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Reviews Categories | Ham Software/Apps - Other than logging | Nova for Windows Help

Reviews Summary for Nova for Windows
Nova for Windows Reviews: 13 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $59.95
Description: Satellite Tracking Software
Product is in production.
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WA4HFR Rating: 4/5 Feb 13, 2012 08:11 Send this review to a friend
More features than others  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The latest version of NOVA has more features than any of the other satellite tracking programs (both free and paid-for) that I have tried, such as the AMSAT tracking software. This is a two-edged benefit...: with all those features it can be confusing to set up. If you are controlling AZ-EL rotors, it comes with built-in drivers for at least 10 tracking interfaces. The LabJack-12 box is hyper-easy to set up and about half of the AMSAT price for the LVB tracking interface box. NOVA has a couple of bugs, but I have encountered some bugs in other programs as well. I am a "hardware-guy" and my computer-fu is very weak. One benefit of using NOVA is that the program author provides a pretty good level of personal trouble-shooting assistance. I note that several of the older NOVA reviews seen here on voice some complaints that result from the reviewer not paying attention to all the features or set-up procedures detailed in the users manual. If all you need is a tracking program for very casual use, then other less complex programs will likely suit you better. I am using NOVA to track and downlink the HRPT digital imagery from the polar-orbit NOAA weather satellites.

KQ6EA Rating: 2/5 Sep 10, 2007 13:21 Send this review to a friend
This is the "Gold Standard"?  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using NFW for several years now, and I have to admit it fails to impress me. Yes, it's pretty, but it requires an add-on to tune the radio, and I've had it crash multiple times, on different PC hardware. Each time it died, it required me to reinitialize the program, dumping all my presets out. Getting it properly configured is not intuitive, and requires a bit of tinkering. I could put up with this with free software, but a commercial product of this alleged quality should do better. I can't see why people rave about NFW so much when there are better alternatives out there, some of them free.
W5TD Rating: 2/5 Feb 18, 2007 22:03 Send this review to a friend
Older version was better  Time owned: more than 12 months
I agree with the previous reviewer, the new version of Nova isn't very good. I still have the older version installed and won't be upgrading anytime soon. I find the older version (not sure which one) seems to work much better for my needs, but then I don't do rotor control and things like that. Of course I also like Windows 98 much better than XP because it never seems to lock up.

73s John W5TD
KC4YMR Rating: 2/5 Feb 18, 2007 21:00 Send this review to a friend
Could be great, but lots of bugs  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using Nova for a couple of years. I'm currently running registered v2.2b. This could be a great piece of software, but it is riddled with annoying bugs. It randomly 'forgets' settings, the rotator tracking stalls and/or stops switching to the next satellite in the script sequence for no apparent reason. Sometimes the auto track changes observers back to the default, and so it points to the wrong place.
And some obvious shortcuts are missing from the gui. Why can't I click a satellite and have it start tracking it? Why do I have to go through the entire selection process twice (once to view, once to track)?
The more you use it, the more little annoying broken items you'll run into.
W8OTR Rating: 5/5 Dec 10, 2006 10:25 Send this review to a friend
best sat. program  Time owned: more than 12 months
best satellite program you can get
W0FM Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2005 10:51 Send this review to a friend
Happy user for years  Time owned: more than 12 months
I also have used Nova for many years and truly admire the functionality and detail. I do, however, have one item on my Nova "wish list". It would be great if, in the panel where the selected satellite's info (AOS, LOS, Until, Distance, etc) is displayed, it would also show the uplink and downlink frequencies and the modes of that satellite for quick reference. Maybe even a way to enter/store that info yourself as it does change.

I am a casual satellite user and I have a couple of reference charts I refer to. Many times when I see a bird coming into my view on Nova, by the time I look up the frequencies and modes and tune the rig, the pass is half over.

Seems like this would be a simple and valued addition to an already great program.

Terry, WFM
KC4QH Rating: 5/5 Jul 21, 2005 06:50 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Customer Service and Product  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Like people who submitted earlier posts, I got immediate and personal assistance from Michael. I could not configure my rotor (G-5400) to the computer. Mike asked me to email the data folder to him. He looked at my settings and told me how to fix it. After hours of my trying, he got it up and running in a few minutes. He also helped me with some of the KEs and satellite database. The product itself performs for what I want it to do. I read other reviews from users desring additional functionality. While that may be true for them, I found the product to inform me of the satellite position, availability and most importantlt - steering. I recommend for anyone using yagis on satellites, or just wanting to know more about their position.
N1SS Rating: 5/5 Feb 10, 2005 19:27 Send this review to a friend
Best starter sat tracking software available; best buy for $$  Time owned: more than 12 months
Amaze your friends, school teachers, students and anyone else who sees what this software can do with up-to-date KEPS. TNX Michael -- you get the "done-good" award *****
W3EOA Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2005 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Super Help from Michael Owen!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
After using NOVA for a number of years, I messed up an update process and got my program hosed up so nothing worked. Could not Un-install old version and could not install update either. Called Michael Owen and he sent me the information I needed.

Total time down fussing with things ... about six weeks. Total time after calling Michael ... less than ONE HOUR ... call to fixed and running.

Can't beat that!!!

Herb, W8HRN (ex-W3EOA)
ON4SKY Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2004 04:13 Send this review to a friend
Excellent and fine GUI  Time owned: more than 12 months

This is an excellent and cheap satellite tracking program, very accurate, complete, well designed and very appreciated, including at NASA or USAF, to name some majors users.
It will be very useful to all operators who need to track satellites or drive their antenna on communications or weather satellites.

Nova is able to track - in real-time or simulated - on any satellite knowing its 2 lines elements (TLE), even space probes launched at destination of the outer space if you know their geocentric RA/Dec. In that case you have to enter their coordinates as "extra" satellite.

For global predictions Nova uses a Plan-13 algorithm which is a simplified version of SGP4. This last employs general perturbation theory to provide highly accurate prediction of orbital positions. As the NORAD SGP4/SDP4 algorithm is more time-consuming it should be use only if high accuracy is needed. In the best-cases, using up-to-date Keplerian elements and the SGP4/SDP4 algorithm the accuracy is about 0.1 or 11 km, not very good by astronomical standards but well enough to aim any antenna or scope.

Nova provides various high resolution and colorful views with zoom possibilities : a rectangular map and a space view derived from NOAA 4-km AVHRR land-sea data (~10 km/pixel), an elevation contour, a radar map (in front of stars) and a static sky noise map at 50, 130 and 400 MHz.

Utilities include an scripting screen to automatically manage multiple passes of several satellites, an experimental mode for examining the effects of changes in TLE on satellite orbits, a derived function to examine values such as apogee, perigee, altitude, period, etc, the mutual visibility of two satellites and more.
You can also customize your horizon, telling the program that such azimut is closed up to 30 high for example.

Excepting some planetarium software I reviewed on my site too, this is one of the few satellite tracking software to display the path of satellites in front of the starry sky (view at zenith), a convenient way to wait for their pass near a bright star and why not to picture their trail, this time well framed...
To use properly the map, it must be oriented to the North so that points of the compass are at the right place : the West pointing to the left and the East to the right.
For such occasions, at the request of some amateurs astronomers, a RA/Dec readout of mouse location was added to the radar map.
In the same ordre of idea, today Nova supports the Meade LX-200 and ETX telescopes, for those who want to visually observe satellites.

However Nova is not able yet to answer the question "what is this satellite crossing near Vega ?" for example, excepting by displaying all satellite trajectories on screen.
According NLSA this kind of features will be included in a forecoming product named Orbital Mechanic.

Nova runs on Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and XP in high resolution.

Hope this helps

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