Satellite Finder

- Version 2.8
1. Update: Manual image capture;
2. Update: Automatic image capture when alignment detected;
3. Update: Save captured image on to SDCARD;
4. Update: Email captured image (also supports Flickr, FaceBook, etc - what ever phone can use to handle images);
- Version 2.4
1. Update: Visual alignment assistance by using arrows to denote alignment position;
- Version 2.3.4
1. Update: GPS Provider fix - informs user that GPS provider might not work properly;
- Version 2.3.2
1. Update: Minor fixes for Nexus One;
- Version 2.3.1
1. Update: Added custom point of interest;
2. Update: Automatically choose best (most accurate) location provider;
- Version 2.1.5
1. Update: Prevents phone from going to sleep when application is running;
- Version 2.1.4
1. Big fix: crash when GPS not enabled on some phones;
2. Motorola Cliq Fix: There is an issue with Cliq ROM that shows white text on white background.
- Version 2.1.1
1. Nexus One support;
2. Bug fix: improper computation for some satellites;
- Version 2.0.0
1. Added camera support - alignment using camera to inspect for obstacles;
2. Larger fonts used;
- Version 1.0.0
Initial release!

Definitions:

  • True North - Earth's magnetic field "deviates/skews" compass reading. The "deviation" is different at various parts of the Earth due to the strength and the direction of Earth's magnetic field. To accurately compute the deviation of the magnetic field Satellite Finder reads Latitude and Longitude (expressed degrees East) of the current position. Computation of the deviation is based on National Geophysical Data Center's model;
  • Magnetic North - North as pointed by the compass;
  • Azimuth (true) - Rotation of the antenna around vertical axis expressed in degrees (East) relative to the True North;
  • Azimuth (magnetic) - Rotation of the antenna around vertical axis expressed in degrees (East) relative to Magnetic North;
  • Elevation - The angle between the dish pointing direction and local horizontal plate. It is the up/down angle;
  • LNB Tilt - Rotation of the antenna around the dish pointing direction;

Usage
Satellite Finder assists in alignment of satellite dish antennas. The system determines local position by using either GPS or Network (aka Skyhook) provider; provider usage depends on availability. The accuracy of the position does not have to be perfect as long as it is within 3-4 miles. This is due to the fact that magnetic field variation is negligible within couple of miles; hence the deviation change is negligible. Once the position is established, the system performs calculations (based on the Satellite selection) necessary to properly align the antenna.

Using calculated values and built in orientation sensors, the application assists in alignment of the antenna. Alignment is signaled by emitting a beeping noise provided that alignment of the phone is within the threshold of computed values. To align the phone, following must be considered:

  • "Top" of the phone is defined to be the notification area of the Android OS in portrait mode (Satellite Finder operates only in portrait mode). This is shown in following image:


  • To align the phone in azimuth (magnetic north) direction move the phone as shown below:

    If the alignment is within specified range, the value will turn GREEN;
  • To align the phone in elevation direction move the phone as shown by following image:

    If the alignment is within specified range, the value will turn GREEN;
  • Once both alignments are within specified threshold rate, the phone will emit beeping sound (make sure that ringer volume is at %100)

Camera View
Satellite Finder provides option to use built-in camera for satellite alignment. By selecting "Use Camera" menu item on the main screen, Satellite Finder shows following screen:


By pointing camera into the sky and aligning the "Sensor" values (Azimuth and Elevation) with "Target" values (Azimuth and Elevation), crosshair image that is centered on the screen will point to the target satellite. When alignment is correct the phone will beep (please make sure that the ringer volume is at 100%), crosshair image and Sensor values will turn green!
Once the alignment is finished and crosshair object is pointing at the satellite position so that it can be determined if line-of-sight is clear (avoid any objects including trees)!

Custom POI
Satellite Finder provides option to use add custom points of interest (POI). Following screen is used:


Using this screen, the user can either add the POI manually by typing latitude/longitude into text boxes or search for POI using built-in android search feature provided by Google. Custom POI will appear at the end of the satellite list! IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT GPS IS ENABLED WHEN USING CUSTOM POI DUE TO ACCURACY!

Settings

  • Alignment Threshold - acceptable threshold rate for alignment;
  • Auto Capture Enabled - enable/disable automatic image capture when alignment is found;

For suggestions, please email agerzic@gmail.com