Back in Nov 2019, I was chatting with some friends about the old Ga Tech W4AQL Satellite Tracking system from the 1980s and how long it took to load the program from cassette tape. I foolishly remarked, "I could build the whole system today in something the size of a bar of soap with nearly instant software loading time". For one year I have been able to avoid this challenge, because we couldn't find any copies of the firmware. I no longer have that excuse. Let the fun begin.
My initial enthusiasm upon discovering the stash of old units has been dampened by a sudden and unfortunate memory. While I'm not 100% sure, I think the programs were distributed in a compiled format (there were two programs, one for satellites, and another one just for terrestrial antenna pointing based on the remote station's radio callsign prefix). I don't think this was done for copy-prevention reasons, but rather program speed. My recollection is vague, but I think we discovered that the compiled program ran faster and/or loaded faster. With normal languages, that makes sense, but I'm not sure how Basic was compiled.
Regardless, I will proceed and try to get the floppy images extracted to a more modern media for analysis. And continue racking my brain and see if I can come up with any place to look where the source code might be stored.