 9am. If the S.A.T. is not idle at that exact time it will try when it becomes idle.

You cannot use the custom TLE function with automatic updates. Be sure to disable the automatic updates by entering a zero in the AUTO UPDATE field.
Your S.A.T. contains a call log feature with internet lookups and macros.
Press the CALL LOG button at the bottom of the page to open the call log entry window. If you have set your QRZ login credentials in the LOCATION page then you can use the LOOKUP button to automatically fill in the log entry fields.

Fields such as Date, Time, Satellite Name, Frequency, Mode, etc. are automatically filled using the currently selected satellite and transponder.
The Comment field supports 'replacement' macros and can be saved between sessions. For example if you often have a comment such as "Thanks KC2SYF for the RS-44 contact." you do not need to type it in every time. Simply enter a comment as "Thanks $c for the $s contact." The '$c' will be replace with the call sign of the contact and the '$s' will be replace with the current satellite name. The legend for the available replacement types can be found below the comment field.

The call log entries are displayed in the lower part of the page, above the bottom row of buttons.
You can download your log entries in ADI format with the DOWNLOAD button. The file will be saved with a unique file name wherever your brower places Downloaded files. The QSO log is saved on the S.A.T. between power cycles but it only holds 100 entries and should be downloaded frequently since they only exist on the device and are not backed up.

ADD ENTRY - Store the current entry into log.
CLEAR ENTRY - Clear the entry fields.
DOWNLOAD LOG - Download the stored log in ADI format.
DELETE LOG - Delete the stored log.
Continuous Tracking
When a satellite sets below the horizon the S.A.T. normally stops tracking the satellite and enters idle mode. This is a safety feature to prevent unintended movement of the rotator. If however, you want to keep tracking you can click the CONTINUOUS button. The button will change to green when enabled. Now when a satellite sets, a new AOS and LOS is calculated and the antenna will move when the satellite reaches AOS. Use caution with this setting since your rotator will move again when the satellite reaches AOS.

Rotator & Rig Server
Your S.A.T. is also and Hamlib compatible rotator and rig control server. In this way you can continue to use your favorite satellite tracking program in lieu of the built in tracking of the S.A.T. (This feature has only been tested with GPredict)

In GPredict you can set up the rotator and rig in the interfaces section. The standard ports are enabled by default on the S.A.T., 4533 for the rotator and 4532 for rig. Note that PTT is not yet supported. When tracking with a PC program do not simultaneously track with the S.A.T., confusion will ensue!

Common Questions

What's in the box?
You should receive the S.A.T. device along with Micro-USB power cable, Rotator DIN cable, and a TRS cable to interface with Icom radios. A Micro-USB power adapter is not included.
How is the clock set?
If the internet is available then the clock is set by contacting the time servers on the internet. Alternatively, the clock is automatically set when the dashboard is opened on a mobile device. UTC is used internally on the S.A.T. and your browser translates those times into your local timezone. The Timezone offset in the Location page is only used when displaying the AOS and LOS times on the LCD.
I get an error why I download TLEs
First make sure that the S.A.T. is not in access point mode and is connected to a WiFi network that has internet access. When in access point mode the IP address on the LCD will be and there will be a WiFi network available on your mobile device with the name 'Rotator_XXXX'.

The S.A.T. does not support https addresses for the TLE url (note the 's' at the end of 'http'). Usually you can simply remove the 's' from the address and try again. If it still doesn't work, and you need to have that list, you'll have to download it to your device. Then you can upload it using the "Custom TLE Files" procedure described above.
How do I factory reset?
You can find the Factory Reset button in the About box in the web interface.
I cant connect the S.A.T. to my WiFi network!
The S.A.T. can only connect to 2.4Ghz networks. The S.A.T. searches for available access points when the REFRESH button is clicked in the NETWORK settings page. Allow a few seconds for the search to complete. The discovered networks are then displayed in the WIFI AP selection box.

We found that there is a setting in xFinity access points that can prevent it from connecting. Uncheck the 'Prefer private Connections'
Also make sure that your access point if not filtering by MAC address for new connections.