Z-Track 3.21 with support for ARSWin auto-tacking system is here!
I would like to thank all who purchased Z-Track in the MM Software Systems days and those who have sent voluntary donations since then. Without you I would not have been able to construct and maintain the EME station that I enjoyed so much. Thank you!
There are two realtime moon tracking modes: the graphics mode with a world map, and a non-graphics mode with special features for slower systems. Both offer more features than any other comparable program.
moon position can be tracked for two station locations.
locations can be entered by callsign, grid square, or latitude/longitude.
cold-sky and one of 6 noise sources can be tracked without having to disable two-station moon tracking.
versatile sequence timer for 1, 2 , or 2.5 minute sequences. audio and visual sequence changeover alerts can be switched on or off.
optional large-digit display of time and moon azimuth/elevation for station 1.
fast and convenient QSO logging with output to a standard ASCII text file that can be imported into most databases (a supplied utility handles conversion to PCF+ 2.0 format, which many operators are using for maintaining a QSO database).
pressing a hotkey pops up the station equipment/phone number for station 2.
terrestrial distance and beam heading to station 2 can be calculated.
automatic chronological viewing of the SCHED.SKD file from the EME Nets so you can see who is on the band at any given moment with one keystroke.
"cheat-sheet" helps identify random callers (you enter a partial callsign and get a list of all stations in the EME directory whose callsigns contatin those letters). You can select a callsign directly from the cheat-sheet and enter it as the station 2 location.
flexible time commands for looking ahead or back, one keystroke returns to current time. The on-screen clock and az/el display changes color to indicate whether currently tracking in true real-time or not.
execute up to 20 other programs without leaving Z-Track or losing any of your current settings.
automatic reminders of skeds as they come up.
complete display of moon and sky data (Earth-moon range, decliantion, GHA, RA, degradation, sky temperature, etc.).
shading of that part of the world where the moon is not visible.
markers for the station 1 and station 2 locations.
marker for the moon GHA and declination.
mouse may be used to select an approximate station location from the map (simply point and click).
display a list of major geographical regions where the moon is currently visible, together with the approximate moon elevation and spatial polarization for that area.
ZT incorporates an exclusive Sked-Search mode that takes all the work out of finding the best sked times. You set the maximum EME degradation factor and path non-reciprocity (spatial polarization) to be allowed for skeds. Then tell the program what station to sked and it automatically displays a list of times that meet your criteria for acceptability (it even shows you skeds you have already to avoid accidental double-skedding)! You can also restrict output to weekends only. When you see a time you like, simply pull down the highlight bar to that line with either the mouse or keyboard, then double click the mouse button or Enter key - and the sked is inserted into your list. You can save your favorite default settings for the Sked-Search mode in the program setup so they are always available... but you can also change any of these settings at any time, even while the search is actually running! Resetting to your stored defaults takes just one keystroke. Sked-Search is an incredible time saver when it comes to finding the best sked times.
A sked list editor lets you maintain your list of skeds. Full editing capability is included, and a feature that lets you see the moon position and spatial polarization for all of your skeds at the touch of a key. The editor includes an alarm that warns if you try to double-sked.
Sked lists used by ZT are 100% compatible with the SKD program being used on the EME Nets. So, you can make
your skeds with ZT, then send the file to your net control station to be merged into the net database if you like.
Or, you could pull your skeds out of the SKD program for use with ZT.
An EME Calendar feature lets you see monthly moon data quickly. Want to know what the best EME days in September will be? It'll only take a second to find out! Once you've calculated a month's data, you can use the mouse or keyboard to select specific days from the calendar and get much more detailed information about conditions on those days.
An EME Signal-To-Noise Calculator helps you determine which station enhancements would make the biggest difference in performance and also gives you a feel for the smallest stations you should be able to work under average conditions.
Moon Position Printouts can be made, and these have your skeds automatically printed on them too.
You can modify the ZT station directory from within the program to keep track of new stations, upgraded equipment, etc. Or you can replace the whole directory with the EME Directory or simply "freshen" any information that appears to be newer in the EME directory.
Two coordinated on-line help systems make learning and using the program even easier.
A utility program lets you analyze statistical data from your EME log (QSOs vs. spatial polarity) or statistical data for any selected EME path. You won't beleive the results. This utility also gives you a graphical demonstration of what the real issues are (with reguard to spatial polarization), and what causes one-way conditions so often observed on EME.
Perhaps best of all, Z-Track uses a unique new process to calculate the affects of spatial polariztion offset,
finally making a useful link between real-world results and what the program tells you. NOBODY elese can offer
you this technology yet. Discover the true benefits of watching spatial polarization when its affects are properly
Z-Track version 3 requires an IBM PC/XT/AT or true compatible computer with Hercules, CGA, EGA, or VGA graphics,
1.5 Mb hard drive space, 512K RAM. A math coprocessor is recommended but not required. The presence of expanded
memory will speed up certain program functions.
Check out these screen snapshots from Z-Track! Click on images to enlarge.
RealTime Moon Tracking:
RealTime Moon Tracking:
You will also want to download the updated directory of 2m EME stations for use with Z-Track.
Paul Kelley, N1BUG
N1BUG Web Home Page