December 3, 2010 in Utilities (E)
[prMac.com] Calden, Germany - Independent developer Ralf Andrae today is pleased to announce SatFinder 1.2 for iPhone 4/3GS, an update to his app that makes it possible to quickly calibrate any TV satellite antenna in four easy steps: 1. Set the height and width of the satellite antenna. 2. Choose a TV satellite. 3. Test if there is a direct line of sight to the satellite. 4. Measure and set the azimuth and elevation. SatFinder employs the device's built-in GPS, compass, accelerometer, and video camera. Because of these hardware requirements, the app is currently compatible only with iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS.
On launch in portrait mode the app displays a photorealistic 3D animation of a communications satellite orbiting Earth. The app then asks if it can use the current location on which to base its calculations. Replying in the affirmative opens Screen 1, Antenna Diameter. A dish antenna fills the screen with sliders above and to the right, allowing input of width and height, respectively. The Offset, based on the dish dimensions, is automatically displayed in degrees. The default setting is 75 cm wide by 80 cm high, giving an offset of 20.4 degrees.
Screen 2, Choose a Satellite, displays a scrollable list of more than 150 TV satellites. Each is listed by name, e.g. Intelsat 12, and azimuth, e.g. -45 degrees. Selecting any bird places a blue check mark beside it. Satellites are listed in order of their azimuth, counterclockwise or clockwise of magnetic north, from -172 degrees to 177 degrees.
SatFinder's Screen 3 (with augmented reality technology), Check Obstacles, displays a split screen illustrating a satellite in the sky above all buildings, and then opposite, a satellite obstructed by a tall building. Tapping the Start button activates the video camera and a small satellite icon. To check for obstacles to direct line of sight, the user tilts the device up and down until the satellite appears next to the green, elevation guide arrow. They then rotate until the green azimuth arrow disappears. The center crosshairs of the camera view show whether there are any obstructions between the antenna and satellite. When properly aligned, this screen displays the following numerical data at the bottom: present latitude and longitude, correct antenna pitch and bearing, and satellite elevation and azimuth.
Finally, Screen 4, Adjust Antenna, displays photos of placement of the iPhone to set the antenna's azimuth and elevation. Pushing the azimuth Start button and holding the iPhone exactly parallel with the LNB assembly allows the user to rotate the antenna until the correct bearing is indicated. Similarly, pushing the elevation Start button while holding the iPhone exactly parallel to the dish allows the user to tilt the antenna until the correct pitch is indicated. Animated diagrams of signals bouncing off the dish and on to the LNB illustrate both bearing and pitch adjustment, along with continuous numerical readouts.
* Simple, four-step procedure to set up any satellite dish antenna
* Four screens guide the user as they enter data or orient the antenna
* No complicated formulas or diagrams
* Complete listings of more than 150 TV satellites
* Realistic 3D computer graphics & animation provide a high quality GUI
SatFinder also has an Info button that displays a reference library of the over 150 satellites included in the app, but listed alphabetically. Selecting any name displays the following specifications: satellite name, position, status, launch site, launch mass, launch date, model, operator, bands, and coverage. Also available from Info are direct links for users to write a review, get technical support, or visit the SatFinder website.
"No matter where you live, Northern or Southern Hemisphere, the Americas, Asia, or Europe, SatFinder will make installing your satellite dish antenna simple and easy," stated developer Ralf Andrae. "SatFinder employs the built-in GPS, video camera, compass, and accelerometer of the iPhone 4/3GS to provide perfect alignment every time."
* US English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish
* iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4
* iOS 4.0 or later
* 5.6 MB
Pricing and Availability:
SatFinder 1.2 is $1.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Utilities category. Review copies are available upon request.
Based in Calden, Germany, Ralf Andrae is an independent software developer specializing in innovative iOS apps. He currently has 16 apps in the App Store, many aimed at iOS users who enjoy yachting and motorsports. Copyright (C) 2010 Ralf Andrae. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod, and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.