In Case of Trouble
Here are some commonly-reported problems, and the explanations or fixes.
Maybe these will go away in the next version. Maybe not.
Q: I can't run the program at all. I get a message about "cannot find file or
one of its components".
A: As noted in the README.TXT file, you need to get
from your favorite software source (see README.TXT for suggestions). It is
generally found as VBRUN30x.EXE, a self-extracting archive file. Put the file
in \WINDOWS\SYSTEM, or in the same directory with WinOrbit.
Q: I downloaded VBRUN300.EXE, but still get the message about "cannot find file
or one of its components".
A: This file is generally distributed as a "self-extracting archive". You must
first "run" VBRUN300.EXE (it will run in a DOS box). This will automatically
produce VBRUN300.DLL, and possibly a README or other text file. The DLL file
is the one you need. Put it in C:\WINDOWS or other appropriate location.
Q: I can't see the maps at all - they just look like garbage. What's wrong ?
A: This effect has been reported by some users with 32k-color and 64k-color
video drivers. It is reported that changing to a 256-color driver (in the
Windows control panel, or using your system's setup utility) will fix the
problem. The display also looks ok with 16 colors, or 16 million colors.
Please send a report if you have this problem.
Q: The map looks fine on the screen, but the printer output is (almost) blank.
A: Try changing the printer settings (especially any settings pertaining to
colors) in the Windows Print Manager. Or change the map colors
(Options:Colors... in the Main Window) by trial and error until you get
something satisfactory. It all depends on the specifics of the printer you
Q: The program "hangs" at a certain point with no error messages, and must be
killed from Windows using "Ctrl-Alt-Del" ?
A: This may be due to use of a memory manager (like QEMM or MemMaker). Or it
could be a problem with my code. Please try to reproduce the problem and send
me a description. Try reorganizing your TSRs (loaded in DOS from CONFIG.SYS
and AUTOEXEC.BAT) to see if you can get past the problem area.
Another possible problem is choosing an old element set. If the set is old
enough (e.g. the TST88888.2LI set, dated 1980, in 1995) relative to the "UTC
Date and Time" in the Main Window, the satellite position may be underground !
(Due to drag). The algorithm for computing "Next AOS" will fail in this case,
causing an apparent hangup. Try changing the observer horizon to -90, or
change to Step Mode and enter a date closer to the element epoch.
Q: After editing the Keps in the Satellite Dialog, the new values are not saved
correctly. It looks like everything is truncated to an integer value.
A: Make sure that the Number Format, Decimal Separator is ".", not ",", in the
International Control Panel. (Hopefully fixed in v 2.4).
Q: There's only one satellite (Phase III) in the list to choose from ?
A: Try File:Open in the Satellite Dialog Box. Pick a file (of the
proper type - NASA-2-line or AMSAT-text-kep format). The program will look for
a file of the proper type in the current directory when it starts, but if it
cannot find one for some reason, it will just skip this step.
Q: I get a "Checksum Error" when opening a satellite data file ?
A: There are three possibilites: 1) the data file is corrupted or contains one
or more typographical errors; 2) the person who generated the original file
computed the checksum improperly; or 3) a different algorithm was used to
compute the checksum than that used by WinOrbit. If you can determine
that the file is ok, and can find the checksum algorithm, please let me know.
The number given in the error message box is the checksum computed by
Q: I get an "Out of String Space" error when opening a satellite data file ?
A: One possibility is that there is one or more lines in the data file which
are too long (>256 characters ?). For example, if you used a "unix-format"
data file, there may be no <return> characters to separate the lines. Or
the file may be in "binary" format, rather than "text" or "ASCII". Try
downloading the file with different settings in your terminal program.
Q: The satellite does not move, and the displayed UTC date and time does not
A: Be sure you have chosen Epoch:Real Time (checkmark in the Main Window
menu). Check the Res (sec) box in the Main Window. The value should be
a whole number larger than zero. If it is too large, the screen will update
very infrequently. The default is 100 sec, which is pretty slow. Try 5 or 10
seconds. Choose Epoch:Now in the Main Window to update the display to
the present time and restart the timer. On the other hand, if the interval is
too small, the screen may not be updated properly in between. In some cases,
the clock may appear to run, but the satellites are frozen. Try a larger
Q: I chose "Secondary Satellite" in the Map window, but only one satellite is
A: You must have at least two map windows, with different satellites, in order
for this option to be useful. The secondary satellite is chosen by the
Tracking selector in the Main Window. If the secondary satellite is the same
as the primary one, only that satellite will be visible. So with two windows,
only one window can show two birds. You can minimize the other window to save
Q: The display in "Show position" is the same regardless of whether inertial or
geodetic coordinates are chosen ?
A: The report text box may not be big enough to see the X,Y,Z values. Use the
horizontal scroll bar to scroll to the end of the line.
Q: "Overflow" error message crashes the program when printing.
A: This has been reported to occur if the selected interval is too short (or
the resolution too coarse), so that the selected satellite is never visible at
the observer location. Please report any other circumstances causing this
error to the author (so it can be fixed)
Q: "Type mismatch" error crashes the program on startup (or when changing
satellites or entering a date) ?
A: This has been a persistent bug, due to the various time and date formats
Windows uses. Try changing the date (or time, or number) format in the Windows
International Control Panel. (Hopefully fixed in v 2.3)
Q: I keep typing in numbers to change a parameter, and the program ignores them
- it just keeps using the old number.
A: Some of the text boxes will accept multi-line entries. If you type a number
followed by hitting "return", you will see a blank box. However, the program
sees the number that was typed. If you enter another number, it may be
ignored. Solution - don't hit "return" when entering data - use the mouse or
the TAB key to change to the next box. (Fixed in v2.3).
Converted by Winhelp to Web