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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 VBRUN300.DLL 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 have.

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 the program.

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 change.
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 interval.

Q: I chose "Secondary Satellite" in the Map window, but only one satellite is displayed ?
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 screen space.

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).

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