AUTOSTAR SUITE USER FEEDBACK
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Last updated: 30 April 2007

This page is for user comments and information specific to the Meade AutoStar Suite. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me and I'll post them. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message. Thanks. (The Lunar Planetary Imager, LPI, and Deep Sky Imager, DSI, are covered in the Helpful Information - Astrophotography area.)


Mike here: With the release of Apple's Intel based Macintosh systems, it is now possible to run Windows applications natively on Macs. I want to post some information on using the Meade AutoStar Suite application (with or without the LPI and DSI models). (No, I don't have one, yet. iPhone purchase comes first since I have a PowerBook G4 17".) If you have a Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, or the Intel based Mac mini or iMac models and have tried one of the following with AutoStar Suite, please send your experiences to me at etx@me.com. I will compile the information and post it. Thanks. Please specify your Mac model, the version of Windows, and which of the following you have used:

Boot Camp
CrossOver Mac
Parallels Desktop
WINE
VMWare
VirtualBox [NEW!]

Subject:	Meade LPI imager & USB serial adapter with Windows Vista
Sent:	Monday, April 30, 2007 14:17:41
From:	Carol Lynn Hazlett (clhazlet@eskimo.com)
I have been unable to get my DS2114 to work using Autostar or Starry
Night with my Windows Vista laptop.  I have the Meade #506 cable going
to a #494 Handbox using Meade's USB to serial adapter as this new
computer has no serial ports.  I have found out through much trial and
error and many hours on the internet researching that my LPI camera does
not work because the driver is incompatable with Vista and Meade has not
updated the driver yet, so that problem is dead in mud for now.  Could
the USB problem be the same?  Do any of your subscribers have any
suggestions or ideas that I might try to get my scope working with the
software?  I was going to try the com port test that was on your web
site but unfortunately Microsoft removed the hyperterminal program from
Vista.  I  use your site for information all the time.  This is the
first time that I could not find an answer to my question!  Most of the
time I need go further for the answer than here.

Thank you, Carol Hazlett
Mike here: The consensus seems to be to avoid Vista for now as many apps don't work or don't work correctly. And yes, the LPI is one of those items that isn't currently working according to reports I've seen. As to the Meade adapter, I don't know if the info on their page http://www.meade.com/USB_Serial/USB_SER.html will help as I don't use a Windows computer.
Subject:	questions about the auto star suite and the etx60at
Sent:	Friday, April 13, 2007 13:17:54
From:	Tiffany Stephenson (tms_9@hotmail.com)
Hi First of all I love the site I have found alot of useful info.  I am
new to the world of telescopes and I have a etx-60at I purchased a meade
DSI  and it comes with the autostar suite.  The salesman says that it
will work the telescope and the techsupport which is ver hard to get a
hold of sys the same thing but I am not having ay lucky.  Tech support
says to plug the 4 to 6 pin connector from my computer to the telescope
aux port and then it is ready to go.  I have tried this and it does not
do anything but pop un errors.   any ideas?
Mike here: The AutoStar Suite requires the #497 AutoStar (has number keys on the keypad). Your ETX-60 probably has the #494 AutoStar (no number keys). You will need to get a #497. The #505 cable (included with the DSI) connects from a RS-232 serial port on your computer to the RJ11 jack in the #497 AutoStar handbox. If your computer doesn't have a RS-232 port you will need to get a USB-serial adapter but note that not all work reliably with the AutoStar; see the article "AutoStar and USB" on the Helpful Information: AutoStar Info page.
Subject:	RE: DSI Driver Software
Sent:	Monday, April 9, 2007 06:52:26
From:	Gary Gorsline (garyg@x-link.info)
Thanks again for your help.

I was noticing that the CD was warped.  I used a hair dryer and
flattened it some.  I was able to get it to load most of the software
and I messed around with it and got the driver going and the main
program working.  I actually saw images from the CCD.  I know I didn't
get the Help files and who knows what else isn't working.  Of course, as
soon as I got the CD to read, the clouds rolled in and it's till
cloudy/raining.

I'm calling Meade again this afternoon to order another CD.  If someone
does come up with the file, I'll download it and reinstall.  But it
appears I can start taking pictures as soon as the weather allows.

Thanks

Gary Gorsline

And:

It's been raining exactly after I got the software loaded, like the CCD
anti-god was watching ;)   Maybe this weekend will be good seeing
weather.  Thanks again for all your help, I'll send you my comments and
experiences with the DSI and my ETX 60   -   yes - it's only a 60.  I'm
getting the CCD going first, so that I can determine the necessary size
of my next telescope.

Thanks again for all your help.

Gary
Mike here: Looking forward to your report. Keep in mind that the AutoStar Suite software requires an AutoStar #497, not the #494 that typically comes with the ETX-60 (and -70 and -80) model.

And:

Ahh, I did see that, but it did not sink in.  The bought the 506
software/cable last month, and it worked fine, so maybe I'll use it to
control the scope, and the newer software to control the DSI.  The
clouds are gone, so I might try to get out tonight - probably not, as my
oldest daughter is kicking out her fiance tonight - I imagine I'll be
more worried about that - but we'll see if he goes ballistic ;)

Gary Gorsline

Subject:	DSI Driver Software
Sent:	Sunday, April 8, 2007 07:43:56
From:	Gary Gorsline (garyg@x-link.info)
I found your forum in desperation.  Meade is a good company, but my last
two weeks is not my best exchange.

Anyway, two weeks ago I received my DSI color.  I decided that after 30
years of wanting to take pictures with my telescopes, that it was time,
and the write ups on the CCDs sounded like even an amateur could get
reasonable results.

My DSI was delivered with a CD that could not be read on several
computers.  Called Meade, the sent via usps (to Tampa), a replacement
DVD, yep - the instructional DVD that really should be in the package
too.  So, here I am, a nice kool piece of equipment, lows in the 40s in
Florida, not a cloud in the sky for the last week, and no way to use my
DSI.  Errg.

I've copied all of the files and folders off of the cd, the only file I
can't copy/access fully is the setup.exe (102mb).  Anyway someone could
make that available online for me.

Thanks in advance.
Gary Gorsline 
Land O' Lakes, Florida 
Mike here: Have you tried running the SETUP.EXE file from the CD-ROM?

And:

Yep.  That fails on three computers.  So, figured maybe if I could copy
the files off the cd, i might get lucky after several tries and copy
that file, but it's must be really corrupted.  Odd thing is, the CD
looks fine.

You wouldn't happen to be able to get me that file?

Gary Gorsline
Mike here: You can get an updater online from Meade4M.org (sign up first). That may include the file you need. I don't have a current version myself.

And:

I joined and downloaded and ran the update.  It copied a bunch of files
to the hard drive, but I think it assumes you already loaded the program
and just updates it.  It probably updated the driver software, but
because it's not installed, it didn't help.

You know anyone who might be able to help me?

Thanks

Gary

Subject:	re: No LPI page
Sent:	Wednesday, April 4, 2007 21:12:54
From:	richard seymour (rseymour@wolfenet.com)
Welcome to the wonderful world of updates!

Envisage is the new improved imaging program which has been
included in the updated versions of Autostar Suite.

Evidently you are reading an "old" manual piece, instead
of the newer Envisage-related pages.

BUT all is not lost!

The original LPI.exe  program is **still there**!!

You'll find it under
C:\Program Files\Meade\AutostarSuite\LPI

You can create a desktop shortcut to launch it independently
of the rest of Autostar Suite.
(for many purposes, i prefer it too...)

have fun
--dick
Mike here: One of these days I will have to install that new version! The only question is when. Will I do it in VirtualPC, will I do it on a new Intel Mac, or will I wait for a Mac OS X native version...

And:

From:	Snnfly@aol.com (Snnfly@aol.com)
Many thanks. I have had the problem explained. Apparently, its an update
for the LPI. It uses a programme called Envisage.
 
Many thanks,
 
Steve.

Subject:	No LPI page
Sent:	Wednesday, April 4, 2007 11:30:37
From:	Snnfly@aol.com (Snnfly@aol.com)
Does anyone know why when I run the LPI programme in autostar that
Envisage loads. I have gone to the PDF instruction and it clearly shows
a page with MEADE LPI on the top. It also refers to different settings
to that shown on the Envisage page.
 
Many thanks,
 
Steve Noden
Mike here: Are you launching the AutoStar Suite or one of its component application? Normally, I believe you should launch AutoStar Suite and let it handle its individual applications.

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Copyright ©2007 Michael L. Weasner / etx@me.com
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URL = http://www.weasner.com/etx/archive/apr07/autostar_suite.html