Star and Body Viewing
Sight Reduction


Why are there five different versions of Pocket Stars? Which one should I use?

Pocket Stars PDA runs on Pocket PC devices.   All such devices have a stylus to interact with the screen, although they may also have a keyboard.

Pocket PC 2002 and later devices only use the ARM processor.

Prior to Pocket PC 2002, three different processors were used to build Win CE devices: ARM, MIPS, and SH3. To determine your processor, go to Settings.System.About.

An "Over-the-Air" (OTA) version is also available for all ARM devices. This version installs directly on your PDA without requiring use of a PC. If you're using a Mac or Linux, you probably want this version.

Pocket Stars SP runs on Windows Mobile Smartphones.  Smartphones do NOT use a stylus, and all devices use the ARM processor, so there is no confusion which version to use.

Pocket Stars PC is available for Win98SE, WinME, Win2K, WinXP, Vista, Windows Server 2003, and later operating systems.

Does Pocket Stars PDA run on Palm, Handspring, or Symbian devices?

No. Pocket Stars PDA only runs on Pocket PCs running Pocket PC 2000, 2002, 2003 , Windows Mobile 5 and Windows Mobile 6 for Pocket PC devices. This includes all devices labeled with the Pocket PC brand.

If you are looking for a similar program for Palm devices, check out Celestnav from Mobile Geographics LLC.

Where do I find detailed installation instructions?

Pocket Stars PDA Installation.
Pocket Stars SP Installation.
Pocket Stars PC Installation.

Can any portion of Pocket Stars PDA be installed on a CF or other external memory card?

Yes. The entire application and data files can be installed on an external memory card.

How much memory does Pocket Stars PDA require?

Approximately 3.0 MB with a 10 year ephemeris file.

I'm having trouble upgrading on Windows Mobile 5. What to do?

Unlike all previous versions of the Pocket PC Operating System, WM5 automatically attempts to un-install the old version of an application during an upgrade. While this is fine in theory, in practice this step sometimes fails on WM5 due to a bug in WM5 itself.  This problem occurs with many different applications as well as wtih Pocket Stars PDA. 

A good description of the problem can be found here.  You can often avoid the problem by doing a soft reset immediately prior to upgrading.

If the de-installation step fails, then the installation aborts with an error and the application is in limbo, unable to either install or uninstall. If you experience this problem, follow these steps to convince WM5 that the application is not installed:

  1. Exit Pocket Stars (Menu.Help.About.Quit or Menu.Help.Exit)
  2. Attempt to manually uninstall Pocket Stars (Start.Settings.System.RemovePrograms Nomad Electronics Pocket Stars). If an error occurs, answer "Yes, remove from list of installed programs".
  3. From your desktop: ActiveSync.Explore.MobileDevice then delete the directory "\Program Files\Pocket Stars" on your Pocket PC.
  4. Perform a normal installation.


I have my registration code, but it doesn't seem to work!

You can visit the following page to retrieve lost registration codes, or update an existing code for Version 5.0:

Click here to update your Registration Code!

As of Version 5.0, the registration scheme employed by Pocket Stars has changed. If you have an earlier version of Pocket Stars installed, you can upgrade to Version 5.0 by just installing over your old version.

But if your PDA has had a hard reset since Pocket Stars was installed, and you did not re-install your old version, then you'll need a new registration code.

Version 5 Registration codes are derived from the user name of your device. Click the link above if you need to update or change your registration code.

Note that spaces and capitalization are important in the "Registered Name"!

I've lost my registration code.
How do I retrieve it?

First try this link:
Click here to find your Registration Code!

If you can't find your purchase record using the above link, then you'll need to contact the distributor from which you purchased Pocket Stars directly.

Most distributors have a page where you can retrieve purchase records. For RegNow purchase, click here.

I purchased the SH3 or MIPs version but I really wanted the ARM version. What to do?

Just download and install a trial copy of the correct version.  Then visit the registration page and change your Registration Code.

How do I register the product?

When you download Pocket Stars from any of the distributors, you have the option of receiving a free demo copy, or you can pay to receive a registered copy. In either case the software downloaded is identical.

Shortly after purchase of a registered copy, a registration code will be sent via email. After installation is completed, enter this code on the "Menu.Help.Registration" page (PDA version) or "Help.Registration" (PC version) page.

What if I don't register the product?

After 15 calendar days from installation, some functions will become disabled and nag screens will sometimes appear.

I already have the demo version.
If I register, do I need to download another copy?

No. Just enter the registration code into your existing copy of Pocket Stars at Menu.Help.Registration. But please do make sure you're running the latest version since improvements and additions are being added frequently.

What is the difference between a "license" code, a "registration" code, and an "unlock" code?

Nothing. Each distributor sends out purchase confirmation email containing your registration code, and some call it a "license code", some a "registration code", and some an "unlock" code. We have no control over the contents of this email and for the purposes of registering Pocket Stars please use all of these terms interchangeably.


I am a registered user of an earlier version of Pocket Stars.
Can I upgrade for free?

Just download and install the latest "trial" version. The "trial" and "buy" versions are identical - you just don't get a registration code when you download the "trial" version. Note that you will not need to re-enter your registration code when upgrading.

Just make sure you exit Pocket Stars before starting the upgrade. On the PDA version, hit Menu.About.Exit. On the PC version use Menu.Exit.


How can I obtain a printed manual for Pocket Stars?

PocketStars PDA and PC Manual: .pdf .doc
PocketStars SP Manual: .pdf .doc


What data sources were used to produce Pocket Stars?

See References and Bibliography

Where is the history of Pocket Stars releases?

Check the Release History section. This also includes a short summary of the changes in each version.

What the heck does PDA stand for?

Personal Digital Assistant.

I really like Pocket Stars. Is there any other way to express my pleasure?

Sure. You can cast a vote for Pocket Stars in the Handango People's Choice Awards.

Star and Body Viewing

Uh, why is "West" shown on the right hand side of the screen and "East" on the left hand side of the screen? Isn't this backwards?

Pocket Stars, like almost all other star charts, is designed to be viewed with the PDA held overhead, in line between the observer and the heavens. But you can flip the orientation by selecting "Flip chart along North - South axis" on the Preferences Page, or by "Tap-n-Hold.Horizon.Flip East - West".

Note that this capability is only available in versions and beyond.

Can I use Pocket Stars for dates outside the range of 2000 to 2020?

Yes, you can download ephemeris files with longer date ranges on this page.

What data sources were used to produce Pocket Stars?

Look at the References and Bibliography section here.

Sight Reduction

What does the Sextant Page do?

The Sextant Page is used to perform sight reductions.  Using a sextant and an accurate clock you can locate your position anywhere on earth to within a few miles.  Here is a demonstration movie showing the Sextant page in use.

Top support links

3 Versions

Windows Mobile

SP Smartphone

PDA Pocket PC

Windows Desktop

PC Win7, Vista, XP